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Event Details

Humanities in the Village: Gregory Smithsimon (in conversation with Lawrence Jackson)

The Ivy Bookshop and the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at Johns Hopkins University present the latest installment of Humanities in the Village, featuring Dr. Gregory Smithsimon and his book Liberty Road: Black Middle-Class Suburbs and the Battle Between Civil Rights and Neoliberalism! Dr. Lawrence Jackson, author of Shelter: A Black Tale of Homeland, Baltimore will join Dr. Smithsimon in conversation.

Smithsimon re-orients our perspective on race relations in American life to consider the lived experiences and lessons of those who broke the color barrier in unexpected places. Liberty Road shows us that if we want to understand Black America in the twenty-first century, we must look not just to our cities, but to our suburbs as well.

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Gregory Smithsimon is professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His most recent book is Liberty Road: African American Middle-Class Suburbs and the Battle Between Civil Rights and Neoliberalism (NYU Press), a study of the achievements and challenges of African Americans moving to the suburbs of Baltimore. His other books include Cause: And How It Doesn’t Always Equal Effect and September 12: Community and Neighborhood Recovery at Ground Zero. He is an editor of the interdisciplinary urban journal Metropolitics, and has written for publications including the Village Voice, Dissent, the Wall Street Journal Online, and the Daily News. He grew up in Reisterstown and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lawrence Jackson, Ph.D., is Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History at the Johns Hopkins University and the author of the award-winning books Chester B. Himes: A Biography (W.W. Norton 2017), The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics (Princeton 2010), My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War (Chicago 2012) and Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius, 1913-1952 (Wiley 2002). His most recent books are Hold It Real Still: Clint Eastwood, Race, and the Cinema of the American West (Johns Hopkins University Press 2022) and Shelter: A Black Tale of Homeland, Baltimore (Graywolf Press 2022). He earned a Ph.D. in English and American literature at Stanford University, and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the William J. Fulbright program. In addition to his writing and research, Jackson launched and now serves as director of the Billie Holiday Center for the Liberation Arts, an initiative that showcases and preserves the unique arts, history, and culture of Baltimore.






Event Details

Monday, March 27, 2023 - 6:30pm


The Ivy Bookshop - Back Patio, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

by Dr. Radut