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Unity Day event coming soon to Volunteer State

Unity Day will take place Jan. 28, between 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Wemyss Auditorium in the Noble Caudill Hall at Volunteer State Community.

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, director of Student Life and Diversity (SLDI), said Unity Day is scheduled to follow Martin Luther King Jr. Day and precede Black History Month. The event will highlight the social movements and people that inspired these commemoratives.

“Though the festivity of diversity on campus will be concentrated, it will still focus on the celebration of minority groups’ culture and history in America,” said Lori Miller, secretary II of SLDI.

In celebration of Unity Day, Dr. Thomas L. Bynum will provide a lecture in his area of expertise surrounding African American History and the American South. Bynum is an instructor, historian, author, award-winner and community leader. Bynum will have a book signing at the 7 p.m. event for his book.

According to his biography on the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) faculty webpage, Bynum is the director of the African American studies program, an associate professor of history and a doctoral graduate faculty member at MTSU. He has been faculty advisor for the African American Student Union and is currently the advisor for Sankofa, a campus based student organization.

Bynum received his B. S. at Barton College, his M. A. at Clark Atlanta University and his Ph.D. at Georgia State University.

Bynum teaches undergraduate and graduate courses concerning African American History and the American South at MTSU. Courses concentrate on civil rights and black power movements, youth activism, antiwar protest and second wave feminism throughout American History.

Bynum’s publications include: NAACP Youth and the Fight for Black Freedom; “We Must March Forward: Juanita Jackson and the Origins of the NAACP Youth Movement”; “Documenting the NAACP’s First Century” in Journal of African American History and “The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee” in Tennessee Electronic History Reader.

Bynum is working on another publication for the Journal of African American History titled “Old Guard verses New Guard: Young Turks, Black Power and the NAACP.”

In addition to publications, Bynum has received awards that include the Southern Regional Education Board Scholars Program Dissertation Award, the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholar, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Fellow (Harvard University) National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute.

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