Monday, June 25, 2012

Crystal Lumpkins, assistant professor of journalism at KU 'gospel of good health' in women’s mass magazines

LAWRENCE — Mass magazines are one of the best ways to get health information to women, yet they remain a largely untapped medium for communicating health news and information to African-American women in particular. A University of Kansas professor has published a study showing that articles about health issues that largely affect African-American women are underreported in such magazines, especially those that contain a spiritual or religious element.

Crystal Lumpkins, assistant professor of journalism at KU, authored “Spreading the Gospel of Good Health: Assessing Mass Women’s Magazines as Communication Vehicles to Combat Health Disparities among African-Americans.” The study took a sample of four popular women’s magazines: Ms., Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Essence. Lumpkins and her co-researchers analyzed a six-month sample of each magazine. Even though research has shown the magazines are an effective way of reporting health news, there was scant coverage of health issues that affect African-American women.

Crystal Lumpkins

Crystal Lumpkins
“Diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, all of these major health issues in the African-American community were not addressed,” Lumpkins said.

All of the magazines contained stories about food, diet and exercise, but they did not follow up in reporting more detailed or related health news.

“The health stories that were most reported were on reproductive and sexual health,” Lumpkins said. “If you’re reporting that, then HIV/AIDS falls into that category as well. Seventy-five percent of African-American women are overweight. If that leads to several other health issues, those need to be reported as well.”

In the past several years, health communications scholars have considered the effect spirituality and religion have on communicating health information reported in the media, given the high rates of faith among the general and minority population in the United States. Essence, the only magazine among the four specifically targeted to an African-American audience, was the only one shown to use spiritual imagery and language in its health articles. It was also the only magazine in the sample to contain news on HIV/AIDS, even though it was very little.

Lumpkins’ research examines how spirituality and religious factors influence individuals’ health behavior. She also examines how religious imagery and language affects individuals’ likelihood to take part in preventive health care, such as getting screenings. One of her previous studies showed that African-American women shown advertisements about breast cancer awareness preferred those with a religious component over those without.

The findings of her latest study suggest a largely untapped method for health communicators to reach minority populations with their message, Lumpkins said. Individuals tasked with getting news about health issues out to the public could potentially do well to target women’s magazines in combination with social media as a means to achieve that goal. Those dealing with health issues that tend to afflict minority populations especially have an opportunity.

It is poignant to reach minority populations, African-American women especially, due to the high incidence of certain health problems in the community. For example, African-American women account for more than 50 percent of all cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States, and the rates of new cases are 15 times higher than those of white women.

“I hope people understand magazines are an important vehicle for health communication, not just to African-American women, but women in general,” Lumpkins said. “Yes, they’re traditional, but they’ve proven to be effective. I think health communicators should truly consider them as a way to reach these important populations.”

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 KU The University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 66045 (785) 864-2700

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tammy Kernodle Musical Crossroads at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Miami University's Tammy Kernodle is part of a select group of experts determining the content for a historical music exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction in Washington, D.C. The museum is scheduled to open in 2015.

Kernodle, professor of musicology, is one of several scholars researching items that will be part of “Musical Crossroads,” one of the museum’s inaugural, permanent, exhibitions. “Musical Crossroads” will feature 12 exhibits that will attempt to contextualize the history and development of African American music. In addition to content, the scholars are constructing the texts that will accompany exhibits.

“What we are trying to do is as much as possible try to represent, in twelve separate exhibits, the breadth and diversity of African American music from the early traditions of the 17th century to today,” Kernodle said.

Tammy KernodleKernodle, who began teaching at Miami in 1997, spent this spring semester at the University of Kansas as the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor in the American studies program. She is writing a book that chronicles the work of black women musicians in framing protest music from the period of 1954 through 1976.

The museum will be the 19th included in the Smithsonian consortium and will document the history of African Americans from their arrival in 1619 until present.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine

More than 650,000 Americans died of disease or were killed in battle during the Civil War that lasted from 1861-1865. More might have died if not for the skills of African- American surgeons and nurses.

The Bruce T. Halle Library at Eastern Michigan University honors African-American medical personnel in its new exhibit, "Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine," which runs through June 23, on EMU's main campus in Ypsilanti. The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours.

Developed by the National Library of Medicine, the exhibit explores the roles of African-American men and women, both free and formerly enslaved, who provided medical care to black soldiers and civilians.

The exhibit was very moving, says Eastern Michigan professor Heather Neff, an expert in African-American literature.

"It was a wonderful exhibit," Neff said. "I never knew this information."

Binding Wounds, Pushing BoundariesThe six panels, with period documents and historic images, bring a voice to those who have remained silent for nearly 150 years, said Elizabeth Bucciarelli, EMU's health sciences and medical librarian, who arranged for the exhibit to travel to Eastern.

Complementing the display are replicas of several Civil War flags, including an early yellow flag symbolizing a hospital site, and a 7th Michigan Cavalry regimental guidon (pronounced guy dun) that belonged to Gen. George Custer's Michigan Calvary Brigade from Grand Rapids.

A guidon is a smaller notched flag used to mark the location of military units.

Said Bucciarelli, "The library staff also has selected a series of books that provide more in-depth information about the contributions of black medical staff. These are available for check-out."

There were only 13 African American doctors in the union army and not many people are aware of these physicians' contribution to the war effort, she says.

Among the soldiers and nurses featured are:

Alexander T. Augusta who served from 1863 - 65. A free-born citizen from Norfolk, Virginia, he attended medical school in Canada. August became the first African-American surgeon-in-charge at the Contraband Hospital in Washington, D.C., which served former slaves.

Ann Stokes, a former slave, was hired as a nurse and worked under the director of nurses aboard the USS Red Rover. Stokes was the first African-American woman to serve on board a U.S. military hospital and the only one to draw a Navy pension.

John Van Surly De Grasse, was the only African American physician to serve on the field with his regiment, the 35th U.S. Colored Infantry. De Grasse was one of only two black physicians to receive a commission.

The traditional display is supplemented by a web site that contains information for teachers; the history of civil war medicine; African Americans who fought in the war; and a look at the flags on display.

The traveling exhibit was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, with assistance from The Historical Society of Washington D.C.

by Pamela Young, Published June 04, 2012 Contact: Pamela Young 734.487.4400 Eastern Michigan University Education First Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197 University Information: 734.487.1849

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Preston Jackson sculpture unveiling will precede the 9th annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival

Preston Jackson sculpture unveiling will precede the 9th annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival

The community is invited to attend the unveiling of a new sculpture commissioned by the College of Lake County’s Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art in commemoration of Lake County’s role in the Underground Railroad. The unveiling will occur at a ceremony on Saturday, June 16 at 11 a.m. in the lobby of the 33 N. Genesee St. building on CLC’s Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan. The event will precede the 9th annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival, which will be held from noon to 6 p.m. in the courtyard adjacent to the Lakeshore Campus.

The Preston Jackson bronze, titled “Passages to Freedom,” depicts a man, woman and child fleeing to a safe stop on the Underground Railroad. Jackson researched the subject by reading a history of Lake County’s role in the Underground Railroad written by the late James Dorsey, a CLC sociology professor.

Artist Preston Jackson and a new sculpture, commissioned by the CLC Gallery of Art, will be unveiled at the Lakeshore Campus prior to Juneteenth at 11 a.m. on June 16
In 2009, Jackson exhibited his sculptures at the CLC art gallery to rave reviews, and a year ago, the work was commissioned. Funds for the project come from proceeds of sales of artwork in the gallery and the ARTcetera store. The artist, Preston Jackson, will speak after the unveiling. This event is free and open to the public. Jackson was distinguished as a 1998 Laureate of Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He is a professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

“Jackson is an amazingly prolific artist and his work is varied and wide-ranging, often examining our collective past and present in an historical and philosophical sense,” said Steve Jones, CLC art gallery curator. “We thought he was a terrific choice to create a major piece for the Lakeshore Campus, and he was very excited about doing it.”

CLC Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Anderson will preside at the unveiling ceremony.

After the unveiling, the community is invited to the 9th Annual Juneteenth Conference and Festival and the 14th Annual Back to School Festival, being held from noon to 6 p.m. on Madison Avenue (between County Street and Sheridan Road in downtown Waukegan).

Juneteenth represents the joy of freedom and is the oldest known celebration that commemorates the ending of slavery. The 9th Annual Juneteenth celebration will focus on “The Underground Railroad: Connections Through Community.” It will also celebrate African American contributions to art, education, music and dance; family; community; culture; and Lake County’s contribution to the spirit of the abolition movement. There will be inspiring speeches, food, information and merchandise vendors, main stage performances, children’s activities, the CLC history tent and more. There is no admission fee.

Juneteenth will begin with the traditional African Opening Ceremony at noon. From noon to 3 p.m., a variety of speakers will be featured. The keynote address will be given by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, a constitutional law professor at John Jay College of the City University of New York. She is the author of “Race, Law and American Society 1607 – Present” and “The U.S. Constitution: An African American Context.” As director and founder of the Law and Policy Group, she oversees publication of the Report on the Status of Black Women and Girls®, the only ongoing national report on the state of black females in America. Browne-Marshall is also an award-winning playwright, freelance journalist and recipient of the 2009 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Justice Award.

Also appearing will be Kathryn Harris of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum portraying Harriet Tubman; Glennette Tilley Turner, author of “The Underground Railroad in Illinois;” Dr. Sandra LeConte, singing music of the underground and Rowe Niodior African Dance Company of Detroit.

Other activities include a Father of the Year Contest, Juneteenth Awards, giving out 2,000 book bags with educational supplies, Kids’ Korner with free snow cones and activities (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Rosalind Franklin University Community Care Connections Mobile Unit (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), CLC Mini Open House (1-3 p.m.), free food and the Juneteenth Marketplace and Expo (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

For more information, call (847) 543-2191.

Juneteenth is sponsored by the Juneteenth Cultural Committee, the College of Lake County, the City of Miracles International, Trinity Universal Center, Waukegan Public Library, the Marriott, Target, Vista Health System, Waukegan Housing Authority, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement International, First Midwest Bank, States Attorney Mike Nerheim and others.

TEXT CREDIT: College of Lake County, 19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake, IL 60030-1198 (847) 543-2000

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Analysis of African Americans’ genetics and smoking behaviors reveals gene variant correlated with how many cigarettes a day someone smokes

The largest-ever analysis of African Americans’ genetics and smoking behaviors has revealed a gene variant correlated with how many cigarettes a day someone smokes. The gene has previously been found to be significant in predicting smoking behavior in individuals of European descent, but the particular marker of importance within the gene varies in those of different ethnicities.

Sean David, MD, DPhil, clinical associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is the lead author of the study, which drew on data from more than 32,000 African Americans and 50 institutions around the country, including participants in Stanford’s portion of the Women’s Health Initiative.

“Because of the genetic architecture of certain regions of the genome, we have to look at different ethnic groups separately,” said David, who is also a research physician and director of the translational medicine program at SRI International’s Center for Health Sciences in Menlo Park, Calif. “Unfortunately, most clinical trials and large cross-sectional studies to date had included only participants of European descent.”

Sean David
Genetic markers correlated with smoking behaviors can also predict how well different smoking-cessation programs or drugs work, making it important to understand these markers in different populations, he said. And discovering new genes important in mediating nicotine addiction can also help researchers develop new drugs and targeted treatments.

“What we wanted to do was build on the work that had been done in European populations,” said David.

The study was published May 22 in Translational Psychiatry. David was a co-leader of the study and collaborated with more than 75 researchers at dozens of organizations throughout the country to collect and analyze the data. Other co-leaders are from SRI International, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the University of Southern California and the University of California-San Francisco.

African Americans, on average, begin smoking at a later age than those of European descent, and smoke fewer cigarettes per day. However, they have a higher risk of developing lung cancer and are less likely to quit smoking. Such discrepancies, David said, make it especially important to understand how the biology of nicotine receptors and addiction varies between ethnicities.

David teamed up with scientists in charge of 13 previous studies around the country to create the Study of Tobacco in Minority Populations, or STOMP, Genetics Consortium and gather a population large enough to find statistically relevant genes. The researchers collected data on whether each participant had ever been a smoker, the age they began smoking, how many cigarettes per day they smoked and whether they had successfully quit smoking. Each study sequenced the genomes of their own participants, but all used similar methods and performed the same analysis.

In total, 53.7 percent of the study participants had ever smoked, and 44.8 percent of those no longer smoked. Sixty-six percent of the participants were women, and the average age at the time the data was collected ranged from 35 to 73 in the different studies.

What the team discovered when they parsed all the data was one gene marker that was correlated with the number of cigarettes someone smoked per day. The marker is in the gene CHRNA5, which has also been found to be important in smoking behaviors of people of European ancestry. However, the marker is in a different spot of the gene.

“Knowing that this gene is important in different ancestral groups really points to its importance and suggests it as a target for drug discovery and development,” said David.

CHRNA5 encodes a nicotine receptor subunit. Nicotine receptors, which bind the chemicals in cigarettes and transmit signals through the brain in response, are made up of different combinations of five subunits. Previous research by other investigators has shown that inactivating CHRNA5 in mice reduces the inhibitory, aversive effects of nicotine, such as increased heart rate and nervousness. Without these negative effects limiting their nicotine intake, the animals seek more of the chemical than usual. This reaction could explain why certain variants of the gene influence people’s smoking habits.

The team also found other genetic markers that had weaker correlations with smoking behaviors. None were statistically significant in the current study, but David said some approached genome-wide statistical significance, and they could be pursued further in the future.

“More research is still needed in populations of African ancestry,” said David, “so that the same innovations in personalized medicine promised for all those of European ancestry will be available to those of all ethnic backgrounds.”

The Women’s Health Initiative, which played a major role in the new study, was launched in 1991 as the largest study of women in the country and tracked the health of more than 161,000 postmenopausal women over 15 years. Stanford, with 8,208 participants, was one of the largest sites for the WHI study. Others studies included in the STOMP meta-study were the African American GWAS Consortia of Breast and Prostate Cancer, the Candidate Gene Association Resource Consortium, the Cleveland Family Study, the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, the Jackson Heart Study, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods across the Life Span Study, Health ABC, the Genetic Study of Atherosclerosis Risk, and the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network.

David received funding for the study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The Women’s Health Initiative is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

BY SARAH C.P. WILLIAMS Information about Stanford’s Department of Medicine, which also supported the work, is available at

PRINT MEDIA CONTACT Rosanne Spector | Tel (650) 725-5374 || BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT M.A. Malone | Tel (650) 723-6912

Monday, May 21, 2012

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host "Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,"

EAU CLAIRE —McIntyre Library at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host "Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience," a national traveling exhibition that chronicles the remarkable history of baseball's Negro leagues and the challenges and success of African-American baseball players.

The exhibit is scheduled to be in McIntyre Library from May 29-July 2.

The traveling exhibit is based on an exhibition on permanent display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In addition to the exhibit, McIntyre Library will hold a number of events dedicated to celebrating the African-American baseball experience.

An opening reception is set to host Jerry Poling, a local expert and author of "A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball" at 3 p.m. June 2 in the second floor breezeway of McIntyre Library. Other exhibit events include the following:

Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience"Let's Talk Baseball: Brownbag Lunch Discussion," noon, June 11 and June 25, second floor breezeway, McIntyre Library.
"In Their Own Words: Stories from Negro League Players," 7 p.m., June 13, second floor breezeway, McIntyre Library.
"Larry Lester: Respect, Redemption and Recognition," 7 p.m., June 21, Room 100, Schneider Hall.

The exhibit is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities' "We the People" initiative, which explores significant events and themes in the nation's history and advances knowledge of the principles that define the United States. The events also are in collaboration with the American Library Association and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about these programs, see the schedule of events or call 715-836-3856. -30- CC/JB/DW

News at UW-Eau Claire • Schofield Hall 201 • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire • Eau Claire WI 54702-4004 Phone: 715-836-4741 Questions/Comments:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The University of Rhode Island has announced the recipients of its 2012 Black Scholar Awards.

KINGSTON, R.I. – The University of Rhode Island has announced the recipients of its 2012 Black Scholar Awards.

Donald Cunnigen and Yvette Harps-Logan, members of the URI Black Faculty Association, created the awards program to acknowledge and celebrate African-American students’ accomplishments. The 15th annual ceremony was held last month in the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences.

This year’s awards and their recipients are:

• William Gould Award for All-Around Outstanding Achievement: Mecca Smith, a junior anthropology and film media studies major from Providence, R.I. Smith has minors in international development, leadership, and nonviolence and peace studies. In her three years at URI, she has served as a student admission representative, URI 101 mentor, freshman orientation leader and peer advocate. Smith studied abroad in Belize, where she participated in an ancient Mayan excavation project.

recipients of its 2012 Black Scholar Awards

PROUD MOMENT: Recipients of the 2012 University of Rhode Island Black Scholar Awards pose for a photo after the recent ceremony. URI Photo By Joe Giblin.

• Arthur L. Hardge Award for All-Around Outstanding Community Service: Gafar O. Odufuye, a senior mechanical engineering major with minors in nuclear engineering and Chinese from North Providence, R.I. Odufuye has served as the vice president of URI’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, a tutor, and a mentor to children interested in math and science.

• Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to the University Community: Maria L. Beltre, a senior civil and environmental engineering major with a minor in nuclear engineering from Providence, R.I. Beltre has worked as a research assistant in URI’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and is a member of several student organizations, including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineers.

• Harvey Robert Turner Award for Outstanding Service to the University of Rhode Island Black Community: Stephane Andrade, a senior sociology and political science major from Pawtucket, R.I. He has worked as a resident advisor for the past three years, including summers, and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.

• Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson Scholar-Athlete Awards: Anthony Malhoit, a URI basketball player from Waterford, Conn., and Marissa Norman, a captain of the URI women’s track and field team from Peace Dale, R.I. Malhoit will graduate with a major in psychology and minors in diversity and pluralism, women’s studies, and African and African-American studies. He is a peer advocate at URI and participates in various charity events at elementary schools. Norman is majoring in psychology and has minors in sociology and kinesiology. She is researching and working on a manuscript on drinking and driving performance.

• Noreen Coachman Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Older Student: Mitzie Johnson, a senior human development and family studies major with minors in thanatology and African and African-American studies. The Warwick, R.I. resident plans to pursue a master’s degree in family life education.

• Saint Clair Drake Award for Outstanding Scholarly Research: Justin Brown, a senior Spanish major from Providence, R.I.

• Saint Elmo Brady Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science: Nana Ama Ofei-Tenkorang, a senior biological sciences major with a minor in leadership studies from North Providence, R.I.

• David Edmonds Award for Outstanding Artistic and Creative Expression: Antaeus K. Jefferson, a senior art major from Providence, R.I.

• Estes Benson Award for Academic Achievement: Jillian Marie Winfield, a senior textiles, fashion merchandising and design and theater technology from Andover, Mass. and Rusbel Perez, a general business major from Cranston, R.I.

The ceremony also honored this year’s Rhode Island Onyx Senior Honor Society Inductees. The new members are: Stephane Andrade, Maria L. Beltre, Reumilda R. Correia, Trystan Del Tufo, Anuoluwapo Linda Famodimu, Yvens L. Faustin, James E. Fontes, Maya S. Gibbes, Robert Gilliard, Diamonde C. Goncalves, Brittany S. Hedger, Susanna O. Iwu, Antaeus K. Jefferson, Mitzie Johnson, Tetee R. Joseph, Anthony P. Malhoit, Vaughn X. Martin, Brianna N. Mays, Jasmine Middleton, Admir Monteiro, Paul F. Monteiro, Fatou A. Ndiaye, Marissa Norman, Gafar O. Odufuye, Nana Ama Ofei-Tenkorang, Kelly Oliveira, Kimberly A. Oliveira, Omolara Oriretan, Rusbel Perez, Judy L. Perry, Tonisha Pierre, Kimberly A. Pires, Timothy Quainoo, Jonathan St. John, Mecca Smith, Christie A. Theodore, Celeste G. Thompson-Roach, Nindi D. Tiemo, and Jillian Marie Winfield. +sookie tex

This release was written by Danielle Sanda, an intern in URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing and a public relations major.

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA 1-401-874-1000

Department of Communications and Marketing Division of University Advancement Alumni Center 73 Upper College Road Kingston, Rhode Island 02881 Phone: 401.874.2116 Fax: 401.874.7872

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yoruba Richen “The New Black” examines attitudes in African American churches towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community

Yoruba Richen Wins Creative Promise Award from Tribeca All Access: Documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen keeps piling up the awards for her latest project, “The New Black,” which examines attitudes in African American churches towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

She recently won a $10,000 Creative Promise Award from Tribeca All Access, which supports filmmakers from underrepresented groups.

This honor comes on the heels of Richen’s selection as a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, for which she was awarded $50,000 .

Richen, who teaches Video Documentary and International Reporting at the CUNY J-School, has also received grants from Sundance Documentary Fund, Frameline, Jerome Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, the Robert Giard Foundation, and the CUNY Diversity Fund.

“The New Black” is scheduled for release early in 2013.

By Amy Dunkin | Last updated on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 10:32 am. Graduate School of Journalism | City University of New York, 219 W. 40th Street | New York, NY 10018 | Hours of Operation  (646) 758-7700 |

Friday, May 11, 2012

University of California, Irvine study finds racial, economic disparities in ovarian cancer care, survival

UCI study finds racial, economic disparities in ovarian cancer care, survival
White and affluent women did better than African American and poor women

Poor women and African Americans with ovarian cancer are less likely to receive the highest standards of care, leading to worse outcomes than among white and affluent patients, according to a study of 50,000 women presented by UC Irvine’s Dr. Robert Bristow at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s annual meeting March 27.

“Not all women are benefiting equally from improvements in ovarian cancer care,” said Bristow, UC Irvine’s director of gynecologic oncology services. “The reasons behind these disparities are not entirely clear, which is why we need additional research.”

Dr. Robert Bristow

Dr. Robert Bristow. UC Irvine Healthcare
The study’s goal was to examine differences related to race and socioeconomic status among women being treated for epithelial ovarian carcinomas – cancer that forms on the surface of an ovary. It also aimed to determine whether their care adhered to National Comprehensive Cancer Network treatment guidelines.

Bristow and colleagues found that five-year survival rates varied significantly. (Improvement in ovarian cancer care is measured in length of survival after diagnosis rather than a “cure” rate.)

Among those whose care met NCCN standards, the rate for white women was 41.4 percent, compared with 33.3 percent for African American women. Among those whose care did not meet NCCN standards, the rate for white women was 37.8 percent, compared with 22.5 percent for African American women.

Bristow said that women on Medicaid or those with no insurance had a 30 percent increased risk of death. Poor women – defined as having an annual household income of less than $35,000 – had worse survival rates regardless of race.

He said it’s likely that the effects of race and socioeconomic status are cumulative and that some combination of other medical conditions, poverty, culture and social injustice accounts for the majority of observed disparities.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer, accounting for more than 15,000 deaths a year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Under the best circumstances, treating ovarian cancer is challenging, because there’s no screening tool available to detect the disease in its early stages,” Bristow said.

Only 20 to 30 percent of ovarian cancers are diagnosed while still confined to the primary site; the remainder are identified in advanced stages after spreading to areas such as the liver, the lungs and nearby lymph nodes.

Bristow’s study was part of an effort by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and Washington University in St. Louis to assess the quality and outcomes of ovarian cancer care in the U.S.

About UC Irvine Medical Center: Orange County’s only university hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center offers acute- and general-care services at its new, 482,000-square-foot UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report has included UC Irvine for 11 consecutive years on its list of America’s Best Hospitals, giving special recognition to its urology, gynecology, kidney disorders and cancer programs.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCI news, visit

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

— Orange, Calif., May 08, 2012 — +sookie tex

Media Contact: John Murray. Medical Center Communications 714-456-7759

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tom Corbett Appoints Kiron Skinner to Commission on African American Affairs

Tom Corbett Appoints Kiron Skinner to Commission on African American Affairs

In recognition of Pennsylvania's more than 1.4 million African American citizens, Governor Tom Corbett has named distinguished community leaders to serve on the Governor's Advisory Commission on African American Affairs. Included on the 18-person advisory commission is Carnegie Mellon University's Kiron Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences and director of CMU's Center for International Relations and Politics.

"The history of African Americans in Pennsylvania reflects a diverse and unique blend of cultural, social and economic influences which have had and continue to have a beneficial impact on life in the commonwealth," Corbett said.

The commission advises and makes recommendations to the governor on policies, procedures, legislation, and regulations that affect the African American community. It works to articulate and address the unique needs and issues of concerns of the African American community.

Kiron Skinner

Carnegie Mellon's Kiron Skinner, is a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy.
Skinner is a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy. She serves on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2001-2007, she was a member of the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Policy Board as an adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Additionally, Skinner is the coauthor, along with political scientists Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Condoleezza Rice, of "The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin," which is now used in political science courses at leading research universities.

### +sookie tex

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Carnegie Mellon News 5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (412) 268-2900. Contact: Shilo Rea / 412.268.6094 /

Monday, May 7, 2012

A History of the Black Aesthetic, A Brief Sketch

In partnership with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Duquesne University’s McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts will present the second annual Black Aesthetics and Politics Conference on Friday, May 4, at 8 p.m. at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.

This year, the conference takes the form of performance art in a series of vignettes titled A History of the Black Aesthetic, A Brief Sketch. Throughout the evening, different artists will interpret four periods of African-American arts: the 1600s-1920, 1930-1950, 1960-1970 and 1980-today. By mixing music, dance and poetry, the performers will bring to life the aesthetic period each era represents.

The featured artists are:

BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble, a DJ and musician
Gene Stovall, a Duquesne graduate, singer and guitarist
Kendra “Vie Boheme” Dennard, a member of the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble
Luqmon A. Salaam, a hip-hop performance poet and playwright.

The event is $10 per person; tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students’ social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne’s commitment to sustainability.

This release was posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at 11:19 am and is filed under Centers & Institutes, Community Involvement, Events.

TEXT CREDIT: Duquesne University Media Contacts: Karen Ferrick-Roman Media Relations Manager 412.396.1154 412.736.1877 (cell) Rose Ravasio Media Relations Manager 412.396.6051 412.818.0234 (cell)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Isabel Wilkerson, Chronicler of African American Migration, Receives Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award

Isabel Wilkerson, Chronicler of African American Migration, Receives Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Rutgers Living History Society will present its Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award to Isabel Wilkerson, whose epic history, The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Random House, 2010), tells the story of the 20th-century migration of African Americans from the south to the north.

The Rutgers Living History Society, comprised of participants in the Rutgers Oral History Archives program, will present the Ambrose Award to Wilkerson at its annual meeting on May 11.

"I am thrilled to receive the Stephen E. Ambrose Award,” Wilkerson said. “I raced against the clock to gather the experiences of people who were part of the Great Migration. I narrowed 1,200 interviews down to three protagonists to bring the story of this mass movement to life before it was too late. This award is validation for the 15 years it took to complete the project, and I am honored and so very grateful to have been chosen as winner of an award that bears the name of one of our country's great historians."

Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson
Wilkerson, the former Chicago bureau chief for The New York Times, spent 15 years working on the book and interviewed more than 1,200 people. Eventually, she intertwined a general history of the migration with the personal stories of three people: Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife from Mississippi; George Swanson Starling, a farm worker from Florida; and Joseph Pershing Foster, a doctor from Louisiana.

Gladney went to Chicago in the 1930s, Starling to New York City in the 1940s and Foster drove from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950s. In researching her book, Wilkerson made the same drive, without stopping to eat or rest in places where, in his time, Foster would not have been allowed to eat or rest.

The Warmth of Other Suns has won several awards and honors, including the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Hillman Book Prize, the 2011 Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the 2011 Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize, the Independent Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University, the NAACP Image Award for best literary debut and was shortlisted for the 2011 Pen-Galbraith Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. Wilkerson also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Wilkerson has taught at Princeton University and Emory University. She is currently a professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., where she was born and raised.

In receiving the Ambrose Award, Wilkerson joins historians Michael and Elizabeth Norman, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay; documentarian Ken Burns; journalist Rick Atkinson; the late journalist Studs Terkel; film maker Steven Spielberg; and broadcaster Tom Brokaw. +sookie tex

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Rutgers Today Media Contact: Ken Branson (732) 932-7084, ext. 633 E-mail:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Deep River: The African American Choral Spiritual

From the days of slavery 150 years ago, the African American spiritual grew out of the earliest days of Black America.

Over time, spirituals spread across denominations, cultures, and concert venues around the country and the world. Many of us have heard this music without being aware of how deep the meaning and history run beneath the surface. “Deep River” is a one-hour radio special produced in partnership with IU’s African American Arts Institute, and hosted by Ross Gay, a poet and professor of creative writing. The guest is IU Emeritus Professor James E. Mumford—performer, composer, educator, and director of IU’s African American Choral Ensemble for more than two decades.

Spirituals, according to Dr. Mumford, are "books in the library of primary sources of the real experiences of enslaved Africans." Spirituals can tell us "how they felt about slavery, were able to endure it; define it; adapt it; hate it; to fight it, and to eventually come out of it."

African American Choral Ensemble

African American Choral Ensemble

The language in spirituals, their poetry, comes out of the necessity to use double entendre in order to veil the messages hidden in each song. As Dr. Mumford says, "one finds in the Spirituals the polarities of hope and despair, joy and sorrow, death and life."

“Deep River” premieres on WFIU Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m., and can be heard on demand at The program is funded in part by a grant from Arts Week Everywhere, an annual celebration of the arts on the Indiana University campus and in the Bloomington community. Arts Week Everywhere is sponsored by the Indiana University Office of the Provost and coordinated by students in IU’s Master of Arts Administration program.

WFIU — Public Radio from Indiana University — is your local source for classical music, jazz, and news. WFIU is an NPR affiliate serving central and southern Indiana.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John Bailey, Marketing Director WFIU – Public Radio from Indiana University 1229 E 7th St Bloomington, IN 47405 (812) 855-0198 +sookie tex

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