Kendi’s “Stamped From the Beginning” selected as Campus Read, Anti-Racist Open Classroom Series AnnouncedJanuary 18, 2021
The series will open up numerous Suomi College of Arts & Sciences virtual course lessons to the public throughout the semester, in the hopes of providing insight into how racism plays a role in various facets of the arts and sciences. Interested participants can join the classes for free by registering online here. A Zoom link will be sent to participants the day before each event.
Associate Professor of History Dr. William Knoblauch will kick off the series on January 21 with a lesson on the Reconstruction era. The Reconstruction era is defined as the period immediately after the Civil War in which America tried to reincorporate the South. It represents the years 1863-77 in American history.
“Students can expect to learn about the political ramifications of Reconstruction, the different approaches to Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow laws in the American South, and how specific laws, initiative, and organizations, actively worked to create a South in which African Americans would have very few political rights or economic freedom,” said Dr. Knoblauch.
When asked why the Reconstruction era is so important to understanding systemic racism in 2021, Dr. Knoblauch talked about how the foundation of today’s racism was built as a result of the Reconstruction effort.
“The roots of today’s American-form of racism arose in part from the attempts at, and failures of, Reconstruction,” said Knoblauch. “Reconstruction was an opportunity to address what we call the ‘structural’ obstacles that recently-freed slaves faced. But armed with political weapons – more Congressional power, the Fillibuster, local Jim Crow Laws, and the KKK – southern Whites and their leaders refused to reshape the southern economy. The continuing efforts of oligarchs that arose from the slave aristrocracy spread their ideas into the American West in the decades to come, and their ideas about superiority morphed, but never went away. Therefore, Reconstruction’s legacy continues on to this day.”
Dr. Knoblauch’s lesson will begin with a lecture and accompanying images via powerpoint, but there will be ample opportunity for discussion and Q&A.
Full Series Schedule
- Thursday, January 21, 1-2:30pm Dr. Bill Knoblauch, “Reconstruction,” US History from 1865
- Tuesday, February 2, 4:10 pm: Dr. Hilary Virtanen, “Racism and White Nationalism in Finland Today,” History and Culture of Finland.
- Thursday, February 11, 9:10 – 10:30am Rev. Sarah Semmler Smith, “For the Bible Tells Me So: Christian Nationalism & White Supremacy,” World Religions.
- Wednesday, February 17, 2:00pm Dr. Michael Reay, “Race and Ethnicity are Social,” Introduction to Sociology.
- Tuesday, March 16, 11:00am – 12:00pm Dr. Carolyn Dekker, “Organizing with Dr. King,” African American Literature.
- Wednesday, March 24, 1:10-2pm Dr. Jeff Pettibone, “Stereotypes and Prejudice,” Social Psychology.
You can register for each of the classes for free here.