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African American & African Studies
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Department News

  • AA&AS welcomes three new members of our community! 

    We have a new AA&AS academic advisor: Andrew Williams. Andrew wears many hats in CLA. He is currently director of diversity support programs, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program (MLK) and President's Emerging Scholars (PES) programs. Andrew Williams is also serving as interim director of advising and student support. He will be a great addition to our unit as an academic advisor, given the depth and reach of his experience in the area of student services. In addition, Andrew will be teaching one of our courses this Fall. He comes to us with a solid academic training in the field of African Diaspora studies broadly and cultural anthropology specifically. Prior to the University of Minnesota, he taught courses in cultural anthropology and directed the Black Studies Program for several years at DePauw University in Indiana.

    We are also supporting the residency of Freda Fair, the 2015-16 Woodrow Wilson Mellon May Graduate Fellow. Freda comes to us from UCLA. A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Gender Studies, Freda's areas of specializations include black queer studies, Midwest studies, visual culture, affective labor, social movements, black resistant practices, and neoliberal governance and surveillance. This residency supports Freda's dissertation research and writing.

    Finally, this Fall 2015, Peter Rachleff will teach Professor Keith Mayes's Afro 3866: The Civil Rights and Black Power Movement. For over three decades, he taught labor, immigration, and African American history courses at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is one of the leading historians of race and labor in the field of U.S. labor history. He is the author of Black Labor in Richmond and Hard Pressed in the Heartland. He also edited the book titled Starving Amidst Too Much & Other IWW Writings on the Food Industry, published by Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company. Currently he is the founding co-director of the East Side Freedom Library (ESFL) in St. Paul. The ESFL is a crossroads of labor, arts, immigration, and education that brings together people and multiple forms of knowledge.
    September 10th, 2015
  • Keith Mayes and Rose Brewer provide insight on the legacy of racial injustice in US history and current events

    Keith Mayes, AA&AS associate professor and department chair, talks about the importance of teaching about Ferguson on KSTP. Learn more.

    Rose Brewer, AA&AS professor, talks with a StarTribune reporter about how racial inequity was built into the GI Bill. Learn more.

    November 26th, 2014
  • Bill Ayers to give talk, "Teaching to Disrupt"

    Thumbnail image for Ayers.jpgAt the opening of Minneapolis Teachers Institute Symposium series, educator, author, and activist William Ayers will address MTI's 2014-2015 theme, Love Pedagogy: Disrupting the Violence Against Young Bodies on Saturday, November 22, 12pm - 1pm in room 412 Science Teaching and Student Services, 222 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis. To attend, RSVP. Learn more.

    November 10th, 2014
  • Njeri Githire publishes "Cannibal Writes"; Poets speak on Ferguson

    Thumbnail image for Cannibal Writes.png Cannibal Writes: Eating Others in Caribbean and Indian Ocean Women's Writing
    Njeri Githire, AA&AS associate professor, will talk about her new book Cannibal Writes as part of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change Brown Bag Series on Friday, November 7 at 12pm at 537 Heller Hall, 271 19th Avenue S
    Minneapolis. Learn more.

    "Living Past Living in the Present" is a community forum about the rising tensions in Ferguson, Missouri and the role of state violence. Poets Tish Jones, Taiyon Coleman and Chaun Webster will share their insights and challenge us to rethink violence against Black bodies. Friday, November 7, 6pm at Cafe Southside, 3405 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis.

    Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Michael Brown poster.jpg Ferguson Forum.pdf

    October 27th, 2014
  • AA&AS Open House

    OpenHouse Sign.JPGJoin AA&AS students, faculty and staff at our annual Open House on Wednesday, October 22, 11AM - 1PM in 860 Social Sciences, 267 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Learn about AA&AS's undergraduate program and graduate minor. Refreshments will be served.

    October 9th, 2014
  • Jessica Gordon Nembhard to give a talk on her book Collective Courage

    Jessica Gordon Nembhard to give a talk on her book Collective Courage: A History of African-American Economic Cooperative Thought & Practice, September 29, 12:30pm in room 180 Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Learn more JGN_flier_d2.pdf.

    Isabel Wilkerson, author of Warmth of Other Suns gives a talk on October 1.
    Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson kicks off the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries speaker series with a special lecture, "The Warmth of Other Suns: Telling the Human Story of an Epic Migration." Learn more.

    Gloria Rolando, Cuban filmmaker will screen her documentary film 1912, Breaking the Silence (1912, Voces Para un Silencio) on October 7, 6:30pm - 8:30pm in Hanson Hall room 1-103. Learn GR_flier_d2.pdf.







    MINNEAPOLIS TEACHERS INSTITUTE
    Learning Girl2.jpg
    The Minneapolis Teachers Institute is now accepting applications from preK-12 educators for the 2014-2015 school-year. Upload an application MTI App_2014-15.pdf and visit our website.

    September 24th, 2014
  • Rose Brewer to give a talk on Ferguson

    Rose Brewer, AA&AS professor, will give her talk, "The Precarious Live of Black Bodies in the Age of Ferguson, Obama, and the Militarization of the Police" on Friday, September 19 at 425 Blegan Hall at 12pm as part of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change Brown Bag Talk Series. [photo credit: Dread Scott, "I Am Not a Man"; performance still; 2009]image001.jpg







    MINNEAPOLIS TEACHERS INSTITUTE
    Learning Girl2.jpg
    The Minneapolis Teachers Institute is now accepting applications from preK-12 educators for the 2014-2015 school-year. Upload an application MTI App_2014-15.pdf and visit our website.



    September 17th, 2014
  • Taiyon Coleman, AA&AS lecturer, speaks at TEDxUMN: Mapping Our Potential

    8S59D90F15RBJD95-l.jpg

    Taiyon Coleman, AA&AS lecturer, speaks at TEDxUMN: Mapping Our Potential See Coleman's talk "Poems As Maps".

    B_Amber-480x320.jpg

    Amber Jones, AA&AS major, researches local African American history via the McNair Scholars program.Read more
    about Amber's research on W. Gertrude Brown.

    MINNEAPOLIS TEACHERS INSTITUTE
    Learning Girl2.jpg
    The Minneapolis Teachers Institute is now accepting applications from preK-12 educators for the 2014-2015 school-year. Upload an application MTI App_2014-15.pdf and visit our website.

    JOHN WRIGHT
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    The Minnesota Daily highlights the work and legacy of professor John Wright in the article, "The Wright Legacy".

    August 19th, 2014
  • Amber Jones, AA&AS major, researches local histories

    Amber Jones, AA&AS major, researches local African American history via the McNair Scholars program. B_Amber-480x320.jpg
    Read more about Amber's research on W. Gertrude Brown.

    MINNEAPOLIS TEACHERS INSTITUTE
    Learning Girl2.jpg
    The Minneapolis Teachers Institute is now accepting applications from preK-12 educators for the 2014-2015 school-year. Upload an application MTI App_2014-15.pdf and visit our website.

    JOHN WRIGHT
    Thumbnail image for banner1.jpg
    The Minnesota Daily highlights the work and legacy of professor John Wright in the article, "The Wright Legacy".




    August 1st, 2014
  • Professor Rose Brewer honored as the 2014 CLA Dean's Medalist

    Congratulations to Professor Rose Brewer for earning the 2014 CLA Dean's Medal. On April 8th, she was honored and presented the address, "Black Life in the 21st Century U.S.: Complexities of Political Economy, Race, and Ideology" at Northrup Auditorium. The CLA Dean's Medal was created by an anonymous donor to reward a faculty member's excellence in scholarship or creative activity.

    Award-winning poet Patricia Smith and Young Adult novelist Rita Williams-Garcia at the Minneapolis Teachers Institute Year-End Colloquium, Saturday, May 17 at STSS Building. Learn more.



    March 31st, 2014
  • MLK Day Concert

    "Tapestry of Dreams," an annual concert remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dr. Reginald Buckner (founder of the concert), will be held on Sunday, January 23, 2011, 4:00-6:00 pm, Ted Mann Concert Hall. The event is jointly sponsored by the Office for Equity and Diversity and the School of Music. For event details, contact: Ralph Blanco, Office for Equity and Diversity, rblanco@umn.edu, (612) 625-8680; or visit http://z.umn.edu/MLK2011. The concert is free and open to the public.

    January 13th, 2011
  • The Value of Kwanzaa

    On December 26, 2010 Associate Professor Keith Mayes was interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) about The Value of Kwanzaa.

    January 3rd, 2011
  • Somalis in Minnesota

    According to December 2010 American Community Survey data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 30% of Americans with Somali ancestry live in Minnesota: approximately 25,000 out of about 85,700.

    December 14th, 2010
  • "Wigger" screening and discussion

    The movie Wigger will be screened at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Theater on Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 6:30-9:00 pm. This spellbinding urban drama chronicles the life of a young, White male named Brandon who totally emulates and immerses himself in African American life and culture. Shot in North Omaha, Nebraska, Brandon struggles to find a place for himself in a world in which he rejects his Whiteness, but is not always fully embraced by African American culture.

    Join us for an evening with Dr. Omowale Akintunde, writer and director of Wigger for the film's premiere in Minnesota, followed by a discussion and Q&A session, facilitated by AA&AS faculty Keith Mayes and Alexs Pate.

    The event is free, but registration is required online, or call Thien Nguyen-August at 651-772-4254.

    For more information visit http://www.minnesotahumanities.org/wigger, or contact
    James Zacchini, 651-772-4249, james@minnesotahumanities.org


    December 1st, 2010
  • The University District

    The University District is an alliance established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2007 to define a vision for the future development of four historic neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota. In Voices of the University District residents and business owners describe life near a major urban university.

    November 19th, 2010
  • Nollywood

    The blog for Afar magazine has an interesting post about Nollywood, Nigeria's film industry.


    November 16th, 2010
  • NOMMO African American authors series

    On Wednesday, November 3, the NOMMO African American Authors series begins its 2010-2011 season. Professor Alexs Pate hosts poet Patricia Smith at 7:00 PM in Cowles Auditorium (located in the Hubert H. Humphrey Center.) Patricia Smith is the author of five acclaimed poetry volumes, including a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, Blood Dazzler, which chronicles the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina.


    October 22nd, 2010
  • African American Family Scholarship Information Night

    Have questions about paying for college? Go to African American Family Scholarship Information Night to learn how. Families with children of all ages are welcome to hear useful information from college admission and financial aid people, current college students, and parents.

    Date/Time: October 26, 2010, 5-8:30 pm
    Place: North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center, 1711 West Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55411
    More information: http://www.mmep.org/mmep_events.html

    October 15th, 2010
  • Continuously Rich: Black Women in Cultural Production

    "Continuously Rich: Black Women in Cultural Production," a Symposium
    October 21 - 23, 2010

    http://www.dance.umn.edu/symposium.php

    "Continuously Rich: Black Women in Cultural Production" is a University of Minnesota Dance symposium that features the work of black women choreographers working from different contexts, aesthetics, and thematic foci, and whose work comments back on any stereotypical notions of what "black dance" might be. The symposium will be held from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23, 2010 at the University of Minnesota, and will begin with a keynote lecture by widely renowned performance scholar Awam Ampka entitled "African Bodies as Texts." A second keynote lecture, "Continuously Rich: Legacies of Black Women in American Concert Dance" will be presented by Thomas DeFrantz, the acclaimed scholar and author of Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture. Students of the University of Minnesota will also present their research on black women choreographers in a "History Jam" during the symposium. University of Minnesota Dance Program students will perform "Walking with Pearl...Southern Diaries," choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and re-staged by Urban Bush Women Artists, and "Dark Swan" choreographed and re-staged by Nora Chipaumire. The performances will be followed by a panel discussion with artists led by Artistic Director Ananya Chatterjea.

    The symposium and the informal performances will take place in Studio 100 in the Barker Center for Dance. This event is free and open to the public. The general public will be able to see ticketed and fully produced performances of "Walking with Pearl Southern Diaries" and "Dark Swan" in the annual University Dance Theatre concert in December 2010.

    October 12th, 2010
  • jazz education classes

    The Minneapolis Public Schools' Radio Voice for Jazz and Education (Jazz88 KBEM) is partnering with Minneapolis Community Education to present a series of classes on jazz in October and November, 2010.

    October 6th, 2010
  • Ethnic Studies week

    The first Ethnic Studies Week will be October 1-7, 2010. Ethnic Studies Week is a nationally coordinated week of actions to defend ethnic studies programs and academic freedom.


    August 26th, 2010
  • BlackAtlas.com

    The new website BlackAtlas.com claims to offer "a unique look at travel from an African-American perspective." The website is sponsored by American Airlines, which raises interesting questions about objectivity.


    August 25th, 2010
  • Communicating with African friends and family

    A new undersea fiber-optic cable along the coast of East Africa promises to improve phone and Internet communications between East Africa and the rest of the world. Here in Minnesota, particularly, immigrant and refugee populations from Somalia and Ethiopia anticipate less expensive and more reliable connections.

    August 20th, 2010
  • UROC art exhibit

    The University's Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) is staging its inaugural art exhibit, "Ancestry: Celebrating Diversity and Commonality in Community." Featuring works by Fawzia Khan and Lynn Fellman (created in collaboration with six community organizations), the exhibit can be viewed from 8:30 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Friday. For additional information, visit www.deepancestryportrait.com.

    July 23rd, 2010
  • revised website

    The website for the Department of African American & African Sudies has been updated. As part of this process we have a new URL (http://aaas.umn.edu/) and email address (aaas@umn.edu). The old afroam.umn.edu and afroam@umn.edu URL and email address, however, are still in operation, as they get redirected to the new locations.


    July 12th, 2010
  • Presentation on Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Africa

    On February 4, 2010, the African Union adopted the decision of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) in the case of Endorois Welfare Council v. Kenya. After more than decade of litigation in front of the Kenyan courts and at the ACHPR, the ruling validated the Endorois' claim that the Kenyan government had removed them from their ancestral land in a manner that violated the community's fundamental rights to practice their culture and religion, to economic development, and to freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources. On Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from
    12:00-1:00 P.M. Abraham Korir Sing'Oei will discuss the case and its ramifications based on his experience as a longtime advocate for the Endorois and for indigenous rights in Africa. The presentation will take place at the law offices of Robins, Kaplan, Miller, and Ciresi, 2800 LaSalle Plaza, 800 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, 55402. Lunch and parking validation are provided. R.S.V.P. by Monday, June 28: (612) 341-3302 ext. 128, or lyoung@advrights.org

    Abraham Korir Sing'Oei is a Kenyan lawyer and human rights advocate. He is co-founder, former executive director, and current board member of the Center for Minority Rights Development, a non-governmental organization focused on strategic litigation and advocacy to protect the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples across Africa. Sing'Oei was co-counsel for the Endorois Welfare Organization in their 7-year long case before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Sing'Oei was a Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota and holds an LLM from the University of Minnesota Law School. Sing'Oei is currently a Democracy and Governance Program Officer with the US Agency for International Development in Nairobi.

    June 25th, 2010
  • Juneteenth 2010

    June 19 is Juneteenth (also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day), a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The 2010 Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration and Festival will take place on Saturday, June 19, at North Mississippi Regional Park, 5114 North Mississippi Drive in Minneapolis.

    June 14th, 2010
  • Onishi's Diaspora essay

    The journal XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics has launched a new blog in order to reach a broader audience. Assistant Professor Yuichiro Onishi's short essay on Diaspora originally appeared in 2005 (number 15/16 of the print version of the journal).

    June 2nd, 2010
  • Mayes' teaching award

    Assistant Professor Keith Mayes has received a 2010 College of Liberal Arts Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award. The Motley Award honors faculty who inspire and care, who make themselves approachable, who show an interest in individual students' well-being and in programs for the benefit of students generally, who give of themselves generously in advising, counseling, and directing projects, and who create an active classroom atmosphere. Such faculty provide a model to undergraduate students through their own research and teaching, and leave an impression by their efforts which alumni recall with appreciation and esteem. Dr. Mayes was also recently awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor (effective August 2010).

    May 27th, 2010
  • African immigration to Minnesota

    The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has published a story about African immigration to Minnesota: 2009 marked the first time Africa was the source of a majority of Minnesota's legal immigrants, with Somalia sending the largest number.

    May 16th, 2010
  • Outreach Coordinator in the news

    AA&AS Outreach Coordinator Scott Redd has introduced many exciting outreach and engagement activities since joining the department in 2008. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has published an article about a recent campus visit for Minneapolis' Bryn Mawr Community School fifth-graders, in which Scott played a large role.


    May 5th, 2010
  • China's African Development

    The May 2010 issue of The Atlantic magazine has an interesting story about China's development efforts in Africa. Is China "The Next Empire"?

    April 30th, 2010
  • Digital Storytelling research on "Discover CLA" webpage

    Professor Walt Jacobs' research on digital storytelling is a featured story on the Discover CLA webpage. Click on the second icon to view a 12.5 minute video: "The Pedagogy of Digital Storytelling in the College Classroom."


    April 27th, 2010
  • Northrop Dance event

    Nora Chipaumire with Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited
    Lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi
    Thursday, April 29, 7:30pm, Northrop Auditorium


    Lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi is dedicated to the visual, aural, and kinesthetic equivalent of Africa's great cities. Self-exiled artist and Bessie Award winner, Chipaumire is known for her brave, transnational work that investigates cultural, political, economical, and technological identities of African contemporary life. Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, during the Chipurenga Chechipiri (second war of liberation), Chipaumire probes into the heart of her homeland without restriction. Joining her is dancer Souleymane Badolo and master musician and poet Thomas Mapfumo with his band The Blacks Unlimited. For further information contact the Northrop Box Office (612-625-6600) or visit
    www.northrop.umn.edu.


    April 27th, 2010
  • The Prep School Negro

    A preliminary version of the documentary The Prep School Negro will be screened and discussed at the Friends School of Minnesota on Sunday, April 18, 6:30 PM.

    April 13th, 2010
  • ASA African Night 2010

    Join the African Student Association from 5-7 on Saturday, April 17, 2010 for African Night 2010, their largest event of the year. Join them in Coffman Union's "Great Hall" as they take it "back to our roots" with a night filled with talented performances and a fashion show showcasing the wonderfully diverse cultures of Africa. After the show, enjoy delicious African cuisine! Admission: FREE for all U of M students and $5 for all non-U of M students.


    April 13th, 2010
  • Diversity Through the Disciplines symposium

    The Institute for Diversity Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) announces the return of Diversity Through the Disciplines, a day-long symposium showcasing the research of faculty who were awarded the President's Multicultural Faculty Research Award in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The symposium will be held on Friday, April 30th in the President's Room of the Coffman Memorial Union from 9:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 70 participants, so please register at your earliest convenience.

    Re-named the IDEA Multicultural Research Award, these research grants exist to encourage and support research by faculty of color and to promote research on issues related to communities of color in the United States as well as abroad. The Luncheon keynote will be provided by Professor Tobin Siebers of the University of Michigan, author of Disability Theory. Lunch is provided. Seating is limited; register for the symposium here: http://www.saa.umn.edu/oed/idea/register

    For a full schedule of presenters as well as future updates, check: http://www.academic.umn.edu/equity/institute.html

    Please direct any questions or requests for accommodations to oedidea@umn.edu or call 612.624.0594.



    April 7th, 2010
  • Community - University Research Spring Grants

    Community groups are invited to join Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute staff at the Urban Research and Outreach Center (UROC) for a question and answer session on our recent Request For Proposals: Community - University Research Spring Grants. Stop by between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 1st to have your questions answered or to get feedback on your existing project. RSVP is not required, but appreciated in order to gauge the size of the group. Please send RSVP or other inquiries to hfhl@umn.edu. Visit www.hfhl.umn.edu for additional information.

    March 26th, 2010
  • new course: Black Women in Cultural Production

    Black Women in Cultural Production

    AFRO 5910/DNCE 5500
    3 weeks during May Session 2010
    May 24 - June 11, M-Th 11:15 - 2:30

    Instructors: Rose Marie Brewer and Ananya Chatterjea.

    "Black Women in Cultural Production" is a studio/lecture class investigating the history and politics of cultural production in visual and performing arts, by black women in both diasporic locations and transnationally. Examining the work of a select group of artists, the course will propose some core questions about the ways we come to know and value their artistic production.

    Some of the questions we will be investigating are: How do we learn to read resistance in such work? How do these histories position us to think about the ideas and aesthetics articulated in the work of contemporary practicing Black women artists? What kinds of epistemological questions, questions about world-making and world-knowing, are proposed by the tropes that inform such cultural production?

    The course will conclude with students creating presentations and writing brief papers that they will be invited to present in a History Jam session at a symposium hosted by the Dance Program in October 2010.

    March 26th, 2010
  • From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop & Action

    From April 9 to April 11, 2010, the University of Minnesota will be hosting "From Vices to Verses," a conference featuring workshops, performances, discussions, and educational events centered around how hip hop pedagogy, activism, and culture can educate, empower and transform communities. The conference will focus on three central themes:

    • April 9: "I Used to Love H.E.R.: Bring Back the Love," exploring hip hop feminism and women's roles &mdash past, present and future &mdash in hip hop culture. Keynote speaker: hip hop activist and former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente.

    • April 10: "Remixing Borders, Transcending Boundaries," focusing on using hip hop as a tool to create unity and move beyond generational, national and cultural boundaries. Keynote speaker: hip hop activist and author Bakari Kitwana.

    • April 11: "Us," focusing on hip hop's power to heal and transform individuals and communities through organizing, activism and youth engagement. Keynote speaker: educator and multidisciplinary artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.


    Other presenters include filmmaker Rachel Ramist, Chaka Mkali of the Hope Community Center, Sage Morgan Hubbard of Northwestern University, Ruth Nicole Brown of the University of Illinois, poet and activist Tish Jones, rapper/poet/writer Kyle "Guante" Myhre, photographer B-Fresh and many more.

    Workshops on spoken word, breakdancing, drumming, MC-ing and community organizing. Come learn, celebrate and participate in contemporary hip hop culture in the Twin Cities.

    On Saturday, April 10, noted Twin Cities performers Toki Wright, Maria Isa, PosNoSys, Ill Chemistry, the Tru Ruts crew and others will take over the Cabooze for a special concert.

    For more information please contact Idalia Robles at 612-624-6006. Registration for the conference is free. For updates, see http://vicestoverses.blogspot.com.


    March 7th, 2010
  • Morrill Hall/Rachel Tilsen Social Justice Fund

    The Morrill Hall and Rachel Tilsen Social Justice Fund has been created to acknowledge and honor the work of the Afro American Action Committee (AAAC) and Rachel Tilsen. By acknowledging the 1969 Morrill Hall Take-Over at the University of Minnesota Campus (see the award-winning film at www.vimeo.com/6608437) and Rachel Tilsen, we recognize the importance of personal sacrifices as well as organizational efforts in the struggle for social justice. The Afro American Action Committee (AAAC) emerged from a rich tradition of protest, revolt, and resistance to the spirit of racism and ruthless domination. AAAC embraced the "incarnate spirit of justice, hatred of a lie, that willingness to sacrifice money, reputation, education and life itself on the Alter of right." AAAC stood on the shoulders of the NAACP and the Niagara Movement. The members of AAAC believed, they stood and they spoke. In fact the tenacity of the AAAC members transformed the University of Minnesota to become more inclusive, more tolerant, and less separated from the dynamics of the entire community.

    Rachel Tilsen epitomized the term Social Justice. Rachel was more than just a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend and wife. She was a fierce freedom fighter and lover of life. In many respects her legacy lies in her courage and the attributes she instilled in every woman that had the opportunity to meet her. She was not only a freedom fighter she was a teacher. Rachel taught others to have respect for self, family, culture and history. She was a morale lifter who believed that you had to let your voice be heard and that you had to follow your words with action. She championed what she believed. Rachel insisted that we have a responsibility to stand up for the people who do not have the strength or the will to stand for themselves. Rachel fought for social justice regardless of race, color, religion or creed.

    The Morrill Hall and Rachel Tilsen Social Justice Fund is intended to continue and promote the activism AAAC and Rachel subscribed to: equality and justice for all people, with all people equally valued; vigilant relentless struggle in the fight for justice.

    Grants up to $5000 will be awarded to individuals or organizations for projects addressing social justice.

    Applications and criteria are available for download. Email questions to mhrtjfquestions@gmail.com

    Applications will be accepted up to midnight April 1, 2010.

    Awards will be presented on May 1, 2010 at the inaugural Morrill Hall/Rachel Tilsen Social Justice Fund Gala Event.

    February 26th, 2010
  • African Americans in the movies, 2009

    2009 had few great roles for African Americans in the movies, according to a February 21, 2010 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.

    February 21st, 2010
  • HeLa cell line

    In 1951 an African American woman's biopsy cells were made available to biological researchers, without her knowledge or consent. Today her cell line is one of the most powerful ones for scientific research. See a Wired magazine article on Henrietta Lacks for more information.

    February 4th, 2010
  • 2010 Martin Luther King Celebration

    The University of Minnesota's 2010 Martin Luther King Celebration will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commemorate Black History Month with music, song, readings, and spoken word poetry. This year's event takes place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on February 21, 2010, in the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the West Bank of the University's Twin Cities campus. The event is free and open to the public.

    February 3rd, 2010
  • February 3 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, February 3, Dr. Wendy Thompson will present "Trade: Negotiating Money, Goods, and 'Foreignness' in the Experiences of African Traders in Contemporary Hong Kong and China" from 2:15-4:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]

    In July of 2009, Guangzhou police raided the Tangqi Garment Mall, a shopping center predominately frequented by Nigerian traders. The raid led to the critical injury of at least one man who had either jumped or fallen from a building in an attempt to escape. While it wasn't the first time a police raid had targeted the Guangzhou Nigerian community--city police regularly stopped African men in public and searched them without their consent in an attempt to look for "foreigners" who had overstayed their visas and were in China illegally--this particular incident led to a protest against the police in which one- to two-hundred Nigerians gathered outside the Kuangquan Street station and stopped traffic for five hours. The protest would make national and world news as it was the first time in contemporary Chinese history that "foreigners" had staged anything like it publically.
    Dr. Thompson's presentation is a preview of her post-protest findings during the three weeks she spent in Hong Kong and Mainland China in late November/early December of 2009. She will be showing a series of photographs and giving personal observations of contact with African men and women in Hong Kong as well as with a small community of Yoruba traders on the Mainland. Dr. Thompson sees this preliminary research as providing new insight to existing knowledge on African Diaspora, contemporary migration, and the impact of globalization on twenty-first century race relations in Asia.
    January 29th, 2010
  • iAfrica at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

    From 6-9 P.M. on Thursday, January 21, 2010 the Minneapolis Institute of Arts presents iAfrica: Connecting with Sub-Saharan Art. Visitors with iPhones can download an application that incorporates detailed information about the objects and themes in the exhibition. The app also has a component that allows visitors to virtually play one of the musical objects in the exhibition. Both the app and the iAfrica event are free.

    January 7th, 2010
  • Kwanzaa research featured in an AP story

    Professor Keith Mayes' research on Kwanzaa is discussed in an Associated Press article. His research is also featured in a multimedia story on the CLA home page.

    December 17th, 2009
  • Kwanzaa research on CLA home page

    Professor Keith Mayes' research on Kwanzaa is the featured story for December 14-20 on the CLA home page. The multimedia story includes a video and a podcast.


    December 14th, 2009
  • History Museum Fellowship Program

    The Minnesota Historical Society and the College of Liberal Arts are seeking to fill 10 positions for undergraduate students who are interested in learning about careers as museum professionals or public historians. This program is designed to address the underrepresentation of individuals from communities of color and American Indian Nations in historical organizations and public history graduate programs. Participants will be chosen through a competitive application process. Applicants chosen for the program will:
    • Register for a weekly, directed studies seminar through the Department of American Studies for spring semester 2009-2010 instructed by program staff, visiting scholars, U of M faculty, and MHS professionals.
    • Receive a paid internship ($2,500) with MHS during the summer of 2010 designed to provide participants with real-world public history experience.
    • Go on a week-long, summer study tour of museums and historic sites in and around the Washington D.C. area. Participants will visit museums and network with other professionals in the museum and public history fields. Travel expenses will be paid by the program.
    • Receive follow-up mentoring from program staff regarding employment opportunities and graduate programs in museum studies and/or public history.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION AND AN APPLICATION, please contact program coordinator, Chris Taylor, at chris.taylor@mnhs.org

    December 10th, 2009
  • Langston Hughes event

    "Juke Box Love Song: A Celebration of Langston Hughes on the 50th Anniversary of Selected Poems" will be held on Friday, December 4, at 7:00pm in Lind Hall 150. This Department of English program celebrates poet, dramatist, and novelist Langston Hughes. The department is seeking people to read Hughes' poems (or excerpts from his plays or novels) out loud in whatever language they choose &mdash maybe even one of the poems he chose not to include in Selected Poems. To sign up, email Terri at sutt0063@umn.edu. There will be food, drink, and good company.

    November 30th, 2009
  • African Student Association Red Spots series

    During the month of November the African Student Association will host "Red Spots," a series of events designed to raise awareness about important issues taking place on the continent of Africa.

    Fall Soccer Tournament.
    Friday, November 13, 6-9pm in the Field House of the University Recreation Center (1906 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455). Proceeds of the tournament will go to Students Against Hunger.

    Presentation by Oromia Student Union & Eritrean Student Association.
    Wednesday, November 18, 5pm in Coffman Union room 201. OSU & ERISA will give presentations on their history and culture, and look at controversial issues affecting their peoples.

    Invisible Children screening of Together We Are Free.
    Wednesday, November 18, 7pm at the Oak Street Cinema (309 Oak St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455). Together We Are Free is a documentary that follows youth around the world as they call attention to the situation of child soldiers in East Africa. A panel discussion follows the screening. This event is free.

    Screening of the documentary Africa Open for Business.
    Tuesday, November 24, 5pm in Coffman Union room 201. "Imagine an Africa with entrepreneurial spirit that is striving to take care of itself and finding African solutions to African problems."

    November 13th, 2009
  • NOMMO African American Author Series

    On Wednesday, November 11, the NOMMO African American Author Series begins its 2009-2010 season. Professor Alexs Pate hosts Ishmael Reed at 7:00 PM in the Coffman Memorial Union Theater. Ishmael Reed is a poet, publisher, editor, and author of 25 books, including Conjure, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

    November 4th, 2009
  • November 4 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, November 4, Ann Dillard will present "Friends of Senegal" from 2:30-4:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    For the past two years Ann Dillard has taken mission trips to Senegal, West Africa. She toured many sites in Senegal, but has concentrated her work in the village of Rufisque. Ann learned of the devastating problems and many deaths of children and adults from widespread malaria in the area. Research shows that every 30 seconds a child under the age of five dies of malaria in Africa - more than 3,000 every day- more than a million every year. Malaria is the number one cause of death in Senegal.
    Upon returning from Senegal in February 2008, Ann started an organization called Project Safety Nets (www.projectsafetynets.org). The mission of this organization is to provide support to members of underserved communities in Senegal that will help them meet basic every day needs. This support includes, but is not limited to: school supplies, non-prescription pain medication, resources to empower women entrepreneurs, and mosquito bed nets to protect against malaria.
    In this coffee hour presentation Ann will share stories about her amazing journey and the work that continues to be done in Senegal.
    October 30th, 2009
  • "For Colored Girls..." play

    The U of M's Nolte Xperimental Theatre presents Ntozake Shange's 1975 stageplay For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf October 29 - November 1. This choreopoem features seven different women, nameless, each known by a different color. Stories of love, abandonment, rape, domestic violence, strength, independence, and healing are shared with the audience. October 29-Ocrtober 31 performances are held at 7:00 pm; the November 1 perfromance is at 2:00 pm. For reservations call 612.625.1876 or email thex@umn.edu.

    October 26th, 2009
  • 40th Anniversary exhibit

    In 1969 the University of Minnesota established the African American and American Indian Studies Departments, the second and first such departments respectively to be founded in the United States. To celebrate the anniversary of this historic event the University Libraries system has put together a display of archival materials commemorating 40 years of history. An opening reception will be held Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in 120 Andersen Library. For more information see the Libraries 40th Anniversary exhibit event.

    October 14th, 2009
  • Social Justice Film Festival

    Housing & Residential Life, the Social Justice Leadership Retreat, the Office of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and the Institute on Community Integration are hosting a Social Justice Film Festival on Saturday, October 24 from 10 AM until 5 PM in the Tate Physics Building. Twelve different films will be shown during the Festival with four being shown at each start time of 10 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM. Folks are welcome to come for just one film or watch three throughout the day.

    Most of the films are near one hour in length and all of the films will be followed by one hour of discussion facilitated by the office sponsoring the film.

    To see a list of the films that includes a short description, please check out the following website: www.housing.umn.edu/filmfestival/

    October 13th, 2009
  • Ada Comstock lecture presented by Prof. Brewer

    Professor Rose Brewer will present the Fall 2009 Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture at 4:00 PM on November 5, 2009. "Colorblind, Postracial, or Not? Exploring Race in the Obama Era" is the topic for the event in the Cowles Auditorium of the Hubert H. Humphrey Center. Professor Brewer will share the results of her research and invite us all to become involved or re-involved as progressive social activists. The Ada Comstock award honors a University of Minnesota woman faculty member's exceptional research, scholarship, teaching, and leadership contributions via a public lecture. For more information about the Ada Comstock award visit the University of Minnesota Women's Center.

    October 2nd, 2009
  • "The Power of Film" symposium

    Award-winning documentarian, writer, and producer Llew Smith addresses issues of equity, race, and social consciousness in films such as Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? He is featured in the St. Catherine University Diversity Council's film symposium, "The Power of Film: An Agent for Social Equity and Social Justice," October 5-7 in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

    September 25th, 2009
  • Community Arts job opportunity

    The Mixed Blood Theatre seeks three Community Liaisons to the Somali community of the zip code 55454.

    Mixed Blood's new "55454 Series" is aimed at bringing together the community of Cedar-Riverside through shared artistic experiences created and nurtured in its exceptionally rich zip code of 55454. For the first year of the Series, Mixed Blood seeks three Community Liaisons to coordinate the presentation of events highlighting the breadth of Somali arts in the neighborhood, as well as promote three plays staged by Mixed Blood with Muslim and African themes, characters, and content that will be offered free of charge to anyone who lives in 55454. Liaisons can expect about 100 hours of work between October and June. There is a modest stipend offered to each of the three Liaisons.

    SKILLS/QUALIFICATIONS:

    • Bilingual in spoken English and Somali (bilingual written fluency preferred)
    • Superior networking skills, with established connections to the Somali community
    • Comfortable with concepts and duties relating to event publicity
    • Outgoing personality, strong work ethic, independent and collaborative worker
    • Passion for the arts and strengthening the Cedar-Riverside community

    Elders, women, foreign-born individuals, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

    APPLICATION DEADLINE: Please submit application materials by Wednesday, September 30, 2009. Interviews will be the following week. Work begins the second week of October 2009 through mid-May 2010.

    TO APPLY: Please contact Scott Artley, 55454 Series Coordinator, with a message that describes your background and interest in the position, what skills you can offer (based on the above skills/qualifications), and full contact information. Include a resume, if available.

    To apply by email: scott@mixedblood.com

    To apply by phone: 612-338-0984 (please leave a voice message)

    To apply by mail: Mixed Blood Theatre, c/o Community Liaison Search, 1501 South Fourth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454

    September 25th, 2009
  • Poetry Reading by Niyi Osundare

    The University of Minnesota's Global Spotlight Initiative is hosting a poetry reading by award-winning Nigerian poet and human rights activist Niyi Osundare on Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. in the University International Center, Room 101. Niyi Osundare is a prolific poet, dramatist, essayist and literary critic. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the Commonwealth Literary Prize and the Noma Award, as well as the Fonlon/Nichols award for "excellence in literary creativity combined with significant contributions to Human Rights in Africa." Following the reading there will be a reception for Twin Cities Africanists.

    September 22nd, 2009
  • BGAPSA Kick-Off BBQ

    The Black Graduate and Professional Students Association (BGAPSA) presents the BGAPSA Welcome Back Kick-Off BBQ. Join BGAPSA for a chance to meet the members of the 2009-2010 Black Graduate and Professional Students Association board, students across the university, faculty, as well as folks from community organizations.

    Come meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and enjoy FREE FOOD! DJ Mixwell will also be spinning hip-hop, funk, and soul at the event. Friends, family, and allies are welcome as well.

    DATE: Friday, September 25, 2009
    TIME: 4:00 PM -- 6:00 PM
    LOCATION: University of Minnesota Riverbend Plaza (behind Coffman Union).

    September 21st, 2009
  • Fourth Fridays at the Movies

    "Fourth Fridays at the Movies" is a screening and discussion of vintage movies featuring African Americans as actors, producers, and/or directors. This month's movie (September 25) is Big Fella, featuring Paul Robeson. The event is held at the Golden Thyme Coffee & Café in St. Paul. A social moment is held from 6:30-7:00; the film begins at 7:00. For information on Fourth Fridays at the Movies, call Golden Thyme at (651) 645-1340.

    September 21st, 2009
  • Twin Cities Black Film Festival

    The Twin Cities Black Film Festival provides an opportunity for independent filmmakers of color to have their works showcased before the community, and also serves as an avenue of discovery for industry professionals seeking new talent. The 2009 festival will be held on September 18-20.


    September 17th, 2009
  • social networking

    The department now has a social networking presence. Fan us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter!


    September 14th, 2009
  • "Being Branded" cultural education concert

    On September 17 and 18 the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce will bring to the Twin Cities a cultural education concert, "Being Branded," to generate awareness around the branding that minorities have had in their past and to stimulate individuals to move beyond those stereotypes. The cultural and education concert is a contemporary fusion of two art forms (modern dance and figure skating) allowing for movement explorations to take place on the ice where traditionally performed jumps and spins adopt an entirely new contextual significance. The concert's purpose is to inspire the audience to witness and feel something they have never seen or experienced before: stories and complexities of racial and cultural identity being told on the ice by national and international competitive performers of color.

    A free performance is offered to high school and college students:

    September 17 at the University of Minnesota's Ridder Ice Arena, 1901 4th St., SE Minneapolis, MN 55455. Performance and Post-concert Discussion: 9:30 a.m. - noon.

    Contact Ashley Blocton at 651-777-9119 to register for the free concert. For additional info visit www.mbccculturaleventg.eventbrite.com/

    August 20th, 2009
  • Summer 2009 issue of "The Village"

    The latest issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the Summer 2009 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • faculty spotlight
    • your thoughts: Gates arrested
    • opening doors in North Minneapolis
    • course spotlight
    • building a better Tomorrow
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month


    July 30th, 2009
  • U of MN Dance introduces African Diasporic Movement

    University of Minnesota Dance is thrilled to introduce a new dance technique track in African Diasporic Movement, with the goal of providing students a deep knowledge of dance forms of the African Diaspora, emphasizing impeccable technique practice and critical analysis.

    Led by faculty members Patricia Brown and Marciano Silva dos Santos, this sequence begins with levels 1 and 2, an introduction to West African movement, centering on traditional dance and movement inspired by Africa, the Caribbean and the African Diaspora at large. Students learn to express energy through movement and discover the connection between drum and dance. During the second year, levels 3 and 4, students focus on Afro-Brazilian dance. Jumps and turns, floor work and rhythmic sections develop flexibility, strength and vocabulary in polycentric movement. A harmonious relationship between body and sound illuminates the constantly evolving dynamics of coordination, relaxation, breathing, and undulation.

    Fall Semester Course Offerings:

    African Diasporic Movement 1, 1 credit
    DNCE 1500 Topics in Dance, Section 060, Class # 58916
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:10 - 11:40 a.m.
    Barbara Barker Center for Dance
    Instructor: Patricia Brown, (CCE Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient)
    Prerequisites: none; 10 seats reserved for dance major students

    African Diasporic Movement 3, 1 credit
    DNCE 1500 Topics in Dance, Section 010, Class # 53677
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:10 - 11:40 a.m.
    Barbara Barker Center for Dance
    Instructor: Marciano Silva Dos Santos
    Prerequisites: audition and department consent; 10 seats reserved for dance major students

    To be considered for level 3, participate in the major and technique placement audition on Wednesday September 2, 2009, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Studio 100 of the Barbara Barker Center for Dance. Prior movement experience is not required to participate in the audition. Also pre-registration is not required, but please arrive by 8:30 a.m. More information on the audition process is online at dance.umn.edu/auditions.php. For more information about this curriculum sequence or University of Minnesota Dance please visit www.dance.umn.edu, call 612-624-5060 or email umdance@umn.edu.

    July 24th, 2009
  • Black in America 2

    CNN will air two new shows in the series Black in America on July 22 and 23, 2009.

    July 16th, 2009
  • 2009 Black Non-theism Conference

    The first annual Black Non-Theism Conference will be held August 7-8, 2009, in Atlanta, GA. African American pantheists, deists, agnostics, and atheists will gather to discuss what it means to be an African American non-theist in the United States.

    July 1st, 2009
  • Future Scholars Program

    The Future Scholars Program partners African American and African students in grades 9-11 at St. Paul's Arlington High School with University of Minnesota students to explore the steps needed to attend and graduate from college. The University/AHS student mentor pairs are currently working together to address college readiness, community, and educational issues, and will make a group presentation to St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman at the end of the mentoring period. The program was highlighted in a May press release from the University of Minnesota's Office for Equity and Diversity.


    May 15th, 2009
  • 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar from AA&AS

    Congratulations to Antoni Tang, a 2009 candidate for bachelor's degrees in marketing and African American & African Studies, who will be a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar! Antoni received one of only three available Fulbright Teaching Assistant Grants to Venezuela. He will help to teach English to pre-teen and teenage students. Antoni also plans to volunteer with an Afro-Venezuelan organization in the community and plans to learn about Afro-Venezuelan movements for social justice.


    May 14th, 2009
  • April/May issue of "The Village"

    The latest issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the April/May 2009 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • first impressions: shaping the path
    • Ken Burns remembers John Hope Franklin
    • CLA Outstanding Service Award: Charlene Hayes
    • NOMMO African American Authors Series
    • course spotlight
    • faculty spotlight
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month


    May 1st, 2009
  • Film: "What are we doing here?"

    What are we doing here? &mdash an award winning documentary that looks at the effects of foreign aid in Africa &mdash will be showing at Minneapolis's Uptown Theater on May 4th at 7pm and May 6th at 11am. The film asks: after $600 billion in aid over 45 years, why have living conditions gotten worse for most Africans? Filmmakers Brandon, Nicholas, Daniel, and Tim Klein travel overland from Cairo to Cape Town, meeting with farmers, journalists, presidents, aid workers, aid recipients, and others in order to better understand the effects of foreign aid in Africa, the root causes of poverty, and solutions for the future. A trailer, synopsis, interviews, and more are availabe at www.whatarewedoinghere.net



    April 28th, 2009
  • MSP International Film Festival

    The 27th Annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival runs April 16-30 at various venues in the Twin Cities. The festival includes several films from Africa.


    April 15th, 2009
  • NOMMO African American Authors series

    On Thursday, April 23, the NOMMO African American Authors series concludes its 2008-2009 season. Professor Alexs Pate hosts fiction writer and cultural commentator Ntozake Shange at 7:00 PM in Cowles Auditorium (located in the Hubert H. Humphrey Center.) Ntozake Shange is author of the play for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem, which won an Obie and was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Emmy awards. Shange has also published four novels, including Pen-Faulkner nominee Indigo. Her poetry collections include: A Daughter's Geography, Nappy Edges, Ridin' the Moon in Texas, and The Space Love Demands.


    April 14th, 2009
  • The Somali Refugee Experience

    Getting Here From There: The Somali Refugee Experience

    April 14, 2009
    Time: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm.
    Location: Room 25 Mondale Hall (Law School)
    Cost: Free and open to the public.

    From the refugee camps of Dadaab, Kenya to Libya, Malta, and the European mainland, Somali refugees have faced and continue to face harrowing journeys as they search for a better life, journeys that include detention, discrimination, and even torture. The Somali Documentary Project is recording the stories of the Somali Diaspora as they happen, not only for historical record, but also to encourage action on important human rights issues raised by this wave of migration. Join the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Center for an evening of advocacy, discussion, and stories. Dinner will be served.


    April 9th, 2009
  • March 2009 issue of "The Village"

    The latest issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the March 2009 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • John Hope Franklin
    • alumna Rebecca Fly
    • teaming up to create change
    • course spotlight
    • faculty spotlight
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month


    April 1st, 2009
  • National Public Health Week Film Festival

    The National Public Health Week Film Festival will be held April 6-11, 2009. Events of Saturday, April 11, will include Public Service Announcements (PSAs) created by high school students from communities of color. The goals of these PSAs were to: (1) engage high school students from communities of color in the creation and production of video messages about a public health topic that affects their community, (2) provide student mentors from the University in the development of public messages, and (3) make available a forum at the University where participants can express their ideas about health disparities to diverse audiences.


    March 31st, 2009
  • John Hope Franklin

    Historian John Hope Franklin passed away at age 94 on March 25, 2009. Professor Franklin was a pioneer in African American Studies. Duke University has set up a web site in his memory.



    March 26th, 2009
  • Muslims in Minnesota radio series

    KFAI radio launched a month-long series on March 10, 2009 that explores what it means to be Muslim in Minnesota. This series compiles stories ranging from controversial to inspiring. Listeners will hear how a Muslim immigrant struggles with questions of identity, law, and faith after getting arrested for a crime and facing possible deportation. One story shows how some women are creating their own definition of feminism. Still another story asks what drives Minnesota Hip Hop artists who intertwine their faith with the pounding beats and steady rhythms of their art form. Some of the stories are produced by Muslim reporters who bring their own perspectives and insights to their work.

    Muslims in Minnesota runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6pm during the KFAI Evening News: 90.3FM, Minneapolis, and 106.7FM, St. Paul.

    Broadcast Schedule:
    March 10 - Faith in Hip Hop
    March 11 – One Strike and You're Out - Facing the Criminal Justice System
    March 12 – Wearing Faith on their Sleeves: Muslim Tees
    March 17 - Empowered Muslim Women
    March 18 - In Search of the Minnesotan Muslim
    March 19 - Muslim Immigrants Learn English
    March 24 - Music and Sufi Islam in the Twin Cities
    March 25 - Muslim Burial Traditions
    March 26 - The Line Between Mosque and State

    The Muslims in Minnesota series is produced in cooperation with the University of Minnesota's Meeting Minnesota's Muslims initiative.


    March 11th, 2009
  • auction of first African American comic book

    The first comic book by and for African Americans is up for auction. 1947's All-Negro Comics No. 1 is for sale by comics entrepreneur Stephen Fishler. The comic book &mdash featuring characters such as detective Ace Harlem and Hep Chicks on Parade &mdash is for sale online at the ComicConnect Event Auction.


    March 10th, 2009
  • Nation of Immigrants?

    When people claim that America is a nation of immigrants, what do they mean? At 7:00 PM on Friday, March 6, 2009, artists of color and indigenous poets from Minnesota respond. This free event in room 120 of the University of Minnesota's Andersen Library will feature short performances by Marcie Rendon, Juliana Hu Pegues, Titiana Ormaza, Ibe Kaba, Preeti Kaur, Lorena Duarte, Tish Jones, Diego Vazquez, and Charlotte Albrecht, and include a special presentation by the Immigrant Freedom Network.



    February 28th, 2009
  • State of the Black Union

    The February 28, 2009 "State of the Black Union" will re-air on C-SPAN2 Friday, March 6, 2009, 7:00 PM (Central Time). The theme of this year's event is "Making America As Good As Its Promise."


    February 28th, 2009
  • spoken word at Bryant Lake Bowl

    PA.jpg

    At 7:00 PM on Friday, February 28, The Poetic Assassins will appear at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. The Poetic Assassins are spoken word artists/socal justice activists.


    February 25th, 2009
  • 40th Anniversary videos

    Two videos are now available on our 40th Anniversary webpage: the November 7, 2008 "1968 Morrill Hall Takeover: Reflections on Black Bodies in Resistance" panel discussion; and "Morrill Hall Takeover 1969-2009: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants," a film made by youth from Minneapolis' Hope Community.


    February 19th, 2009
  • February 2009 issue of "The Village"

    The latest issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the February 2009 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • future scholars mentorship
    • course spotlight
    • NOMMO African American authors series
    • student profile
    • faculty spotlight
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month


    February 17th, 2009
  • February 18 "Coffee Hour" presentation

    The department's Spring 2009 "Coffee Hour" series will be composed of presentations from senior undergraduate students. On Wednesday, February 18, Noah Sims will present "Who Were the Zanj?" from 2:30-4:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). Noah will examine a community of Africans who overthrew labor-intensive slavery in 9th Century Southern Iraq.


    February 16th, 2009
  • The Atlantic's "State of the Union"

    The January/February 2009 of The Atlantic magazine has several articles on American race relations in the "State of the Union" section:


    February 5th, 2009
  • 40th Anniversary documentary



    CLA Media Mill Video

    A slightly larger version of the video can be viewed on St. Paul Neighborhood Network Access.



    February 4th, 2009
  • NOMMO Author Series: John Edgar Wideman

    On Thursday, February 5, 7:00 P.M. at the University of Minnesota Cowles Auditorium, AA&AS professor Alexs Pate discusses the state of the art of African American literature with John Edgar Wideman, the author of more than 18 books of fiction and nonfiction. Wideman was the first writer to win the PEN/Faulkner Award twice, in 1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire. His memoir Brothers and Keepers received a National Book Critics Circle nomination, and his memoir Fatheralong was a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition, he has won the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Foundation Fellowship for Fiction, and the MacArthur grant. Wideman's articles on Malcolm X, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Eminem, Thelonious Monk, and others have appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, Esquire, Emerge, and The New York Times Magazine. Wideman is on the faculty of the African Studies Department of Brown University. The NOMMO African American Author Series is sponsored by the Givens Foundation for African American Literature in partnership with the University of Minnesota and the Friends of the University Libraries.


    February 1st, 2009
  • President Obama's Inauguration

    Many Minnesotans are making pilgrimages to Washington, D.C. to witness President Obama's historic inauguration. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has posted a multimedia story about an event most African Americans did not think they would see in their lifetimes.


    January 18th, 2009
  • January 24, 2009 40th Anniversary roundtable discussion

    Morrill Hall 40 Years Later: The Legacy Of Activism and Engaged Scholarship Continues, a roundtable discussion on the Morrill Hall Occupation of 1969 will take place on Saturday, January 24, 2009, 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. in the Presidents Room of Coffman Memorial Union.

    In January of 1969 Black students at the University of Minnesota staged an occupation of Morrill Hall &mdash home of University administration &mdash to demand the creation of a department committed to Black studies. Their actions led to the formation of the University's Department of African American & African Studies, along with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advising Office and the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence.

    On the 40th anniversary of that event, Twin Cities community members and participants in the 1969 Morrill Hall Takeover will convene a roundtable discussion to review the events of January, 1969, and to reflect on the legacy of their actions. They will also talk about the role of activism today. The public is welcome to attend and will be invited to participate in a question and answer session.

    Panelists:
    • Spike Moss, The Way community organization (1969)
    • Lester Cannon, U of M Student (1969)
    • Mahmoud El-Kati, The Way community organization (1969)
    • Marie Braddock Williams, U of M Student (1969)
    • Dr. Horace Huntley, U of M Student (1969)
    • Rose Freeman Massey, U of M Student (1969)
    • Dr. John Wright, U of M Student (1969); AA&AS faculty member
    • Jared E. Leighton, graduate student at the U of Nebraska, and author of the Master's degree thesis "'A Small Revolution': The Role of a Black Power Revolt in Creating and Sustaining a Black Studies Department at the University of Minnesota."



    January 16th, 2009
  • December-January issue of "The Village"

    The latest issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the December 2008-January 2009 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • outreach website
    • alumni profile
    • course spotlight
    • youth stand on the shoulders of giants
    • faculty spotlight
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month



    January 8th, 2009
  • From Every Voice concert

    The University of Minnesota's annual "From Every Voice" concert commemorating Martin Luther King Day will be held on February 22, 2009. This year's concert features the a cappella group Take 6.


    January 6th, 2009
  • "Black Nativity" at Penumbra Theatre

    The Penumbra Theatre is performing "Black Nativity &mdash Hear Again the Christmas Story!" from November 28 to December 28, 2008. In this year's version, recently widowed Grandma Walker (who is swept up in the grief of loss) is surprised by family members who bring food, music, and laughter into the house. The production celebrates the bonds of family, the power of faith, and the strength of tradition.



    December 8th, 2008
  • November issue of "The Village"

    The November issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the November 2008 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • hot off the press
    • alumni profile
    • excerpt from "Obama can be our Nehemiah, not our Moses" op-ed
    • course spotlight
    • faculty spotlight
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month



    December 8th, 2008
  • November 2008 Legacy newsletter

    The November 2008 issue of the department's Legacy newsletter is available online in pdf format.


    December 2nd, 2008
  • Youth Conference information and commentary

    giants_thumb.jpg
    November 14th, 2008
  • "Beyond the Pure" author readings

    Beyond the Pure: Readings by Writers of Color
    Thursday, November 13, 2008
    7 PM at Intermedia Arts
    2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
    Admission by donation.

    This month: potluck reception. Bring a treat (or not!). Everyone welcome. Curated by Julie Bates & Carolyn Holbrook; hosted by Carolyn Holbrook. This month's Beyond the Pure features THE TWIN CITIES NERDS OF COLOR (NOCs), who believe that nerds exist across race and culture, and that some of the most revolutionary works by and for nerds are currently being created by people of color. A Reception follows the readings (rumors of alien cupcakes abound...).


    November 11th, 2008
  • 40th Anniversary panel discussion

    thetakeover.jpg

    On November 12, 2008, several faculty and a graduate student will hold a rountable discussion of the peaceful protest efforts that forced the University to establish a Black Studies unit on campus. The panelists will examine several competing narratives about the events surrounding the January 15, 1969 occupation of Morrill Hall. The panel will include professors Rose Brewer, Keith Mayes, Yuichiro Onishi, and John Wright of African American & African Studies, as well as Ph.D. candidate Alisha Volante of the History department.


    November 10th, 2008
  • "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" agenda

    giants_thumb.jpg
    November 6th, 2008
  • President Obama

    On November 4, 2008 Senator Barack Obama became President-Elect Obama, noting that "on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America." Indeed, hopes are high, but we should consider that Obama can be our Nehemiah, not our Moses.


    November 5th, 2008
  • November 7 Conference

    shouldersconf.jpg

    Click HERE for the conference flyer.


    November 4th, 2008
  • Election Day 2008

    November 4, 2008 is an historic Election Day: we will elect either the nation's first African American President, or our first female Vice President. Find your polling location and vote before 8:00PM! Minnesota has a same-day registration system, so a voter can register in one line and then get in another line to cast a ballot.


    November 4th, 2008
  • October issue of "The Village"

    The October issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the October 2008 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • partnering in North Minneapolis
    • alumni profile
    • Obama Effect
    • course spotlight
    • faculty spotlight
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month




    October 29th, 2008
  • October 29 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, October 29, Njeri Githire will present "Contextualizing Regional Identity and Literary Imaginary: East Africa and the Indian Ocean" from 2:30-4:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    The Indian Ocean provides important trade routes that have always connected the Middle East, Asia, and Africa into a network of communities with shared interests. Nevertheless, European presence from the sixteenth century onwards changed Indian Ocean life irrevocably. Thriving kingdoms were subdued and former relationships between religions and races thrown into disarray. With the advent of western capitalism, ancient patterns of trade soon became as extinct, almost entirely forgotten.
    Githire's presentation will look at the ways in which regional writers represent the ties that bind the region into a viable community, and speak to realities that surpass colonial and nationalist categories. Indeed, if categorizing western Indian Ocean as a region of literary inquiry seems to defy neat, absolute labels, one thing remains constant: the region is invariably explored as a francophone entity. This being said, the East Africa/Indian Ocean coastal trade complex &mdash which predates colonial interference in the region &mdash coalesced frequent exchanges between the islands and the African mainland into regional networks of organizations, and communities of people with interrelated interests. It is, therefore, imperative and quite necessary to identify those regional traits that transcend territorial and linguistic claims. Failure to do so only perpetuates a different kind of colonial project: maintaining linguistic boundaries, reinforcing crucial distinctions of imperial nature.
    October 27th, 2008
  • The Obama Effect conference

    From his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention to his nomination for the presidency, Senator Barack Obama has challenged conventional wisdom about race, politics, media, and generation. Participants at the October 23-25, 2008 The Obama Effect conference will discuss the compelling issues and events that have surrounded Obama's campaign. Keynote speeches will be given by Professor Joe Feagin (Texas A&M University), and immigration lawyer and media commentator Sheela Murthy.


    October 20th, 2008
  • October 22 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, October 22, Alexs Pate will present "The Adventures of the Black Arrow: Search for Libertalia Cosmology of a Novel-in-Progress" from 2:30-4:00 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    Some years ago, Alexs Pate fell in love with the idea of writing a novel that told the story of the ascendance of a runaway slave from the United States to captain of a pirate ship. Ostensibly set in the 1700s, the fictional story of the Black Arrow takes us to the Spanish Main where a group of pirates stumble upon two significant treasures...neither of which are gold. One of these is a map to true freedom. In this Coffee Hour, Pate will read from the novel-in-progress and talk about the relationship between history, imagination, and ideas.
    October 20th, 2008
  • Memories of 1963 in the 2008 Presidential Election

    "Memories of 1963 in the 2008 Presidential Election: Barack Obama and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement"
    Thursday, October 16, 12:00PM - 2:00PM
    Weisman Art Museum.
    Presented by Professor Kirt H. Wilson

    The 2008 election season has witnessed the return of the oratorical presidential candidate in the form of Barack Obama. The content, style, and impact of his speeches have inspired some to compare his rhetoric with that of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his presentation, Wilson examines how Obama builds upon the civil rights traditions of speech performance, how Obama's speeches sustain a particular memory of the civil rights movement, and how his rhetoric creates political "change" in the present.


    October 13th, 2008
  • World Food Day

    World Food Day is on Thursday, October 16. A World Food Day Teleconference can be viewed in the Rarig Center's Studio C. The theme of the 2008 teleconference is "Choices for a Warm and Hungry Planet."


    October 13th, 2008
  • Beyond the Pure: Readings by Writers of Color

    Beyond the Pure: Readings by Writers of Color
    • Thursday, October 9, 2008
    • 7:00 PM at Intermedia Arts
    • 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
    • Admission by donation; wine & beer reception to follow
    • Featuring: Ibe, Bao Phi, and Sun Yung Shin



    October 5th, 2008
  • History of Medicine lecture

    On Friday, October 3, 2008, the U of M's Program in the History of Medicine and the Wangensteen Historical Library of Medicine and Biology will host a lecture and reception by Vanessa Northington Gamble on Striking a Blow at Medical School Segregation: Edith Irby Goes to Medical School. The program begins at 3:30 PM in 555 Diehl Hall.


    September 29th, 2008
  • Trouble the Water


    September 26th, 2008
  • September issue of The Village

    The second issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the September 2008 issue:
    • welcome from the community outreach coordinator
    • standing on the shoulders of giants
    • building tomorrow's leaders
    • we want to know
    • alumni profile
    • Black Paris
    • upcoming events
    • quote of the month



    September 25th, 2008
  • new mentorship program

    The Department of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota is partnering with Minneapolis South High School and Blame It On Hip Hop to mentor African American males at South High. We are currently looking for University students who are interested in helping African American males develop community pride and career aspirations.

    What does it involve?
    As a mentor you will work one-on-one with an African American male student between the ages of 14 to 16. You will work with the student to develop their key skills around leadership, community, and college preparation. Mentors will meet with students once per week for an hour at South High. All mentors will receive training.

    How can you help?
    As a college student you have a wealth of experience which will help aspiring college students make important decisions about future career plans and the future of our community.

    What's in it for you?
    Is your resume lacking in transferable skills? Are you concerned about what is going to give you the edge over other applicants? Mentoring is a great way to develop the key skills employers look for in graduates. In any job you accept it will be useful for you to have experience in group facilitation. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to practice this skill. You will prove that you are reliable, responsible, and committed to your community.

    Contact us for more information:
    afroam@umn.edu
    (612) 624-9847



    September 18th, 2008
  • American Legacy Magazine

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    September 14th, 2008
  • Twin Cities Black Film Festival

    The sixth annual Twin Cities Black Film Festival will be held September 18-20, 2008. A schedule of events is online.


    September 13th, 2008
  • BGAPSA event

    The Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGAPSA) will hold a Welcome Back Kick-Off BBQ on September 26, 2008, from 4pm-7pm at Riverbend Plaza (behind Coffman Memorial Union).

    The BBQ will feature a live DJ spinning old school hip-hop, R&B and funk and lots and lots of FREE yummy food! Graduate and professional students of color from all over campus will be present as well as faculty members and representatives from local organizations such as the NAACP and Urban League. This will be a great opportunity to meet new people, network, eat great food and listen to great music. Friends and families are welcome. BGAPSA looks forward to seeing you there!

    To keep informed of BGAPSA events, professional and academic opportunities, and other news, subscribe to the BGAPSA listserv. Also check out the new BGAPSA website.


    September 4th, 2008
  • first issue of The Village

    The first issue of The Village is now available. The Village is a newsletter for friends and alumni of the Department of African American & African Studies.

    Inside the August 2008 issue:
    • staying connected
    • a message from the chair
    • keep us posted
    • get involved
    • faculty in the news
    • community commitment
    • "We Still Have a Charge to Keep"
    • quote of the month



    August 21st, 2008
  • 2008 Afrifest

    The 2008 Afrifest will be held August 14-17, 2008. A list of programs and activities is online.


    August 13th, 2008
  • Black political leadership

    The New York Times has posted a long article on Black political leadership: "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?" The article can also be downloaded.


    August 10th, 2008
  • Twin Cities Pan-African Festival

    The 2008 Twin Cities Pan-African Festival will be held on August 6-11, 2008.

    August 1st, 2008
  • CNN Special: Black in America

    On July 23 and 24, CNN television will air a "Black in America" report. Many blogs exist on this special broadcast, such as at Black Voices.



    July 22nd, 2008
  • Updated CFP: "The Obama Effect"

    Call for Papers:
    "The Obama Effect"
    October 23-25, 2008
    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Now that he has become the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party ticket, Barack Obama has challenged conventional wisdom about race, politics, media, and generation. In this historic election year, it is imperative for scholars and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines to reflect upon the potential effects of Obama on: American and global public opinion; party politics; voter participation; media representations; international relations; religious discourses; and constructions of racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender identities.

    This conference invites papers from scholars and professionals working from different perspectives on the phenomenon of presumptive Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama's political career. Our goal is to create a conference that will showcase various and interdisciplinary approaches to the "Obama Effect" to provide participants with a multi-faceted view of the past year's campaign and its potential effects on a wide range of social arenas.

    Essays and research papers from scholars, journalists, political consultants, community activists, and others are desired. Accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited collection. We are particularly interested in receiving papers that address recent developments in the campaign, and seeing papers on the following topics:

    • Michelle Obama and/or her marriage to Obama
    • Obama's family relationships
    • Young people and the election
    • Hate-group websites and reactions to Obama
    • Mixed race identity
    • International responses to Obama's candidacy
    • Perspectives from Latina/os, Asian Americans, and Native Americans
    • Religion
    • Recent speeches/responses from other candidates


    Abstracts must be emailed no later than July 18th.

    Contact for abstracts or questions:
    Dr. Catherine Squires
    Cowles Chair for Journalism, Diversity & Equality
    School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Murphy Hall 111
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN 55455-0418
    squir050@umn.edu



    June 30th, 2008
  • Experimental College courses

    The Experimental College (EXCO) &mdash a student organization at the University of Minnesota (partnered with Macalester College) that organizes and sponsors community education for social change &mdash is now offering two Africana Studies courses:

    1. African American Art (meets Tuesdays from 6-8 pm in Blegen 110 for four weeks, starting June 24). This survey of African American Art will look at art and artists from the early 20th century to the late 20th century. Art from the Harlem Renaissance, Black Arts Movement, and artists such as Adrienne Piper, Kara Walker, Horace Pippin, Aaron Douglas, Archibald Motley, Jr. will be included. The instructor (Ava Herring herr0141@gmail.com) is a doctoral student at the U in art education.

    2. Black Folk: Culture Defeats Holocaust, facilitated by Ray Tricomo (rtricomo@yahoo.com). Course Description: We will be covering the proverbial water front from African ecology to Pan-Africanism to improvised music and to a future without racism. Location: Oakdale Village, Oakdale, 6276 12th St. North Day/Time: Tuesday 6-8pm Dates: 4 weeks to start June 17. Ray is a longtime community activist, and has been offering this course for the past couple of years.

    EXCO provides opportunities to students, faculty, and community members to facilitate or participate in classes together on topics of importance to them, especially those that they would not otherwise have in traditional university education.


    June 23rd, 2008
  • television (non)diversity

    EW.com has posted an interesting article: "Diversity in Entertainment: Why is TV So White?"


    June 13th, 2008
  • Juneteenth 2008

    June 19 is Juneteenth (also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day), a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The 2008 Twin Cities Juneteenth Celebration and Festival will take place on Saturday, June 21, at several sites in Minneapolis.


    June 7th, 2008
  • Obama's historic moment

    Many African Americans are pleasantly surprised by Senator Obama's breakthrough as the Democratic nominee for United States President.


    June 5th, 2008
  • conference: The Poetics and Politics of Blackness

    France Noire &mdash Black France: The Poetics and Politics of Blackness
    June 6-7, 2008 &mdash Paris, France
    http://history.berkeley.edu/faculty/Stovall/conference/

    Colloquium Mission
    The last few years have seen an extraordinary flowering of Black consciousness in France. Individuals and collectives have organized around questions pertaining to the memory of slavery, "race" and anti-Black racism, the Black condition, and what it generally means to be Black in contemporary French society. At the same time, there has been a new wave of scholarship on Blacks in Europe and a (re)theorizing of "blackness" in the African diaspora relative to European society and history. Paris, in particular, has always been a center of Black life worldwide, from the Negritude movement of the past to the myriad formations of Black empowerment specific to this moment. On June 6 and 7, 2008, a gathering of leading international scholars will meet in Paris to examine "Black France," that is, the Black presence and condition in French society. Madame Christiane Taubira, the esteemed member of the French Parliament whose very name is now synonymous with legislation that recognizes slavery and the slave trade as crimes against humanity &mdash The Taubira Law &mdash will deliver the keynote address as the prelude to an exciting and stimulating series of discussions. All who are interested in the African diaspora and French society are encouraged to attend what will be an historic event.



    May 24th, 2008
  • documentary screening/discussion: health care in Somalia

    On May 23, 2008 the documentary The Forgotten Struggle will be screened and discussed from 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the Old Main Building Auditorium #600, College of Saint Catherine-Minneapolis, 601 25th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. This event is free & open to the public. The film chronicles the struggle to bring health care to the people of Somalia. A trailer for the documentary can be found on YouTube.


    May 20th, 2008
  • May 15 film screening: "Bunny Chow"

    Film screening: Bunny Chow
    Thursday, May 15, 7:30 PM
    Repeat screening Saturday, May 17, 7:00 PM

    In director John Barke's debut feature, up-and-coming comedians Kags, Joey, and Dave make it clear that life in the "new" Johannesburg is not just about hardship and townships. It's also about hanging out with friends and celebrating life on a raucous road trip to Oppi Kopp -- South Africa's largest music festival. Shot in a cinema verite style and using the street food "bunny chow" as a metaphor for contemporary Johannesburg's mix of races, cultures, and attitudes, Barker's edgy urban comedy asks us to envision a nation through the eyes of its future rather than the tragedy of its past. (Film info: 2006, South Africa, in Afrikaans, Tsotsi Taal, and English with English subtitles, 95 minutes.)

    Tickets to the Walker Art Center's free screening on Thursday, May 15 are available at the Walker Art Center's Bazinet Garden Lobby desk. Tickets for the Saturday, May 17 screening are $8 ($6 for Walker members).


    May 12th, 2008
  • Call for Papers: "The Obama Effect"

    Call for Papers:
    "The Obama Effect"
    October 23-25, 2008
    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Since he stepped into the national political spotlight at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has challenged conventional wisdom about race, politics, media, and generation. In this historic election year, it is imperative for scholars and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines to reflect upon the potential effects of Mr. Obama on: American and global public opinion; party politics; voter participation; media representations; international relations; religious discourses; and constructions of racial, sexual, and gender identities.

    This conference invites papers from scholars and professionals working from different perspectives on the phenomenon of Senator Obama's political career. Our goal is to create a conference that will showcase various and interdisciplinary approaches to the "Obama Effect" to provide participants with a multi-faceted view of the past year's campaign and its potential effects on a wide range of social arenas.

    Submissions from fields such as: history, media studies, journalism, communication studies, political science, philosophy, social justice, African American Studies, ethnic studies, American Studies, sociology, law are welcome. Essays from professional journalists, political consultants, community organizers, and others are also desired.

    In a time of rhetorical flourishes and cantankerous punditry, we must also be cautious and circumspect in our analyses of the effects and repercussions of the 2008 campaign. We are also obliged to look back, and scrutinize recent as well as distant histories of politics, race, ethnicity, and culture, to contextualize this moment. At the same time, we should ponder what changes we might expect, and what changes may be too farfetched, in the midst of heady talk auguring Mr. Obama as an agent of radical social transformation.

    Submissions should be completed papers (20-25 pages) or extended abstracts (3-5 pages) for works in progress. Works in progress submissions should provide evidence that the paper will be completed by the date of the conference. Papers that are selected for the conference will also be included in a proposal for an edited volume.

    Papers should be postmarked no later than June 6th. Applicants should send three (3) paper copies of their paper or extended abstract to:

    Dr. Catherine Squires
    Cowles Chair for Journalism, Diversity & Equality
    School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Murphy Hall 111
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN 55455-0418
    squir050@umn.edu

    Participants will be notified of paper's status no later than July 30th.


    May 7th, 2008
  • May 7 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, May 7, Trica Keaton will present "The Social Significance of Race in France: The Case of the 2005 Uprisings in Life and Art" from 2:00-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    While much has been written about the 2005 "riots" in France, precious few accounts have incorporated the perspective of those most directly affected by these events, that is, the surviving members of Bouna Traore and Zyed Benna families, the boys from Clichy-sous-Bois whose deaths ignited uprisings across the country and beyond. In this presentation, Professor Keaton seeks to document this critical perspective not only to draw attention to the lived implications of these events, but also to demonstrate how the tradition of revolt in French society transforms into racialized “rioting� when emanating from those equally racialized as "les jeunes de banlieue," young people –- often of color –- who inhabit poverty-stricken suburbs or "outer-city" space. Additionally, Keaton aims is to humanize these happenings from the perspective of the subaltern who can indeed speak and name their oppression. The deaths of Bouna and Zyed were a watershed in the politics of "colorblindness" in French society, politics coupled with a complicated "race" consciousness that conjugates with class in the "other France."
    May 5th, 2008
  • Swahili Open Day

    The 2nd Annual Swahili Open Day will be this Saturday, May 3rd, from 12:00 until 4:00 in the Humphrey Atrium. Stop by to experience the festivities, visit the informational booths, and enjoy delicious East African Food.

    May 1st, 2008
  • Turning Away From Hate: Confessions of an Ex-Neo Nazi

    The African American and African Studies Department is co-sponsoring the event "Turning Away from Hate," a program presented by Hillel featuring reformed neo-Nazi TJ Leyden. After 15 years as a neo-Nazi white supremacist activist and recruiter, TJ Leyden experienced a profound change of heart, turned away from hate, and began teaching tolerance. Today, a man who covered his body in Nazi symbols and advocated for the death of minorities is one of the most compelling advocates for the importance of diversity and cultural appreciation.

    TJ will be telling his story on campus on Wednesday, April 30th at 7 PM at Willey Hall 175. Admission is FREE, but seating will be limited. Please arrive early! More information is at http://www.ujews.com/hate.


    April 28th, 2008
  • "Darfur Now" film screening

    The University's Human Rights Center will screen the film Darfur Now on Monday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 25 of the Law School. The screening of Darfur Now is part of a partnership with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Minnesota Chapter of the Genocide Intervention Network.

    Darfur Now is also screening at William Mitchell College of Law on April 27, and will feature a post-film discussion with Adam Sterling from the Sudan Divestment Project.

    For other Human Rights-related April events, see http://www.hrusa.org/calendar.


    April 24th, 2008
  • April 23 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, April 23, Saje Mathieu will present "Bound for Canaan: Lynching, Escape, and Canadian Sanctuary" from 2:00-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    After having taken part in a race riot in 1921 that left two men dead and several more in a hospital, Matthew Bullock, a Great War veteran, reached the border and cited his reason for requesting entry into Canada: he urgently needed political asylum from North Carolinian lynchers. His brother and cousin had both been lynched by white supremacists determined to punish young insurgent African Americans for challenging local Jim Crow rule. Fearing for his life, Bullock raced to Canada, where he hoped to be beyond the reach of American lynch law. But North Carolinian officials -- namely Governor Cameron Morrison -- capitalized on Bullock's escape to Canada as an opportunity to curry favor with foreign governments over the question of lynching, explaining to the Canadian press that lynching was the South's distinct way of "dealing with criminals." Professor Mathieu will analyze the international tug-of-war over Matthew Bullock, which pitted Canadians vs. Americans intent on exercising their own brand of justice against African Americans who dared speak against Southern rule of law. With the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill before Congress that same year, Canadians, African Americans, and the NAACP forged a powerful alliance, hoping that Bullock's case would call international attention to rise of racialized violence in the South.
    April 21st, 2008
  • fall 2008 "Digital Storytelling" class

    In fall 2008 a new course will be taught: "Digital Storytelling In and With Communities of Color." For more information visit the "Digital Storytelling In and With Communities of Color" class website, or download the "Digital Storytelling In and With Communities of Color" class flyer.


    April 16th, 2008
  • Ethnic Studies lecture

    On Tuesday, April 15, Professor Laureen Chew (San Francisco State University) will present "Is Moving From the 'I' to the 'We' Possible Under Ethnic Studies?" This lecture will be held from 10:00-12:00 in Nolte 125. It is the fourth (and final) event in the "Ethnic Studies in the Neo-Liberal University" lecture series.

    April 11th, 2008
  • Rethinking the University conference

    All campus community members are invited to partake in "Rethinking the University: Labor, Knowledge, Value," a conference that will be held on Friday, April 11-Sunday, April 13. This conference is to explore the effects of corporatization on the university as well as explore possibilities of organizing to respond to this condition. There will be roundtables and panel presentations as well as art and film exhibitions as part of this 3 day conference. Faculty, staff, and student presenters from the University of Minnesota will be joined from student and faculty presenters from across the nation in discussing and interrogating issues such as the status of the liberal arts, the role of precarious labor, the role of research, and graduate student organizing in the contemporary university. The reception and dinner are open to all presenters and attendees, but the dinner portion will be limited to the first 100 guests. Sign-up registration for events will occur the day of the conference. The conference program including event locations can be found on the website at www.makeumnpublic.org/conference/program.htm


    April 9th, 2008
  • April 9 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, April 9, Dr. Irma McClaurin will discuss new initiatives of the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) and the University Northside Partnership from 2:00-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). Dr. McClaurin is Associate Vice President for System Academic Administration and Executive Director of the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center in North Minneapolis.



    April 7th, 2008
  • 40th Anniversary page

    In 2009 the department will celebrate its 40th Anniversary, so we have added a new page to our department website: AA&AS Celebrates 40 Years. Also, the Make a Gift page has been updated to reflect upcoming 40th Anniversary priorities.


    April 5th, 2008
  • April 2 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, April 2, Vera Fennell will present "'The Righteous Struggle': Reading Race in the Creation of Afro-Asian Solidarity" from 2:00-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    In the 1950s, the Communist Party of China, newly triumphant in the Chinese civil war over the US-backed Nationalist Party, launched "Afro-Chinese Solidarity" as its major foreign policy orientation. Fennell will examine the Communist Party of China's understandings of race and the emerging Cold War bipolar global politics through the presentation of Black struggles against European colonialism in Africa and the African-American civil rights struggle in the pages of the flagship communist party newspaper, The People's Daily.
    March 31st, 2008
  • March 26 "coffee hour" presentation

    On Wednesday, March 26, Catherine Squires will present "Can Obama 'Transcend' or Not? Race and Identifications in News Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Race" from 2:00-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]


    The dominant press's reactions to Barack Obama's electoral and political successes do not augur well for a reinvigorated discussion of race in the U.S. Rather, textual analysis of news coverage of Obama's speeches and actions in the 2008 presidential race reveal a troubling split between articles that: (1) frame Black racial identity as a liability to be overcome; and (2) substitute discussions of Obama's racial background for discussions of racial disparities. Squires will critically examine the dynamics of this split, and critique its surrounding discourses.
    March 25th, 2008
  • "It Just Ain't the Sixties No More" lecture

    On Friday, March 28, Professor Michael Omi (University of California-Berkeley) will present "It Just Ain't the Sixties No More: The Problems and Promise of Comparative Ethnic Studies." This lecture will be held from 3:00-5:00 in CSOM 2-260Z. It is the third event in the "Ethnic Studies in the Neo-Liberal University" lecture series.



    March 24th, 2008
  • Changing Demographics lecture and discussion

    On April 17th the Office for Equity and Diversity will host a Sesquicentennial Lecture: "Changing Demographics: Snapshots of a New Minnesota and a New America." AA&AS professor Rose Brewer will be one of the speakers, highlighting findings from her book, The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide, that clearly indicate the persistence of an economic color line in 21st century America.


    March 21st, 2008
  • Obama's March 18, 2008 speech

    On March 18, 2008, Barack Obama delivered a speech about race in the United States. The blog "Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast" offers an abridged and highlighted version of key points in the speech.


    March 18th, 2008
  • religion in Nigeria

    The March 2008 issue of The Atlantic magazine has an interesting article about religion in Nigeria, and the online version has web-only multimedia features, such as a slideshow. "God's Country" intructs us on how "[u]sing militias and marketing strategies, Christianity and Islam are competing for believers by promising Nigerians prosperity in this world as well as salvation in the next. [It is a] report from the front lines."


    March 14th, 2008
  • Chat with Suzan-Lori Parks

    SIT DOWN & CHAT WITH SUZAN-LORI PARKS!

    Calling all undergraduate students interested in meeting a Pulitzer Prize- and Obie- winning playwright: Topdog/Underdog and Venus author Suzan-Lori Parks will join undergraduates at 9:00 am on March 27 for an informal question and answer session at the Rarig Center. Parks will talk and read from her work at 7:30 pm, March 26, in Ted Mann Concert Hall, and students are very much encouraged to attend that free event as well. NOTE: If you are an undergraduate student and would like to meet one of American theater's brightest lights, please RSVP to Terri Sutton at sutt0063@umn.edu or call 612.626.1528.


    March 12th, 2008
  • Black Paris seminar (extended deadline)

    In May, Professor Trica Keaton will lead a Global Seminar in Paris, France. The application deadline has been extended to March 17, 2008, and a $500 scholarship will be offered to each admitted student.

    Paris is considered one of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world, and for over three centuries, diverse African American artists, intellectuals, musicians, writers, and everyday people have pursued various dreams in the "City of Light," particularly when denied opportunities in the U.S. African Americans are often held up as evidence of racial tolerance in France, even as the lived-experiences of other African diasporic peoples have challenged that very representation and the principles of inclusion upon which it is built. Through stimulating reading, workshops, tours, guest lectures, films, and residence in Paris, this seminar will acquaint you with the life, adventures, and times of those who comprise "Black Paris," as we seek to explore the many questions and paradoxes specific to the African diaspora in this fascinating and complex global city.

    The application deadline for this seminar has been extended to March 17, 2008, and a $500 scholarship will be offered to each admitted student.


    March 9th, 2008

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