Dr. Heather Williams to lead 'A Conversation on Race'

October 12, 2012

Dr. Heather WilliamsIt was illegal in most southern states—assumed useless, perhaps dangerous.

But, as Heather Williams writes, enslaved people yearned for it: the “practical power of literacy.”

Williams, award-winning author and associate professor of history at University of North Carolina, will visit campus to talk about “Freedom Through Education: African Americans in the 19th Century South.”

The event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 3-5:30 p.m., in the University Center’s Kochoff Hall.

Williams examined the fight for literacy among 19th century African Americans in her award-winning book, “Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom.”

Julie Taylor, associate professor of social studies and multicultural education, helped bring Williams to campus.

“In United States history, racism has affected significantly people’s access to education and opportunity. Dr. Williams’ work will enhance our students’ understanding of this history, and her work will spark discussions and analyses of the critical role that education has today,” she said.

The event is part of University of Michigan-Dearborn’s “A Conversation on Race,” an ongoing lecture series designed to promote open, honest discussion about racial issues. This semester’s lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, Office for Student Engagement and School of Education.


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