The Black History Month Lecture Series at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise is so full it actually spills over into March this year.
The series, sponsored by the Department of History and Philosophy and the Office of Compliance and Inclusion, will feature lectures each Monday through February and will conclude on March 18 with a talk from Gianluca De Fazio, assistant professor of justice studies at James Madison University. Each lecture will be held in the Rhododendron Room in the Slemp Student Center beginning at 1 p.m.
“This group of diverse programs for Black History Month will provide students and the college community with valuable historical context both national, state, and local, and helps us understand why Dr. King had a dream and how difficult it is to fulfill,” said UVa-Wise History Professor Tom Costa.
The first lecture, set for Feb. 4, is entitled “Wise County Lynchings and the Equal Justice Initiative.” The presentation will feature retired UVa-Wise history instructor Rev. Preston Mitchell and Professor Tom Costa.
The next lecture is set for Feb. 11 and is entitled “White Supremacy in a White Collar: The Citizens’ Council. 1954-1989.” Stephanie Ralph, associate professor of history at Millsaps College, will deliver the presentation.
On Feb. 18, Professor Costa will present his poignant presentation on “runaway Slave Advertisements in Colonial Virginia.”
Ron and Jill Carson, founders of the Appalachian African American Cultural Center in Pennington Gap, Virginia, will lecture on “A Minority within a Minority Living in Central Appalachia.” The talk is set for Feb. 25.
Professor De Fazio will conclude the series with a March 18 lecture entitled “Racial Terror: Lynching in Virginia and its Legacy.”
“This is an instinctive pairing between the Office of Compliance & Inclusion and the Department of History and Philosophy to bring the Black History Month Lecture Series here due to the restorative justice aspect that it allows us to give the campus community,” said Tabitha Smith. “Uncomfortable historical aspects in the U.S. and from our local history toward racial injustice are challenging. However, the goal is to use this history to further educate and provide us all with the tools to analyze where we have been so that we can understand where we are going in order to create a more just community.”
The lecture series is free and open to the public. UVa-Wise students receive one cultural activity credit for each lecture.