One of the greats passed away yesterday. Ira Berlin’s Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America is an absolute classic, one of the most comprehensive, nuanced, and elegant studies ever written of slavery’s evolution across space and time. It appeared on more required reading lists than any other text my grad professors assigned.
The last time I was in a seminar to discuss Berlin’s book was my adviser’s Atlantic course. We couldn’t help but admire the deftness with which he balanced the power of structures against the power of agency, and the variety of American slave societies against their common trajectories. “It’s an art,” my adviser said. And Berlin was one heck of an artist.
If you’re in driving distance of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN, you’ve got two opportunities to hear Dr. Paul Harvey give the 2017 Dr. Robert L. Kincaid Lecture, “African American Politics and the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” He’ll give a 45-minute talk to the LMU community at 11:00 on Sept. 21, and then a full lecture with Q&A and a reception at 7:00 that same evening. Both presentations are at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.
Harvey is a professor of history and Presidential Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. His books include The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (co-authored with Edward J. Blum); Through the Storm, Through the Night: A History of African American Christianity; and Bounds of Their Habitation: Race and Religion in American History.
Dr. Tiya Miles, Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, is coming to the University of Tennessee to discuss the historical intersections between African Americans and Native Americans. Her lecture, “Call of the Ancestors: Historical Imagination and the Black and Native American Past,” will be in the Hodges Library’s Lindsay Young Auditorium at 3:30 on March 20.
Miles is the author of Ties that Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom, The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story, and The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts. She received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2011.
The lecture is free and open to the public, so I hope those of you who are in the Knoxville area will come by. Should be interesting!