Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Gene Jarrett: Stony the Road

Thu. May 2, 2019 at 7:00pm EDT
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*Please note that this event was originally scheduled for May 15. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it has been changed to take place on Thursday, May 2


Between emancipation and the civil rights era, a war of ideas and imagery helped to sow the seeds of the structural racism that endures in this country to this day. 


In 2019 historian, filmmaker, journalist, and cultural commentator Henry Louis Gates, Jr. draws on his lifelong interest in the history of Reconstruction, Redemption, and Jim Crow to present a documentary for PBS, Reconstruction, and a companion book, Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow. He comes to the Library to discuss those periods and their lasting impact on American life.


The 19th-century abolition of slavery and the the 20th-century struggle for civil rights are well-known—the intervening decades less so. During Reconstruction thousands of African Americans gained the right to vote and secured elected or appointed public office. Those gains were almost immediately erased amid a rise of systematic white supremacy that defined the Redemption and Jim Crow eras and brought about what Gates calls the “nadir” of the African American experience. Using extensive archival research, Gates recreates the war of imagery that both propagated the racist backlash against Reconstruction, and the resistance movement of hope and advancement that rose up in response. Gates is joined in conversation by Gene Jarrett, the Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science at NYU, and Gates’ co-editor of The New Negro: Readings on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892-1938.


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Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Sara Beth Joren at sarabethjoren@nypl.org. For all other inquiries, please contact publicprograms@nypl.org.


The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The New York Public Library.




ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing accessibility@nypl.org.


Henry Louis Gates photo © Stephanie Berger

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Celeste Bartos Forum The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
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