On May 20-21, 2016, the University of Memphis hosted “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 featured historians and scholars from across the country, including Robert K. Sutton, retired Chief Historian of the National Park Service. Together, their presentations and the ensuing discussions pried open what has for 150-years been the carefully concealed history of Reconstruction, its legacies, and the significant role that Memphis played in both. We are thankful for all who joined us live or followed us on social media as we reflected collectively on a wave of terror that rocked a city and changed a nation.
If you did not get a chance to attend or missed some of the panels on Friday, you can hear them below.
FRIDAY, MAY 20
Welcome: Welcome by Karen Weddle-West, Provost, University of Memphis
Panel One: Slavery and Slave Life in the Mississippi Valley (Listen Here)
• Max Grivno, University of Southern Mississippi, “Death on the River: Slavery in the Yazoo Mississippi Delta”
Panel Two: Civil War and Emancipation in the Mississippi Valley (Listen Here)
• Joseph P. Reidy, Howard University, “Black Soldiers and Sailors: Rebuilding Families and the Nation amidst the Chaos of Civil War in the Mississippi Valley” (Paper presented by Co-Director: Beverly Bond)
• John C. Rodrigue, Stonehill College, “From Emancipation to Abolition in Civil-War Tennessee”
Moderator: Femi I. Ajanaku, Director, Center for African & African American Studies,LeMoyne-Owen College Twitter Handle: @
Panel Three: Giving Meaning to Freedom (Listen Here)
Moderator: Ladrica Menson-Furr, Director of African & African American Studies, University of Memphis
Keynote Address (Listen Here)
Opening remarks by Ronald A. Walter, President and General Manager, WREG-TV, Memphis
• Robert K. Sutton, Chief Historian of the National Park Service, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of American History: Remembering Reconstruction”
Listen to Day Two here.