Race and the American Story 2020 Zoomposium: “The Story of the James Baldwin-William F. Buckley, Jr. Debate”


While the in-person Race and the American Story Symposium, scheduled for March at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, had to be canceled, co-conveners Adam Seagrave (Associate Director of Arizona State University’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership) and Stephanie Shonekan (Professor and Chair of University of Massachusetts’ W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies) have found a way for some of the proceedings to go on (almost) as planned.

Starting Friday, April 3, and continuing throughout the month, the following four conversations will take place via Zoom. The talks are open to the public, but the virtual capacity for each is currently capped at 300 people (we hope to provide live streaming shortly). Links to attend the conversations can all be found here.

April 3, 3:00-4:30 CST: “Thomas Jefferson’s Story,” featuring Harvard Law Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed and University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor Emeritus Peter S. Onuf, co-authors of the New York Times best-selling book, Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

April 17, 3:00-4:30 CST: “Race and American Sports,” featuring University of Memphis Professor of History Aram Goudsouzian, author of King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution

April 18, 3:00-4:30 CST: “Race and American Music,” featuring Charles Hughes, Director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes College and author of Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South

April 24, 3-4:30 CST: “Race and the COVID Crisis,” featuring Donna Patterson, Director of Africana Studies at Delaware State University and author of Pharmacy in Senegal: Gender, Healing, and Entrepreneurship, and Andre Perry, a Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and author of the forthcoming book Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.

April 28, 2:00-3:30 CST: “The Story of the James Baldwin-William F. Buckley, Jr. Debate,” featuring Nicholas Buccola, Director of the Frederick Douglass Forum at Linfield College and author of The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, Jr., and the Debate over Race in America