Monday, July 30, 2012

Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum

On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, I gave a lecture at the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum as part of the City of Atlanta's commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.  The city's Office of Cultural Affairs has created programming that will go through the summer of 2014, marking the anniversary of the pivotal Battle of Atlanta.  I was honored to be included, especially with a line-up that includes artist Kara Walker in just a few weeks.

Camille R. Love, Director of the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, whose vision led to this lecture series.

Me and James Yancy, Archivist at the Jimmy Carter Library and Commissioner at Georgia Civil War Commission.  He and his wife were a delight!!!

I met Stephanie when I was in graduate school at the University of Maryland-College Park, but she moved to Atlanta years ago and has been working at Georgia Tech University.  We reconnected on facebook when Georgia Tech was considering Jacqueline Royster as their next Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.  Royster was Executive Dean at Ohio State when I was hired, and she left Ohio State to offer valued leadership at Georgia Tech in 2010.  I was just THRILLED to see Stephanie again!!!                                                                                     

People were so nice and patient in line to get books signed.  It was like a little party!  It was particularly nice to have Michael Leo Owens and his wife there.  (Michael has on that smooth hat!)  I "met" him on social media thanks to a graduate school friend, Dr. Adolphus Belk of Winthrop University.  In addition to his many responsibilities at Emory University, Dr. Michael Owens was recently elected vice chair of the Urban Affairs Association's governing board.  I appreciated that he and Karen made the time to share this experience with me!


This picture captures some of the reasons that this proved to be a truly special event!  Anthony Knight and I attended the same undergraduate institution (Ohio Wesleyan University).  We never attended at the same time, so we did not know each other, but he invited me to speak at the museum after he seeing my book featured in the alumni magazine.  Meanwhile, Dr. Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper, renowned Langston Hughes scholar and Spelman College professor, has been a role model for me in the profession and we have recently crossed paths at Modern Language Association (MLA) conventions.  Turns out, they knew each other, but this was the first time that Dr. Harper had visited the museum.  Thus, she symbolizes for me that the goal of the lecture series was met!  With more than 60 people in attendance, many of them said (as Dr. Harper did) that this was their first time inside the building.

Photographs courtesy of ZDennis Media Group

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

UPDATE: Atlanta Radio Interview

Lorraine Jacques-White's Power Talk radio show will also interview Atlanta's mayor on Wednesday, July 25th, so my appearance has been moved to 6:30 AM.  For details and another link for listening live, please visit

The details about the evening lecture are the same as related in the earlier post.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Atlanta Lecture & Radio Interview

On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, I will lecture in Atlanta at 6:30 PM at the Cyclorama & Civil War Museum.  Early that morning, I will be interviewed live on talk radio, around 7:30am on WAOK- 1380 AM (CBS Radio). Even if you're not in Atlanta, you can listen live online at (Just click the "Listen Live" button on the right) or through the TuneIn Radio app on iPhone or Droid phones. 

For details on the evening lecture, please see  OR, for those on facebook, please see

Many thanks to everyone who has been sending positive energy and support as this journey continues!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Now in Paperback!!

After 9 months of being in the world in hardcover only, my baby will be available in paperback!! Amazon pre-orders are $26 for August 1 delivery. Barnes & Noble has it for $25.60. Once again, the University of Illinois Press did a beautiful job. It's a QUALITY paperback, almost as gorgeous as the original.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Interviewed by Vershawn Young

A new interview about Living with Lynching is now part of the New Books in African American Studies podcast series!  The audio series is hosted by Vershawn Young, who edited that fabulous essay collection Bourgeois to Boojie, which contains provocative chapters by Houston Baker, Amiri Baraka, Greg Tate, Dwight McBride, Lisa B. Thompson, and many others.  

It was a lively conversation in which I discussed what inspired the project, why I take issue with another scholar's declaration that African American literature ended, and why I believe that lynching plays do not depict physical violence.  I also talked about the importance of debate in black communities and about why scholars have gone astray by assuming that black drama did not keep pace with African American poetry and fiction.  

Listen to the interview here

For more on the interview series, see
For more on Vershawn Young's book Bourgeois to Boojie, click here