Clarence Lang shares how current events in Black America, such as the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri that propelled “Black Lives Matter” to national and international attention, continuously change the meanings of past struggles for black freedom. Lang also showcases how St. Louis is representative of the broader US patterns of race relations, racial oppression, and resistance and share ways that contemporary historical framing can inform (or misinform) present-day, post-1960s movements for black lives.
About the Presenter
Clarence Lang is a professor of African and African-American Studies at The University of Kansas and a former Langston Hughes Visiting Professor. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004. Professor Lang’s main research and teaching areas are African American working-class and labor history, the Black Freedom Movement, and black urban communities in the twentieth-century Midwest. He is the author of Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009), and co-editor with Robbie Lieberman of Anticommunism and the African American Freedom Movement: Another Side of the Story (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).