Past, present to be explored in speech

By Jade Myers/campus editor

Confederate and White Nationalist flags were a common accessory for protesters the day of the Charlottesville riots Aug. 11, 2017.

“We make history every day,” said Lisa Woolfork, associate professor of English at the University of Virginia.

The riots took place not far from the university where Woolfork was and still is employed.
In honor of Black History Month, TR Campus will be welcoming Woolfork for her discussion titled Teaching Through Terror #Charlottesville 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in TRTR 4202.

“I was here [U.Va.] during the white supremacist attacks on our campus,” Woolfork said. “I will be discussing those events and the history of those organizations.”

Woolfork is a member of Black Lives Matter and is also active in her community as well.
“My main message for Black History Month is to recall that history is made up of collective acts of everyday people,” Woolfork said.

She is a big believer in learning from the past to contribute to the future.

“In the context of civil rights history, some people watch a film like, ‘Eyes on the Prize’ or ‘Selma,’ and imagine what they would do if they lived ‘back then,’” Woolfork said. “It is a good question: what would you do if you lived ‘back then’? A better question might be: what are you doing now?”

According to her profile on the U.Va.’s school website, Woolfork got her Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Madison-Wisconsin.

She has taught an array of classes from African-American Literature to Black Women Writers from 1950 to present day.

Woolfork has won several awards and recognitions including an all-university teaching award in 2015.

“Today is someone else’s history — our children’s or grandchildren’s or people we’ll never meet. Whatever we are doing now is likely what we would have done back then,” Woolfork said.

TR student development services organized the event and said students should go to the discussion for the experience.

“She witnessed the violence and hatred but also, the unity and love and the people coming together to defend their city and country from racism,” said Edward Brassart, the TR assistant director of student development services. “That is an extremely powerful experience that we all can learn from.”

Woolfork has also many published works including reviews, articles and a book titled Embodying American Slavery in Contemporary Culture.