Thu 3/28 7pm
William Sturkey discusses his new book Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White
Hattiesburg is an intimate and necessary social history of Jim Crow and the making of the New South. By closely following and researching the lives of both blacks and whites living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi during the Jim Crow era, Sturkey overturns deeply held assumptions that these vicious laws paralyzed African Americans. Vicious though they were, black Southerners were still able to create meaningful communities, and produce generative opportunities throughout the Jim Crow years. While most histories of the American South focus their attention on either white or black experiences en vacuo, William Sturkey offers an original and revealing perspective by confronting both sides of the color line, putting these two brutally different histories in conversation with each other. Using such an ambitious approach, Sturkey gives us a novel telling of the malleability of Jim Crow, the making of the New South, and the coming of our nation's most important struggle for social justice.
William Sturkey is Assistant Professor of History at UNC Chapel Hill, where he teaches courses on African American history and the history of the American South. His first book, To Write in the Light of Freedom, coedited with Jon Hale, brought together the newspapers, essays, and poems produced by young black students of the Freedom Schools during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964.