Big Man: An Incredible Journey from Mississippi to Hollywood Community Conversation about Race and Book Discussion

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Edward P. Evans Hall - School of Management EVANS See map
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Free but register in advance
Event description: 

This event will be held virtually and in-person. Lunch will be provided for those attending in-person. Everyone will receive the Zoom link, regardless of which ticket you select.

Please join us for an engaging discussion about Black History as Tim Shea will be talking to Zoë Chance about his new book Big Man: An Incredible Journey from Mississippi to Hollywood.

Big Man is a story about the life of Willie Harris, a man who was raised as a sharecropper on a cotton plantation in Mississippi during Jim Crow, served in the U.S. Air Force, and went on to become one of the leaders of the Black Stuntmen’s Association (BSA) in Hollywood in the 1970s. The BSA was a group of civil rights pioneers who fought to end the racist practices of Hollywood studios that prevented Black men and women from working as stunt performers in film and television productions. This is a story about one Black man’s odyssey through America in the second half of the twentieth century, and it is also a story about the American Dream, and the many ways that forces in American society conspired to crush that dream for many of its citizens.

The event will also feature a community conversation about race moderated by Professor Elijah Anderson. His most recent book is Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life. Professor Anderson will lead a discussion that uses the themes of both books as focal points.

The event is sponsored by the Yale African American Affinity Group, the Yale Veterans Network, the Yale Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the School of Management Dean’s Office, and the School of Management Office of Inclusion and Diversity.

Big Man and Black in White Space can both be purchased on Amazon.

Tim Shea is the author of Big Man: An Incredible Journey from Mississippi to Hollywood. He is a former newspaper reporter and has been a staff member at Yale University since 1993.

Zoë Chance is Senior Lecturer in Management at Yale School of Management. She studies persuasion and decision making, working passionately to see how people can lead happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. She is the author of Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen.

Elijah Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University, and one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States. He is the author of numerous award-winning books, and his most recent work is Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022. Publishers Weekly called the book a “Penetrating ethnographic study… . [A] fine-grained portrait of how systemic racism operates.” His many academic honors include being the recipient of the American Sociological Association’s 2018 W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, and the 2021 Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is also the 2021 winner of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, the world’s most prestigious prize in the field of criminology.

Open To: