The website for the Department of African American & African Sudies has been updated. Check out the new site: http://aaas.umn.edu/
I am quoted in a newspaper story about African Americans in movies released in 2009.
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.
CNN will air two new shows in the series Black in America on July 22 and 23, 2009.
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.
The January/February 2009 of The Atlantic magazine has several articles on American race relations in the "State of the Union" section:
The documentary Trouble the Water "opens the day before Katrina makes landfall, just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that tourists know. Kimberly Rivers Roberts is turning her video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. 'It's going to be a day to remember,' Kim says excitedly into her new camera as the storm is brewing. It's her first time shooting video and it's rough, jumpy, but dense with reality. Kim's playful home-grown newscast tone grinds against the audience's knowledge that hell is just hours away. There is no way for the audience to warn her. And for New Orleans' poor, there is nowhere to run."
"As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film, documenting their harrowing voyage to higher ground and dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors."
I plan to see this film soon!
Many African Americans are pleasantly surprised by Senator Obama's breakthrough as the Democratic nominee for United States President.
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.
The Minneapolis StarTribune recently posted a commentary about whether a White woman (Hillary Clinton) or a Black man (Barack Obama) should be elected President ("Whose Turn Is It?"). See also an article from The Atlantic about how Obama may transcend divisive political battles.
Zimbabwean graphic designer Chaz Maviyane-Davies uses "creative defiance" to "cut through complacency and apathy while trying to raise consciousness about an array of social issues from discrimination and human rights, to health and the environment." His work is very powerful.
Yesterday the University's blog server went down, just after I posted an entry to the AA&AS chair's blog. Here's the thing: the posting contained an error, and I had to wait until this morning to correct it! Ggggggrrrrrr.
The following post is from my AA&AS chair's blog.
Leonard Pitts' Miami Herald op-ed piece on "A history of rope" is being widely posted to the Net, such as on TheState.com. Pitts argues, "you might say the country has changed since [the early 1900s], and it has. The problem is, it's changing again." Indeed.
Check out the newly redesigned African American and African Studies department website.