Panel Four: The Memphis Massacre

memphis massacre-2On May 20-21, 2016, the University of Memphis will host “Memories of a Massacre: Memphis in 1866, a Symposium Exploring Slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction.”  The culmination of a semester-long series of lectures, workshops, discussions, and book talks, this symposium will feature historians and scholars from across the country, including Robert K. Sutton, Chief Historian of the National Park Service.  Together, their presentations and the ensuing discussions will pry open what has for 150-years been the carefully concealed history of Reconstruction, its legacies, and the significant role that Memphis played in both. Please join us as we reflect collectively on a wave of terror that rocked a city and changed a nation.

Below is the fourth of our six panels.

First Panel 

Second Panel

Third Panel

May 21, 2016



stephen ashStephen V. Ash, University of Tennessee, “A Massacre in Memphis: May 1866”


Stephen V. Ash taught American History for many years at the University of Tennessee and is now a Professor Emeritus. He lives in Knoxville with his wife, Jean. A Civil War enthusiast since his early teens, he has written many books about the war and its aftermath, focusing especially on the experiences of people in the South.

rosenHannah Rosen, College of William and Mary, “Race, Gender, and Sexual Violence during the Memphis Massacre”


Hannah Rosen received a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  Her research and teaching have focused on the social and cultural history of the nineteenth-century United States, and particularly on African Americans and the intersection of race and gender in histories of slavery, emancipation, and postemancipation society.  She is the author of Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South (UNC Press, 2009, recipient of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians First Book Prize, the Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians, and the Willie Lee Rose Prize from the Southern Association of Women’s Historians).  Her current research treats African American experiences surrounding death and mourning during and after the Civil War and the increasing segregation of southern cemeteries in the postemancipation period. She is also exploring historical memory and commemoration through black women’s efforts to reclaim and restore African American burial sites.

slap-editAndrew Slap, East Tennessee State University, “On Duty in Memphis: Fort Pickering’s African American Soldiers”


Andrew Slap’s research and teaching focuses on nineteenth-century American history, particularly a broadly conceived Civil War era. He has published books on Reconstruction politics, Appalachia after the Civil War, and the urban South during the Civil War era. He is currently working on a book project about African American communities in nineteenth-century Memphis. The work uses a generational cohort that came of age during emancipation to study the nature of African American communities in the 19th century. The communities that emerge challenge central paradigms of African American history, showing that emancipation was a gradual process in which multiple antebellum African American communities and traditions continued through the end of the 19th century. Some of his early publications from this project include essays on African American marriage practices in the era of emancipation and the process of African American urbanization in the decades after the Civil War. In addition to teaching a wide variety of courses — including ones on the Civil War, comparative slavery, and Appalachia — he regularly works with graduate students.

Dr. Slap is also the series editor for two separate book series: Reconstructing America, Fordham University Press and The North’s Civil War, Fordham University Press.

dr-bobby-lovettModerator: Bobby Lovett, Professor Emeritus, Tennessee State University

Dr. Bobby L. Lovett is an award-winning author, historian, speaker and retired professor of Afro-American history. Lovett was born in Memphis, Tennessee where he received his public school education and completed Booker T. Washington High School. He earned his B.A. at Arkansas A.M. & N State College (today’s University of Arkansas campus at Pine Bluff) and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He has taught history courses in the Memphis Public School System (1969-1970) and at Eureka College (1970-1973). Dr. Lovett was a senior professor at Tennessee State University (TSU) for 30 years until his retirement in 2010. He also served as the Dean of the TSU College of Arts and Sciences for more than 10 of those years.

His 2005 book, The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee: A Narrative History, won the “Tennessee History Book Award” by the Tennessee Library Association and Tennessee Historical Commission. Lovett’s articles have appeared in several history books, encyclopedias and scholarly journals. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Historical Society and Editorial Board of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.

One response

  1. I was a high school student in the class of 1970 at White Station High School in Memphis, and Dr. Lovett was my American History Teacher. I’m pleased to have access to some of his articles and histories on a set of topics which are of much more interest to me today than when I was in high school, and I will read them with special interest. Best regards to Dr. Lovett. Jim Manire, Denver

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