Category Archives: News

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The Long Afterlife of Brown V Board

Panel Explores 65th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education Ruling.

To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the hallmark Brown v. Board decision and decade of subsequient court battles and protests, Dr. Millicent Brown and Caroll Y. Turpin will share their experiences as children who desegregated South Carolina’s public schools in the 1960’s.

Check out the article that was in The College Today!

 

 

African American Studies Student Art Competition

African American Studies Student Art Competition
Are you a student artist at the College of Charleston in search of new inspiration and an opportunity to showcase your work? Then the African American Studies Program has just the opportunity for you! Enter your work in the African American Studies Student Art Competition for a chance to win art materials and prominent display in the AAST office suite!

Requirements:
• This competition is open to currently enrolled CofC students only
• Artwork must be an original work of the student
• Entries must be in 2D Fine Art mediums (painting, drawing, printmaking, and/or
photography).
• Original art work should be a minimum of 11inches x14 inches and a maximum of
27inx40in in size.
• Entrants can submit up to five works for consideration.
• Artwork should be submitted as a high-resolution image of the original artwork in
.jpg file format.
Submission form must accompany each entry
• All entries must address some aspect/theme of the African Diaspora (culture,
people, and/or places) broadly defined.
• Submissions must be received by March 25, 2019

Judging:
Entries will be evaluated based on originality, interpretation of subject matter/theme,
creative techniques and overall art appearance. A panel of judges comprised of African
American Studies Faculty and Affiliates will evaluate each entry and rank each. The
entries with the highest rankings will receive the first and second place prize.

Prizes:
There will be a prize for first and second place winners. First place will receive $300 in
art supplies via Amazon.com and permanent display in the AAST office suite; Second
place will receive $200 in art supplies and permanent display in the AAST office suite.
Entries may also receive Honorable Mention and the opportunity for permanent display
in the AAST office suite.

Please contact Program Director for More Information:
Kameelah Martin
MartinKL2@cofc.edu
843-953-0675
Office: ECTR 207C

African American Studies Spring 2019 Film Festival: Afrofuturism on Film

The African American Studies Spring 2019 Film Festival, “Afrofuturism on Film,” will feature four evenings of films that assert that, regardless of whatever else the future holds, the future is most definitely and defiantly Black. Though the films in the festival take us from Los Angeles and the Gulf Coast to outer space and Wakanda, all of them envision futures centered on the peoples and cultures of Africa and the Diaspora. The screenings, which will be at 6:00 pm in Septima Clark Auditorium (Education Center 118), are free and open to the public, and each will be followed by a discussion led by a College of Charleston faculty member. Popcorn and soda will be served as well.

 

February 4: Blade (discussion led by Prof. Anthony Greene)

February 11: Beasts of the Southern Wild (discussion led by Prof. Lisa Young)

February 18: Pumzi and Other Shorts* (discussion led by Prof. Mari Crabtree)

February 25: Black Panther (discussion led by Prof. Gary Jackson and Prof. Matthew Cressler)

* The “other shorts” will include Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, clips from Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, and excerpts of a Parliament concert from their original Mothership Connection tour.

 

Adeyemi Oduwole’s internship at the Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology, at the University of Pennsylvania

In 2013, the remains for 36 likely African and African-descendant individuals were found during renovations at the Gaillard Center.  These burials date to the 1760s-1800.  Dr. Ade Ofunniyin (African American Studies) and Joanna Gilmore (Sociology and Anthropology), adjuncts at the College of Charleston and Gullah Society staff, are now working with Prof. Theodore Schurr and Raquel Fleskes, molecular anthropologists at the University of Pennsylvania, to explore the ancestry of the Anson Street individuals, prior to their reburial and the construction of a monument.

The Gullah Society is supported by the City of Charleston in this project and, with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, has applied for a grant from the National Geographic Society, to conduct ancient DNA research to learn more about the individuals buried at Anson Street and to take DNA samples from 36 living individuals to try to find any ancestral ties between those buried at the site and those living in Charleston today. The Gullah Society is currently researching 18th century property owners for the land at George and Anson Street to try to identify and offer DNA tests to living descendants of the deceased.

This summer, a student from the College of Charleston, Adeyemi Oduwole, will complete a four-week internship with Dr. Theodore Schurr & Raquel Fleskes at the Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology, at the University of Pennsylvania.  Adeyemi is a junior, majoring in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry – Pre-medicine.  During his time in Pennsylvania, Adeyemi will learn how to characterize the mitochondrial DNA diversity of 36 contemporary individuals from Charleston.

New African American Studies Course: The Life and Writings of James Baldwin

The African American Studies Program will be offering a new course in the Fall 2018 semester, “The Life and Writings of James Baldwin.” This is a pilot course for a variable topics seminar, “The Africana Intellectual Tradition,” which will be added to the curriculum in the next couple years.

AAST 300: “The Life and Writings of James Baldwin”
The literary and cultural icon James Baldwin was a prophetic and radical voice for racial justice at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and in its aftermath. This seminar examines Baldwin primarily as a writer through his essays, novels, and plays, but also analyzes his role as a ‘witness’ to the Black freedom struggle in the US and abroad. Major themes in the course include race and sexuality, diasporic connections, history and memory, impiety (religious and otherwise), and the role of the artist in public life. Reading assignments from his body of work will be paired with critical texts and films by his contemporaries and scholars from Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and Ralph Ellison to David Leeming, Raoul Peck, and Douglas Field. Discussions and essay assignments will provide students with an opportunity to closely analyze Baldwin’s work while offering a lens to understand and confront issues of power and justice in our times.

Please contact the professor for this course, Mari N. Crabtree, with any questions at crabtreemn@cofc.edu.

Statement Condemning White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville – African American Studies Faculty

White supremacist mob in Charlottesville, VA (2017)

 

Lynch mob in Marion, IN (1930)

The white supremacist and white nationalist violence that erupted in Charlottesville last weekend made visible, with terrifying clarity, a truth at the heart of US history: white power, when confronted with threats, real or imagined, reacts with violence and death. As scholars who study the history and culture of African Americans, we recognize that black life is far richer and far more beautiful than a litany of abuses. We choose to frame black life beyond the reach of what Toni Morrison called “the white gaze,” but the fury of a white mob in 2017, wielding torches, brandishing pipes and assault rifles, spewing hate-filled rhetoric, and ramming a car into a peaceful anti-racist march threatens to impinge upon life beyond the white gaze. With images of that furious mob flooding our televisions and news feeds, we could not help but see in those faces a hatred tinged with arrogance reminiscent of the smiling white faces gazing out of lynching photographs from the Jim Crow era. This family resemblance reminds us that what happened in Charlottesville is as American as that small college town’s favorite son, Thomas Jefferson, which is to say, what happened in Charlottesville is as American as enslavement and lynching and convict leasing and debt peonage and mass incarceration.

The African American Studies Program condemns the white supremacist, neo-Confederate, and neo-Nazi ideologies harbored by the mob in Charlottesville as well as the violence these ideologies breed. We mourn the dead, and we wish healing to those anti-racist protesters who have suffered injuries of all stripes. We also recognize that what happened in Charlottesville was not exceptional or unique, after all, we remember all too well the massacre that happened just blocks from our offices two summers ago. Our students have already begun to return to campus in advance of the fall semester, and as much as recent events have shaken and disgusted us, we are deeply concerned for our students who are grappling with these acts of violence and their political aftershocks. In moments like these, the value of African American Studies as a discipline cannot be overstated. We, as educators, remain steadfast in our responsibility to provide the analytical tools, conceptual frameworks, and historical contexts to make our contemporary moment legible, if not comprehensible. We also remain committed to supporting our students, most especially those students of color for whom the violence in Charlottesville is no mere abstraction but a threat to their very existence. This violence may be a harbinger of even more terrifying things to come, but the tradition of radical protest that undergirds so much of African American history and culture keeps us pushing back and pressing forward.

2017 ExCEL Awards

The annual Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards program honors members of the College and community who promote excellence and contribute to the College’s core values of diversity and inclusion.

The 2017 Outstanding Faculty of the Year for the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs was our very own Professor Mari Crabtree!

Another exciting ExCEL award is the Outstanding Students of the Year Lucille S. Whipper Award which was awarded to AAST major Aisha C. Gallion.

Award recipients were acknowledged on April 5, 2017 at the ExCel Awards Program held at the Sottile Theatre. The African American Studies program is very proud of all of our faulty and students and their accomplishments on and off of campus!

AAST Faculty Respond to the Attack on Emanuel AME Church

On June 17, 2015 Mother Emanuel AME Church was the site of an act of vicious, racist terror.

We, along with our families, friends, and neighbors, are grieving, and we speak the names of those we’ve lost:

Cynthia Hurd

Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Tywanza Sanders

Ethel Lance

Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor

Susie Jackson

Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr

Myra Thompson

As scholars of African American history, culture, and experiences, we remain committed to activist scholarship and we insist that #BlackLivesMatter. We believe that the wrongs of the past can be made right, but only if we are willing to confront those wrongs with courage and honesty. We stand with others in our community, including Governor Haley, in calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. We also, though, remind our community that this act alone will not dismantle the legacies of slavery Jim Crow that remain with us, including a segregated school system, significant income disparity, and police harassment and brutality.

We have been moved and encouraged by the show of support, sympathy, and unity in the days following the murders. We look forward to continued support and unity as we work for much needed change in this place we call home.