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home : news : lakelands & beyond May 25, 2017



5/19/2017 9:29:00 AM
Special discussion on Dr. Benjamin Mays and Howard Thurman May 25

The GLEAMNS Benjamin E. Mays Historical Preservation Site welcomes Dr. Peter Eisenstadt and Dr. Orville Vernon Burton for a discussion on Dr. Benjamin E. Mays and Howard Thurman.

Howard Washington Thurman (November 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981) was an influential African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. Benjamin Elijah Mays (August 1, 1894 – March 28, 1984) was an American author, minister, professor, orator, and leader in the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. Peter Eisenstadt and Dr. Orville Vernon Burton are working together to produce an edition of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays’ uncollected writings.  In addition, they hope to collaborate eventually on a dual intellectual biography that compares the world views and ideas of the two great African American theologians Drs. Howard Thurman and Mays.

Peter Eisenstadt is an independent scholar who has focused his work on African American history and race.  As the editor of several encyclopedias, it is not an understatement to say that his knowledge of African American, urban, and New York history is encyclopedic.  Eisenstadt has studied African American and civil rights history for decades, and focused in recent years in trying to understand the movement from the perspective of liberal black Protestants like Dr. Mays and Thurman, and from the perspective of urban housing, which he will address in his forthcoming work on the history and meaning of integration. 

Orville Vernon Burton is Creativity Professor of Humanities, Professor of History, Pan-African Studies, Sociology, and Computer Science at Clemson University, and the Director of the Clemson CyberInstitute.  From 2008-2010, he was the Burroughs Distinguished Professor of Southern History and Culture at Coastal Carolina University.  He was the founding Director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I CHASS) at the University of Illinois, where he is emeritus University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar, University Scholar, and Professor of History, African American Studies, and Sociology. Burton is a prolific author and scholar (twenty authored or edited books and more than two hundred articles); and author or director of numerous digital humanities projects.  The Age of Lincoln (2007) won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Literary Award for Nonfiction and was selected for Book of the Month Club, History Book Club, and Military Book Club.

The public is invited to come and listen to this provocative discussion about Howard Thurman and Benjamin E. Mays. The event will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 6pm. The event is free to the public.  Complimentary tours of the Mays Site will be available from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., followed by the discussion at 6:00 p.m. Chris Thomas at 864-229-8833 or 864-337-0065. 







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