Final Amicus Curiae to Examine American Historical Figures


Sarah Davis, Staff Reporter

The final Amicus Curiae lecture of the academic year will welcome an English and African American studies professor from Harvard University. The lecture, “GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln,” will be presented on Thursday, April 6.

The upcoming lecture will be a significant one, according to the sponsor’s founding director.

“It is very exciting to have such an important expert on the subject of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln – and this entire era – speaking on our campus,” said Patricia Proctor, pre-law advisor and founding director for the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy.

Professor John Stauffer will discuss the similarities between the two historical figures, how they overcame various barriers in pursuit of friendship and how we can learn from their experiences today.

In addition to his career as a professor, Stauffer has written and/or edited 20 books, one of these being “The Black Hearts of Men,” which was co-winner of the Frederick Douglass Book prize. His work has appeared in numerous journals and publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. 

He has also been featured on CNN, among many other news outlets, and has assisted with many films, including “The Free State of Jones.” 

Proctor believes attendance to the lecture will be of benefit to everyone.

“I hope students will take advantage of the opportunity to meet and hear a scholar who has been voted a favorite Harvard professor on such an important topic in our history,” she said.

The lecture, which is open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.

The series is sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the West Virginia Humanities Council.