“From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs”

The talk will look at political activists from the 1960s to today who have started businesses as vehicles for advancing their movements and disseminating their messages. These businesses operated all over the country, including in Baltimore, where feminists, Black Power activists, hippies, and environmentalists have all run their own small shops, including places like Red Emma’s today.

Joshua Clark Davis teaches and researches broadly in twentieth-century United States history, with a focus on capitalism, social movements, urban history, and African American history. Josh’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Jacobin, and Black Perspectives, and his research has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Joshua is also a devoted public historian with a deep interest in working with communities beyond universities. He serves on the advisory board of the Baltimore Uprising 2015 Archive Project and as a research associate for the Library of Congress’s Radio Preservation Task Force. He also co-directs “Media and the Movement,” a NEH-funded oral history and radio digitization project on activists of the Civil Rights and Black Power era who worked in media.

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