AFAM Lecture Series –Fall 2014—Spring 2015
On August 28, 2015, Dr. Dorothy Drinkard-Hawkshawe, AFAM Director at ETSU, gave a lecture on “Freedom Summer” at the Johnson City, TN Library. It was a public lecture given in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 summer project in Mississippi to get the vote for black citizens in the state. All the major civil rights organizations were involved in the project, although it was initiated by SNCC, under the leadership of Bob Moses. One of the ugly events during the summer of ’64 was the murder of three civil rights workers. They were James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Dr. Drinkard discussed their backgrounds, the circumstances that led to their deaths, and court decisions.
The next AFAM event took place on September 25, 2014, when Helen Adams visited ETSU to discuss ways to address the prevention of the HIV disease. Ms. Adams is the Minority AIDS Initiative State-Wide Coordinator in Tennessee. Ms. Adams spoke on the importance of getting HIV testing. She travels across the state of Tennessee to conduct outreach activities to link persons who are living with the HIV disease to care services. She also works to educate the community on how to reduce the stigma of HIV. She hopes to reduce discrimination against HIV patients through education.
October 20, 2014 marked the campus appearance of Hank Thomas, one of the original thirteen Freedom Riders of 1961. Mr. Thomas was a student at Howard University when he officially connected with the Civil Rights Movement. He was one of the CORE members on a Greyhound Bus that was about six miles outside of Anniston, Alabama on May 14, 1961 when it was firebombed by a mob. Mr. Thomas talked about his role in the Civil Rights Movement, progress made in race relations during the 1960s, and work that still needs to be done to realize true equality in the United States. Mr. Thomas later fought in the Vietnam War and received the purple heart for his heroic contributions.
On February 10, 2015, AFAM Director, Dr. Dorothy Drinkard-Hawkshawe, gave the first AFAM lecture for the spring 2015 semester. The lecture was on “Forced Sterilization of Women of Color.” It was given in support of “Sex Week” at ETSU, and it also shed light on the treatment of black women, in particular, during Black History Month. The lecture provided information on how women of all colors had been victimized by forced sterilization laws in states throughout the country until the 1980s.
Lisa Mullins, an ETSU student who earned a master’s degree in history, with a concentration in African American Studies, gave a lecture on “Diane Nash and the Role of Women in the Civil Rights Movement.” Ms. Mullins has also written a book entitled: Diane Nash: The Fire of the Civil Rights Movement. The lecture took place on March 19, 2015. Diane Nash was depicted in the 2015 film, “Selma,” which won an Oscar for the best original song, Ms. Nash was a cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and one of the major civil rights leaders of the 1960s.
The last presentation for the spring 2015 semester was given by Phil Darius Wallace on April 1, 2015. The one-man play on Frederick Douglass provided in-depth information on the role of Frederick Douglass as an escaped slave who became an outstanding abolitionist during the first half of the 1800s and a major civil rights leader during the second half of the 1800s. The actor provided his audience with basic facts, laughter, and involvement in the play.
The fall 2015 lecture series will be posted on this page at the start of the new semester.