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HUNTINGTON — The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University kicks off its Institute on Black History Instruction with two virtual lectures open to the public.

Joseph Tucker Edmonds, assistant professor of Africana Studies and Religious Studies and associate director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, all at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will remind people why June 19 is celebrated and sacred to Black Americans, and why it’s important for the country to commemorate, in a presentation at 11:45 a.m. June 19 that is available at

Edmonds, who has presented at Marshall about the Emancipation Proclamation, said he wants to remind people why June 19 is celebrated and is sacred to Black Americans, and why it’s important for the country as a whole to commemorate.

“We are naming from that moment forward in text and in deed the radical equality of Black folks … That is such an important moment,” Edmonds said. “Not only for the Black communities and slave community who had access to this knowledge. It’s a new moment, a new phase in American-based democracy.”

Edmonds says just like the Declaration of Independence, the order read that day is a moment that heralds a new idea of America. He said recognizing Juneteenth nationally will help all Americans remember that possibility of disruption and change.

The second lecture is a “Book Talk” with Jarvis Givens, assistant professor of education at Harvard University, whose new book, “Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching,” was just published by Harvard University Press. His presentation is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. June 20 and is available at

Givens said even his students in his African American course are shocked by the lack of knowledge they have on the history of Black education. Instead of learning about how Black educators innovated and used the resources they had to build Black education, schools teach about the restrictions placed on Black education.

Givens said when he wrote the book, he had no idea how relevant it would be as “critical race theory,” an academic movement that studies law as it intersects with race, becomes banned from schools across the country. But Givens said he is excited to work with teachers who face barriers to how they teach every day, and said he hopes the book could even serve as inspiration for their work.

The lyceum’s fourth institute for teachers is supported by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council. It convenes June 19-23 as a virtual program. The institute is a graduate humanities course offering three credits. The teachers receive $500 stipends, and their tuition expenses are covered by the grant.

The Woodson Lyceum was formed in 2016 as a collaboration between Marshall’s Drinko Academy and W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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