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U.S. civil rights historian to deliver Sackler Human Rights Lecture March 31

- March 23, 2009


U.S. civil rights historian Adam Fairclough will deliver the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Human Rights on Tuesday, March 31, at 4 p.m. in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

His talk is titled, “The Last Best Hope of Earth? American Democracy and the Right to Vote in Historical Perspective.”

Fairclough, who holds the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Chair in the History and Culture of the United States at Leiden University in the Netherlands, was one of the first historians to study the American civil rights movement and is recognized as one of the leading scholars in this field.

His first book, To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1987) won an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights.

Race and Democracy: The Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915-1972 (1995) also won an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights, and received the 1995 Louisiana Literary Award, the 1995 L. Kemper Williams Prize for the best book on Louisiana history, and the 1995 Lillian Smith Book Award of the Southern Regional Council.

His most recent book, A Class of Their Own: Black Teachers in the Segregated South won the 2008 Outstanding Book Award of the History of Education Society.

In addition to these research monographs, Fairclough has published Martin Luther King, Jr. (1995), a short biography of the civil rights leader; Teaching Equality: Black Schools in the Age of Jim Crow (2001); and Better Day Coming: Blacks and Equality, 1890-2000 (2001). He also edited The Star Creek Papers: Washington Parish and the Lynching of Jerome Wilson, by Horace Mann Bond and Julia W. Bond.

He has received fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Carter G. Woodson Center of the University of Virginia, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of the Southern Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the History of Education Society. He is currently chair of the Netherlands American Studies Association.

Born in England, Fairclough holds a B.A. in modern history from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. from Keele University.

He taught at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and has held a Chair in Modern History at Leeds University and a Chair in American Studies at the University of East Anglia. In 2005, he was appointed to the Sackler Chair in American History at Leiden University.

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