Discussing Peoples Temple:

Understanding Social, Cultural, and Political Influences on the Peoples Temple Movement



Wednesday, November 7, 2018 6:00PM

<p>Discussing Peoples Temple:</p>
<p>Understanding Social, Cultural, and Political Influences on the Peoples Temple Movement</p>
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Discussing Peoples Temple:

Understanding Social, Cultural, and Political Influences on the Peoples Temple Movement



Where: California Historical Society Headquarters, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Cost: $5 General Admission, Free for CHS Members, plus one guest per membership.

In memory of the 40th anniversary of Jonestown, California Historical Society will present an evening public program which explores the complex ways Peoples Temple was interconnected with and influenced by social, cultural, and political movements occurring at the time of its existence. Historians, thinkers, and survivors will come together to discuss how moments and movements of the 20th century, in California and beyond, effected and influenced Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple movement, and Jonestown. Speakers include Professor Russel Rickford, Professor Natalie Hopkinson, and Captain Yulanda Williams. The discussion will be moderated by USF Professor James Lance Taylor.

About our Moderator:

Professor James Lance Taylor is from Glen Cove, Long Island. He is author of the book Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama, which earned 2012 "Outstanding Academic Title" - Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. He is currently writing and researching a book with the working title, Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, and California Black Politics. He expects the book to be completed with a 2018-2019 publication range. The book is a study of the Peoples Temple movement and African American political history in the state of California. His most recent published article is “King the Sellout or Sellin’ Out King?”: Hip Hop’s Martin Luther King,” in Dream and Legacy: Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Post-Civil Rights era (2017).

His teaching and research scholarly interests are in religion and politics in the United States, race and ethnic politics, African American political history, social movements, political ideology, law and public policy, Black political leadership, and the U.S. Presidency. He lives with his family in Oakland, California.


About our Speakers:

Russell Rickford is an associate professor of history at Cornell University. He specializes in African-American political culture after World War Two, the Black Radical Tradition, and transnational social movements. His current book, We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination, received the Liberty Legacy Award from the Organization of American Historians. He is currently working on a book about Guyana and African American radical politics in the 1970s. Rickford’s scholarly articles have appeared in Journal of American History, Journal of African American History, Souls, New Labor Review, and other publications. His popular writing has appeared in publications such as In These Times and Counterpunch. He also writes about racial and social justice for the African American Intellectual History Society’s Black Perspectives blog and other sites. Rickford holds a bachelor’s from Howard University and a doctorate from Columbia University. A native of Guyana, he lives in Ithaca, New York.




Yulanda D.A. Williams as a native San Franciscan, she graduated with a scholarship to attend UC Berkeley from Lowell High School. Yulanda received her inspiration, passion and desire to help her community from her father, the late Rev. Harry W. Williams. Yulanda Williams and members of her immediate family are the only documented People’s Temple members to be voluntarily released by Jim Jones from Jonestown. Her survival skills, instinct and resiliency lead her to her distinguished career in law enforcement with the San Francisco Police Department. She has over 28 years of distinguished service with the SFPD and is ranked Lieutenant. She is the first Black female employed by SFPD to be certified with the credentials of Master Instructor and the first Black female to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. She is also the President of the Officers for Justice Youth Program

She is a published author, with a featured cover story in Correctional Technology (CTM) Magazine called “Youth Courts – New Methods to Deal with Juvenile Delinquents”.








Dr. Natalie Hopkinson is a fellow of the Interactivity Foundation, an assistant professor in Howard University’s doctoral program in Communication, Culture and Media Studies, and a columnist for the Huffington Post. She is author most recently of A Mouth is Always Muzzled: Six Dissidents, Five Continents and the Art of Resistance (February 2018, New Press), a book set in her parents’ native Guyana that was cited as a top Human Rights book by the Hong Kong Free Press. The Independent Publishers’ Association’s awarded Muzzled the 2018 “Spirit Award” for demonstrating the “courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society.” A former staff writer, editor and media/culture critic at the Washington Post and The Root, she earned her PhD at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Event Photo courtesy of California Historical Society's Collections.


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