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UW-Green Bay hosts lecture by Yale scholar on memory, identity in Black America

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A Yale University scholar will visit UW-Green Bay Monday, Oct. 21, to speak on the topic of his new book, Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940, as part of the long-running Historical Perspectives Lecture Series.

Jonathan Scott Holloway is a professor of history, African American studies, and American studies at Yale University. He will speak at 2:15 p.m. in the Christie Theatre on the lower level of the University Union, located on the campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. Admission is free and open to the general public.

Holloway’s book was released in mid-October by UNC Press. In it, he explores race memory from the dawn of the modern civil rights era to the present, weaving first-person and family memories — including discoveries about his own past — into a traditional, objective historian’s perspective.

The book poses the question: How does Black America balance the desire for tales of exceptional accomplishment with the need for painful doses of reality? How hard does a society work to remember its past or to forget it? Relying on social science, documentary film, dance, popular literature, museums, memoir, and the tourism trade, Holloway explores the stories black Americans have told about their past and why these stories are vital to understanding a modern black identity.

Holloway is also the author of Confronting the Veil (2002), about New Deal-era black scholars who formed the leading edge of American social science radicalism. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (2005) and co-edited the anthology, Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the 20th Century (2007).

Holloway’s address will be the first of fall semester 2013 for the Historical Perspectives Lecture Series. The second, on Nov. 6, will feature Will Jones, associate professor of history at UW-Madison, discussing his new book on civil rights and The March on Washington.

The Historical Perspectives Lecture Series, first organized in 1985, is the foremost activity of the Center for History and Social Change at UW-Green Bay. The annual series of talks by a wide variety of historians and social scientists is made possible thanks to funds from the University, the Democracy and Justice Studies Student Organization, the UW-Green Bay University League and the UW-Green Bay Founders Association.

The Center for History and Social Change promotes historical thought, study and discourse at UW-Green Bay and in the larger community through lectures, seminars and other campus events. It is associated most directly with the University’s academic program in Democracy and Justice Studies, and pursues its activities in relation to that program’s goals. It also works closely with other academic programs to reinforce and support UW-Green Bay’s interdisciplinary mission.

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