In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. In her book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America, Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter.
–Film screenings begin at 11:00 – 3:00 (see flyer for details)
–3:00pm: A Conversation with Mzee (esteemed & respected Elder) James E. Campbell and Imam Hakim Abdul-Ali.
–4:00pm: Exhibition Opening/Reception “Malcolm X: 50 Years and Counting, The Legacy Continues” featuring materials from the James E. Campbell Collection & from the private collection of Imam Hakim Abdul-Ali.
Panel Presentation moderated by Ramon M. Jackson, University of South Carolina, Avery Research Center, 12-1:15 pm
In this panel discussion, moderated by University of South Carolina PhD candidate Ramon M. Jackson, local scholars and members of the 1955 Cannon Street Y.M.C.A. All-Stars will share their team’s story and discuss its legacy. Once described as the “most significant amateur team in baseball history,” members of this African-American youth baseball team were key figures in an adult-led direct action campaign to desegregate Little League Baseball in the American South. Nearly fifteen months after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Cannon Street Y.M.C.A. president Robert F. Morrison entered the All-Stars into the “whites only” Charleston Little League tournament. This action caused a “Civil War” within Little League Baseball, as teams in seven southern states seceded from the national organization and formed a segregated league known as “Little Boys Baseball” (Today known as “Dixie Youth”). Join us for a discussion of this powerful, often overlooked moment in the African American freedom struggle in South Carolina and the nation. To learn more about the Cannon Street All-Stars, visit: www.1955cannonstreetallstars.weebly.com
***Day after this presentation: Unveiling Ceremony for a Historical Marker for the Cannon Street All Stars, Thursday, February 19, 2:00 p.m., Harmon Field (Corner of Fishburne and President, across from Burke High School). Park at Arthur Christopher Gym, 265 Fishburne Street (This is also the alternative site in the event of inclement weather)
Title: New Orleans Revisited: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory after Katrina
Presented by: Lynell Thomas, UMass-Boston
Date: January 22, 2015
Location: Avery Research Center (125 Bull Street)
Overview: By the eve of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, collective dissent over the slow, uneven and inequitable recovery was displaced by a blitz of favorable media coverage that refashioned a tale of national disaster into a fable of American resilience and rebirth. In this presentation, Lynnell Thomas explores how events, such as the election of a white mayor, the New Orleans Saints’ NFL Super Bowl victory, the critical acclaim and local fandom surrounding the launch of the HBO television series Treme, BP’s tourism promotional campaign following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the positive national attention generated by the city’s neoliberal solutions to public education and affordable housing relied on and reclaimed the racialized tourist tropes central to New Orleans’s place identity. The city’s post-Katrina tourism narrative advances an idea of recovery that obscures painful post-Katrina realities. As the script of New Orleans’ recovery is being written, the city is poised to emerge as an international symbol of rebirth, renewal, and racial unity or a harbinger of the systemic social, economic, and ecological disasters that plague all U.S. metropolitan areas. The nation – indeed the world – is watching (and touring) to see which symbol will win out.
The Aesthetics Work Group, The Avery Research Center, and African American Studies are proud to sponsor a talk by Paul C. Taylor, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Head of African American Studies at Penn State University. Professor Taylor will deliver, “Make it Funky: Or, Music’s Cognitive Travels and the Despotism of Rhythm” at 3:15 on Thursday, November 20 in 235 Robert Scott Small.
Film Screening:The Alliance for Full Acceptance and (AFFA) & the Avery Research Center present the South Carolina premier of “The New Black” and a discussion with the film’s producer, Yvonne Welbon. “The New Black” is a powerful story of Black families and churches grappling with gay rights and civil rights in the midst of the fight for marriage equality.
Date/Time/Location: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 6:00pm, 125 Bull Street, Charleston, SC. Free and open to the public.