Tech history department plans Black History Month events
Louisiana Tech’s history department is sponsoring two events that will be held at the Lincoln Parish Library in honor of Black History Month. The first event will be held Thursday, Feb. 10 and will feature Dr. Marko Maunula, an associate professor from Clayton State University in Atlanta, Ga., will present his work, “Gospel According to Reverend J. M. Gates: The Life and Times of America’s First Superstar Preacher” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Gates was a founder of modern gospel music and the originator of the recorded gospel sermon. During the peak of his career from the 1920s and 1940s, estimates indicate that Gates sold more records than any other American religious figure, black or white. From his pulpit in Atlanta’s Mount Calvary Baptist Church, the Rev. Gates was a popular and controversial social commentator. Although his message of self-empowerment was often vilified by whites and the black middle class, he was beloved by his working-class African American fans throughout the United States. Maunula, a native of Finland, received his doctorate degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research and teaching interests include the economic development of the American South and African American history. He is the author of Guten Tag, Y’All: Globalization and the South Carolina Piedmont, 1950-2000, a study of how boosters in Spartanburg, S.C., attracted multinational corporations and new factories to their city. He is working on a new project Gates and politics among Atlanta’s black community from the 1920s to the 1940s. Additionally, Dr. Thomas Aiello, an assistant professor at Valdosta State University, will talk about his book, Bayou Classic: The Grambling-Southern Football Rivalry, and field questions from the audience at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Lincoln Parish Library. Aiello, a native of Monroe, received his doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas. He is the editor of Dan Burley’s Jive by Dan Burley and the upcoming The Kings of Casino Park: Black Baseball in the Lost Season.