I just arrived back in Starkville from ASALH. What a time! I presented on three panels and saw so many folks I had not seen since the before times. It was good to see everyone. This ASALH also marked Professor James Anderson’s retirement from the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE shared a word of thanks for his untiring support to students, fellow colleagues, and the field as a whole.
There was also lots of revelry after the sessions with so much hospitality!
Beautiful scenes of Montgomery were a fine backdrop
Professors Nishani Frazier, Jakobi Williams, Tara White, and Randal Jelks and I took a trip to walk to Edmund Pettus Bridge, Site of Bloody Sunday. We had no idea how transformative and moving it would be, well actually we did. But nothing prepares you for the experience.
It was at the Tomb of the Unknown Slave that I wept openly. Bound up in this emotional release was my grief for every enslaved person who was dishonored in their lifetime, but also the razor sharp interpretive depth of those who created this memorial. How Bloody Sunday was connected to the Afterlife of Slavery.
When we returned Hilary and I had one last workshop to do. And the rest of the day was in community and appreciation.
Random Nature Pod is somewhat connected to my attendance at ASALH because it was there that I uploaded the latest episode featuring my friend Ignacio Carvajal. There is a connection to ASALH within the content of the podcast as well. At 16:32 we discuss the public memory of Lawrence, Kansas.
Coincidentally, Professor Randal Jelks works at the University of Kansas along with Nishani Frazier and Shawn Alexander, PhD (who was on a panel presenting on the history of KU pictured below).
As for birds, I only saw a few species along the ride. I was not able to take part in much birding because my conference commitments. But the American Crow, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Mockingbird, Turkey Vulture all blessed me with their appearance.