So far, Black Studies has organized about 20 public projects this semester and drawn more than 500 attendees at our events. And one of our main accomplishments has been the development of the EBR Reading Room at Lovejoy Library.
Over the course of the last four decades, poet and literary historian Eugene B. Redmond has amassed arguably one of the largest personal collections of photographs and literary materials related to African American culture and black artistic writing. Redmond provided us with the materials, not to mention the inspiration, to establish a multi-purpose cultural space for the preservation, study, presentation, and appreciation of black expressive culture.
During the course of the last six weeks, we have utilized the EBR Reading Room as a performance venue and black studies meeting space, as well as a small gallery for viewing Redmond’s photographs of African American cultural figures and listening to recordings of established poets and SIUE students reading their works. I am convinced that the EBR Reading Room will become one of the most important sites for the appreciation of black cultural and scholarly ideas at SIUE and perhaps in southern Illinois.
Redmond visits the Redmond Room
Black Theater at the EBR Reading Room
First Events in the EBR Reading Room
Very, very cool project, Prof. Rambsy! As you said, that room will become a focal point for much celebration of, and participation in, African American cultural history and literature. I can't think of anyone who deserves the recognition more than EBR.
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