Dr. Tara T. Green

About the Lecture:

“They saw everything that was going to happen”: Remembering the Middle Passage in Black Artistic Expressions of Resistance

Two centuries after the last ship with enslaved persons sailed to the Americas, people of African descent remain haunted by forced engagement with the Atlantic, especially the leg of the journey known as the Middle Passage. In this presentation, Professor Green will examine how the metaphor and lived experience of the Middle Passage are being deployed by Black artists to inform and shape contemporary concerns, including Black Lives Matter, social inequality, assault on civil liberty, institutional efforts to suppress minority votes, and debates over ethical behavior in governance and leadership. Green will conclude with a roadmap on what the literary and visual arts that are rooted in memory and history may teach us about the process of healing the past trauma and creating a new social compact for a better society.

October 18, 2018


McKnight Hall (Cone University Center)


About the Speaker:

Tara T. Green has degrees in English from Louisiana State University (M.A., Ph.D) and Dillard University (BA), and taught at universities in Louisiana and Arizona before joining UNC Greensboro in 2008 as Professor and Director of the African American and African Diaspora Studies. Her scholarship is driven by quest to interrogate and gain a better understanding of current social concerns dealing with race, African American experience, and the African Diaspora. Her book, A Fatherless Child: Autobiographical Perspectives of African American Men (winner of the 2011 Outstanding Scholarship in Africana Studies Award from the National Council for Black Studies), focuses on the impact of fatherlessness from the perspectives of Barack Obama and other Black men. Her most recent book, Reimagining the Middle Passage: Black Resistance in Literature, Television, and Song (The Ohio University Press, 2018), provides an interdisciplinary perspective on African descendants' resistance to social death during the Middle Passage and in spaces symbolic of the Middle Passage. She is also the editor of two books, From the Plantation to the Prison: African American Confinement Literature and Presenting Oprah Winfrey, Her Films, and African American Literature.  Dr. Green is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Immediate Past President of the Langston Hughes Society, Managing Editor of the College Language Association Journal, and co-editor of Mercer University Press's Voices of the African Diaspora Series. She is also a voting rights activist. 


Special Guest of Honor:

Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey has spent a lifetime educating generations of students, building institutions for the promotion of Black Studies, and working tirelessly for racial integration. Dr. Maxwell-Roddey joined UNC Charlotte in 1970, and assumed the leadership of the Black Studies Program in 1971. She served as the founding chairperson when the program became a department. During her tenure, she presided over the development of a four-year curriculum for the undergraduate major in African American and African Studies (now Africana Studies), and initiated a number of programs on multicultural education, service learning, and community outreach. Dr. Maxwell Roddey spearheaded the establishment of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), and also co-founded Charlotte’s Afro-American Cultural Center (now the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture).


Date Published: 
Monday, August 6, 2018