The African-American Experience in Missouri Lecture Series

The African-American Experience in Missouri Lecture Series logo

Learn about Missouri's past and present while we prepare for the future through the African American Experience in Missouri lecture series. This series offers the Mizzou and Columbia community opportunities to gain a new understanding of present-day Missouri by learning about the history of African Americans within the state. This series is a collaboration between the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity and the State Historical Society of Missouri's Center for Missouri Studies

This series is curated by Keona K. Ervin, history professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and SHSMO executive director Gary Kremer to ensure that top scholars are a part of this exploration and program. Both Ervin and Kremer are known for their research on African American history.

With questions about the series or to request accommodations call The State Historical Society of Missouri at 573-882-7083 or email

Upcoming Lectures

Feb. 7 - Black History and ‘Black Lives’ since Ferguson: Contemporary Meanings of the 1960s Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, Missouri

Clarence Lang, Professor of African and African-American Studies, University of Kansas
6:30 p.m., Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Union. 7:30 p.m. book signing.

Clarence Lang, the author of Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75, will explore how current events in Black America, such as the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, that propelled Black Lives Matter to national and international attention, continuously change the meanings attached to past struggles for black freedom. Lang will also examine whether St. Louis is representative of broader US patterns of race relations, racial oppression, and resistance, while discussing ways that contemporary historical framing can inform (or misinform) present-day, post-1960s freedom movements.

Past Lectures

Inaugural Lecture: Contesting Slavery: Enslaved Missourians' Enduring Struggle for Self Determinationn

By Diane Mutti Burke, associate professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City on February 3, 2016

#SayHerName: Black Women and State Violence in the Case of Missouri v. Celia, A Slave
By Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History, University of Michigan Law School on March 23, 2016

"No Rights Which the White Man Was Bound to Respect": Racial Capitalism and Empire in the Age of Dred Scott
By Walter Johnson, professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University on April 21, 2016

A lecture with Professor Miller Boyd

Miller Boyd, African American Studies Program, University of Mississippi

Crossing the Red Sea: Saint Louis and the Exodus of 1879
Bryan Jack, assistant professor, Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville