Preston Smith, author of 2012’s Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis will give a talk in honor of Black History Month at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the Department of History, and is part of the 2013 Speaker Series.
Smith is the director of African Studies at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. He will give a talk titled “Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis: Housing Policy in Postwar Chicago,” based on his newly published book. In the book, he argues class and factional conflicts among African Americans actually helped to reproduce stunning segregation along economic lines.
Smith’s research interests in urban studies and postwar, black politics are reflected in his many publications and presentations. He has been published in such scholarly journals as the Journal of Urban History and edited volumes such as Without Justice For All.
Smith’s commitment to urban studies led to his becoming director of the Community-Based Learning (CBL) program at the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts. Through CBL, he developed an advanced seminar that allows students to interact with local communities through community-based research and service. He also helped develop a faculty seminar that examines Puerto Rican history and culture in Holyoke, Mass.
The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.
Learn more about the Speaker Series of Illinois State University at illinoisstate.edu/president/speaker-series/.