In his lecture, “Protests in Pro Football: The 1965 AFL All-Star Game and Colin Kaepernick,” Charles Ross will discuss how African American players forced the 1965 AFL All-Star Game to be moved from New Orleans to Houston after experiencing discrimination in the segregated southern city. Fifty years later, Colin Kaepernick began a protest against police brutality and discrimination in America by refusing to stand for the National Anthem. Both events clearly illustrate that African American players in pro football, then and now, were willing to take action to address inequalities in America. Ross is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and is currently chair of the African American studies program and associate professor of history and African American studies at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League and editor of Race and Sport: The Struggle for Equality On and Off the Field.
The 2018 Gilder-Jordan Lecture in Southern Cultural History will take place on Wednesday, September 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium on the University of Mississippi campus. The speaker will be James Oakes, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Humanities at the City University of New York. The title of his talk will be “The Triumph of Abolitionism.”
Oakes, one of the leading historians of nineteenth-century America, has an international reputation for path-breaking scholarship. In a series of influential books and essays, he tackled the history of the United States from the Revolution through the Civil War. His early work focused on the South, examining slavery as an economic and social system that shaped Southern life. His pioneering books include The Ruling Race (1982; 2nd ed., 1998); Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South (1990); The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics (2007); and his latest, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861–1865 (2012). The latter two garnered, respectively, the 2008 and 2013 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, an annual award for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln or the American Civil War era.
An alumnus of Baruch College, Oakes holds MA and PhD degrees from the University of California–Berkeley. He has been on the faculty of the Graduate Center since 1997 and the holder of the Graduate School Humanities Chair since 1998. Before coming to the Graduate Center, he taught at Princeton and Northwestern Universities.
Organized through the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the African American Studies Program, Center for Civil War Research, and the Department of History, the Gilder-Jordan Speaker Series is made possible through the generosity of the Gilder Foundation, Inc. The series honors Richard Gilder of New York and his family, as well as his friends, Dan and Lou Jordan of Virginia.
Amira Rose Davis will present “Sights Unseen: Black Women Athletes and the (in)Visibility of Political Engagement,” a brief history of black women’s athletic activism that focuses on how black women athletes have been hypervisible yet oft-ignored symbols of various political struggles on and off the playing field. An assistant professor of history and women’s gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State University, Davis received her doctorate in history from Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in twentieth-century American history with an emphasis on race, gender, sports, and politics, and her research traces the long history of black women’s athletic labor and symbolic representation in the United States. She is currently working on her forthcoming book manuscript, “‘Can’t Eat a Medal’: The Lives and Labors of Black Women Athletes in the Age of Jim Crow.” Davis is also the cohost of the feminist sports podcast, Burn It All Down.
In this lecture, Stephanie Rolph will discuss her new book, Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954–1989. Rolph is a native of Jackson and a Millsaps alumna (1999). She earned her MA in 2004 and her PhD in 2009 from Mississippi State University, where she specialized in the history of the American South. An active scholar in post-1945 southern politics and conservative ideology, Rolph’s work has appeared in The Right Side of the Sixties and in the Journal of Southern History. Her first book, Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954–1989, was recently published by LSU Press.