Law professor to discuss history of universities, slavery

Anna Lawson

While many lectures have been given analyzing abolitionist thought, fewer have addressed pro-slavery ideas. 

Law professor Alfred Brophy will speak on the subject in an upcoming lecture. 

Patricia Minter, associate professor of history, said Brophy’s new book deals with how universities promoted slavery and how many southern universities were pro-slavery, which made it difficult for the south to move away from slavery.

“It will be engaging and interesting,” she said. “We will hear a wonderful lecture.”

Brophy, a distinguished professor of law at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law, will be speaking at the 2015 Harrison Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday. The lecture is sponsored by the department of history. 

Robert Dietle, history department head, said that planning for the lecture takes around nine months. 

“We usually have a good turnout,” he said. “Several hundred members of the community, as well as students, usually come.”

Minter said it was her suggestion to invite Brophy to speak. 

“I’ve known him for years. His work is outstanding,” she said. “He has the whole package. It is important for students to know that scholars are out there.”

According to the University of Kentucky Libraries, Warren County had over 800 slave owners and around 3,700 black slaves. 

Brophy received his doctorate from Harvard University and holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia University. He has taught at the University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University, Boston College and the University of Hawaii.

Brophy has been involved in numerous publications as writer, co-writer and editor. He is the author of “Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Riot of 1921, Race, Reparations and Reconciliation”, and “Reparations: Pro and Con” and many other articles. 

Dietle said they were looking for an American history specialist and that Brophy’s work was stood out. 

“He did very interesting work on the history of slavery,” he said. “He is a well-published scholar and has been doing research recently.”

 The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Ransdell Hall Auditorium. The free event is open to the public.

“I hope that people can enjoy a highly professional presentation of serious research that will interest them,” Dietle said.