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Labor Historian Michael Honey to Present Annual Greenfield Lecture


JONESBORO – The 2015-16 Lecture-Concert Series at Arkansas State University will continue Thursday, Feb. 4, with the annual Greenfield Lecture, to be given this year by Dr. Michael Honey of the University of Washington.

Honey will present “Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union, and the African American Song Tradition” to students and the public at 7 p.m. in the Carl R. Reng Student Union auditorium.

This installment of the Lecture-Concert Series is funded by Drs. Rosalee and Raymond Weiss of Teaneck, N.J., through an endowment in memory of her mother, Corinne Sternheimer Greenfield.  The Greenfield Lecture also is supported by the A-State College of Humanities and Social Sciences, which coordinates the event.

"Michael Honey is a compelling speaker," said Dr. Deborah Chappel Traylor, associate dean of the college.  "When he takes out his guitar and begins to weave the history and song together, his audience is mesmerized and leaves enlightened."

The following day, Honey will be guest of honor for “Meet the Author” at the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, as part of the museum’s Black History Month events. Starting at 4 p.m., Honey will read from his book, answer questions and perform John Handcox songs. Admission is free. The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site located at 117 S. Main Street in Tyronza.

A former civil rights and civil liberties organizer in the 1970s, Michael Honey is an educator who combines scholarship with civic engagement.  He teaches African-American, civil rights and labor history, and currently holds the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professorship in the Humanities. He is past president of the Labor and Working-Class History Association.

Honey's work is often cited because of his use of oral history, extensive research into archival sources, and a "vibrant" writing style.  Among his numerous books, "Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign," 2007, and "Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle," 1999, have received numerous prestigious awards.

Honey earned his Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University, his master's at Howard University and his bachelor's at Oakland University.

The Lecture-Concert Series serves Arkansas State and the surrounding communities by bringing notable guest speakers and performers of diverse backgrounds and wide appeal to the campus.

For more details about the series, interested individuals may visit the Lecture-concert Series website, http://www.astate.edu/lectureconcert, or contact series chair Dr. Tim Crist, tcrist@astate.edu, (870) 972‑2094.

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Michael Honey

2016 Greenfield Lecturer