UofM and National Park Service Will Host Symposium on Memphis Massacre

April 29, 2016 - The University of Memphis, along with the National Park Service, will host "Memories of a Massacre: Memphis in 1866, a Symposium Exploring Slavery, Emancipation and Reconstruction" May 20-21 in the University Center Theatre on campus.

This is the first public recognition of the Memphis Massacre, an event that was the first in a series of large-scale acts of Reconstruction-era racial violence and played a profound role in shaping the basic legal, civil and political structures that shape our lives today.

The symposium, composed of seven panels, will feature nationally acclaimed authors, historians and scholars from across the nation, including Robert K. Sutton, chief historian for the National Park Service. Together these panels and discussions will navigate the turbulent and largely suppressed history of Reconstruction racial politics, tensions and events to provide a deeper understanding of Reconstruction, its legacies, and the significant role Memphis played in shaping both.

"Our goal is to break the silence, to make public the story of freedom's unruly rebirth, and most especially, to draw attention to the role of the recently freed in what was, by any measure, a revolutionary period. In doing this, we will not only be teaching history, we will be making history," said Dr. Susan Eva O'Donovan, associate professor of history and symposium co-director.

A complete schedule of events and information about lodging can be found on the Memphis Massacre website. For additional questions, call 901-678-3376 or email memphismassacre@memphis.edu.

Dr. Susan O'Donovan