St. Petersburg native and Williams College professor Charles Dew is one of America’s most respected historians of the South. In his recent memoir, The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade, he turns the focus on his own life, recreating the midcentury American South of his childhood.
In many respects, the St. Petersburg of a generation ago was a boy’s paradise, but one stained by the full brunt of Jim Crow. Through entertainments and “educational” books that belittled African Americans, as well as the living examples of his own family, Dew was indoctrinated in white supremacy.
Dew recounts how he went on to reject his racist upbringing during his college years and become a scholar of the South and its deeply conflicted history. The centerpiece of Dew’s story is his sobering discovery of a price circular from 1860–an itemized list of humans up for sale. Contemplating this document becomes Dew’s first step in an exploration of antebellum Richmond’s slave trade.
In this lecture and discussion, Dew shows how the South of his childhood came into being, poisoning the minds even of honorable people, and what we gain by acknowledging this history and moving forward. Please register here.
Free and open to the public, but registration is required. Free parking is provided. Mr. Dew’s book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
Please note: if you do not wish to come for the networking lunch, please select the No Lunch option. Plan to arrive at 12:20 pm to be seated for the lecture and discussion, which will begin promptly at 12:30.
Speakers Who Inspire (Charles B. Dew)
August 17, 2017
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Complimentary Lunch and Networking
12:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Lecture and Discussion
400 First Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701