Before King's Dream

Tuesday, 25 January 2005 - 5:00pm

Hall of Flags, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

Before King's Dream

Slaves, Freed People, and American Democracy

Steven Hahn

Pulitzer and Bancroft Prize-winning author of A Nation Under Our Feet

A program of The University of Pennsylvania 2005 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium on Social Change.

Steven Hahn
, an expert in the history of the American South, is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for History for A Nation Under Our Feet, which also won the 2004 Bancroft Prize. This landmark history rejects the conventional view of a passive slave culture in the American South, describing instead a rich and surprisingly effective world of black political associations built around family, work, and religion. Dr. Hahn is following in the footsteps of his chair's namesake, Roy F. Nichols, who in 1949 became the first member of Penn's faculty to receive a Pulitzer Prize (for The Disruption of American Democracy, awarded the same year that Arthur Miller won in Literature for Death of a Salesman). Prof. Hahn also becomes the fifth member of Penn's faculty to receive a Pulitzer.

A specialist in the history of the South, the social and political history of the United States in the 19th century, and the comparative history of slavery and emancipation, Dr. Hahn is currently at work on the Nathan I. Huggins Lectures in African-American History, to be delivered at Harvard in 2007, and on a history of the United States, 1840-1900, to be published in the Penguin History of the United States.

The Penn Humanities Forum is a proud cosponsor of “Before King’s Dream,” one of many events in this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium entitled Penn’s Commitment to the Legacy: Meeting the Challenges of a Diverse Democracy. To learn more about the January 17–28 program, contact the African-American Resource Center online or by telephone: 215.898.0104.

Presented by the African-American Resource Center, Penn Bookstore, Penn Humanities Forum, and Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs.

Selected Publications by Steven Hahn

Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, Land and Labor in 1865 (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press).

A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Harvard University Press, 2003).

The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation: Essays in the Social History of Rural America, with J. Prude, eds. (UNC Press, 1985).

The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850-1890 (Oxford University Press, 1983). Winner of the Allan Nevins Prize (Society of American Historians) and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (Organization of American Historians).