California State University, Chico’s School of the Arts presents the Department of History’s 12th Annual Joanna Dunlap Cowden Memorial Lecture, which will focus on a critical U.S. Sepreme Court case regarding Reconstruction.
This year’s Cowden speaker is University of Maryland historian Michael Ross, a specialist in the Constitution and the Civil War era. Ross will address a key question of Reconstruction, that period just after the Civil War: Did the U.S. Supreme Court intentionally undermine African Americans’ rights in its pivotal Slaughter-House Cases decision of 1873?
“This decision is so important because of its impact on the Fourteenth Amendment, one of the pillars of the very African American-friendly Radical Reconstruction,” said Robert Tinkler, Department of History professor and coordinator of the Cowden lectures. “By narrowly interpreting the Amendment, the Court made it harder for the federal government to protect black Americans from discrimination by state governments.”
Joanna Dunlap Cowden taught antebellum and Civil War U.S. history from 1973 to 1999. Her book, Heaven Will Frown on Such as This: Six Democrats Who Opposed Lincoln's War, was published shortly before her death on April 19, 2001.
The lecture takes place Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.