Dr. Adriana Chira, Assistant Professor of Atlantic World History, recently published a piece in Southern Spaces. The piece comes from Chira’s 2022 monograph Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race beyond Cuba’s Plantations (Cambridge UP), which offers a new history of Black rural geography and popular legalism in nineteenth-century Cuba. Find out more about Patchwork Freedoms on Cambridge UP’s site and read the full Southern Spaces article: “Patchwork Freedoms: Law, Slavery, and Race beyond Cuba’s Plantations.”
Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Professor of American History, participated in reading the Land Acknowledgment adopted by Emory’s Board of Trustees last year as part of a video released on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2022. The acknowledgement (included below) recognizes the members of the Muscogee (Creek) people who lived on the lands where Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses stand today before being displaced in 1821. A historian, documentary film producer, and member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Lowery came to Emory in July 2021 after holding positions at UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard. She co-chairs the Indigenous Language Path Working Group, convened following the reappointment and expansion of President Fenves’ Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations. View the video of the Land Acknowledgment here: “Emory’s Land Acknowledgment recognizes displaced Indigenous nations.”
Emory University acknowledges the Muscogee (Creek) people who lived, worked, produced knowledge on, and nurtured the land where Emory’s Oxford and Atlanta campuses are now located. In 1821, fifteen years before Emory’s founding, the Muscogee were forced to relinquish this land. We recognize the sustained oppression, land dispossession, and involuntary removals of the Muscogee and Cherokee peoples from Georgia and the Southeast. Emory seeks to honor the Muscogee Nation and other Indigenous caretakers of this land by humbly seeking knowledge of their histories and committing to respectful stewardship of the land.
Graduate student Anjuli Webster will present at an upcoming workshop in Munich, Germany, titled “Oceans Disconnect.” The conference has been convened by David Armitage (Harvard), Sujit Sivasundaram (Cambridge), and Roland Wenzlhuemer (LMU Munich). Webster will present a paper titled, “Liquid stasis: How European empires used the ocean to enclose Maputo Bay.” Webster’s dissertation, advised by Drs. Clifton Crais, Mariana P. Candido, Yanna Yannakakis, and Thomas D. Rogers, is titled “Fluid Empires: Histories of Environment and Sovereignty in southern Africa, 1750-1900.”
Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Professor of American History, was recently quoted in a CNN article about Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The piece discusses the roots of the holiday in the Red Power Movement of the 1960s, along with the meanings of the holiday for Native Americans today. The CNN journalist, Harmeet Kaur, draws on information from a 2020 article that Lowery penned in The Conversation, titled “Why more places are abandoning Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day.” Read an excerpt from the CNN piece below along with the full article: “What Indigenous Peoples’ Day means to Native Americans.”
The narrative around Columbus Day helped uphold “the new racial order that would emerge in the US in the 20th century, one in which the descendants of diverse ethnic European immigrants became ‘White’ Americans,” historian Malinda Maynor Lowery wrote in a 2019 article for The Conversation.
Eventually, Native Americans began to challenge the history behind it.
Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, Native American activists in the late 1960s formed the Red Power Movement, built on principles of self-determination and cultural pride. At a 1977 United Nations conference in Geneva, Indigenous delegates from around the world resolved “to observe October 12, the day of so-called ‘discovery’ of America, as an International Day of Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.”
Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently participated in the Athens Democracy Forum in the Greek capital. The event – now in its tenth year – is convened by the Democracy & Culture Foundation in association with The New York Times. Anderson screen her film I, Too at the forum (marking the film’s international premier) and discussed how voter suppression tactics in the U.S., particularly those that limit the right of American-Americans to vote, are threatening American democracy. Read an excerpt from the New York Times’s coverage of the event below, along with the full article here: “TikTok, Fake News and Obstacles to the Ballot Box.”
Carol Anderson — a professor of African American studies at Emory University in Georgia and the maker of a documentary titled “I, Too,” which was screened in Athens — kicked off the debate with an urgent entreaty for voter registration to be simplified.
One of the first things that we have to recognize, in the U.S. context, is that you have the rise of what we call voter suppression laws,” she said. “These laws were targeted at key elements in the population to ensure that they would have multiple obstacles to have to jump over” to vote.
Those groups are then blamed for not voting, when in fact, they faced, and continue to face, “obstacles that look race-neutral, but that are racially targeted. What we have to do is dismantle the barriers to voting.”
The Muscogee Nation and the Indigenous Language Path Working Group held events for Emory students, faculty, and staff on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses this past week. Listening sessions were held on October 27 and 28 for members of the Emory community associated with the Working Group, which is co-chaired by Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery (Lumbee), Cahoon Family Professor of American History. Then, on October 28, singers, storytellers and other artists from the Muscogee Nation conducted a teach-in on the Quadrangle at the Atlanta campus. Read more about these events and the broader initiative of which they form part via the Emory News Center’s article: “Muscogee Nation members to conduct teach-in; Emory community invited to Indigenous Language Path listening sessions.”
Hank Klibanoff, Director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The piece focuses on the 1950 murder trial of Clarence Henderson, a Black Carrollton sharecropper convicted of murdering a White Georgia Tech student under highly-questionable circumstances. Prompted by a new book, The Three Death Sentences of Clarence Henderson, the Carrollton county District Attorney is revisiting the case. The Associated Press also recently covered the DA’s decision in the article, “Prosecutor might seek sharecropper’s posthumous exoneration.” Read an excerpt from the AJC article below, along with the full piece here: “Georgia DA revisits decades-old murder case against sharecropper.”
“Hank Klibanoff, an Emory University professor and director of the school’s Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, said addressing injustices from decades past is important, even when the victims and perpetrators are dead.
“‘There is a very important judgment that history can make,’ he said.
“There also is the chance for healing. Klibanoff and his Emory students have delved into several Jim Crow era racial killings and cold cases. In one case, the white descendant of one of the named murderers was so moved by their findings that he sought out the victim’s daughter to apologize.
“‘It went an enormous way to salving their wounds,’ he said.”
Senior New York Times writer David Leonhardt recently quoted Dr. Carol Anderson in a piece titled “‘A Crisis Coming’: The Twin Threats to American Democracy.” Leonhardt describes these threats as: first, the growing movement within the Republican party to refuse to accept electoral defeat and, second, the increasing disconnect between public opinion and governmental policy. Leonhardt cites Anderson’s work on voter suppression in his examination of these crises. Read an excerpt below along with the full article: “‘A Crisis Coming’: The Twin Threats to American Democracy.”
Still, many experts point out that it is still not clear how the country will escape a larger crisis, such as an overturned election, at some point in the coming decade. “This is not politics as usual,” said Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory University and the author of the book, “One Person, No Vote,” about voter suppression. “Be afraid.”
Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, recently spoke with The New Yorker’s Issac Chontiner to discuss her work as the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to fight antisemitism. Lipstadt addresses an array of topics, from her motivation in accepting this position to the threat that antisemitism poses to global democracy and security. Read an excerpt from the interview below, along with the full piece here: “Can Countries with Grave Human-Rights Records Help Fight Anti-Semitism?”
“I came across a quote of yours where you said that anti-Semitism is a “threat to democracy and global security. It’s a threat to the stability of society.” You also said that “it rarely stands alone as a hatred.”
“That’s exactly right. I stand by what I said.
“But this gets to what we were talking about earlier in terms of dealing with other countries.
“To go back to the Abraham Accords, I think they opened the space for the sorts of conversations that we never thought possible. Sometimes people say that anti-Semitism starts with the Jews but doesn’t end with the Jews. Maybe the conversation starts about anti-Semitism, but it won’t stop there. It’ll go to other areas as well. It’s a beginning. If it can move the conversation along and change attitudes, then I’m there and I’m willing to take part in it.“
Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies Dr. Carol Anderson provides historical context for contemporary practices of white supremacy and political violence in the U.S. through a new documentary, titled I, Too. The film, which premiered at the Carter Center in Atlanta on September 7, is a co-production of Humanity in Action, Emory University, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the Donner Foundation. The film presents continuities between the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and earlier events, including the Hamburg Massacre in South Carolina in 1876 and the Wilmington, North Carolina, Coup d’Etat of 1898. Listen to a post-premiere interview between Dr. Anderson and WABE’s Rose Scott here: “‘History is uncomfortable’: Emory professor Carol Anderson live at the Carter Center.”