Is He a Hero or Villain? The Complicated life of Albert Giles

Most Americans would not recognize Albert Giles or any of the other eleven men that comprised the Elaine Twelve. Few have every heard of the Elaine Massacre or the Supreme Court case (Moore v. Dempsey) that would make the NAACP into the Civil Rights vanguard we know today. Fewer still, realize that Giles and the cases’ namesake (Frank Moore) found refuge, after their releases from death row, in Illinois. This presentation tells the story of the Albert Giles, the Elaine Massacre, and Giles’ complicated transformation in Springfield.

Brian Keith Mitchell is a native of New Orleans and was formerly an Associate Professor of History at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and an Associate Faculty Member at the Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity before leaving in the Spring of 2022. Mitchell currently serves as Director of Research and Interpretation for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He is the author of numerous papers, book chapters, and books, and is nationally recognized for his public history and digital humanities projects which often explore difficult and forgotten histories. His research has been covered by CNN, Atlas Obscura, the New York Post, the Guardian, National Public Radio, New York Times, Washington Post and the Associated Press.

This program is the first in the summer lunchtime lecture series, Stories of Freedom in Central Series hosted by Looking for Lincoln and the Springfield State Historic Sites.  This weekly lecture series will be hosted on Wednesday's at 12:30 PM in Theater 1 at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Visitor Center.  The series will start on June 5, 2024 and conclude on July 31, 2024.

Event Information

When: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 12:30 PM until 1:15 PM

Location: Lincoln Home National Historic Site Visitor Center, 426 S. 7th Street Springfield, Illinois 62701