Edward E. Baptist, White Predators, Free States: From the Fugitive Slave Act to George Zimmerman

Date(s) - 04/05/2018
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Kansas City Public Library - Plaza Branch


Edward E. Baptist, a historian of capitalism and slavery in the United States, is the author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism and Creating an Old South. His work highlights the central importance of slavery to the economic development of the United States. The discomfort caused by this truth is often alleviated, at least in part, by reference to the Underground Railroad – the network of activists, usually depicted as white, that helped slaves escape to the North. But this narrative obscures the much larger network, backed by the authority of the federal and state governments and supported by the majority of the white population, that existed to hunt escaped slaves and to control the lives of African Americans who lived in so-called free states. Professor Baptist will discuss the ways in which the legacy of this network has shaped race relations to this day.

Baptist HeadshotEdward E. Baptist will deliver the 2018 Richard D. McKinzie Lecture. This event is co-presented by UMKC’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Midwestern Studies, Bernardin Haskell Lecture Fund, History Department, and High School/College Partnerships program.