Friday, March 1, 2019

Stefan Bradley -- a superhero historian

Stefan Bradley discussing histories and futures of black student activism

He's carried hundreds of students safely to graduation. He's faster than a speeding deadline. He's leaped over and through archives in a single bound. Stefan Bradley is a superhero disguised as historian and Chair of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

On Tuesday, February 26, Bradley visited our campus and was showing some of his super powers. As part of our month of Black History Month programming, he spoke on the histories of black student activism. He cited the organizing done by students at Howard University and at Cornell. He mentioned the collaborations between students and residents of Harlem to oppose practices by Columbia University.

He discussed the national movements associated with student activism taking place across the country during the 1960s and 1970s. Bradley mentioned his time working alongside organizers in Ferguson back in 2014. He highlighted the need of "tree shakers and jelly makers," which is to say people serving a variety of roles.

Of course, part of what makes Bradley so engaging concerns his delivery, not only the content. He weaves in humor. He uses storytelling to enliven history. He involves in the audience ("clap once if you're still with me"). 

Board of Trustee, Professor Shirley Portwood and Stefan Bradley 

Our students are overwhelmed with so much information these days -- in classes and more pervasively in the broader society. So the distant past and even recent important events are constantly fading from memory. Bradley's talk was thus a crucial intervention. He was offering a portal, transporting folks from now to then and back again. It's like he has super powers.

Historian Stefan Bradley reunites with his folk at SIUE
Photo-review of Stefan Bradley's talk @ SIUE
Stefan Bradley's Upending the Ivory Tower

1 comment:

Stefan Bradley said...

Prof. Rambsy, you have always been my partner in crime (and crime fighting). SIUE is lucky to have a glimpse of greatness in you! Thanks, Bro!