Hall Center For The Humanities


Randal Jelks
Randal Jelks

"Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography"
Special Events

Thu., Sep. 13, 2012, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Co-sponsored by Jayhawk Ink, the Department of American Studies, and the Hall Center. Book signing to follow.
Location: Jayhawk Ink, Kansas Union

In the first full-length biography of Benjamin Mays (1894-1984), Randal Maurice Jelks chronicles the life of the man Martin Luther King Jr. called his "spiritual and intellectual father." Dean of the Howard University School of Religion, president of Morehouse College, and mentor to influential black leaders, Mays had a profound impact on the education of the leadership of the black church and of a generation of activists, policymakers, and educators.

From Mays' humble origins in Epworth, South Carolina, through his doctoral education, his work with institutions such as the National Urban League, the NAACP, and the national YMCA movement, and his significant career in academia, Jelks creates a rich portrait of the man, the teacher, and the scholar. Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement is a powerful portrayal of one man's faith, thought, and mentorship in bringing American apartheid to an end.

Randal Maurice Jelks is an Associate Professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas. Professor Jelks also holds courtesy appointments in History and Religious Studies, and is the co-editor of the journal American Studies. His research and writing interests are in the areas of African American religions, religion of the African diaspora, and urban and civil rights history. He is the author of the award-winning book African Americans in the Furniture City: The Civil Rights Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan (2006) and Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography (2012).

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