Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrate 40 Years of Black Studies Programs in America....

"Rivers" cosmogram by Houston Conwill at the Langston Hughes Atrium at the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture in Harlem, NY. Another cosmogram by the artist and poet Estella Conwill is located at the African Burial Ground National Monument in the Wall Street financial district.

It's kind of mind-boggling to think about it, but we've had formal Black Studies Programs in public and private colleges and universities in America for about 40 years. And depending on who you ask, that's only a blink in the night or a mighty long time (too long for some folks who cite budget concerns and question its impact on traditional Western studies programs ;-). Most of us just take it for granted that should we choose and happen to be at the right place at the right time, we could take a myriad of classes ranging from African History, Caribbean Literature, Black Women Poets, Yoruba, the Harlem Renaissance, Paul Robeson and McCarthyism, even Black Science Fiction, and so on.

Joel Dias-Porter, a poet and Cave Canem Fellow shared this recently:

"Sonia Sanchez told us some great stories about teaching in the first Black Studies program at SF State in '69. She had to re-type DuBois' 'Souls of Black Folk' (There was only one copy on campus and it was out of print) and mimeograph copies so students could study it. She said among her most diligent students were two white guys who attended every class, sat up front
and took copious notes (they turned out to be FBI agents). We take so much for granted these days, things like the internet which allows us to stay connected and share info instantaneously.
And things like Cave Canem. Let us never forget to give thanks."

Let us give thanks, indeed.

If you would like to learn more about the amazing collective efforts begun perhaps first, with Carter G. Woodson and so many other pioneering, unsung, nameless educators, Tune in to a special edition of the Tavis Smiley Show public radio Sunday, September 20, to hear Greg Carr, chair of Howard University’s Afro American Studies; Elizabeth Alexander, chair of Yale University’s African-American Studies, Tricia Rose, chair of Brown University’s Department of Africana Studies, and regular Tavis Smiley Show commentator Eddie S. Glaude, the William S. Todd, chair of Princeton University’s Center for African-American Studies, discuss the importance and growth of Black Studies programs as they celebrate their 40th year in existence.

Sociologist Nathan Hare (founding publisher of The Black Scholar: A Journal of Black Studies and Research) was given the task and opportunity by San Francisco State to create and coordinate the first formal “Black Studies” department and in 1969, the department officially opened its doors, offering an educational option to ending racial stereotypes, by exposing students of all colors to the vast historical, cultural and theological aspects of African Americans. Now, 40 years later, Black Studies departments are the norm on campuses across the country, yet the questions have grown louder as to the continued relevance of what some call “segregated studies” at taxpayer expense. The show features a conversation with distinguished scholars of African American studies to remember the 40-year journey and chart the collective paths into the future.

Washington, D.C.: WETA-FM (90.9), Sunday, 1 p.m.

Princess Anne, Md.: WESM-FM (91.3), Sunday, 12 p.m.

Baltimore, Md.: WEAA-FM (88.9), Sunday, 9 p.m., WYPR-FM (88.1), Sunday, 6 p.m. Hagerstown, Md., WETH-FM (89.1), Sunday, 7 p.m.

41-year Celebration @ University of Montana...

For more information, or to check your local listings for broadcast times visit www.tavistalks. com.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are You Kiddin' Me?! - The Entire Philly Free Library is CLOSING!!! ON OCTOBER 2ND!!! WTF!!

THIS IS BEYOND JACKED UP! SUPPORT YOUR LIBRARIES, PEOPLE. Go to their public programs. Request comment cards when you do and share your ideas and feedback. Jot down letters to the directors (in NYC, you get a formal response back!), letting them know you exist and how you and your family use the librarie's resources. The Library needs a serious PR campaign, good grief.

Book Drop Locations
Holds Information
Interlibrary Loan


Excellent Young Folk's Programming this year - yay, Stacey, Angeli, and n'em!



Target Children’s Area (Borough Hall Plaza)
The Target Children’s Area provides day-long readings and literary activities for children 2-9

10:00a.m. Troupe – Performs classic children’s books
10:30a.m. Mo Willems, Elephants Cannot Dance; Watch Me Throw the Ball!
11:00a.m. Alison Josephs/Maureen Sullivan, Custard and Mustard, Carlos in Coney Island
11:30a.m. Tom Tomorrow, The Very Silly Mayor
12:00p.m. Sahar Simmons, Briana’s Neighborhood
12:30p.m. Victoria Kann, Goldilicious
1:00p.m. Nick Bruel, Bad Kitty Takes a Bath, Happy Birthday Bad Kitty
1:30p.m. Judi Barrett, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; The Marshmallow Incident
2:00p.m. Christopher Myers, Black Cat
2:30p.m. Randall & Peter de Seve, The Dutchess of Whimsy, Toyboat
3:00p.m. Ayun Halliday, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo
3:30p.m. Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
4:00p.m. Paul O. Zelinsky, The Wheels on the Bus
4:30p.m. Troupe – Performs classic children’s books

Youth Stoop (Borough Hall Plaza)
The Youth Stoop provides day-long literary activities for youth ages 10-18

10:00 a.m. Brooklyn Next Lit Match Awards. Come hear some of the most talented students writing in the borough who are the finalists in the “Brooklyn Next” borough-wide writing contest. Hosted by Jamie Hector of The Wire.

11:00 p.m. Fantastical Journeys. Join award-winning middle grade authors and illustrators Kate DiCamillo (The Magician’s Elephant), Christopher Myers (Wings) and Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm) and step into a world of whimsical imagination where elephants guide, boys fly and humans and fairy-tale creatures live side by side.

12:00 p.m. Keeping it Honest. Coe Booth (Tyrell), Matt de la Peña (Mexican White Boy) and Paul Griffin (Ten Mile River) write books for teenagers that are smart and honest and never talk down to their audience. Join them as they talk about their work and about how they keep it real.

1:00 p.m. Breaking Through. Critically acclaimed authors Laurie Halse Anderson (Winter Girls), Gayle Forman (If I Stay) and G.Neri (Surf Mules) discuss some of this year’s most talked about novels featuring teens forced to make difficult decisions under extraordinary—and less than favorable—circumstances.

2:00 p.m. Love and Longing. How far will you go for love and how far will love go for you? Ned Vizzini (Be More Chill), Aimee Friedman (Sea Change) and Anna Godbersen (The Luxe) reveal very different approaches to succeeding in love as they read and discuss their books.

3:00 p.m. Love, War and Adventures in Babysitting…Transforming Stories into Comics. How does a comic artist take a favorite story and make it new? Three new stars in the literary comics cosmos shine the light on their process, adapting award-winning fiction, found historical materials and one of the most popular teen series of all time into graphic novels. Raina Telgemeier (The Babysitters Club graphic novel series), Danica Novgorodoff (Refresh, Refresh) and George O’Connor (Journey into Mohawk Country).

4:00 p.m. Adventures in the Past. Critically acclaimed authors M.T. Anderson (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing), Marilyn Nelson (The Freedom Business) and Margaret Peterson Haddix (Shadow Children and Missing series) take us into a thrilling tour of the past where King Edward V lives, and the eighteenth century comes alive with adventure—giving us a new understanding of race then and now. Moderated by Stacey Barney.

5:00 p.m. High School and the Paranormal. Authors Claudia Gray (Evernight Series) and Carolyn MacCullough (Once a Witch) show us that high schoolers have far more to worry about than acne and who to take to the school dance. Enter an exciting world of witches, vampires and magic. Moderated by Stephanie Anderson.