Across the country, efforts to suppress Black history in libraries and classrooms have taken root. Anger against “critical race theory” and “wokeness” has led to new laws prohibiting what can and cannot be taught to students of all ages, and what books can remain in libraries. Why are there efforts to limit this knowledge? Are some ideas just too dangerous? If so, how do we decide what those are as a society? Shouldn’t we have the freedom to think, to know, to aspire?
To counter some of these efforts, professor Luther Adams – Free Man of Color, uses Black thought, images, and poetry, as well as local history, to create an open space to ask questions about Black history and why it matters to all of us.
Luther Adams – Free Man of Color (he/him) is an associate professor of ethnic, gender, and labor studies at the University of Washington, Tacoma. As a student and teacher of Black history and culture, his work brings together the interdisciplinary study of urban, southern, labor, and religious history to understand Black culture and life. He is following up his first book, Way Up North in Louisville: African American Migration in the Urban South, 1930-1970, with a history of African Americans’ long struggle with and against police brutality.
Adams lives in Tacoma.