Julius B. Fleming, Jr., assistant professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, is the winner of the Hooks National Book Award from the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis.
Dr. Fleming is being honored for his book Black Patience: Performance, Civil Rights, and the Unfinished Project of Emancipation (New York University Press, 2022). The award will be presented in February.
In Black Patience, Dr. Fleming argues that during the Civil Rights Movement, Black artists and activists used theater to energize this radical refusal to wait. Participating in a vibrant culture of embodied political performance that ranged from marches and sit- ins to jail-ins and speeches, these artists turned to theater to unsettle a violent racial project that Fleming refers to as “Black patience.”
The book illuminates how Black artists and activists of the Civil Rights era used theater to expose, critique and repurpose structures of white supremacy. In this bold rethinking of the Civil Rights Movement, Fleming contends that Black theatrical performance was a vital technology of civil rights activism, and a crucial site of Black artistic and cultural production.
Dr. Fleming is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.