Black History Month Events

*All activities will be held in 215 Tawanka unless otherwise noted and all events, except Showcase, begin at 3 p.m.*

February 7 (Facilitator, Professor Joseph Lenti, Department of History)
Professor Ben Vinson, Herbert Baxter Adams Professor in Department of History and Director of Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University presents “Blackness Beyond Borders: Race in Mexico.”

Professor Vinson is a Latin American Historian with a particular interest in race relations, especially the experience of the African Diaspora. His research focuses on colonial Mexico, transnational networks and the experiences between African-Americans and Latinos (as well as Afro-Latinos). He has a number of articles and books on these themes, including Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, 2001), Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico (Palgrave, 2004), and Afromexico (Fondo de Cultural Economics, 2004).

February 12 (Professor Angela Schwendiman, Africana Studies Program)

“The Role of Hip Hop in the Formation of Black Youth Culture, Identity, and Redefining Blackness in the Inner City”
Since the 1970s, America’s inner cities provided the milieu for defining blackness in film. The ghetto trope, popularized through Blaxploitation films from 1970-74 evolved from spaces dominated by hyper-masculine black males such as John Shaft and Sweetback, to spaces of racial hostility and oppression as expressed by black youth and black youth culture in Do the Right Thing. The emergence of hip hop and black youth culture continued to influence the depiction of America’s inner city spaces, further transforming the ghetto into images of blight, poverty and crime from which to escape.

As hip hop flourished and became culturally assimilated, black youth culture matured and the ghetto of the 21st century evolved into spaces of social mobility and creativity. The “golden cohort,” i.e. young black male and female professionals ages 25 to 35 that reached economic parity with non-blacks of the same age group, reflected a renewed hope in the American Dream. These successful young blacks from the ghetto who embraced hip hop in their youth now redefine notions of blackness in the inner city, as well as recognize the importance of ancestral ties in defining identity.

February 14 (Facilitator, Dr. Scott Finnie)
Professor Shawn Utsey, Professor of Psychology and Director of Department of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University presents a documentary and a discussion on “Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies,” which explores the practice of grave robbing for purposes of medical dissection.

His prior academic appointments include assistant professor of counseling psychology at Seton Hall University and associate professor of counseling psychology at Howard University. Currently, Utsey is a professor of counseling psychology in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Virginia. He became chair of African American studies in 2007. Professor Utsey’s research interests lie primarily in two areas, both of which are related to the psychology of the African American experience. First, he is interested in understanding how race-related stress impacts the physical, psychological and social well-being of African Americans. More recently, he has examined how trauma manifests in the victims of racial violence. Currently he is conducting a study that explores the long-term effects of the psychological trauma experienced by survivors of race riots that occurred in the early part of this century.

February 19 (Facilitator, Bayyinah Jeffries, Africana Studies)
“Diverse Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement & Race Relations: Past, Present & Future” Panelists include Sean T. Chabot, Director & Associate Professor of Sociology & Justice Studies, Scott Finnie, Professor of Africana Studies and NAACP President James Wilburn

February 21 (Facilitator, Dr. Rodolfo Arèvelo, EWU President)
“Bring Your A Game:” Black, Chicano & American Indian Male Forum: A conversation with men of color on issues related to dropping out, retention, achievement, setting and accomplishing goals and academic achievement/success. Panelists include men such as Robert Bartlett, Africana Studies Visiting Professor, Scott Finnie, Professor of Africana Studies, Martin Garcia, Assistant Professor of Chicano Studies, Jerry Garcia, Assistant Professor of Chicano Studies, Raphael Guillory, Interim Director of Chicano Studies, Professor of Psychology and Romeal Watson, Internship Coordinator in Career Services and NAACP President James Wilburn,. Student panelist include, Kahleel Ellis, Deandre Solomon, and Anthony Austin-Walker.

February 28 (Facilitator, Satori Butler)
“First Generation Students: Barriers to Retention & Academic Success.” A conversation with first generation faculty, staff and students about achieving success at the university and beyond. Panelists include staff& faculty such as Robbyn Hoffman, Associate Director of Career Services, Bayyinah Jeffries, Director of Africana Studies, Laura Sanchez, Career Advisor, Vickie Shields, Dean of CSBSSW, and students such as Anthony Austin-Walker, Quinton Baker, Breanna Conner-Daves , Terezeta Graham, Hawa Hussein, Afaria McKinney. Kia Porter, Devante Smith and De Andre Solomon