UofM’s Hooks Institute to host online conversation on reforming communities to value, protect and invest in Black and Brown lives

June 18, 2020 - Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, how we can as a nation and community rebuild a world that values and promotes to lives of African Americans and other communities of color? The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis will host a community conversation on how we can collectively work to reform our communities to value, protect and invest in Black and Brown lives via Facebook Live Monday, June 22, from 1-2 p.m. The event will be live-streamed via Zoom on the Hooks Institute’s Facebook page: facebook.com/benhooksinstitute.

About the Online Community Conversation

Amanda Nell Edgar and Andre E. Johnson, University of Memphis faculty and authors of The Struggle over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, examine one of the defining social justice struggles of our time. They will discuss the surprisingly complex relationship between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter as it unfolded on social media and in interpersonal and community relationships. 

The authors will share insights into calls for reform in Memphis and the nation that resulted from #BlackLivesMatter activism, including protests following the murder of George Floyd. The Hooks Institute will highlight its efforts within the University of Memphis and the greater community to create and support reform for the removal of race, economic, health and other disparities. 

A question-and-answer period will follow the presentations.

About Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson is an associate professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication and Film at the University of Memphis. He teaches classes in African American Public Address, Rhetoric, Race, Religion and Interracial Communication. Johnson is the author of The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition, co-author (with Dr. Amanda Nell Edgar) of The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter and author of No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner.

About Amanda Nell Edgar

Amanda Nell Edgar joined the faculty of the UofM’s Department of Communication and Film in 2015. Her research focuses on the intersection of media studies and contemporary rhetoric with a focus on music, sound and identity. She specializes in issues of race, racism, whiteness and anti-Blackness as they intersect with other identities, particularly gender and class. Methodologically, Edgar works with traditional rhetorical/textual approaches, cultural studies approaches to reception and fan studies, and innovative digital approaches to interrogating vocal sound. She is interested in mentoring MA- and PhD-level graduate students whose interests lie in critical identity studies and popular culture, and she has also worked occasionally with undergraduates in their early research endeavors.

About the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change

 The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education and direct intervention programs. Institute programs include community outreach; funding faculty research initiatives on community issues; implementing community service projects; hosting conferences, symposiums and lectures; and promoting local and national scholarship on civil and human rights. The Hooks Institute is an interdisciplinary center at the University of Memphis. Contributed revenue for the Hooks Institute, including funding from individuals, corporations and foundations, is administered through the University of Memphis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.