African American Freedom Struggle and the Press
The First Amendment
Media and Civil Rights History
A prolific and award-winning author, Kathy Roberts Forde is a journalism historian who studies and writes about in the First Amendment, democracy and public sphere, the African American freedom struggle, literary journalism, and the history of the book and print culture.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D., Mass Communication/Media Studies
Middlebury College: M.A., English Language and Literature/Letters
Sewanee University: The University of the South: B.A.
Select Media Coverage (4)
Journalism and Jim Crow
New Books Network online
Kathy Roberts Forde explores the leading role of the white press in constructing an anti-democratic society by promoting and supporting not only lynching and convict labor but also coordinated campaigns of violence and fraud that disenfranchised Black voters.
Opinion: Georgia regents honor racists rather than rout racism
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution print
Kathy Roberts Forde comments about the Georgia University System’s decision to reject a recommendation to rename buildings named after Confederate leaders and supporters of segregation. “It is not good for students, faculty and staff to live their lives in buildings named for people responsible for violent white supremacy,” she says.
Georgia’s University System Will Not Rename Buildings With Ties to Slavery
The New York Times print
Kathy Roberts Forde comments about the Georgia University System’s decision to reject a recommendation to rename buildings named after Confederate leaders and supporters of segregation.
NY Times writer Kantor speaks about covering the Weinstein case
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Kathy Roberts Forde, associate professor of journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, interviewed author Jodi Kantor at the Springfield Public Forum event.
Select Publications (9)
Journalism and Jim Crow: White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America (BOOK)University of Illinois Press
Kathy Roberts Forde, editor
The contributors explore the leading role of the white press in constructing an anti-democratic society by promoting and supporting not only lynching and convict labor but also coordinated campaigns of violence and fraud that disenfranchised Black voters.
How the Tougaloo Nine transformed historyThe Washington Post
Sophia Gardner, Brie Thompson-Bristol and Kathy Roberts Forde
Roberts Forde et al write that the arrest of the nine students set in motion a remarkable series of events from 1961 to 1964 that pitted the full force of the white supremacist power structure in Mississippi against a small, private Black Christian college.
Students demand removal of ‘mild racist’ from Georgia landscapeThe Conversation
Kathy Roberts Forde
"Following the lead of African American activists, a coalition of young people has taken to the streets to protest police brutality and systemic racism across the country. Protesters in the South have demanded the removal of Confederate monuments and other symbols of white supremacy. In some cases, they have taken matters into their own hands."
Front Pages, Front Lines: Media and the Fight for Women's Suffrage (BOOK)University of Illinois Press
Afterward by Kathy Roberts Forde
This collection offers new research on media issues related to the women's suffrage movement. Contributors incorporate media theory, historiography, and innovative approaches to social movements while discussing the vexed relationship between the media and debates over suffrage.
An editor and his newspaper helped build white supremacy in GeorgiaThe Conversation
Kathy Roberts Forde
Kathy Roberts Forde writes: "The press is an essential guardrail of democracy. As The Washington Post tells its readers, 'Democracy Dies in Darkness'. But the press has not always been a champion of democracy."
How slave labor built the state of Florida — decades after the Civil WarThe Washington Post
Bryan Bowman and Kathy Roberts Forde
The state of Florida was built on slave labor — long after the Civil War. From 1885 to 1913, Standard Oil founder Henry Flagler built an empire in Florida of railroads, hotels, steamship lines, resorts, even cities, from Jacksonville to Key West. He raised Palm Beach and Miami from the sand.
Political Pioneer of the Press: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Her Transnational Crusade for Social Justice (Women in American Political History) (BOOK)Lexington Book
Kathy Roberts Forde, contributor
Known most prominently as a daring anti-lynching crusader, Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) worked tirelessly throughout her life as a political advocate for the rights of women, minorities, and members of the working class.
Literary Journalism on Trial: Masson v. New Yorker and the First Amendment (BOOK)University of Massachusetts Press
Kathy Roberts Forde
In November 1984, Jeffrey Masson filed a libel suit against writer Janet Malcolm and the New Yorker, claiming that Malcolm had intentionally misquoted him in a profile she wrote for the magazine about his former career as a Freud scholar and administrator of the Freud archives.
The history of Memphis set the stage for the killing of Tyre NicholsThe Washington Post
Isaiah Stafford and Kathy Roberts Forde
Kathy Roberts Forde and recent journalism graduate Isaiah Stafford write that a history of police violence spanning more than 150 years set the stage for the death of Tyre Nichols following his arrest in the city in January.