The University Libraries‘ and Graduate School and International Education‘s Graduate Student Speaker Series continues this semester with Samuel Ownbey, a graduate research assistant in Special Collections and a master’s student in the Department of History.

Ownbey will present “The State of Arkansas vs. Tee Davis: Race, Politics, and National Publicity, 1943-1949” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Mullins Library Room 130. This event is free and open to the public.

“My talk will tell the story of Tee Davis, an African American sharecropper who served 10 years in prison for defending his home from an intruder in the 1940s,” Ownbey said. “I will discuss the national media campaign that simultaneously called for Davis’s release and exposed the relationship between Arkansas politicians and Delta planters, demonstrating how the two worked together to uphold the racial status quo in the South during a time when labor and civil rights organizations were challenging the existing power structure.”

Ownbey used materials from the Arkansas Collection for his research, including A History of Crittenden County and The Disinherited Speak by Margaret Woolfolk.

The Graduate Student Speaker Series debuted in fall 2018 as a platform for students to share the research they have conducted using Special Collections materials.

Graduate students from all majors who are interested in presenting on the research they have done using Special Collections materials are encouraged to visit the speaker series webpage.