Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Family Professor of American History, has written and produced a new short film, titled Lumbeeland. With an all-Native crew and cast (the first film written, produced, and starring members of the Lumbee tribe), Lumbeeland explores the impact of the drug trade on Lumbee communities in Lowery’s birthplace of Robeson county, North Carolina. The film will premiere at the Lumbee Film Festival in July 2024, and the producers are in the midst of a fundraising campaign to support its release to wider audiences. Read a great piece about the origins and aims of the films here, and watch the trailer below.
Dr. Carol Anderson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of African American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss a new challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The eighth circuit federal appeals court overturned Section 2 of the Act, which gives private citizens the right to sue in the name of fair voting rights. Anderson appeared alongside Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project. Anderson is the author of numerous books, including One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (Bloomsbury, 2018). Watch the full MSNBC interview with host Charles Coleman: “New attack on Voting Rights Act threatens Black vote protections: ‘It’s a problem’.“
Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Professor of American History, recently joined Senior Vice President of Advancement Josh Newton for an edition of his series Walk & Talk with Josh Newton. Lowery, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a historian of Native America, discusses her work as a scholar, teacher, documentary filmmaker, and tribal community member. Since coming to Emory from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2021, Lowery has been instrumental in facilitating Emory’s reckoning with practices of dispossession and colonialism, including by helping to craft the university’s Land Acknowledgement and creating a deep, reciprocal partnership with the College of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Lowery will lead Emory’s new Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies, set to launch in the 2023-24 academic year. Watch her conversation with Newton, which also includes discussion of what drew her to the History Department, here: “Understanding the present begins in the past.”
Students in Dr. Michael Mortimer’s class “HIST 285: Introduction to Native American History” recently visited one of the most sacred sites in the ancestral homeland of the Muscogee People, the Ocmulgee Mounds, for the 31st Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration. The Provost Postdoctoral Fellow in Native North American History, Mortimer co-organized the trip with Dr. Debra Vidali (Anthropology) and Heidi Aklaseaq Senungetuk (Music). Undergraduates from Vidali’s “Anthropology 190–Land, Life, and Place” and Senungetuk’s “Music 460RW–North American Indigenous Music and Modernity,” along with students from Emory’s Native American Student Association, also joined the chorot of 35 students and faculty. Their trip marked the first time that Emory University has organized an official journey to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park. The History Department was a co-sponsor of this event. Read more about the experience from Jessanya Holness, an undergraduate who travelled to the Ocmulgee Mounds and wrote a news story for the site Native American and Indigenous Engagement at Emory: “Relational Accountability and Place-Based Learning: Emory Students Participate in 31st Annual Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration.”
Dr. Carol Anderson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of African American Studies, was recently a featured guest on the WBUR podcast “The Gun Machine,” which charts the development of the gun industry in the United States. Anderson discusses insights from her most recent book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally-Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021). Read a summary of the episode below and listen to the conversation in full here: “Fear sells guns. Here’s how that culture was created.”
Gun advertising is all about mistrust and the need to carry a gun for self-protection. But protection from whom?
The first European settlers wielded firearms to control enslaved people and fight Native people. Later, during Reconstruction, white Southerners afraid of losing their place in the new status quo picked up arms, not only for self-defense and to enact racist terror, but as a totem against imagined threats — sowing the roots of what guns represent to many people today.
In turn, this legacy of racism has long compelled some Americans of color to arm themselves. In 2020, five million Americans bought guns for the first time, including a record number of Black Americans.
In episode two of The Gun Machine, host Alain Stephens talks to historian Carol Anderson about the racist roots of the Second Amendment and travels down to Florida to attend the Pew Party. There, he talks to Black gun owners about why they carry, examining the link between our nation’s fraught history and why it’s so easy to sell us guns today.
Emory Journalism Professor Hank Klibanoff, who heads the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory and is also Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently featured in an article about the shifting format and programming of the 75-year-old Atlanta NPR affiliate, WABE. Published in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the article discusses how Klibanoff’s renowned podcast, “Buried Truths,” has helped to carry WABE into a vital, digitally-oriented next chapter. A native of the small Jewish community of Florence, Alabama, Klibanoff’s work as a journalist and advocate for racial justice has received extensive recognition, including through a Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award and a seat on the Presidential commission on racial justice. Read an excerpt of the AJT article below, along with the full piece here: “Klibanoff, Reitzes Lead WABE into a Digital Future.”
“When Hank Klibanoff won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for a book on journalism in the Deep South of the 1950s, he felt he might achieve a certain amount of fame and a boost to his professional reputation. Maybe, he thought, he might be able to make some money off the nonfiction award winner.
“‘It was good recognition,’ Klibanoff says. ‘It won a Pulitzer Prize, for goodness sakes, and you feel if you sell 30,000 copies of the book you’ve accomplished something, but even at that, I didn’t make a nickel from it, not even over several years.’
“But Klibanoff, who grew up in the small Jewish community of Florence, Ala., before his long and successful career in journalism, was destined for stardom. It would not come in newspapers or the publishing world he knew so well, but on the radio and in the rapidly growing world of podcasts — something he knew little about.”
Professor Hank Klibanoff, Director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently contributed to the identification of two of the at least nine unknown Black victims of the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre. The two victims, Stinson Ferguson, 25, and 13-year-old Marshall Carter, were among 25 Black Atlantans killed by a massive white mob in one of Georgia’s bloodiest, yet least remembered, outbursts of collective racial violence. The revelation coincided with the 117th anniversary of the massacre. Klibanoff and staff from the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project worked alongside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society on the effort to identify the unknown victims. Read more about this project here:
- “The 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre and the Truth of History,” National Center for Civil and Human Rights
- “Two victims in 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre identified, nearly 120 years later,” WSB-TV
- “New victims identified in 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre,” Axios Atlanta
Dr. Yami Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of History, recently delivered opening remarks at the newest exhibit at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, titled “You Belong Here: Place, People, and Purpose in Latinx Photography.” A historian of Latinx communities, particularly those in the U.S. South, Rodriguez provided illuminating context for the exhibit by offering a chronology of relationships between Latinx communities in Atlanta and Emory University. Senior History major and Carlos Museum intern Cassandra Olivio, who worked with Rodriguez to secure the internship, created an interactive activity to accompany the exhibit. Read an excerpt from Rodriguez’s opening remarks along with a brief Q&A with Olivio about her experience below.
Yami Rodriguez, Opening Remarks (excerpt)
“The effort to showcase a Latinx photography exhibit at Emory led me to consider change over time, and how this exhibit contributes to a long legacy of students, staff, and faculty that have worked to highlight and make space for Latinx experiences and voices at this institution. I therefore want to briefly highlight the collaborative work that has been and continues to be necessary in order to make a statement like ‘You Belong Here’ ring true.
“In 1989, for example, Mariali Fuster, Maritza Ortiz and Gerardo Tosca, along with other students, were ‘primarily responsible for raising interest in having Emory celebrate’ Hispanic Heritage Month. A list of events included Spanish club meetings, lectures on US and Latin American history, and community meals. Three years later in 1992 members of the Latin American Awareness Organization (or, LATINO) at Emory had the stated goal of ‘bring[ing] together the Latino students and to educate both the Emory community and the Atlanta community-at-large about Latinos and Latin America.’ And just three years later a staff member explained in scrap notes how she ‘received more than 50 calls regarding the services and resources’ provided by the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services because many Latinx parents whose children had been accepted to Emory could not afford tuition. As the population of Latinx students at Emory grew at the turn of the century, so did awareness of the populations’ needs and, at times, demands. A Latino Task Force made up of students, staff and faculty established in 2000, for example, advocated for increased Latino student enrollment and staff increases, along with a call for establishing ‘Latino Studies.’ The call for Latinx Studies would be renewed in 2018 with student-led advocacy. Over the decades, Latinx academic, social, political, and cultural presence has shaped our Emory communities and the possibilities for inclusion on and off campus…The Latinx community today at Emory, in Metro Atlanta, and the South more generally, is diverse, multilingual, and actively in search of spaces that can speak to some aspects of this complex, constructed category we know as Latinidad. I’m hopeful that the Carlos Museum is one of many spaces on campus that can commit to maintaining a sustainable, non-extractive, and mutually beneficial relationship with Latinx communities at Emory and across Georgia as we seek to make our institutions more inclusive and representative of the worlds we move through.”
*Remarks were informed by archival materials in the Rose and research conducted by undergraduate student Arturo Contreras for his work on the “Consciousness is Power: A Record of Emory Latinx History.” Efforts to digitize this Fall 2022 pop-up exhibit are currently underway in our history course, “The Migrant South.”
Q&A with Cassandra Olivo, History Major and Carlos Museum Intern
How did you become an intern at the Carlos Museum, and how has this experience shaped your time at Emory?
I was able to secure my internship at the Carlos Musuem through the help of Professor Rodriguez. She informed me that the museum was looking for two students to create an interactive component for the exhibition, and I applied because she informed me that the knowledge and skills that I had acquired from my history courses could be applicable in the creation of this component.
As a student who must also work to be able to study at this institution, I have found it hard to make time to visit the museum; thus, this experience provided me with the opportunity to explore and interact with a space that I would have not engaged with otherwise.
Have you seen intersections between your role at the Carlos and your history coursework? How so?
Yes, I have. I have taken a few classes where we have discussed the forms of resistance used by enslaved people, and a piece by artist Joiri Minaya not only allowed me to see how art could be crafted to represent this history, but added to my knowledge because I learned that enslaved women in the Barbados used the ayogwiri plant to induce abortions because they did not want their children to be thrusted into slavery. This piece does an excellent job at displaying how art can be utilized as a medium that both communicates and educates the public about historical events.
The exhibit you worked on highlights themes of identity, community, and belonging, with the interactive you co-created for the exhibit asking visitors to reflect on these themes. Can you share a bit about how your own identity, community, and/or sense of belonging informed your work at the Carlos and your time at Emory?
As the daughter of Mexican-immigrant parents who can barely read and write in English, I wanted to design the interactive in a way, which included translating the questions into Spanish, that would feel inviting to these kinds of individuals. The silence that Latinx populations face does not result from the community’s lack of expression on topics, but rather the linguistic barriers that limit their self-expression. Growing up, I always viewed my upbringing as a limitation, but this internship has made me realize that my experiences allow me to be an effective advocate for the needs of the community.
There have been instances where I was the only person of Latinx descent in my class, and it felt isolating at times. This feeling compelled me to create a space where individuals would not only be able to reflect on their own experiences, but also read the stories of others similar to them and see that they were not alone.
Congratulations to Dr. Tonio Andrade, Professor of History, on receiving an NEH Public Scholars Fellowship. Awarded for his project “The Dutch East India Company: A Global History,” the fellowship will support the writing of a book about the factors that enabled the Dutch East India Company to become the dominant maritime power in Asia: its financing, its military strength, and its use of trade and information networks. This NEH program supports projects that lead to the “creation and publication of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public.”
Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American History, recently appeared on the news program Democracy Now! to discuss the indictment of ex-president Donald J. Trump on charges that he interfered in the 2020 election. Anderson analyzes the indictment’s citation of the KKK Act, the Reconstruction-era law that protects citizens’ voting rights. An associated faculty member in the Department of History, Anderson is the author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (Bloomsbury, 2018), White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Bloomsbury, 2016), and, most recently, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021). Watch the full interview here: “Trump & the KKK Act: Carol Anderson on Reconstruction-Era Voting Rights Law Cited in Trump Indictment.”