Race and slavery in America: MLK Day Talk

January 21, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Location: Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Coinciding with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Roy E. Finkenbine, interim dean of the UDM College of Liberal Arts & Education, will give the talk, "Searching for Jordan Anderson: A personal journey into race and slavery in America," at the Ann Arbor District Library, at 343 S. Fifth Ave., in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The talk is the subject of Finkenbine's current book project, which was profiled in an Associated Press story last July (for the story, see the article in USA Today). The project is a study of emancipation and the search for citizenship and respectability in microcosm, through the story of one ex-slave family, whose post-slavery friends included prominent banker Valentine Winters (the great-grandfather of comedian Jonathan Winters), African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Wright Brothers.  It's also a story of the ex-slave community's claims to reparations for slavery and how a document by Jordan Anderson helped bring international attention to that claim.

In addition, Finkenbine will share his experiences in researching the study, ranging from attending a Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting in rural Tennessee the same night President Obama accepted the Democratic nomination in 2008 to the search for and visits with living descendants of Jordan Anderson and the many family stories that they shared.

To find out more about Jordan Anderson and his letter, see the article in USA Today.

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