4th Annual Atlanta Studies Symposium

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The 2016 Atlanta Studies Symposium schedule is available! Please register for the symposium below or through the link here. As always, the event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Joe Crespino will deliver the keynote, titled “Black Jesus in Atlanta: Searching for the Beloved Community After Martin Luther King’s Assassination”:

Five months after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, nearly 50,000 black and white citizens of Atlanta, Georgia, filled the city’s major league baseball stadium to watch an interracial passion play in which the role of Jesus was played by a black man, William Holmes Borders, senior pastor at Wheat Street Baptist Church. Sponsored by an interracial and ecumenical ministerial group, the play was designed to ease racial tensions in the aftermath of King’s death. Hailed by the local and national press at the time as a breakthrough in southern race relations, the event has long since been forgotten both in civil rights history, as well as Atlanta’s history. It represents a fascinating moment in which to explore the racial and spiritual crisis in the white and black community in civil rights-era Atlanta.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Jessie Brandon
  • Created: 04/28/2016
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 04/13/2017


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