Tonight should be an interesting one for students in my Civil War America class. We are currently studying the 1850s and the political, social, cultural, economic, and racial lead-up to the Civil War. The class usually runs from 6:15-9:15pm, but tonight we are stopping at 7:15pm so we can walk over a lecture hall on campus to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch deliver the 2017 Messiah College American Democracy Lecture: “King’s Dream for Justice: Then and Now.” It takes about ten minutes to walk from our classroom to the lecture hall. In class we will be discussing race in the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The Branch’s lecture will ask students to think about race in America 100 years later.
Next week we should have a good discussion about “change over time” and “continuity.” It’s going to be fun!