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Lillian E. Smith Center LibGuide

One of the things I enjoy doing is creating pedagogical materials for educators, students, and the general public. When I worked at the Ernest J. Gaines Center, I collaborated on the center’s LibGuide (library guide). In my position as the director of the Lillian E. Smith Center, I taken on a similar project constructing a LibGuide for Smith and some of her works. Today, I want to share my thought process in creating each LibGuide and some of the sources I chose to include for the LES LibGuide.

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We Must Stop the Roots from Ever Appearing

A couple of years ago, I took students to the EJI  Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. When we first entered the museum, a student saw the flag that hung from the headquarters of the NAACP in New York throughout the 1920s and the 1930s. The flag, which flew outside the headquarters, drew attention to racial violence and lynching, and it reads, “A Man Was Lynched Yesterday.” My student, upon seeing the flag, asked me, “What is a lynching?” This question took me aback some, especially since the student is from the South. Even if the student did not learn about state sanctioned racial violence he would have at least heard or known of the word “lynching,” right?

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Art and the Collaborative Circuit

In my last post, I wrote about Lillian E. Smith’s thoughts on art and artists in her speech “Ten Years from Today.” For this post, I want to continue that discussion and look at some of Smith’s other comments on art, artists, and critics. Speaking with Joan Titus shortly before her death in September 1966, Smith talks about how we experience art and the influences that affect the ways we perceive it. Her comments here need to be considered in relation to what I wrote about in the last post about the reader responses to Icon and about the individual who was mad at Smith for Strange Fruit even though he or she had never read the book.

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Art and the Creation of New Beliefs and New Images

On June 5, 1951, Lillian E. Smith delivered the commencement address at Kentucky State College. Entitled “Ten Years from Today,” Smith’s speech contained hope and optimism for the future, stating that by 1961, Jim Crow will have faded away. This, of course, did not occur; however, she provided the audience with tools to help to dismantle white supremacy and segregation. One of the tools that Smith points to is art, in its myriad forms (visual, musical, literary, etc.). Today, I want to spend some time looking at Smith’s comments on art as a tool to enact social change to combat white supremacy.

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“Dope with Lime” the Lillian E. Smith Center’s Podcast

One of the main initiatives I wanted to do when I started at the Lillian E. Smith Center was a podcast highlighting various topics related to Smith. These included her life, her work, her current impact, her legacy, and the ways that the center, scholars, artist residents, and more continue to carry on her legacy. As such, I debuted “Dope with Lime.” Today, I want to share with you information about the podcast and a few of the episodes.

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