Former Chicago Daily Defender Editor Ethan Michaeli to Speak at
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CINCINNATI, OH (August 17, 2017) – The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center announced today the 2017-2018 John & Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series—the series connecting the public with award-winning authors, historians and thought-leaders, discussing themes on history, race, culture and modern abolition. The series begins September 12 at 6:00 p.m. with author, publisher and journalist Ethan Michaeli. Michaeli will discuss his book The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America. The lecture is free and open to the public. RSVP’s are requested. Cincy Magazine is the print media sponsor for the 2017 – 2018 series.
Michaeli is an award-winning author based in Chicago and formerly an editor and investigative reporter at The Chicago Daily Defender from 1991 to 1996. Michaeli left the Defender to found the Residents’ Journal, a magazine written and produced by the tenants of Chicago’s public housing developments, and an affiliated not-for-profit organization, We The People Media.
Michaeli’s book The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America tells the story of The Chicago Defender and how the paper condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for The Defender’s support. Along the way, its pages were filled with columns by legends like Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King.
“The Chicago Defender has a remarkable history of addressing institutional racism and we are thrilled to have Ethan share his perspective and intimate knowledge about such a significant publication,” says Christopher Miller, Manager of Program Initiatives at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “His elegantly written accounts are a testament of his passion for the legendary publication.”
In addition to Ethan Michaeli’s lecture on September 12, the public will have the opportunity to hear from other notable speakers including author Ronald C. White of on October 4, 2017, and historian and professor of African American history at Howard University Nikki Taylor on March 1, 2018. RSVP links to these lectures are coming soon.
The John & Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series with Ethan Michaeli at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center begins Tuesday, September 12 with a public reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by the lecture. Cincy Magazine is the print media sponsor for the 2017-2018 series. The lecture is free open to the public. RSVPs are requested. For more information and to RSVP visit freedomcenter.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at freedomcenter.org, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery, endslaverynow.org.