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African Americans reclaim the south

October 6, 2011

Distinguished anthropologist Carol Stack, Professor Emeritus of University of California - Berkeley, will describe her study in which she followed families who are part of an exodus of African Americans back to the South.

Monday, October 10
4-5:30 p.m.
Student Senate Chambers

In the talk, "African Americans reclaim the South: Challenges to ethnography when places, times and lives are in flux," Carol Stack, Ph.D., will speak about her research with African Americans who, for the first time in U.S. history, are moving back to the South.

Stack will address:

  • What is compelling this pattern?
  • Who is involved?
  • What are the challenges to researching this topic when everything is in flux?

After the talk, there will be time for discussion. A reception will follow.

Research becomes narrative

In her second book that is the inspiration for this talk, Stack employs the same novelistic verve that helped make All Our Kin a beloved, classic work.

She tells the story of a little-known yet compelling reverse exodus—of half a million Black Americans in the cities of the North, who heard a call to return home to the rural South.

Skillfully evoking the terrain of Carolina towns, Stack interweaves a powerful human story with a larger economic and social analysis of migration, families, and poverty. Call to Home offers a rare glimpse of African-American communities pulling together, determined to make it in today's America.

Carol Stack, Ph.D., was awarded a Victor Turner Award in Humanistic Anthropology for her ethnographic writing in, 'Call to home.'Work 'upends' assumptions

Carol Stack is author of All Our Kin and numerous articles on poverty and social policy. She is past president of the Society for Urban Anthropology and has been awarded with numerous prizes, including the Prize for Critical Research from the Society for the Anthropology of North America and the Victor Turner Prize for Humanistic Anthropology.

Her work has upended many common assumptions about race and family structure and has been important to policy makers concerned with issues of poverty and social mobility. She is known for her deep ethnographic work with African American communities, her beautiful and clear writing, and her mixed methods -- all attributes that have contributed to her stature as one of the most acclaimed and influential anthropologists alive today.

Second event on Tuesday

Stack will offer an event for students on Tuesday, October 11 at 9 a.m. in the Journalism Conference Room in Clark, Room C 256. Her topic is, "Coming of Age at Minimum Wage."

Stack will offer a special discussion with students beginning with an introduction to her latest research regarding teenagers working in fast food restaurants. She will discuss what she has learned about the storms of adolescence and the search for dignity as a young person.

The conversation begins there, and goes where you want it to!

Both talks are being sponsored by the Anthropology Graduate Student Society.

Contact: Jaime King