Sheila Killian talks about the historical narrative behind her debut first novel. Something Bigger centres on an incident in Irish-American history in which an Irish brother and sister found themselves in conflict with the KKK in Alabama, 100 years ago. Sheila Killian’s granduncle was a priest, Fr. Jimmy Coyle, and is one of only two white Irish people commemorated in the Civil Rights Museum at Birmingham, Alabama. The other Irish-American– on the opposite side of history – is the infamous Bull Connor, who was the racist Birmingham police chief during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Jimmy Coyle was progressive and outspoken on issues of equality, and paid the ultimate price.
The Road to Black Lives Matter: A history of Systemic Racism in the United States
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Through a reading of historical events from the colonial era to the present, this talk, by Irish-based American academic Cecelia Hartsell, will analyse the history of the social construct of race, the intersection of class and race, and the tension between history and public memory, as components of systemic racism in the U.S.
No Irish historian has a more intimate knowledge of the shocking and tragic narrative of these institutions, and more insight into the current controversy over the final report of the Commission of Investigation, than does former National Archives curator and archivist Catriona Crowe. Her recent article on the subject for the Dublin Review has been extensively cited and reproduced in the recent public debate on the shameful treatment, then and now, of hundreds of Irish women and their infant children.
As we approach a centenary that is likely to prove more problematic than the commemoration of the Decade of Revolution thus far, drawing on a wide range of new sources Ireland’s most celebrated public historian, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, shows how important our tragic Civil War was for arriving at an understanding of Ireland today.