Upcoming Labor History Talks in Special Collections and Archives

Each year, the Southern Labor Archives awards the Reed Fink Award in Southern Labor History to one or more applicants whose research in the Archives will lead to a book, article, dissertation, or other substantive product. Jewell Debnam and Owen Hyman, awardees for 2015, will present on their topics in the coming weeks.


“The Cut and the Color Line: An Environmental History of Jim Crow in the Deep South’s Forests, 1876-1965,”

Friday, February 26, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Owen Hyman is a PhD candidate in the Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History program at Mississippi State University. His dissertation “The Cut and the Color Line: An Environmental History of Jim Crow in the Deep South’s Forests, 1876-1965” explores how ideas about the landscape shaped ideas about race and labor in the South after Reconstruction. The project uses the forest industries of Louisiana and Mississippi as a window into the ways in which racial violence, occupational segregation, and patterns of black land ownership and dispossession changed in relation to competing claims to the forest by African Americans, poor whites, and industrialists.

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“Black Women and the Charleston Hospital Strike of 1969,”

Tuesday, March 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Jewell Debnam is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History at Michigan State University. She received her BA in History and African American and African American Studies from the University of Virginia in 2010. Her dissertation “Black Women and the Charleston Hospital Workers Strike of 1969” offers a window into the understudied
struggle of working-class black women at the transition between the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. In addition, the work furthers the study of women’s political and social activism in the modern struggle for black working-class equality.

Both talks will be held in the Colloquium Room on the 8th floor of Library South. 

Professors Merl E. Reed and Gary Fink were instrumental in the establishment, development, and use of the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University from the early 1970s. The Reed Fink Award in Southern Labor History honors both men and their many contributions to education, labor studies, and the Southern Labor Archives.

For more information about the talks, the Southern Labor Archives, or the Reed Fink Award in Southern Labor History, please contact Traci Drummond, Special Collections and Archives, at 404.413.2880 or at archives@gsu.edu.

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