Civil rights expert to deliver annual American Studies lecture

An expert on the history of the Black Power movement will deliver a free public lecture at the University of Leicester on Monday 21 October. Professor Leonard N Moore from the University of Texas at Austin will speak on ‘The 1972 National Black Political Convention and the Decline of Black Power’.

For three days in 1972 in Gary, Indiana, eight thousand American civil rights activists and Black Power leaders gathered at the National Black Political Convention, hoping to end a years-long feud that divided black America into two distinct camps: integrationists and separatists. While some form of this rift existed within black politics long before the 1968 assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, his death - and the power vacuum it created - heightened tensions between the two groups, and convention leaders sought to merge these competing ideologies into a national, unified call to action. What followed, however, effectively crippled the Black Power movement and fundamentally altered the political strategy of civil rights proponents.

Leonard N Moore is the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement and the George Littlefield Professor of American History at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, earning his BA from Jackson State University in 1993 and his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1998. At UT Austin he teaches a class on the black power movement and a signature course titled 'Race in the Age of Trump'. He has received a number of teaching awards including the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching and the John Warfield Teaching Award. His books include Carl B Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power, Black Rage in New Orleans: Police Brutality and African American Activism from World War II to Hurricane Katrina and The Defeat of Black Power: Civil Rights and the National Black Political Convention of 1972.

Dr Andrew Johnstone, Director of the University's Centre for American Studies, said: "This is the eighteenth in a series of high-profile annual lectures hosted by the Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester, and also part of Black History Month.  We are absolutely thrilled to have Professor Moore come to Leicester to discuss such an important aspect of contemporary US history."

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Ken Edwards Building on the University of Leicester campus on Monday 21 October 2019, 5.30pm-7.00pm, followed by a drinks reception.