Noted historian to visit Tacoma next month

Noted historian and professor Robin Kelley of Columbia University will discuss black history at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Washington State History Museum as part of the prestigious Walker-Ames Lectures sponsored by the University of Washington Graduate School.

Kelley, one of the most sought-after black speakers in the nation, will use the work of black jazz artists to illustrate black history, culture and the struggle for freedom. One hundred years after W.E.B. DuBois published his visionary work, “Souls of Black Folk,” Kelley will explore how artists like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Max Roach promoted a revolutionary vision of democracy much like DuBois’ vision. The lecture is free, and no tickets are required.

Kelley, a professor of African-American Studies and Anthropology at Columbia University, has won high honors for his wide-ranging work in African-American and labor history and studies of popular culture. By age 32, he was one of the youngest full professors in the country and author of two books, including the award-winning “Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and The Black Working Class.” His teaching and research interests have focused on African diaspora, urban studies, working class radicalism and cultural history with an emphasis on music.

This is the first time a Walker-Ames Lecture has been held outside Seattle.

The Washington State History Museum is located at 21st Street and Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, across the street from the University of Washington, Tacoma. For more information, send an e-mail to