Category: News

Summersell Center Sponsors Visit to EJI Offices in Montgomery

This image shows students, along with Dr. Giggie, standing outside the EJI office in Montgomery, AL.

Students in Dr. Giggie’s HY 400 – Southern Memory: Lynching in Alabama course visited the Equal Justice Institute in Montgomery, Alabama on October 18th as part of their work to better understand and encourage awareness of racial violence during the post-Reconstruction era in Alabama.

The students, who are researching ten African-Americans lynched in Pickens County between 1883 and 1933, presented their findings to the officials at EJI. The students have been working in a variety of sources – newspapers, journals, census, wills, deeds, birth and death records – to recover the lives of the victims.

They are also building a digital humanities website meant to educate the public about these events and to serve as a database for other researchers. The students have previously worked with EJI to erect a memorial to these lynching victims in Tuscaloosa County, which was unveiled last year.

This image shows students in Dr. Giggie's class viewing the dirt samples from various Alabama lynching sites at the EJI offices in Montgomery, AL

Mississippi State University Professor Jason Morgan War to Speak Thursday, Oct. 12, at 5 PM

This image is a poster for the event and contains the same information as this post.
Follow the link in the image above for a full-size poster for the event.

The Summersell Center of the Study of the South and The University of Alabama Department of History will host Professor Jason Morgan Ward of Mississippi State University on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 5 o’clock in room 30 ten Hoor Hall.

Ward is the author of Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence and America’s Civil Rights Century (2016) and Defending White Democracy: The Making of the Segregationist Movement and the Remaking of Racial Politics, 1936-1965 (2011).

Ward’s talk is entitled, “Lifting the Veil: A White Alabama Graduate Undercover in Jim Crow Mississippi.”

This event is sponsored by the Summersell Center for the Study of the South and The University of Alabama Department of History. The event is free and open to the public.

Summersell Center Helps UA Students tell the Stories of Tuscaloosa County Lynching Victims.

This article appeared originally on The University of Alabama’s Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility’s website.

by Erin Mosley and Jamon Smith

An HY 300 student explores archival materials.

Dr. John Giggie describes the eras most Americans refer to as Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties as periods of racial terror for a significant portion of the country’s population. “At a time when the United States was in fact growing and prospering, many African-Americans feared for their lives,” says Giggie, associate professor of history and African American studies at The University of Alabama and director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South.

More than 4,000 black people in 12 Southern states were lynched between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery, Ala.-based nonprofit human rights law firm whose mission includes challenging racial and economic injustice. And these are just the cases EJI has documented. At least 360 lynchings took place in Alabama, and at least 10 Tuscaloosa County men were murdered in this way.

Giggie took the Equal Justice Initiative’s baseline data on lynchings in Tuscaloosa County and asked his students to delve deeper. After exploring the history of lynching in America, students learn the research skills they need to find important documents and share them through a digital humanities website.

Andrew Robertson searches at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse for information about the preliminary trials of two men lynched in Sylvan, Ala., in 1892.

Fifteen UA students enrolled in HY 300/AAST 395 Southern Memory: Lynching in the South collectively spent more than 1,000 hours documenting the lives and circumstances surrounding the deaths of 10 Tuscaloosa County residents who were lynched between 1884 and 1933. They created a digital humanities website to share their findings with the public and serve as a database for lynchings in the South.

Students also worked in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative to advocate for a historical marker commemorating victims. On March 6, 2017, the marker was erected in front of the old Tuscaloosa County Jail. After the unveiling, more than 1,000 people attended a ceremony hosted by UA students, EJI representatives and community members at First African Baptist Church to honor the victims. Students Maruka Walker and Ellie Bowers were among the speakers, and discussed their research.

To continue reading this story, visit the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility’s website.

“Dixie’s Great War: World War I and the American South” Symposium to be held October 6.

This image is a pretty bad graphic showing three views of WWI camps in Alabama.Register today and plan to attend the one-day symposium, “Dixie’s Great War: World War I and the American South,” to be held Friday, October 6, 2017 at the Ferguson Center Great Hall on The University of Alabama’s campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

This image shows an Alabama soldier during World War I.

The Dixie’s Great War symposium, hosted by the Summersell Center for the Study of the South, “is considered to be the largest conference in the country on World War I and the South,” says John Giggie, Associate Professor and Director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South at The University of Alabama.

This program, cohosted by Professor John Giggie and Professor Andrew Huebner, will feature internationally renowned scholars of the First World War from around the country:

Panels will focus on the war’s political, social and cultural impact on the South in general as well as Alabama in particular.

The symposium is free and open to the public, though registration is required. A reception will follow the closing of the last session, and books by the participating scholars will be available for purchase.

To register or view the agenda, please visit dixiesgreatwar.ua.edu.

For more information, please contact Sea Talantis at stalantis@ccs.ua.edu or 205-348-3014, or Lauren Lewis at llewis@ccs.ua.edu or 205-348-6222.

Black/White Intimacies: Reimagining History, the South, and the Western Hemisphere

This image is of a flyer for the conference.This two-day symposium explores interracial interactions and the forming of American culture during the antebellum period and beyond. We will address questions such as:

  • What were the limitations of interracial intimacies and how might people have addressed those limitations in various settings – domestic spheres, legal systems, religious spaces, classrooms?
  • If people across races and cultures lived, ate, slept, and traveled together, what were the implications for cultural understanding—or lack thereof?
  • What was interracial intimacy and how might expressions of such intimate contact have been guided by race, gender, and class?

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Professors Michael Bibler, LSU, and Rebecca Wanzo, Washington University, St. Louis.

A highlight of the weekend will be a Friday evening performance by Professor E. Patrick Johnson, who is Carlos Montezuma Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Northwestern University.

The symposium will begin at 9 a.m. on April 21, 2017, at the Hotel Capstone.

This image shows a poster advertising the performance by Professor E. Patrick Johnson.

Dreams of Dominion Conference a Success

This is an image of Daniel Burge (left) and Roberto Saba (right) on the dais.
Daniel Burge (left) and Roberto Saba (right)

On Monday, March 27, 2017, The Summersell Center for the Study of the South sponsored The University of Alabama Department of History’s conference entitled “Dreams of Dominion; The U.S. South and Latin America.” The event featured two panels, the first, “Slavery and its Legacy,” with Martha S. Santos, Chase McCarter, David. C. Lafevor, and moderated by Professor John Giggie, and the second, “Expansion,” with Roberto Saba, Daniel Burge, and moderated by Professor Lesley Gordon. The event ended with a keynote lecture by David Lafevor entitled, “The Slave Ship Ciceròn and the Argüelles Affair.”

This is an image of David C. LaFevor speaking before the audience.
Keynote Speaker
David C. LaFevor

The following day, an addition luncheon and lecture was hosted by the History Department with faculty, students, and the speakers from the previous day’s event.

Other sponsors for this event included the Charles G. Summersell Chair of Southern History; the Department of History; Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies; New College; the Department of American Studies; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Summersell Center is proud to have been a part of such an interesting and successful event. Thank you to all who were involved!