Raymond O. Arsenault

Portrait of Raymond O. Arsenault

Raymond O. Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History emeritus at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.  The author of several prizewinning books on Southern and civil rights history as well as the classic essay, “The End of the Long Hot Summer: The Air Conditioner and Southern Culture,” Arsenault has written and lectured on a wide variety of topics related to civil rights and race, regional culture, and environmental history.  He is the author of Arthur Ashe, A Life (2018), The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America (2009), and Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (2006), among other books, including his forthcoming biography of John Lewis, John Lewis and the Search for the Beloved Community (2023).  Awarded the 2007 Owsley Prize by the Southern Historical Association, Freedom Riders served as the basis served as the basis of the 2011 PBS American Experience documentary Freedom Riders, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson, which achieved national and international attention, winning three Emmy awards and a George Peabody Award, and is now part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Created Equal film series. In addition, the 2022 PBS American Masters documentary Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands, directed by Rita Coburn, is based in part on his 2009 book. 

OAH Lectures