Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reflections on Black Studies in October

We really pushed ourselves in October. I was pleased to meet so many new folks and also to get a large number of returning visitors to our programs and activities. What follows are a few notes on what we did.

We began the month with a week of events associated with our Underground Freedom Galleries, a project focusing on interpretations of enslavement and struggles for freedom represented in African American literature. We were fortunate to have Kathi Bentley and members of Black Theater Workshop perform in the Redmond Reading Room and also produce a wonderful reading of Robert Hayden's "Runagate Runagate."

Our October 12th exhibit "14 Ways of Thinking About Chicago" in the EBR Reading Room was a success in large part because of the many talented and knowledgeable contributors. On the one hand, we had original pieces on the city produced by Dometi Pongo and Cassaundra Sampson.

And we also had historic maps of Chicago and commentary about those representations by Lovejoy Library's U.S. documents and maps librarian Barbara Levergood. She's a wonderful resource, and now that we've discovered her, we're going to keep seeking her out for assistance.

On October 14, we ran an audio-visual exhibit focusing on poet Amiri Baraka in the EBR Reading Room. The exhibit exposed folks to the far out verse and verbal skills of one of our most outstanding poets.

On October 18, we hosted a listening project highlighting one of our featured projects, the Malcolm X Mixtape. Always good exposing folks to Malcolm and the lyrical skills of our man Pongo.

On October 20, we organized the second gathering in our series of Haley Scholars Public Thinking Events. These projects are always vibrant affairs since we have so many people attend.

And on October 26 and 27, we presented our big project style, politics, and black women @ siue. What an endeavor. We're still thinking through and processing all that we gained by producing this one. I really enjoyed working with all the cooled out, fashion forward folks that made this project come together.

No comments: