Lawrence P. Jackson speaks on The Indignant Generation at Morgan State University

Last Friday, I posted a picture of two gentlemen and asked readers to identify the person holding a copy of The Indignant Generation. As promised, I am revealing the answer here: Lawrence P. Jackson is shown speaking to David Wilson who is the President of Morgan State University, a school both of Jackson’s parents attended in the 1950s.

Speaking before a luncheon crowd of 100 at Morgan State University’s Student Center, Baltimore native Jackson impressed the crowd with a history lesson, a Morgan State University history lesson. Jackson, Professor of English and African American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, spoke for an hour about the impactful careers of Morgan English teachers Nick Aaron Ford and Waters Turpin. Jackson cataloged the travails and triumphs of each men’s careers during the era of segregation. The lecture began with a shocking account of the violence black professors faced during the 1940s. Ford and Turpin both resisted the oppressive system. Jackson claimed that Dr. Ford, who served Morgan from 1946 through the 1970s, possessed a “black critical independent spirit.” Novelist Waters Turpin grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and published important works in the second half of the 1930s. Jackson suggested that Turpin’s obscurity today was due to his artistic vision which was too elegant for the Marxists and too militant for the assimilationists.

The lecture was drawn from Jackson’s new book The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960. The 600 page literary and cultural history is being published by Princeton University Press in mid-November. The audience included Morgan’s new president David Wilson, the school’s provost T. Joan Robinson, and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Burnie Hollis Jr. Agnes Edwards, a Morgan graduate and former student of both Drs. Ford and Turpin, said, “I didn’t know any of that, but I am glad that I do now.” When asked which portions of the new research he would use, Dean Hollis, another former student and friend of both men, smiled broadly and said, “All of it!”

**This text taken from Emory University’s event press release.