Category: killers of the dream


Lillian E. Smith Reading Group: Part I

The more I read Lillian Smith, the more her voice resonates with the current moment. I do searches through the journal she edited with her life-long partner Paula Snelling, and each issues contains articles that, while published in the 1930s or 1940s, As well, the more I speak with people about Smith, I realize that people do not know her, at least they do … Read More Lillian E. Smith Reading Group: Part I

Divide and Conquer: Part II

Last post, I started writing about the ways that the wealthy work to divide and conquer by stoking false fears and false hopes in those below them, separating individuals from one another. Keri Leigh Merritt details how this game plan worked during the Antebellum period, and after Emancipation and the Civil War, she notes that while land access opened to poor whites, most of … Read More Divide and Conquer: Part II


Laurel Falls Camp at 100

Note: This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of “A View from the Mountain,” the Lillian E. Smith Center’s newsletter. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Laurel Falls Camp. Lillian Smith’s father, Calvin, opened the camp in 1920, and it was the first private camp for girls in the state of Georgia. “Miss Lil,” as the campers called her, took over … Read More Laurel Falls Camp at 100


Lillian E. Smith Studies Course

This semester, I am teaching the Lillian E. Smith Studies course for the first time. It is part of the LES Scholars’ program, and it is a course that focuses on Lillian Smith and social justice. The course looks historically at Smith and her work, but it also looks at the ways that her work and legacy resonate today. As such, I included works … Read More Lillian E. Smith Studies Course

End of Year Roundup: Favorite Posts

Note, Interminable Rambling will be on break for the next two weeks. Check back on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, for new posts. I have been blogging at Interminable Rambling for four and a half years. Over that time, I have written 432 posts specifically for this site. Today, I want to take a look at the past year and highlight some of my favorite … Read More End of Year Roundup: Favorite Posts


Lillian Smith’s “Memory of a Large Christmas”

Lillian E. Smith published Memory of Large Christmas in 1962. The book, essentially, is a collection of humorous and memorable anecdotes about the large, bountiful Smith family Christmases. In the back of the book, Smith includes recopies for turkey dressing, pork salad, ambrosia, and more. Today, I want to look at one of the scenes that Smith relates in the book. The scene occurs … Read More Lillian Smith’s “Memory of a Large Christmas”


Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part II

On March 10, 1956, Lillian Smith wrote a letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. She told him how much she admired his work and how she thought that King’s approach would be successful. She tells King that she would like to have the opportunity to meet him, and she offers her encouragement to the movement. Along with all of this, Smith also noted, as … Read More Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part II


Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part I

On February 4, 1968, two months before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered “The Drum Major Instinct” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. During the sermon, King pointed out that the drum major instinct can lead to “tragic race prejudice.” On this point, he continued, “Many have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would … Read More Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lillian E. Smith: Part I

LES Center Videos: II

Last post, I shared some of the brief videos I have made for Twitter. These videos are for the Lillian E. Smith Center’s profile, and each video focuses on some aspect of Smith’s work, usually connecting it to other authors and artists. Today, I want to share a few more of these videos. I will include the scripts I wrote and the videos. Make … Read More LES Center Videos: II


The “historical self” and the “self self”: Part II

In last Thursday’s post, I wrote about the “historical self” and the “self self” that Claudia Rankine references in one of the vignettes in Citizen: An American Lyric. Today, I want to finish that discussion by looking some more at Rankine’s work, Lillian Smith, and concluding with Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place.


The “historical self” and the “self self”: Part I

Last post, I wrote about the ways that racism, subjugation, and history imprisons everyone, the oppressed and the oppressor alike. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at Lillian Smith’s Killers of the Dream and connected her discussion with a couple of the vignettes in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. While Smith focuses, predominately, on the white psyche, Rankine focuses on … Read More The “historical self” and the “self self”: Part I

“Celebrating Lillian Smith” Symposium

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Lillian E. Smith’s Strange Fruit and the 70th of Killers of the Dream. To celebrate, the Lillian E. Smith Center will host a symposium on October 26 in Athens, GA, to celebrate Lillian Smith’s life, work, and legacy. You can find more information below. Even if you cannot make the symposium, please share it on social media … Read More “Celebrating Lillian Smith” Symposium