Award-winning historian Brenda Stevenson, who has been praised for “bravery in journalism,” will deliver the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 13th annual African American History Month lecture at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8, in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.
Stevenson, the Nickoll Family Distinguished Professor of History at U.C.L.A. and a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences, is an acclaimed author and frequent commentator on National Public Radio. An expert on African American history, black women and familiesand race relations, her lecture “When Do Black Female Lives Matter? Contested Assaults, Murders, and American Race Riots” will discuss the connections among slavery, violence against black women, African American resistance and modern-day brutality.
Her book “The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Riots,” reframed the narrative of the Los Angeles race riots as a response to the first verdict in the Rodney King trial.
A former Guggenheim Fellow and National Humanities Center John Hope Franklin Fellow, Stevenson is also the recipient of the Ida B. Wells Award for Courage in Journalism and the Southern Historical Association’s John W. Blassingame Award, given for distinguished scholarship and mentorship in African American history. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree and doctorate from Yale.
Stevenson joins a long list of distinguished scholars the University has featured for this centerpiece Black History Month event. Previous speakers include Lonnie Bunch, director of the National African American Museum; Mary Frances Berry, professor and former chair of the Civil Rights Commission; Bernice Johnson Reagon, MacArthur Genius Award recipient and Civil Rights Movement icon; and the activist and prolific author, Robin D.G. Kelley.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a question and answer session. Stevenson then will also be available afterward to autograph copies of “Contested Murder” and her most recent book, “What Is Slavery?”
The event is sponsored by the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences and its departments of communications, music, history and African and African American diaspora studies, the Carolina Women’s Center, the Center for the Study of the American South, Diversity and Multi-Cultural Affairs, Delta Sigma Theta and the Stone Center, among others.
Parking is available in the Bell Tower parking deck by the Stone Center. A reception will follow.