Michael Bertrand - Eccles Visiting Scholar - History Remixed

Michael Bertrand

March 17, 2022
The Great Hall

Reflection | Podcast | VideoPhotos

Eccles Visiting Scholar George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation
SUU and A.P.E.X. Events is most grateful for the support from The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation which made this event possible.

Michael Bertrand’s emphasis as a teacher centers on helping students develop the analytical skills necessary to locate “truth,” past and present. Consequently, we focus upon the issues of place, race, class, ethnicity, gender, and age to increase our awareness, understanding, and compassion concerning the diverse yet interdependent world in which we live.


On March 17 SUU’s APEX event series brought in Michael T. Bertrand. He is a Professor, author and researcher. Bertrand was introduced by SUU history professor Ryan Paul. Paul will be teaching a class on the History of Rock and Roll in the spring semester of 2023.

Bertrand said right away that rock and roll promotes “everyone’s self journey.”

Quoting W. E. B. Du Bois, Bertrand stated that “music is the gift that African Americans gave to this country. It is the greatest gift because the meaning is always clear. Music is a gift. If you can hear it, you can play it.”

During his presentation, Bertrand went over the history of rock and roll and how no certain performer ‘stole’ the sound from another. Bertrand explained that “all singers come from the working class, entertaining people they came from.”

Elvis Presley was a huge BB King fan. This led to Bertands next point, “the white consumption of black music can bring about social change.”

Repeating a quote from William Faulker throughout his whole seminar, Bertrand exclaimed that “the past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.”

History is a part of who we are. Bertrand declared, “history is not just something that you read in books. It is not even just about the past. History is about something that we carry within us all the time. It is something that basically, unconsciously sometimes, determines what we do, how we think. It is what frames us. We are all historians.”

With some last words of advice for the students in the audience, Bertrand declared “use the experience as a way to get to know yourself, as a way to broaden yourself. As a way to get to know other people, bring other perspectives into your lives and let that change you. You should be different when you walk out the door.”

The next APEX event will be on March 30 at 11:30 in the Hunter Conference Center on SUU’s campus. Also tune in to Thunder 91 on Thursdays at 3 pm to hear more from APEX’s esteemed guests of the week.


Audio Transcript