The year 2019 represents the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in Virginia in 1619. This was a global, transatlantic moment, not just a Southern or American one. But what does that history mean for contemporary Kentuckians? The Filson welcomes eminent Kentucky historian Dr. George C. Wright to reflect on a lifetime of study and teaching about slavery and the struggle for emancipation and freedom in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Brazil, and South Africa.
Dr. George C. Wright is a Lexington native with degrees from the University of Kentucky (B.A., M.A.) and Duke University (Ph.D.). He is the author of Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930 (LSU, 1985); Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and "Legal Lynchings" (LSU, 1990); and A History of Blacks in Kentucky, Vol. 2: In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980 (KHS, 1992) among other publications. A lengthy career in the classroom and higher education administration included fourteen years as President of Prairie View A&M University in Texas. During the 2019-20 academic year, Dr. Wright is a visiting professor of history in honor of the 70th anniversary of integration at the University of Kentucky.