In the last six years, B. Brian Foster has talked with hundreds of Black Mississippians about race, the blues, politics, memory, community, and more. In this talk, he shares with us some of what they’ve shared with him, and he considers what it all might mean both now and for the future. Some of that work is included in his new book, I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life, in which he considers the value of non-affirming sensibilities like pessimism, frustration, and exhaustion for how we think about Black identity and lived experience.
Brian Foster is a writer and storyteller from Mississippi. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works as assistant professor of sociology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Foster also serves as coeditor of the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and is director of the Mississippi Hill Country Oral History Collective.
SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the webinar link.
There will be four Summer Sunset Series concerts in June, with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture sponsoring the Sunday, June 13 event at 6 p.m. with James “Super Chikan” Johnson, a blues musician based in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Other concerts are:
June 6 – The Soul Tones sponsored by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council
June 13 – James “Super Chikan” Johnson sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture
June 20 – Blackwater Trio sponsored by the University of Mississippi Museum
June 27 – Thacker Mountain Radio sponsored by the Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission