A new episode of Counterspeak, the monthly podcast of the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE), is now available for download on BookWeb, Spotify, and iTunes. This installment features an interview with Joshua Clark Davis, assistant professor of 20th century United States history at the University of Baltimore and author of From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs (Columbia University Press).
Counterspeak is co-hosted by American Booksellers Association Content Director Sydney Jarrard and Director of ABFE, Advocacy, and Public Policy Dave Grogan. The podcast addresses issues pertaining to free expression and the First Amendment.
In this episode, Davis discusses his book, which focuses on the role of small businesses in political movements in the 20th century, including feminist businesses, black nationalist bookstores, heads shops, and Whole Foods stores. In particular, Davis talked to Jarrard about the black-owned bookstores that grew five-fold throughout the 1960s. Over the course of his research for the book, Davis discovered a memo from J. Edgar Hoover ordering all field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “locate and identify black extremist and/or African-type bookstores.” As instructed by Hoover’s memo, the Bureau investigated the stores, their owners, and their customers, in blatant violation of their First Amendment rights.
Each month, Counterspeak features interviews with experts on the First Amendment and free speech, as well as discussions on relevant current events. A new episode is available on the first Wednesday of the month on BookWeb, Spotify, and iTunes. For more information, check out Counterspeak’s short introductory episode. You can now follow Counterspeak on Twitter or contact the podcast at firstname.lastname@example.org.