Lecture: Boycotts, Black Tourism, Desegregation

July 20, 2015

The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs 10th Annual Dr. Kenneth E. Robinson / Cyril Outerbridge Packwood Memorial Lecture will be held on July 23, 6 p.m. at the New Hall Lecture Theatre, Bermuda College.

“This annual memorial lecture features a talk on some aspect of the history of the African diaspora. It began in 2006 as a way of honouring two prominent Bermudian historians, both of whom made a major contribution to our understanding of Bermudian heritage: Mr. Cyril Outerbridge Packwood, author of Chained on the Rock, and Dr. Kenneth E. Robinson, author of Heritage,” the Department said.

“Since its inception ten years ago, this memorial lecture has been given by a number of distinguished historians. This year’s featured guest speaker is Dr. Theodore S. Francis II, an assistant professor of history at Huston-Tillotson University, Austin Texas. Dr Francis will speak on the topic, Dark and Stormy: Boycotts, Black Tourism and Desegregation in Bermuda.

“After the Second World War, Black Bermudian entrepreneurs initiated a form of tourism that was tailored to the unique needs of African American visitors, who sought refuge from, and allies against, racial oppression in both societies.

“Utilizing both established and new social, political, religious, collegiate and commercial networks with various African Diaspora communities, Black Bermudians such as Hilton Hill, Lillian Minors and others, promoted the island’s Black-owned guesthouses, clubs and entertainers in African American newspapers and magazines.

“This included publications such as, Jet, Ebony, Our World and the NAACP’s Crisis. In doing so, the social and political effects of Black Tourism influenced the dynamics of Bermuda’s civil rights struggle, as seen through boycotts and political actions, changes in legislation.”

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“Dr. Francis received his formal training at the University of Chicago, successfully defending his dissertationFantasy Island: Race, Colonial Politics and the Desegregation of Tourism in the British Colony of Bermuda 1881-1961.

“His primary research and writing interests include: the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and Americas; historical and contemporary issues of tourism; anti-colonial movements in the Caribbean; Atlantic World slavery, resistance and post-emancipation societies.

“These fields of research have directly informed his teaching, enabling Dr. Francis to develop a course on ‘Contemporary Issues in the Caribbean’ for St. Edwards University – the first course of its kind for the university and one that had a consistent waiting list.

“In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Francis also engages with his community, a practice he learned growing up in Bermuda. While attending the University of Chicago, he was the facilitator for a weekly community dialogue program at a barber shop on the West Side and a youth group leader for a church on the South Side.

“He was married to the former Jacqueline Smith in 2009 and relocated to Texas where he continued his doctoral research and teaching. However, since moving to Texas, he maintained his commitment to community engagement with a variety of non-profits and community organizations.”

In his lecture outline, Dr Francis stated, “Black Tourism played a central role in the process of Bermudian desegregation. As this address highlights, Black Tourism was a significant contextual factor in the turbulent journey towards Bermuda’s ‘second emancipation’—the legal prohibition of racial segregation, well over a century after the abolition of chattel slavery in 1834.

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  1. stunned... says:

    are there any planned lectures on: Racial, Cultural Togetherness or How to move forward as a country in 2015 and beyond or Unconditional Integration???