News Release: Arts and Humanities, Events

Apr. 5,  2010

Higginbotham to Discuss 'From Slavery to Freedom'

Author and scholar Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham will give a presentation on her work and longtime collaboration with famed African-American historian John Hope Franklin at 4 p.m. Friday, April 16 at Emory University's Woodruff Library.

Higginbotham worked with Franklin, considered the dean of African-American historians, on a thorough revision of "From Slavery to Freedom," his classic survey of African-American history first published in 1947. Franklin died in March 2009.

Higginbotham, chairperson of Harvard University's Department of African and African American Studies, is co-author of the ninth edition, published in January, which features President Barack Obama on the cover.

Higginbotham will speak about Franklin and his place in history, followed by remarks from Emory Provost Earl Lewis. David Eltis, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History, will moderate the discussion, which is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the James Weldon Johnson Institute and the Department of African American Studies.

Updating a Classic Text

The new edition was updated with greater coverage of African-American women, transnational artistic and political movements, differing expressions of protest, community activism, civil rights and black power, as well as current events such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the globalization of hip-hop and the election of the first African-American U.S. president.

Randall K. Burkett, curator of African American collections at Emory Libraries' Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL), says Higginbotham's contributions revitalize the classic text, which was last updated in 2002.

"There's so much work being done in the field in all aspects - in art history, music, African history, politics, literature, theater - and she really has the breadth to synthesize that material and bring it to bear," Burkett says. "I think it will give this book a new life."

About Higginbotham

Higginbotham is the author of several books, including "Righteous Discontent: The Women's Movement in the Black Baptist Church 1880-1920"; editor-in-chief of the massive bibliography project "The Harvard Guide to African-American History"; and co-editor with Henry Louis Gates Jr. of several books including "Harlem Renaissance Lives" and the eight-volume "African-American National Biography."

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Jones Room on Level 3 of the Woodruff Library. Light refreshments and a book signing will follow the program; books will be available for purchase.

Woodruff Library is located at 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne and Peavine decks; see the map.  for locations. For more information, call 404.727.6887, e-mail or visit MARBL.


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