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Hannibal B. Johnson to Speak at UAFS

Hannibal B. Johnson to Speak at UAFS(Posted: January 8, 2013)

Hannibal B. Johnson – noted author, attorney, consultant, and lecturer – will speak about his latest book, "Apartheid in Indian Country? Seeing Red Over Black Disenfranchisement," at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

The event is co-sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Honors International Studies Program and the Fort Smith Museum of History. Generous gifts to the Museum from George McGill, Tonia Holleman, The Lincoln Echo, Lincoln Alumni Association and the Fort Smith Round Table assisted in bringing Johnson back to Fort Smith.

A book signing of his latest work will follow his presentation.

According to Dr. Henry Rinne of Fort Smith, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Johnson's book deals with the legal disputes of the "Freedmen debate."

"This conflict in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma resulted in legal battles in tribal and federal courts and a confrontation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs," Rinne said. "The issue threatens tribal sovereignty."

According to Johnson's book, the Cherokee controversy is a saga that is rich, complex and fascinating. In many ways, he says, it presents yet another prism through which to examine race, ethnicity, culture and inclusion.

Rinne said Johnson grew up in Fort Smith and attended Kimmons Junior High School, where he served in 1973-74 as the first African-American student council president. At Northside High School, he served in 1977 as the first African-American president of a senior class and the first African-American class valedictorian.

Johnson attended UAFS when it was Westark Community College before transferring to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he graduated with a double major in economics and sociology. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and maintains his law practice in Tulsa. Johnson is an independent consultant specializing in diversity and inclusion/cultural competence issues and nonprofit governance. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.

He has authored several books, including "Black Wall Street – From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District," "Up From the Ashes – A Story About Community," "Acres of Aspiration – The All-Black Towns in Oklahoma," "Mama Used To Say – Wit & Wisdom From The Heart & Soul," "No Place Like Home – A Story About an All-Black, All-American Town," "IncogNegro – Poetic Reflections on Race and Diversity in America," and "Apartheid in Indian Country? Seeing Red Over Black Disenfranchisement."

Johnson's play, "Big Mama Speaks – A Tulsa Race Riot Survivor's Story," has been performed at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Philbrook Museum of Art. It was selected for the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rinne at 479-788-7431.

Article by: Frank Kelly, Public Information Specialist

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