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Meeting ID: 852 0777 2851
Two of John Lewis's final acts are exemplary of his life’s dedication to civil rights. Lewis’s final public appearance was at the Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., where fifty seven years ago in 1963, he was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. And then after he died, he spoke to us from the great beyond, like many of African Americans’ ancestors, including Frederick Douglass. Knowing he was dying, he wrote an op-ed for The New York Times entitled “Together, You can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation.” (July 30, 2020). What will we do? How do we redeem the soul of our Nation? John Lewis’s life was defined by his remarkable courage and commitment. However, for many of us it is impossible to imagine having just a sliver of his courage but that’s what it will take to make the changes John Lewis fought his whole life to secure.
Presented by: Professor Piper Kendrix Williams who is the co-author of "The Toni Morrison Book Club." The University of Wisconsin Press, 2020. She also co-edited "Representing Segregation: Toward an Aesthetics of Living Jim Crow." SUNY Press, 2010. She is the Chair of and associate professor in the Department of African American Studies and jointly-appointed in the Department of English at The College of New Jersey.
She is currently working on "Black Roots, Black Voices and Emancipatory Practices in African American Literature and Culture", a book-length study, which explores the through-line that connects slavery to mass incarceration, and the attending forms of segregation and police violence. This project posits that in the African American literary tradition black writers imagine the future, alternative times, and different realities to proclaim their freedom and autonomy in a country that has failed to do so for over 400 years.
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