September 21, 2020

Distinguished author Martha S. Jones will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Jerrell Shofner Lecture Series on Florida History and Culture. This year’s lecture will take place virtually on Monday, October 12 from 6pm-7:30pm and focuses on “The Right to Vote: Women and Race in the 1920 Election.“

Jones is a professor of history and the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor at Johns Hopkins University, A legal and cultural historian whose work examines how Black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy, Jones’s latest book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Fought for Rights for All, was released this year. The book explores the epic history of African American women’s pursuit of political power and how it transformed America.

Jones is also the author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), winner of the Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Award for the best book in civil rights history, the American Historical Association Littleton Griswold Prize for the best book in American legal history, and the American Society for Legal History John Phillip Reid book award for the best book in Anglo-American legal history.

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the 100th anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre, a 1920 election confrontation that resulted in the lynching death of July Perry and left an unknown number of African Americans dead in the ensuing violence. The UCF Department of History’s Regional Initiative for Collecting the Histories, Experiences and Stories (RICHES) project will soon launch Bending Toward Justice, a multi-level, digital exhibit that builds on community and academic partnerships established through project. The exhibit will present documents, maps, photographs, oral histories, and secondary sources to engage the public and scholars in dialogs on racial inequality and African American life in Florida. Jones’ lecture addresses elements of the first phase of the exhibit, which focuses on voting rights and voter suppression. Bending Toward Justice will serve as an educational resource for the state.

Named in honor of a prolific historian of Florida and past editor of the journal, the Jerrell Shofner Lecture Series is designed to bring noted scholars of the region to Central Florida to discuss their research for an audience of faculty, students and the general public. The series is sponsored by the Florida Historical Quarterly and UCF Department of History.

This event is free and open to the public.

Register to attend the lecture.

The lecture will also be livestreamed on the UCF History Department YouTube channel and archived for later viewing.