The Importance of Black History Month

Historically, mainstream American history excluded black Americans’ contributions to U.S. society and typically demeaned black Americans as racial inferior. Only since the civil rights movement have African Americans and other racial minorities gained much deserved recognition. Black History Month remains an important American institution (regardless of the criticisms that have been launched against it) because it attempts to repair the accumulated damage that racism and historical amnesia have wreaked on American culture and society. In this presentation, Dr. Hill argues that Black History Month has become a comforting ritual for congratulating ourselves on how far we as a nation have come rather than critical assessing the work that remains to be done.

 

Police Shootings of Unarmed Blacks as Modern Day Lynchings

Since the police killing of unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown and especially after the police killing of 12 year old Tamir Rice, black Americans have increasingly labeled police killings as modern day lynching. In a provocative lecture, Dr. Hill explores what are the implications of embracing or rejecting police killings of unarmed blacks as lynchings and why this discussion matters.

 

Combating Police Brutality: Lessons from the 21st Century

Black Lives Matter activists contend that better officer training is not enough to solve the problem of police brutality. Rather true change, won’t arrive until police officers officers who clearly violate established protocols are held accountable for using deadly force against non-threatening and unarmed blacks. Dr. Hill explains what has happened and what needs to happen to transform policing in America.

 

The Epidemic of Black on Black Homicides & What We Can Do About It

Today and in recent years, black-on-black homicides are the leading cause of death among black males between the ages 15 and 34. The vast majority of these deaths involve a hand gun. Dr. Hill explains why black America is experiencing unprecedented rates of handgun violence and steps black communities afflicted with the epidemic are taking to make their communities safer.

 

Domestic Terrorism: Myths & Realities

Despite the fact that is more likely that a domestic terrorist is a young white male and that white Americans have a more extensive history of terrorism against minority population in the U.S., Arab Americans are routinely portrayed as terrorists. In a wide-ranging discussion of topics such as the history Ku Klux Klan to contemporary white prison gangs, Dr. Hill debunks the pervasive myth of the Arab terrorist.

 

The Gun Debate in America: A Black Historical Perspective

From antilynching activist Ida B. Wells to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, African Americans have been some of the most ardent supporters of the second amendment. Black support for gun rights belies that fact that they have been disproportionately victims of gun-related fatalities. In a thought provoking lecture, Dr. Hill explains how Americans can gain greater clarity on the gun debate by understanding the black historical experience.

 

Testimonials

“The KKK in Texas: Historic Importance and Ongoing Legacies,” The Bullock Texas State History Museum, June 10, 2014

“Dr. Hill took part in a panel presentation at the Bullock Museum in the summer of 2014 which set up a framework through which our audience could analyze updates to our interpretation of late 19th and early 20th century Texas history—specifically, the history of the KKK and its ongoing importance in Texas history. Dr. Hill provided a succinct and well-delivered overview from his perspective as a historian of lynching and addressed questions from both a moderator and from the audience, giving an understanding of a very violent time in our state’s history that brought the moment to life without sensationalizing it. His knowledge of and passion for his topic was clear and the conversation following the program (always one of our greatest markers of success) was robust.”

Kate Betz Head of Education, The Bullock Texas State History Museum

“The Lynching Blues: Robert Johnson’s Hellhound on My Trail as a Lynching Ballad,” Center for the Study of Southern Culture’s Blues Today Symposium at the University of Mississippi, April 9, 2015

“Dr. Hill’s engaging lecture “The Lynching Blues: Robert Johnson’s ‘Hellhound on My Trail’ as Anti-Lynching Protest” was the highlight of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture’s Blues Today Symposium at the University of Mississippi in 2015. Hill’s insights prompted students and faculty alike to think more deeply about blues as protest music. We’ll not soon forget his visit to our campus.”

James G. Thomas Associate Director, Center of the Study of Southern Culture

“21st Century Lynchings: Meditations on Police Killings of Unarmed Black Men,” California State University, February 9, 2016

“Dr. Karlos Hill visited our campus on February 9, 2016 as a keynote speaker for our campus’s annual observation of Black History Month. The talk, titled “21st-Century Lynchings? Meditations on Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men,” was cogently presented and very well attended. Its explanation for the application of the historically grounded and emotionally-charged term “lynching” to recent episodes of racial violence is compelling and generated considerable discussion afterward. The quality of this talk was important in making our BHM event a success.”

Dr. Bret Carroll Chair of Black History Month, California State University

“21st Century Lynchings: Meditations on Police Killings of Unarmed Black Men,” California State University, February 9, 2016

“On behalf of California State University Stanislaus and the Department of History we write to thank you for your exceptional presentation for Black History Month, February 9, 2016. Students and faculty alike have offered many favorable comments on your presentation, entitled, “21st Century Lynchings? Meditations on Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men.” Your keynote address was timely and drew larger than normal attendance as evidenced by the deluge of people surrounding you with questions following the event. Furthermore, it served to inspire opportunities for class discussions and great contemplation on linking past precedents to inform current circumstances.”

Dr. Marjorie Sanchez Walker History Chair, California State University

Contact

Tammy Haschig at American Program Bureau
(800) 225.4575 ext 1608