Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series Will Mark 30th Anniversary of NJ’s Largest Black History Month Conference

Save The Date: Pulitzer Prize-Winner Annette Gordon Reed Will Speak at Rutgers on Feb. 20

NEWARK, NJ – On Friday, February 19 and Saturday, February 20, 2010, the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series celebrates 30 years of bringing African American history and scholarship to public light during Black History Month.

Laboring in the Vineyard: Scholarship and Citizenship, a special two-day event in memory of John Hope Franklin and Giles R. Wright, II, will present previous Wright Lecturers from the past 30 years assembled to speak to the 2010 theme. Speakers include: David Blight, John Bracey, Spencer Crew, Eric Foner, Bob Herbert, James Oliver Horton, Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Nell Irvin Painter, Sterling Stuckey, Bettye Collier Thomas, Joe William Trotter, Jr., Cheryl Wall, and Deborah Gray White. They will look at how their work as a scholar has mattered in their lives as citizen, teacher, activist, and mentor. Rutgers Professor Annette Gordon Reed, a noted Jeffersonian scholar and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize recipient for her book The Hemingses of Monticello, will give the Wright Lecture on Saturday, February 20th.

The 2010 lecture program will take place both days in The Paul Robeson Campus Center at Rutgers University-Newark. It is free and open to the public.

Aspiration (1936) by Aaron Douglas

Aspiration (1936) by Aaron Douglas
The lecture series was co-founded in 1981 by Dr. Price and Giles R. Wright, from the New Jersey Historical Commission. Over the past 28 years, the conference has drawn thousands of people to the Rutgers-Newark campus in observance of Black History Month, and has attracted some of the nation’s foremost scholars and humanists who are experts in the field of African and African American history and culture.
One of the oldest and most prestigious events of its kind, the MTW lecture series offers a forum for scholars and non-academicians to share their thoughts and exchange ideas and sustains wide public interest in history, the humanities and life-long learning.

The annual conference was named for East Orange native Dr. Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneer in African American historiography and race relations in New Jersey, who served for many years on the faculty of Howard University. An honors graduate of Newark’s Barringer High School and Columbia University’s Teachers College Class of 1938, she was the first professionally trained woman historian in the United States.

The program, an important Rutgers University resource for public scholarship and civic discourse in greater Newark, is sponsored by the Institute; the Federated Department of History, Rutgers-Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and the New Jersey Historical Commission/Department of State, and it receives funding support from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and the Rutgers Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes.

The 2010 conference is being mounted with major funding support from the Prudential Foundation.

For additional information about the program, visit the Institute’s website at:, or contact Marisa Pierson, Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, 973.353.3896,

Robeson Campus Center is wheelchair-accessible, as is the Rutgers-Newark campus. Rutgers‑Newark can be reached by New Jersey Transit buses and trains, the PATH train and Amtrak from New York City, and by Newark City Subway. Metered parking is available on University Avenue and at Rutgers‑Newark's public parking garage, at 200 University Ave. Printable campus maps and driving directions are available online at:

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