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1968 + 50: Unfinished Legacies of Dr. King’s Last Year

Department of History / Eisenberg Institute Martin Luther King Jr. Day Symposium

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On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the speech “Beyond Vietnam—A Time to Break Silence.” Exactly one year later, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been supporting striking sanitation workers. The last year of King's life marked a distinctive period in his career as he allied himself with a broad array of initiatives linking civil rights with antiwar, labor, and antipoverty campaigns. This panel will consider the legacy of that year, stretching from the social justice movements of the late 1960s to causes today such as Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, and attempts to reverse the growing gap of socioeconomic inequality.

Ruth Feldstein, Rutgers University-Newark
Monica Muñoz Martinez, Brown University
Brenda Tindal, Detroit Historical Society

Ruth Feldstein is professor of history and American studies at Rutgers University-Newark. She is the author of several books and articles, most recently the award-winning book, How It Feels To Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement; she is also associate producer of How It Feels to Be Free, a forthcoming documentary based on this book. Feldstein's scholarship explores relationships between race and gender relations, and between performance and politics; she works to tell the stories of women whose voices have not been heard, and who are seldom taken seriously as thinkers and activists.

Monica Muñoz Martinez, Carnegie Fellow 2017-2019, received her PhD in American studies from Yale University. At Brown University she offers courses in Latinx studies, immigration, histories of violence, histories of policing, and public memory in US History. Her research has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, the Brown University Office of Vice President of Research, and the Texas State Historical Association. Her first manuscript, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in the Texas Borderlands, is under contract with Harvard University Press. She is a faculty fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. Martinez is the primary investigator for Mapping Violence, a digital project that documents histories of racial violence in Texas.

Public historian, archivist, curator, and educator Brenda Tindal joined the Detroit Historical Society as director of education in December 2017. She is the former staff historian and senior vice president of research and collections at Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC. In 2005, she was part of the curatorial team that developed Courage: The Carolina Story that Changed America, an exhibit on the region’s role in the landmark school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which won the National Award for Museum Service—the nation’s highest honor awarded to museums and libraries. Tindal recently co-curated the museum’s K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace—a rapid-response exhibit that explores the historical roots of the distrust between police and community, tells the human stories beyond the headlines, and engages viewers in creating constructive solutions. Before joining the Levine Museum of the New South in 2015 as staff historian, Tindal was a visiting lecturer in the Department of History and Honors College at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where she taught a broad range of courses in comparative U.S. and South African history, southern history, African American history, and visual and material culture. A sought after social commentator, convener, and speaker, Tindal has been featured on C-SPAN, the Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar, Happenings Magazine, NPR, Pride Magazine, NBC-Today, The Charlotte Observer, and many other local and national news and media outlets.

Free and open to the public.

This event made possible by the Kalt Fund for African American and African History, along with the Department of History and the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies.
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When and Where

Map Tisch Hall - 1014

January 2018

1:00pm - 3:00pm

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