Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative

Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative Goal is to Raise Awareness of Risk Factors
Key Info

2012 Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative. IPFW Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is partnering with the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., at barbershops in nine Indiana cities, including Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne’s (IPFW’s) Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is partnering with the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) to launch the 2012 Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative. This statewide endeavor will educate males—particularly African American males—about the importance of regular testing and disease prevention.

Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., health screenings will be given at neighborhood barbershops in nine Indiana cities: Bloomington, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Michigan City, and South Bend.

Animation of a spinning barber poleThe goal is to educate African American males about risk factors associated with certain diseases. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the major health risks for African American males are heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

A kickoff event took place at the Statehouse on Thursday, April 26.

The Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males is collaborating with the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and county coalition chapters, ABC Barber College, hospitals, health providers, and numerous community partners. More information and a complete list of participating locations are posted online at, or contact Kenneth Christmon, associate vice chancellor, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, 260-481-6608 or

IMAGE CREDIT: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quantitative Evidence of the Continuing Significance of Race: Tableside Racism in Full-Service Restaurants

Quantitative Evidence of the Continuing Significance of Race: Tableside Racism in Full-Service Restaurants

A new study from North Carolina State University shows that more than one-third of restaurant servers discriminate against African-American customers.

“Many people believe that race is no longer a significant issue in the United States,” says Sarah Rusche, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study. “But the fact that a third of servers admit to varying their quality of service based on customers’ race, often giving African-Americans inferior service, shows that race continues to be an issue in our society.”

Researchers wanted to determine the extent to which customers’ race affects the way they are treated at restaurants, so the researchers surveyed 200 servers at 18 full-service chain restaurants in central North Carolina. The majority of the servers surveyed – approximately 86 percent – were white.

Colored Waiting RoomSurvey results showed that 38.5 percent of servers reported that customers’ race informed their level of service at least some of the time, often resulting in providing inferior service to African-American customers. Findings show that many servers perceive African-American customers to be impolite and/or poor tippers, suggesting that black patrons, in particular, are likely targets of servers’ self-professed discriminatory actions.

The survey also found that 52.8 percent of servers reported seeing other servers discriminate against African-American customers by giving them poor service at least some of the time. Findings also show that restaurant servers share anti-black perceptions through racist workplace discourse, indicating a considerable amount of talk about the race of their patrons. Only 10.5 percent reported never engaging in or observing racialized discourse.

“‘Tableside racism’ is yet another example in which African-Americans are stereotyped and subsequently treated poorly in everyday situations,” says Rusche. “Race continues to be a significant barrier to equal treatment in restaurants and other areas of social life.”

For Immediate Release: Matt Shipman || News Services || 919.515.6386 Sarah Rusche Release Date: 04.23.2012 Filed under Releases +sookie tex

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Symposium on Health Care Offers Solutions for Black Community

WASHINGTON ­– In an effort to address the health care issues in the Black community, scholars, experts and activists gathered at Howard University’s Armour J. Blackburn University Center on Tuesday, April 10, for the Initiative on Democracy, Markets, Communications and Technology 2012 Symposium on U.S. Healthcare.

The daylong symposium was led by Howard’s School of Communications and featured a host of key decision makers and specialists who discussed possible solutions to health issues that directly affect the African-American community.

Chukwuka Onwumechili, Ph.D., interim dean at the School of Communications, opened the symposium by explaining the importance of Black leaders meeting to discuss the status of health care amongst the Black community.

“We are proud to host this symposium in the hopes that we can all come to an understanding or even a solution to the injustices in health care amongst us,” Onwumechili said.

Throughout the day a number of panelists shared research findings and tackled challenges facing health care in the U.S. and the disparities that African-Americans face. To address this problem, the symposium highlighted three areas: communication, technology, and the environment.

Kerry-Ann Hamilton, Ph.D., researcher of mobile technology and its efficacy in health intervention, presented research that she conducted about the integration of cell phones being used to meet health needs in underserved communities.

“Many HIV-positive clients have social challenges that interfere with their ability to take medications as prescribed or to attend scheduled clinic appointments,” she explained.

“Researchers have found mobile phones and text messages, in particular, are effective channels to target at-risk populations to receive medication adherence reminders.”

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings
Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings presented the keynote address after the symposium luncheon and discussed medical and policy issues surrounding U.S. health care. During his speech, Cummings described the importance of the Affordable Care Act for the Black community.

“The Affordable Care Act ensures that people are not denied health insurance and are not charged at a higher rate by extending civil rights laws to eliminate discrimination,” he said.

Cummings went on to explain that in Congress, efforts are being made to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and that “we as pivotal members of the Black community must find ways to avoid such elimination.”

About Howard +sookie tex

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 24 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

By Kelsey Evers University News

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Project on the History of Black Writing:recovers poetry of expatriate Allen Polite

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas research group dedicated to recognizing black writers is collaborating with others to revive interest in a visionary poet who was part of a pocket of U.S. expatriate cultural history centered in Sweden in the 1960s.

“We all know about colonies of black artists, musicians and writers in Paris and Moscow, but we don’t know as much about those who moved to Sweden or other parts of Europe ,” during the post World War II years, said Maryemma Graham, founder of the Project on the History of Black Writing and a professor of English at KU.

Black expatriates in Sweden included Allen Polite, a poet and artist, who shortly after publishing a few of his early poems moved from New York to Stockholm in 1963

He was among African-American writers, artists and musicians seeking refuge from racism and a haven for aesthetics, Graham said.

Polite was 60 when he died of cancer in 1993, leaving hundreds of poems in original handwritten texts as well as paintings and drawings. His widow, Helene Polite, in Stockholm, has worked to “bring his work to the attention of a wider audience.”

Maryemma Graham

Maryemma Graham
Polite’s work is part of a broader cultural story of the black writers and artists in the post-war years, yet little has been written about him or the Stockholm colony, Graham added. Polite’s friend and art mentor, Harvey Cropper, is the only remaining member of the Stockholm group from that era.

“If we understand that an active and diverse community of writers existed abroad where they continued to make significant contributions to literature and the arts in vastly different ways, the global appeal of black writing and cultural expression does not seem so unusual today,” Graham said.

“The seeds were sown by people like Polite, who never returned to the United States, but gave poetry a voice for others to hear.”

The question of race complicates the voice, she said. “Perhaps because the focus in the United States was on race, we didn’t bother to look at poets whose work did not foreground race in the same way.”

Polite’s poem “Why They Are in Europe” hints that art is apart from race or allegiance:

“Each is an artist first and has no flags in his pocket.”

At the time of his death only a few of Polite’s early poems had been published -- in part because for years he was not interested in publishing. His widow noted in the forward of one volume of his work that her husband, anticipating a longer life, had set aside plans to publish his work for later in his career.

In 1996, Helene Polite privately published three volumes of her husband’s work: “Poems,” with some of Polite’s art, including a self-portrait; “The Rice and Fiol of the Turd Rake,” a rhapsodic play for three voices; and “Looka Here, Now!, and other poems from the 1950s.” All are out of print.

Born in New Jersey in 1932, Polite had attempted to live and work in New York City after his service in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan. He lived in Greenwich Village, studied philosophy at Columbia University, became part-owner of Orientalia, a Village bookstore, and worked as a cryptographer for the United Nations. When he wasn’t working or studying, Polite was writing poetry and sharing thoughts with the Hipsters, the intellectuals who gathered in coffee houses and flats to discuss art, poetry and philosophy in the Village during the 1950s.

His childhood friend LeRoi Jones, more famously known as Amiri Baraka, first published Polite’s poetry in 1958 in the magazine ‘Yugen. In the “Autobiography of LeRoi Jones,” Baraka refers to Polite as his mentor. Polite’s writings also appear in “Sixes and Sevens, An Anthology of New Poetry,” published in 1962 and in Langston Hughes’ “New Negro Poets, U.S.A.,” 1964. Like a number of black writers in the early ‘60s, Polite served his apprenticeship as a beat poet before he became identified with the Black Arts Movement.

Recovering Polite’s work is a collaborative effort, Graham said. The Project on the History of Black Writing is working with archivists to get his work entered into poetry databases and with scholars to broaden interest in his work and the Swedish colony.

A writer associated with the History of Black Writing Project, Anthony Grooms at Kennesaw State University, recently presented a paper on Polite at the College Language Association meeting in Atlanta. Polite’s papers are archived at University of Connecticut’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University includes Polite in its archives.

The Project on the History of Black Writing has been in the forefront of research and inclusion efforts in higher education for 29 years. Founded in 1983 at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, the Project moved to KU in 1999 and is the only archive of its kind dedicated to literary recovery, professional development and public outreach. A major goal is to collect every novel ever published by an African-American writer.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

Contact: Mary Jane Dunlap, KU News Service, 785-864-8853

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charles Cannon, Michael McLaughlin, and Brian Kerstetter found guilty of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

FBI SealCharles Cannon, Michael McLaughlin, and Brian Kerstetter found guilty of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Three Men Found Guilty of Federal Hate Crime Charge Related to the Assault of African-American Man.

WASHINGTON—A federal jury today convicted Charles Cannon, 26; Michael McLaughlin, 41; and Brian Kerstetter, 32, of a federal hate crime charge related to a racially motivated assault of a 29-year-old African-American man.

The defendants were found guilty of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was enacted in October 2009. The evidence at trial established that on August 13, 2011, the defendants approached the victim, who was waiting at a bus stop in downtown Houston. At least one defendant referred to the victim using a racial slur, and the defendants then surrounded and attacked the victim by punching and kicking his face, head, and body. The defendants were arrested at the scene after a passerby called 911. All three defendants had tattoos known to reflect an affiliation with white supremacist groups.

“Today’s convictions under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act show that hate crimes are far too common in this country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “The department will continue to use every available tool to identify and prosecute hate crimes whenever and wherever they occur.”

“We hope today’s convictions send a powerful public message,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris. “The Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is a tool the FBI will use to aggressively investigate and prosecute hate crimes as felony offenses.”

The defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The sentencing is scheduled for July 16, 2012 before the Honorable Kenneth Hoyt, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas.

This case was investigated by the Houston Division of the FBI in cooperation with the Houston Police Department. Assistance was also provided by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Saeed Mody and Special Litigation Counsel Gerard Hogan of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

U.S. Department of Justice April 16, 2012. Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888 +sookie tex

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kwame Dawes University of Nebraska-Lincoln awarded Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship

Kwame Dawes University of Nebraska-Lincoln awarded Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship

Kwame Dawes, professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of the Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has received a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He is among 181 scholars, artists and scientists in the United States and Canada who were selected for the honor from nearly 3,000 applicants.

The fellowship will support his work on the poem cycle, "August: A Quintet," based on the work of August Wilson, an American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner whose work illustrated the African-American experience in the 20th century.

Dawes called the award a tremendous honor, adding that he's grateful to all the writers who wrote in support of his selection.

"I have long regarded the Guggenheim Fellowship as a clear indication of the quality and significance of the work of American artists and artists from around the world. I waited until I thought I had a fit project before applying, and I am glad I did," he said.

He's especially grateful because the fellowship acknowledges the importance of the work it will support, he said.

Dawes joined the UNL faculty as a Chancellor's Professor in 2011 and took the helm of the Prairie Schooner, UNL's quarterly literary magazine that for the past 85 years has published the fiction, poetry, essays and reviews of talented writers of all levels. He is the author of 16 poetry collections, three works of fiction, and several anthologies, produced plays, and books of literary criticism and aesthetics, not counting forthcoming works. His long list of accomplishments includes a 2009 Emmy Award for a multimedia documentary project on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.

Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes, professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of the Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Guggenheim Fellows are appointed based on distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. What distinguishes the Guggenheim Fellowship program from others is the wide range in interest, age, geography and institutions of those it selects. The 2012 fellows come from 54 disciplines and 77 different academic institutions.

Since its establishment in 1925, the foundation has granted fellowships to more than 17,300 individuals. Scores of Nobel, Pulitzer and other prizewinners appear on the rolls of the Foundation's fellows. Among them are Ansel Adams, Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Linus Pauling, Paul Samuelson, Martha Graham, Philip Roth, Derek Walcott, James Watson and Eudora Welty. The last UNL scholar to win a Guggenheim Fellowship was chemist Xiao Cheng Zeng in 2004.

Dawes will join other 2012 fellows at a reception next month in New York to accept his award.

News Release Contacts: Kwame S N Dawes, Professor, English phone: 402 472 3191, Writer: Jean Ortiz Jones University Communications, 402-472-8320

UNL poet, author Kwame Dawes awarded Guggenheim Fellowship Released on 04/13/2012, at 2:00 AM Office of University Communications University of Nebraska–Lincoln +sookie tex

Sunday, April 15, 2012

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond

“African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond” presents a selection of works by 43 black artists who lived through the tremendous changes of the 20th century. In paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs, the featured artists embrace themes both universal and specific to the African American experience, including the exploration of identity, the struggle for equality, the power of music and the beauties and hardships of life in rural and urban America.

“African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond” is on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from April 27 through Sept. 3. The exhibition is organized by Virginia Mecklenburg, senior curator of painting and sculpture at the museum. It will travel to additional venues through 2014 following its presentation in Washington, D.C.

“This exhibition allows us to understand profound change through the eyes of artists,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “These works by African American artists are vital to understanding the complex American experience.”

The 100 works on view are drawn entirely from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s rich collection of African American art, the largest and finest in the United States. More than half of the works featured are being exhibited by the museum for the first time, including paintings by Benny Andrews, Loïs Mailou Jones and Jacob Lawrence, as well as photographs by Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks and Marilyn Nance. Ten of the artworks were acquired within the past five years. More than half of the objects in the exhibition are photographs from the museum’s permanent collection. Individual object labels connect the artworks with the artistic and social factors that shaped their creation.

Jacob Lawrence teaching school children at the Abraham Lincoln School.

Jacob Lawrence teaching school children at the Abraham Lincoln School.
The 20th century was a time of great change in America. Many of the social, political and cultural movements that came to define the era, such as the jazz age, the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement, were rooted in African American communities. Black artists explored their identity in this quickly changing world through a variety of media and in styles as varied as postmodernism, documentary realism, expressionism and abstraction.

“Visitors will be struck not only by the power of these artworks, but also by the variety of the pieces on display,” said Mecklenburg. “So many new movements and styles grew out of the tumult of the 20th century, and these works reflect that diversity.”

In paintings, prints and sculpture, artists such as William H. Johnson and Andrews speak to the dignity and resilience of those who work the land. Romare Bearden recasts Christian themes in terms of the black experience. Jones, Sargent Johnson and Melvin Edwards address African heritage, while Alma Thomas explores the beauty of the natural world through color and abstract forms.

Studio portraits by James VanDerZee document the rise of the black middle class in the 1920s,
while powerful black-and-white photographs by DeCarava, Nance, Parks, Robert McNeill, Roland Freeman and Tony Gleaton chronicle everyday life from the 1930s through the final decades of the 20th century.

“Each of the artists included in this exhibition made a compelling contribution to the artistic
landscape of 20th century America, and we are delighted to feature their work in the museum’s
galleries,” said Mecklenburg.

Educational Website

Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art at the
Smithsonian is a new educational website that offers insights into the civil rights movement through the lens of Smithsonian collections. Drawing connections among art, history and social change, Oh Freedom! provides educators with tools to help students reimagine and reinterpret the long struggle for civil rights, justice and equality. Visit Oh Freedom! at

Online Features

Go behind the scenes with the museum’s conservators in the Smithsonian American Art
Museum’s blog, “Eye Level,” which will feature a monthly series on treatments performed in the
museum’s Lunder Conservation Center to ready objects for display in the exhibition. Posts on
Frederick Eversley’s “Untitled” (1974), Richard Hunt’s “Study for Richmond Cycle” (1977), Jones’ “Moon Masque” (1971), John Scott’s “Thornbush Blues Totem” (1990) and Renée Stout’s “The Colonel’s Cabinet” (1991-1994) will take readers inside the varied processes and techniques conservators use to prepare artworks for exhibition. Read the posts at

Free Public Programs

Renée Ater, associate professor of art history at the University of Maryland, will explore the artistic motivation behind photographic works in the exhibition in a lecture titled “
Insight and Inspiration for 20th Century African American Art” Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.

A Juneteenth Family Day, June 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard, includes historical reenactors, a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, storytelling, live music by Follow the Drinking Gourd, craft making activities and a genealogical workshop. Pre-registration is required for the workshop only and is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis via or (202) 633-8490. This event is presented in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum.

Three leading African American photographers—Tony Gleaton, Earlie Hudnall Jr. and Nance—will discuss their work Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. in the McEvoy Auditorium. Debra Willis, professor of photography at New York University and author of Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present, will act as moderator.

Mecklenburg will discuss the exhibition Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium. Marcia Battle, curator in the prints and drawings division at the Library of Congress, will highlight the works of selected featured artists in her talk Facing Forward Looking Back: Black Artists Search for Their Voice Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. in the exhibition galleries.


The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog, with an essay written by distinguished scholar Richard J. Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University. The book also includes entries about each artist by Mecklenburg; Theresa Slowik, chief of publications at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and Battle. The catalog, co-published by the museum with Skira Rizzoli in New York, will be available for purchase ($60 hardcover, $40 softcover) in the museum store and at bookstores nationwide. The catalog also will be available for purchase in e-book form through the museum store. Visit the museum website for additional purchase locations.

National Tour

The exhibition will travel through 2014 to additional cities in the United States following its presentation in Washington, D.C. Confirmed venues include the Muscarelle Museum of Art at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. (Sept. 28 – Jan. 6, 2013); the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2013 – April 28, 2013); the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. (June 1, 2013 – Sept. 2, 2013); the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tenn. (Feb. 14, 2014 – May 25, 2014); and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif. (June 28, 2014 – Sept. 21, 2014). Information about additional venues will be available on the museum’s website.


“African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond” is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with support from Alston & Bird; Amherst Holdings LLC; Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation; Larry Irving and Leslie Wiley; the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund; Clarence Otis and Jacqui Bradley; and Pepco. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, “Treasures to Go.”

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, ArtBabble, iTunes and YouTube. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website:

# # #

SI-168-2012 - SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 970 PO Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8530 Fax 202.633.8535

Media only: Laura Baptiste (202) 633-8494 Courtney Rothbard (202) 633-8496 Media website: Media preview: Thursday, April 26; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FULL TEXT in PDF FORMAT Exhibition about African American Art in the 20th Century Opens April 27 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

IMAGE CREDIT: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Benching Jim Crow: The Battle to End Segregation in College Football

Marshall to present lecture on integration of college football

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University will present a lecture, “Benching Jim Crow: The Battle to End Segregation in College Football,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall’s Huntington campus. It is free and open to the public.

The lecture will be given by Tyran Steward, a historian and Ph.D. candidate from the Ohio State University. His research centers around race, history and sports. A New Orleans native, he earned a B.A. in sociology from Morehouse College and an M.A. in history and a graduate certificate in African American studies from Eastern Michigan University.

“This is a topic of high interest among students and community members,” said Dr. David Trowbridge, director of the African and African American Studies program, which is sponsoring the lecture along with the College of Liberal Arts. “College football is deeply ingrained in the history of Marshall, so I hope that a lot of people from the community and university will be able to attend.”

For further information, persons may contact Trowbridge by e-mail or by phone at 304-696-2717. +sookie tex


Marshall University LogoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, April 6, 2012 Contact: David Trowbridge, Assistant Professor of History, 304-696-2717

Monday, April 9, 2012

Indiana University Bloomington's African American Choral Ensemble annual spring concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Willkie Auditorium

African American Choral EnsembleBLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington's African American Choral Ensemble will present its annual spring concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose St.

The African American Choral Ensemble's program will draw from a rich and varied array of black sacred genres, from the spiritual to contemporary gospel, focusing on the theme of "Amazing Grace."

"All around the world, 'Amazing Grace' is a song of redemption and transformation," ensemble director Keith McCutchen said. "This concert examines songs of faith and hope, which are the universal principles found in the lyrics of these spirituals: formally composed, folk tunes, hymns and gospel selections."

The concert begins with a pianissimo, haunting melody sung by unaccompanied sopranos in the traditional spiritual, "Mary Was the Queen of Galilee," arranged by Wendell Whalum. Johanna Moffitt, featured soloist, soars above the choir in the soprano descant to a powerful crescendo and climax of the piece. "Sounds Spiritual," a medley of spirituals arranged by Gary Hines for Sounds of Blackness, merges the spiritual and gospel traditions.

Arranged by McCutchen, "Amazing Grace" uses ornaments and interpolations of the traditional melody handed down in the oral tradition of the African American church. The contemporary selection "Free," recorded by Natalie Wilson and the S.O.P. Chorale, fuses gospel with jazz and includes a powerful call-and-response solo delivered by alto Lakeisha Johnson. "Psalm 27" and "Safe in His Arms" are traditional gospel selections, which contrast nicely; "Psalm 27" demonstrates upbeat counterpoint, while "Safe in His Arms" is both slow and soulful.

Although the jazz standard "On Green Dolphin Street," originally made famous by Miles Davis, is traditionally performed as a relaxed ballad, McCutchen's arrangement provides an upbeat tempo, complex rhythmic structure and syncopation, featuring dynamic soloists Alex Young and Seth Wimberly on saxophone with Jamaal Baptiste on piano.

"The African American experience has a rich spiritual tradition that has also inspired social and political change," McCutchen said. "Nowhere is the power of this tradition made more evident than in music."

Tickets for the concert will be sold exclusively at the door. General admission for adults is $10. Children and students (limit two per ID) are $5.

The African American Arts Institute is committed to promoting and preserving African American culture through performance, education, creative activity, research and outreach. For more information and a calendar of events, visit the African American Arts Institute website or call 812-855-5427. The institute's executive director is Charles E. Sykes. The African American Arts Institute is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

Arts Week Everywhere +sookie tex

The African American Choral Ensemble's performance is one of the highlights of Arts Week Everywhere, the annual celebration focused on arts on campus and in the community. Coordinated by the Office of the Provost and students in IU's Master of Arts Administration program, Arts Week Everywhere events take place throughout the month of April.

For more information about Arts Week Everywhere, visit

Media Contacts Krista Wilhelmsen African American Arts Institute

Friday, April 6, 2012

23rd Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art

WASHINGTON – The Department of Art will present the 23rd Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art, April 19-21. This year’s colloquium will address the role of stewardship and scholarship in collections of African-American and African Diaspora art. The conference coincides with the Department of Art’s 90th Anniversary Celebration.

The James A. Porter Colloquium is the leading forum for scholars, artists, curators as well as art enthusiasts in the field of African-American art and visual culture. Each year, the event attracts more than 700 educators, artists, scholars, collectors, and business professionals from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

The opening event will be held in conjunction with the Eleventh Annual David C. Driskell Distinguished Lecture, Thursday, April 19. The lecture will be given by Johnnetta B. Cole, Ph.D., director of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The public reception begins at 5 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 301-314-2615. Both events will be located at the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland. All other Porter Colloquium events will be held on the historic campus of Howard University.

For a listing of events, visit

The theme of this year’s colloquium is State of the Art: Addressing the Role of Stewardship and Scholarship in Public and Private Collections of African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora.

Aaron Douglas The Unknown

Aaron Douglas The Unknown, oil on masonite, 48” x 36”, 1924, Howard University Gallery of Art, Permanent Collection.
The colloquium will examine issues related to preservation, conservation, and publication initiatives from public and private institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Papers and presentations will focus on collaborative partnerships, research and restoration efforts, and survival strategies developed to sustain these important collections.

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., Ed.D., executive director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will open the colloquium on Friday, April 20. Other speakers and panelists include Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., director of Spelman College Museum of Fine Art; Sanford Biggers, a New York-based performance and installation artist who challenges and informs contemporary societal norms; Lauren Kelley-Oliver, Texas-based artist who uses stop-frame animation to confront the human condition; and Kellie Jones, Ph.D., art historian, critic, and award-winning curator for Now Dig This! (2011), the Johannesburg Biennale (1997) and São Paulo Bienal (1989).

Other noted participants include: Amber Kerr-Allison and Tiarna Doherty, painting conservator and chief of conservation, respectively, at the Smithsonian American Art’s Lunder Conservation Center, and Christiana Cunningham-Adams, restorer of the Aaron Douglas Murals at Fisk University.

In addition, attendees are invited to a Benefit Awards Gala from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, in the Howard University Gallery of Art. This year, we honor the lifetime achievements of museum director and anthropologist, Johnnetta B. Cole, Ph.D., collector and philanthropist Robert E. Steele, Ph.D., and art historian and Howard alumnus Richard J. Powell, Ph.D.

For additional information, contact Gwendolyn H. Everett, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Art, by phone at 202-806-6171 or via e-mail at

The James A. Porter Colloquium was established at Howard University in 1990. It is named in honor of James A. Porter, the pioneering art historian and professor whose 1943 publication Modern Negro Art laid the foundation for the field of study. The Colloquium continues the Porter legacy through dynamic programming, scholarly research and artistic leadership. Past Colloquium presenters have included a number of leading scholars and artists, including David Driskell, Leslie King Hammond, Samella Lewis, Lowery Stokes Simms, Robert Farris Thompson, Salah Hassan, Franklin Sirmans, Mark Bradford, Deborah Willis, and Okwui Enwezor.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Rachel Mann Communications Specialist 202.238.2631

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mississippi University for Women African-American history class to interview Columbus residents

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The African-American history class at Mississippi University for Women is going out of the classroom this spring to interview local people about their participation in the post-World War II civil rights movement.

Eleven students plan to conduct about a dozen interviews before the first week of May. An audio file of each interview will be housed permanently at the local History Department of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. In an effort to push beyond a focus on national leaders of the civil rights movement, students will learn from grassroots people what the racial climate of Columbus was like and how residents strove to make it better.

Recent events such as the Arab Spring serve as a reminder of the enormous impact the civil rights movement has had and continues to have on America and the world. As Mississippi considers the construction of a civil rights museum, there is increasing awareness of the importance of preserving this aspect of local history.

Dr. Erin Kempker, who teaches the African-American history class, said the point of the project was to “uncover the backbone of the movement or the ‘local people’ who made national change possible.” As those active in the 1950s and 1960s get older, these efforts are more pressing than ever. The class is indebted to Susie Shelton who helped connect students to residents who could be interviewed.

Students in the class are eager to participate, in part because so little is known about the local civil rights movement.

Diane Thompson and Jaleesa FieldsJaleesa Fields, a senior history major, said it will begin to build “knowledge about the civil rights movement and provide first-hand accounts from those who participated in it.”

Cydney Archie, a senior communications major, is happy to be doing history instead of just reading it.

“Reading what people say does have its effect, but listening to someone's story, in their own words...has so much more meaning,” she said.

That the interviews will reveal “hidden truth” about the past excites Brittany Brown, a junior English major.

Leah Harris, a freshman social sciences major, agrees that there is “unheard history” and through the project “we are making it heard.”

Archivist and MUW alumna Mona K. Vance is pleased to join the effort.

“As the repository for Lowndes County history, the library is honored to be a part of this project. The histories that the students record will preserve the local voices of those who participated in or witnessed one of the 20th century’s largest cultural movements,” she said.

Mississippi University for Women Office of Public Affairs 1100 College St - MUW 1623 Columbus, Ms 39701-5800 Telephone: (662) 329-7119 Fax Number: (662) 329-7123

Monday, April 2, 2012

African American World War II veterans from Kansas and Missouri discuss the impact the war had on their lives

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Libraries and the Dole Institute of Politics will host a panel discussion featuring firsthand accounts of members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the nation’s first African-American military aviators, as well as other veterans of World War II. The program brings together a group of African-American veterans from Kansas and Missouri who will share their personal experiences and discuss the impact the war had on their lives.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, at the Dole Institute of Politics. The panel presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dessert reception.

The presentation is a part of the African-American Experience, an ongoing collecting program established in 1986 by the Kansas Collection in Kenneth Spencer Research Library. The program works to expand the historical record of African-Americans and make related resources available to the public. This is the second of three events in a partnership with the Dole Institute and KU Libraries. The African-American World War II Veteran Series is made possible by Sandra Gautt, associate professor of special education, and a member of the KU Libraries Board of Advocates.

Panel moderator and KU Librarian Deborah Dandridge will guide the context of the discussion to encourage the group to reveal their stories to the public and receive the acknowledgment they deserve as heroes in the community.

“This program will provide the public with a rare opportunity to hear the stories of one of the segments of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ whose nation imposed a myriad of barriers to their collective and individual efforts, at home and at war, to experience the American creed of freedom and equality,” Dandridge said. “These soldiers hoped and pushed our nation to live up to its creed.”

African-American troops stand at attention prior to World War II

A formation of African-American troops stand at attention prior to World War II.
Curator of Collections Sherry Williams hopes the event will initiate community support and honor World War II veterans for their service, while also encouraging research of the past.

"These first-hand accounts of veterans are crucial to our understanding of the past,” Williams said. “They form essential documents that facilitate study and research."

Dole Institute director Bill Lacy believes it is important to offer this community a chance to tell their stories and provide the community some insight into history.

"Working with and honoring veterans is something that is dear to Senator Dole's heart," Lacy said. "More than just a part of the Dole Institute's mission, it is a true honor to be able to provide a forum for the oral histories of the African-American soldier's experience in World War II."

Panelists include Robert Reed of Lawrence; John Adams; Maj. Harvey Bayless; and Charles S. Ellington of Kansas City, Kan.; Harry L. Gumby of Grandview, Mo.; William Tarlton of Topeka; and Sen. U.L. “Rip” Gooch of Wichita.

For more information about the event, which is free and open to the public, contact Kristina Crawford by email or 785-864-8961.

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s faculty and staff are dedicated to the preservation of diverse collections ranging from medieval manuscripts and other rare books to Kansas historical records to national political documents. For more information, visit online.

For more information on these or any Dole Institute programs, visit online or call 785-864-4900. The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics. It is located on KU’s west campus next to the Lied Center.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

Contact: Rebecca Smith, KU Libraries, 785-864-1761 | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

IMAGE CREDIT: The United States Army