Bill Green lends historical perspective to Black Lives Matter media coverage

Summer 2016 Pinterest6

What does it mean to matter?  What does it look like to matter?

With the Black Lives Matter movement, questions of racial equity have ignited important—and difficult—conversations in communities and courtrooms, on political campaign trails, and at college campuses.

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He teaches U.S. Civil Rights subject matter, and he recently has been called upon to share his expertise on these topics to assist media outlets covering Black Lives Matter news in the Twin Cities.

Green was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists,” Green used the history of the Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

On August 5, Green also appeared on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac” program where he provided a comparison between contemporary protests or demonstrations and those occurring decades — perhaps even centuries — earlier. Green explained that the tactic of making a public display can be useful when a group is seeking to meet a particular goal.

“The trick with the demonstrations, of course, is somehow helping society turn the corner so that … a community doesn’t feel the need to resort to desperate measures,” he said.

The interview with cohosts Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola is available on the TPT website and begins at the 31:55 minute mark.

Green’s comprehensive knowledge of Minnesota history has been cultivated over decades, and his latest book, “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912” chronicles conditions for African-Americans in Minnesota in the half-century following the Civil War. The publication picks up where his previous book, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota, 1837-1869,” left off. Green spoke with MinnPost about the publication, describing his interest in state history.

“The history [of Minnesota] is amazing, particularly when you look at who was here before statehood and how they interacted with each other,” he said. “I found that we were lacking a good accounting of the black people who were part of that history. Most of them didn’t leave a written record, which looks like they had nothing to say, but of course they did. They were part of this experience.”

The Minnesota Book Awards honored Green and “Degrees of Freedom” with the 2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award.

Michael Lansing writes for MinnPost

Michael Lansing, associate professor and History Department chair, recently penned an article comparing the United States’ contemporary political landscape with periods in the late 1960s and late 1970s.

Lansing is a historian of the modern United States, and his research focuses on political history, environmental history, and other topics. In his Community Voices commentary, Lansing argued that the state of American democracy and milestones occurring in 1979 are similar to current events.

Read, “To understand this summer, look not to 1968 but to ’79” on the MinnPost site.

 

Bill Green lends historical perspective to MPR News article

bill_green
Bill Green

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He recently was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, Green called on the history of the U.S. Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

Read, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists” on the MPR News site.

Star Tribune profiles Augsburg history professor Phil Adamo

The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article about the life and career of Phil Adamo, professor of history at Augsburg College and 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year.

The article focuses on Adamo’s engaging approach to teaching history and his personal history with academia. As a young man, he decided to forgo a college education in favor of a career as a clown with the Ringling Bros. Circus. Eventually, the constant demands of performance wore him down. “I was exhausted by performing so much, and I started to think that I wasn’t funny,” he said. “That’s a bad thing for a clown.”

Returning from the circus, he enrolled as a medieval studies major at Ohio State University, where a senior project involving a summer in a monastery led to an award-winning dissertation and propelled him toward a career in academia.

The article also depicts Adamo as an ardent supporter of having a liberal arts education, which he says “gives the benefit of having a better life, a more interesting life, a better understanding of who you are as a human.”

Read Augsburg professor left circus to bring history to life on the Star Tribune site.

Michael Lansing interview appears on Minnesota Public Radio

mprNEWS - logoMichael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio for a segment that compared political movements from the early 1900s with the contemporary political landscape. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which presents the history of The Nonpartisan League and describes its continued influence in the upper Midwest.

Lansing describes the League as a grassroots organization started by farmers who were discontent with large grain milling and transportation corporations in the region. He told MPR News host Tom Weber that The Nonpartisan League is the reason for the large number of co-operatives in North Dakota today, and the party was comprised of farmers who sought candidates that supported their platforms, regardless of party.

Listen to: ‘Insurgent Democracy’ the demise of The Nonpartisan League (14 minutes) on the MPR site.

Michael Lansing interviewed by Pioneer Public Television, publishes MinnPost article

Pioneer Public Television - logoPioneer Public Television (PPT) recently included an interview with Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College and author of Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics, in an episode of Compass, a program that focuses on public policy and other issue of importance to PPT’s community.

Lansing’s book details the history of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active in North Dakota, neighboring states, and some Canadian provinces in the early 1900s. The interview is available online on the PPT website.

Additionally, MinnPost - logoLansing wrote an article for MinnPost that examines the trend of comparing the current sociopolitical climate with the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century. He argues that the results of recent presidential primaries in New Hampshire, which overwhelmingly rejected candidates viewed as having ties to the political establishment, reflect an important change in voter attitudes.

“American voters now believe they are living in a second Gilded Age,” he writes. “This shift has the potential to transform our nation’s politics.” He adds that regardless of the final outcomes of the nomination processes, this change is a noteworthy signifier of Americans’ rejection of the status quo.

Watch History Collaborative & Agrarian Revolt on the Pioneer Public Television site.

Read A second Gilded Age at last? on the MinnPost site.

Michael Lansing interview appears on South Dakota Public Broadcasting

SDPBRadio - logoMichael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, was interviewed by South Dakota Public Broadcasting for the Dakota Midday radio program. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which presents the history of the Nonpartisan League as a model for future political movements.

Lansing describes the League as a grassroots organization started by Midwestern farmers in 1915 who were getting “ripped-off” by the large grain milling and transportation corporations in the region.

“I know that’s pretty strong language,” he said. “But if you look at the evidence in retrospect, it’s rather true.”

Listen to: Dakota Midday: Insurgent Democracy (13 minutes) on the SDPB Radio site.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead recommends Michael Lansing’s book

TheForumOfFargoMoorheadTitleThe Forum of Fargo-Moorhead recently recommended “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics” by Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, as a holiday gift with regional ties.

The book details the history of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active in North Dakota, neighboring states, and some Canadian provinces in the early 1900s.

Read: Consider these new books with regional ties for Christmas gift-giving on the Forum site.

 

Michael Lansing interviewed by Prairie Public Broadcasting

Prairie Public Television logoMichael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, recently was interviewed on Prairie Pulse, a program on Prairie Public Television. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which examines both the history of the Nonpartisan League and its lasting effects on politics and community organizing. In the 25-minute interview, Lansing speaks about the genesis of the book, his research process, women’s involvement in the League, and many other topics.

Watch: Prairie Pulse 1308: Michael Lansing on Prairie Public Broadcasting’s YouTube channel.

Michael Lansing book signing announced

Pioneer Public Television and the Chippewa County Historical Society have announced that they will co-sponsor a reading, book signing, and discussion with Michael J. Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College. Lansing will read from his new book “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics.”

According to the announcement, Lansing’s book gives a historical account of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active from 1915 to 1920 as a means of limiting corporate influence in politics in favor of an empowered citizenship. Lansing argues that the League’s success and collapse offer valuable lessons that are applicable to popular movements in modern politics.

The event will take place on November 19 at the Montevideo Chippewa County Public Library. For more information, see the announcement on the Pioneer Public Television site.