Atlanta Archive

Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans- Dr. Randal Maurice Jelks with Tayari Jones

May 17, 2019 @ 8:22 am

In his book Dr. Jelks explores the faith stories of four individuals: Atlanta native Mary Lou Williams, Ethel Waters, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali. He examines their autobiographical writings, interviews, speeches, letters, and memorable performances to understand how each of these figures used religious faith publicly to reconcile deep personal struggles, voice their concerns for human dignity, and reinvent their public image. For them, liberation was not simply defined by material or legal well being, but by a spiritual search for community and personal wholeness.

Randal Maurice Jelks is Professor of African and African American Studies and American Studies. He holds courtesy appointments in History, Religious Studies, and is the co-Editor of the journal American Studies. Jelks is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA in History), McCormick Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in Comparative Black Histories). Jelks is also clergy person in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including An American Marriage, Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Jones holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University, and the University of Iowa. A winner of numerous literary awards, she is a professor of creative writing at Emory University.

Filed under black culture, Atlanta, black history, american history, religion, spirituality · Comments

Slavery by Another Name - Author Douglas Blackmon

April 5, 2019 @ 10:27 am

Slavery by Another Name challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which men, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters. Slavery by Another Name gives voice to the largely forgotten victims and perpetrators of forced labor and features their descendants living today.

Douglas Blackmon, the author of the book this documentary is based on, joined us post-screening to talk about what led him to tackle this project and how these problems and their history continue to haunt the American discourse to this day.

Recorded on February 9, 2019

Filed under black culture, history, Atlanta, Justiice, black history, slavery, american history, Mass incarceration · Comments

Artists, Activists & Academics with Talib Kweli and Trae tha Truth

October 26, 2018 @ 10:25 am

As part of the A3C festival, The Auburn Avenue Research Library had the opportunity to host the panel discussion Artists, Activists & Academics featuring Hip Hop artists Talib Kweli and Trae Tha Truth, Representative of the Missouri House of Representatives Bruce Franks Jr., and Morehouse College Professor Dr. David Wall Rice.

Hip Hop positions the intersection of identity and art as an example of representation and resistance. How is the construct of visibility — too often elusive for the “marginalized” that remain central to the culture — best utilized toward the good of the self, the community and the broader body politic?

Recorded on October 4, 2018

Filed under black culture, Atlanta, hip hop · Comments

The Legend of the Black Mecca- Dr. Maurice J. Hobson

August 3, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

The Auburn Avenue Research Library in collaboration with Georgia State University's Alonzo A. Crim Center hosted Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University, Dr. Maurice J. Hobson who discussed his publication, The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta

Drawn from vivid primary sources and unnerving oral histories of working-class city-dwellers and hip-hop artists from Atlanta's underbelly, Hobson argues that Atlanta's political leadership has governed by bargaining with white business interests to the detriment ordinary black Atlantans. In telling this history, Hobson portrays a striking schism between the black political elite and poor city-dwellers.

Recorded October 25, 2017

Filed under black culture, history, Atlanta, hip hop · Comments

When Black Lives Matter: A Historical Perspective- Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham

July 24, 2018 @ 12:35 pm

In recognition of Women’s History Month (2017), the Auburn Avenue Research Library, in collaboration with the Atlanta Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and Georgia State University’s Department of African American Studies, hosted When Black Lives Matter: A Historical Perspective.

This lecture was facilitated by Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham, National President of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University


Recorded on March 17, 2017

Filed under black culture, history, Atlanta, Justiice, Blacklivesmatter · Comments

Truth and Justice: The Central Park Five- Journalist Rose Scott

July 6, 2018 @ 9:37 am

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, in collaboration with the Southern Center for Human Rights, hosted Truth and Justice: A Conversation with the Central Park 5.

This community dialogue explored the contemporary relevance of the 1989 miscarriage of justice that engulfed Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

 Recorded on June 6, 2018

Filed under black culture, history, Atlanta, Justiice · Comments

Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn- Author Gary Pomerantz

July 6, 2018 @ 9:35 am

The Auburn Avenue Research Library hosted Gary Pomerantz, a former journalist for the AJC and The Washington Post who now lives in San Francisco and lectures at Stanford University, discussing the book Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn, originally published in 1996.

Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn documents the history of Atlanta — from Civil War through Civil Rights, and leading up to the city’s hosting of the 1996 Summer Olympics — through two prominent families: the Ivan Allens, and John Wesley Dobbs and his progeny.


Recorded on May 31, 2018

Filed under black culture, history, Atlanta · Comments

Auburn Avenue Research Library Event Series
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