Biographer To Lecture On Rosa Parks On March 7 At University Of The South

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jeanne Theoharis of the City University of New York will give the 16th annual Anita S. Goodstein Lecture in Women's History at the University of the South. Ms. Theoharis is the author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.

The public is invited to attend the lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in Gailor Auditorium on the Sewanee campus. It will be followed by a reception.

Ms. Theoharis’ compelling biography dispels, once and for all, the image of Ms. Parks as an apolitical, middle-aged lady who was too tired to give up her seat in a Montgomery bus. The Parks that Ms. Theoharis uncovers hailed from an activist family and had worked on civil rights and other issues, including efforts to stop sexual violence against black women, for decades. Theoharis also highlights the importance of Ms. Parks’s participation in a seminar at the Cumberland Plateau’s Highlander Folk School in her decision not to relinquish her seat. The biography is the first to examine Ms. Parks’s life after the bus boycott, a life that included death threats, unemployment, and a move to Detroit, where Ms. Parks continued her civil rights activism.

Ms. Theoharis is a professor of political science at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College. Her areas of expertise include 20th-century African American history, the contemporary politics of race and gender, social policy and urban studies.

The lectureship was created in 1998 in recognition of Dr. Goodstein, who taught Sewanee’s first courses on race and on women, and who was one of the first women on Sewanee's faculty. Dr. Goodstein and her husband, Marvin, were also involved in desegregating Franklin county schools and other public venues in the area.

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