James Smethurst, professor of Afro-American studies, has been named a fall 2020 UMass Amherst Spotlight Scholar. Smethurst is a scholar of 20th-century African American literature, culture and intellectual history. His research and scholarship explore connections between these subjects, and how politics, social relations and art influence each other.
Among his research topics is the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 70s, a subject that Smethurst feels is “the most successful, most grass roots, and most consequential arts movement in the history of the United States.” He also believes there are fundamental connections between the Black Arts Movement and the Black Lives Movement of today.
Read more on the Research Next website.