National Park Partners announce the 13th Annual Moccasin Bend Fall Lecture Series, sponsored since 2006 by Greg A. Vital. All lectures will take place at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd. in downtown Chattanooga, and will begin at 7 p.m.
The series kicks off on Monday, Sept. 24, with Dr. Daniel Littlefield, Jr., director of the Sequoyah National Research Center at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He will present his in-depth knowledge of “The Role of American Indians in World War I” and discuss how, although not citizens of the United States at the time, American Indians enlisted by the thousands to serve our country.
The second lecture takes place on Monday, Oct. 15, and features Dr. Lauret Savoy, professor of Environmental Studies at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Ma. She will present a reading from her book, Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, winner of the 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and the 2017 ASLE Creative Writing Award.
Our third and final lecture will take place on Monday, Nov. 5, and feature Dr. Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz College in Philadelphia, Pa. A legal expert and Constitutional scholar, Dr. Finkelman will address the “Implications of the Civil Rights Amendments to the U.S. Constitution” on the eve of election day. His lecture will coincide with a 15th Amendment exhibit, created by the National Park Service, opening in October at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Beginning at 5 p.m., attendees are invited to arrive early to view the exhibit at no charge and enjoy light refreshments prior to the lecture.
Tricia Mims, executive director of National Park Partners, emphasizes how this year’s lecture series reflects the organization’s efforts to support the National Park Service in engaging new and diverse audiences. “As we complete the ‘Centennial and Beyond’ grant program, funded by the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Park Partners is encouraged by growing relationship between the National Park Service and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. We plan to continue supporting the Park’s programming and outreach efforts; and finding creative ways to connect people to the Park by showing the relevance of these historic, cultural, and natural resources in their lives today.”