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2017-18 Common Read/Common World Events

 USA Archaeology Museum 2017 - 2018 Exhibit "History Matters" 

This exhibition is a component of the Common Read / Common World Initiative encouraging the USA community to share in reading the book Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Gyasi’s debut historical fiction novel examines the key themes of family, history, slavery, and race and racism. Our hope is to spark dialogue about these important issues, and remind visitors that history matters.  

Mobile’s story is told on the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail of Mobile (DFFAAHT) tour. You will travel through time stopping at sites linked by contributors and events that shaped the city’s diverse history through the struggles and triumphs of African-Americans who have not been properly memorialized.

The DFFAAHT’s mission is to educate, preserve and mark the historic contributions of African-Americans in Mobile. The primary objective is to share Mobile’s multicultural legacy through the following stories:

  • The early Creoles de Color;
  • African survivors from the Clotilda, the last slave ship to enter the US in 1860;
  • Newly freed Blacks who worshiped and built some of the oldest churches in Alabama;
  • African-Americans who settled in an area named ironically for Jefferson Davis (Davis  Avenue) and later renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue;
  • The Civil Rights advocates integral to the desegregation of the city’s schools,  private-sector workforce, and public offices.

Through the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail experience, participants will develop a taste for the rich gumbo of history as revealed by Mobile’s past.

Spring 2018 Events Coming Soon!

Fall 2017 Events

An Evening With Yaa Gyasi

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 7pm

Student Center Ballroom 

gyasi photo


Campus Events of interest:

Racial Discrimination & Institutionalized Violence in Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM

Student Center Terrace Room

In this panel discussion students, scholars, and the campus community will explore the involvement of governments and ordinary citizens in systems of targeted oppression and racial violence in Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South within their specific historical contexts.

Bert & Fanny Meisler Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies, University of South Alabama
"Within the 'Christian State': Jewish German Lives under Siege"

Director of African American Studies and Assistant Professor of English, University of South Alabama
"Without Sanctuary: Lynchings in Alabama History"

Campus Outreach Program Officer, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
"Race and Violence in the Nazi Campaign against Homosexuality"

Chief Calvin McGhee Professor of Native American Studies and Director of the Archaeology Museum, University of South Alabama
"Denial of Equal Education to Native Americans"

This program is co-organized by the Department of History, Gender Studies Program, African American Studies Program, and the Native American Studies Program at the University of South Alabama. Generous support is provided by the Anne and Harry Chinitz Campus Outreach Lecture Fund of the USHMM's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

For more information contact:
Dr. David Meola (
Dr. Jake Newsome (


If you would like to include your event on our Common Read/Common World Calendar please send all event information to