The history of racism in the South is well known—the chain gangs, lynch mobs and views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow period are, for the most part, common knowledge today. But what do we know about the role the urban North played in shaping views on the intersection of race and crime in American society?
In this talk, Khalil Gibran Muhammad reveals how the idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime. In the North, crime statistics, immigration trends, and references to America as the “land of opportunity” were woven into a cautionary tale about the threat Black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in Northern prisons were pointed to by whites—liberals and conservatives alike—as proof of Blacks’ inferiority. The prevailing feeling was that, in the heyday of “separate but equal,” what else but pathology could explain Black people’s challenges in the “land of opportunity”?
Chronicling the beginning of the deeply embedded notion of Black people as a dangerous race of criminals, Muhammed explores a different side of the history of racism, weaving a narrative that is both engaging and educational.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad is author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, which won the John Hope Franklin Best Book Award in American Studies. Also the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Muhammad is a contributor to a National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Recently, he also appeared in several popular documentaries, lending his expertise to Ava DuVernay’s Netflix feature, 13th , Slavery By Another Name (PBS), and Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football.
Muhammad is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. Much of his research focuses on racial criminalization in modern U.S. history. His work has been featured in a number of f national print and broadcast media outlets, including The New York Times—notably as one of the contributors to its’ viral 1619 Project, which explores and exposes the true history of slavery in America— The New Yorker, The Washington Post, NPR, and MSNBC. Muhammad was an associate editor of The Journal of American History and prior Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice. He holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, two honorary doctorates, and is on the board of The Museum of Modern Art, The Barnes Foundation, and The Nation magazine.
Journalism is often called the first draft of history. But journalism can also be used as a powerful tool for examining history.
Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia, establishing the system of slavery on which the United States was built.
With The 1619 Project, The New York Times is prompting conversation and debate about the legacy of slavery and its influence over American society and culture. From mass incarceration to traffic jams, the project seeks to reframe our understanding of American history and the fight to live up to our nation’s central promise.
Wallace House Presents the project’s creator, New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, in conversation with Rochelle Riley, longtime journalist and columnist.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is a domestic correspondent for The New York Times Magazine focusing on racial injustice. She has written on federal failures to enforce the Fair Housing Act, the resegregation of American schools and policing in America. Her extensive reporting in both print and radio on the ways segregation in housing and schools is maintained through official action and policy has earned the National Magazine Award, a Peabody and a Polk Award. Her work designing “The 1619 Project” has been met with universal acclaim. The project was released in August 2019 to mark the 400th anniversary of American slavery and re-examines the role it plays in the history of the United States.
Hannah-Jones earned her bachelor’s in history and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rochelle Riley was a 2007-2008 Knight-Wallace Fellow and is the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit. For nineteen years she was a columnist at the Detroit Free Press. Riley is author of “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery” and the upcoming “That They Lived: Twenty African Americans Who Changed The World.” She has won numerous national, state and local honors, including the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for her outstanding efforts to make newsrooms and news coverage more accurately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and the 2018 Detroit SPJ Lifetime Achievement Award alongside her longtime friend, Walter Middlebrook. She was a 2016 inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.
This is a 2020 Annual U-M Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium event.
U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
U-M Center for Social Solutions
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Literati is pleased to be on hand as a bookseller for the University of Michigan LSA Honors Program’s Leland Stowe Memorial Lecture, delivered by author Anu Partanen.
The lecture celebrates the best in journalism, broadly understood. Stowe was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1930 and one of the early American journalists to raise concerns about Hitler’s rise to power. During World War II, he was a war correspondent. He was a Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan 1956–1969 and died in 1994.
Anu Partanen’s work has appeared in the New York Times and the Atlantic. A journalist in Helsinki for many years, she has also worked at Fortune magazine as a visiting reporter through the Innovation Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. She lives in New York City.
Literati is pleased to be on hand as a bookseller as the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan presents Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, authors of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power and Assault on Campus.
The fear of campus sexual assault has become an inextricable part of the college experience. But why is sexual assault such a common feature of college life? And what can be done to prevent it? Drawing on the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) at Columbia University, the most comprehensive study of sexual assault on a campus to date, Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan’s new book presents an entirely new framework that emphasizes sexual assault’s social roots, transcending current debates about consent, predators in a “hunting ground,” and the dangers of hooking up.
Based on years of research interviewing and observing college life―with students of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds―Hirsch and Khan’s study reveals the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault so predictable, explaining how physical spaces, alcohol, peer groups, and cultural norms influence young people’s experiences and interpretations of both sex and sexual assault.
Book sales and signing will follow the discussion.
Cosponsors: Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), Departments of American Culture, Sociology, Women’s Studies, School of Education
2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the admission of women to U-M. Andrea Turpin, associate professor of history at Baylor University and author of the recent award-winning book, A New Moral Vision: Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American Higher Education, 1837-1917, will speak on the struggle for women’s admission at U-M and the experiences of women students here during the early decades of coeducation. This lecture is part of a new monthly series on the history of the University, sponsored by the Bentley Historical Library.
Dr. Andrea L. Turpin is Associate Professor of History at Baylor University. Her first book, A New Moral Vision: Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American Higher Education, 1837-1917 (Cornell, 2016) explores how the entrance of women into U.S. colleges and universities shaped changing ideas about the moral and religious purposes of higher education in unexpected ways, and in turn profoundly shaped American culture. The book has won three awards: the 2018 biennial Linda Eisenmann Prize from the History of Education Society for the best first book on the history of higher education, the 2017 Lilly Fellows Program Biennial Book Award for scholarship from any field related to religion and higher education, and Baylor University’s 2016 Guittard Book Award for Historical Scholarship. Dr. Turpin has also published several peer-reviewed articles in journals including the History of Education Quarterly, Perspectives in the History of Higher Education, and The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Her second book project, tentatively entitled A Debate of Their Own: Educated Women in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy, positions college-educated women as key players in the narrative of the Protestant fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the early twentieth century, the split between theological and social liberals and conservatives which many credit with giving birth to the modern culture wars. Dr. Turpin is co-chair of the Higher Education affinity group of the History of Education Society and serves on the Council of the American Society of Church History. She contributes to the group blog The Anxious Bench and tweets @AndreaLTurpin.
Join us for the February edition of the East Side Reading Series!
Hosted on the 2nd Floor of The Commons: https://thecommonsdetroit.com/
The Line Up:
Marlin M. Jenkins
ANNA CLARK is a writer in Detroit. The author of two books, and the editor of a third, her nonfiction has been published in The Boston Review, Midwestern Gothic, Guernica, the New York Times, Belt, and elsewhere. She is the guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review, titled “Not One Without,” and she is a contributing editor at Waxwing Literary Journal. Anna has been a Fulbright fellow in creative writing in Nairobi, Kenya; a writer-in-residence in Detroit schools; and a longtime leader of writing and improv theater workshops in prisons. She co-curates the Motor Signal Reading Series. Anna graduated from the University of Michigan and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.http://annaclark.net/
CHERYL CRABB is a fiction writer and journalist. Her debut novel, The Other Side of Sanctuary, was published by Adelaide Books of New York in January of 2020. She is a recent graduate of the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and has a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her work has appeared in various publications, including the Hartford Courant and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where she reported as a staff writer. Cheryl has volunteered with 826michigan, a non-profit organization that inspires school-aged students throughout Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit to write and skillfully and confidently. She and her family live in Northville and frequently visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes along Lake Michigan where the book is set in the fictional town of Sanctuary. http://www.cherylcrabb.com/
MARLIN M. JENKINS was born and raised in Detroit and is the author of the chapbook Capable Monsters (Bull City Press). His poetry has been given homes by Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Iowa Review, Waxwing, TriQuarterly, New Poetry from the Midwest, and the forthcoming Arab Love Poems anthology. He has worked as a teaching artist with young writers at Inside Out Literary Arts in Detroit and the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. He earned his MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan, where he then taught writing and literature and was nominated for the Ben Prize for outstanding teaching of writing. He currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
CAROLINE MAUN is an associate professor of English at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She teaches creative writing and American literature and is the Chair. Her poetry publications include the volumes The Sleeping (Marick Press, 2006), What Remains (Main Street Rag, 2013), and three chapbooks, Cures and Poisons and Greatest Hits, both published by Puddinghouse Press, and Accident, published by Alice Greene & Co. Her poetry has appeared in The Bear River Review, The MacGuffin, Third Wednesday, Peninsula Poets, and Eleven Eleven, among other places. http://www.carolinemaun.com/
DANIELLA TOOSIE-WATSON is a poet, visual artist and educator from New York. She has received fellowships and awards from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the InsideOut Detroit Literary Arts Project, The Watering Hole, and the University of Michigan Hopwood Program. Her poetry has appeared in Callaloo, Virginia Quarterly Review and SLICE Magazine and is forthcoming in the anthology The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT. Daniella holds a BA in English from the College of Saint Rose and received her MFA from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program.
We welcome contributors to Michigan State University Press’s anthology Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music. featuring Dawn McDuffie, Sonya Pouncy, Keith Taylor, Ken Mikowloski, Dennis Hinrichsen, Brian Gilmore, Charlie Brice, Cal Freeman, Zilka Joseph and M.L. Liebler. Free and open to the public. A signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
About the book: While there have been countless books written about Detroit, none have captured its incredible musical history like this one. Detroit artists have forged the paths in many music genres, producing waves of creative energy that continue to reverberate across the country and around the world. This anthology both documents and celebrates this part of Detroit’s history, capturing the emotions that the music inspired in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene–Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology.
Dr. Elizabeth Goodenough explores the landscapes of the Great Lakes as they shape the lives of children, writers, and illustrators. She offers images and tales of lighthouses and shipwrecks from the inland seas, a biosphere with the power to influence artists forever. Stories of displaced children, indigenous youth, and runaways portray stormy passages. What geography constitutes “home” in picture books, Y/A and graphic novels, legends, and film? How do we retain and preserve the settings we first encountered? Goodenough investigates how a sense of belonging and becoming abides within, sustaining or haunting a lifetime. In this session we recall regional memories, ideas about nature, and narratives of outdoor exploration. Registration is encouraged but not required.
Goodenough has taught literature at Harvard, Claremont McKenna, and Sarah Lawrence colleges, and the University of Michigan. She has published several volumes in Childhood Studies, and her award-winning PBS documentary, Where Do the Children Play?, helped initiate a national dialogue on outdoor play.
Immediately following the presentation, we invite you to this month’s Special Collections After Hours Event, The Great Lakes in Children’s Literature.
Look at the Great Lakes region through the eyes of Michigan children’s authors, including Tom Pohrt, Nancy Willard, and Joan Blos. In addition to published works, we will also have selected archival materials and artwork on display.
The Great Lakes represent the largest body of freshwater in the world and are surrounded by diverse ecosystems and communities, from the rust belt steel mills that sit on Indiana’s sand dunes to the protected forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Nonetheless, from Western New York to Eastern Minnesota, to grow up in the Great Lakes region means to grow up anchored to a landscape shaped by water, and to a social and economic environment built on a history of using (and often abusing) this abundant water source.
This event follows a lecture by Elizabeth Goodenough at 3:00pm, Growing Up Near the Great Lakes. Please join us for both events!
This event is part of Special Collections After Hours, a monthly open house series sharing highlights from the many books, documents, and artifacts in the Special Collections Research Center. Each event is open to everyone and will offer a new group of themed materials for visitors to explore. Open houses are held on the second Tuesday of each month during the academic year. Light refreshments are provided.
Free and open to the public. Reception and book signing to follow.
Join us for a reading by Lacy M. Johnson, author of The Reckonings and professor of creative nonfiction at Rice University. David Morse, Lecturer at the Ford School’s Writing Center, will moderate the conversation and Q&A.
From the speaker’s bio:
Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and is author of The Reckonings, which was named a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Criticism and one of the best books of 2018 by Boston Globe, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, Book Riot, and Refinery 29. She is also author of The Other Side. For its frank and fearless confrontation of the epidemic of violence against women, The Other Side was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime, the CLMP Firecracker Award in Nonfiction; it was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer Selection for 2014, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus, Library Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. She is also author of Trespasses: A Memoir, which has been anthologized in The Racial Imaginary and Literature: The Human Experience.
She worked as a cashier at WalMart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum before earning a PhD from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she was both an Erhardt Fellow and Inprint Fondren Fellow. As a writer and artist, she has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Houston Endowment, Rice University’s Humanities Research Center, Houston Arts Alliance, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Kansas Arts Commission (may it rest in peace), the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Inprint, and Millay Colony for the Arts. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Tin House, Guernica, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Sentence, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum.