Social Sciences Forum: The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today (9/17)

Rogers SmithOn Wednesday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, Dr. Rogers Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Social Sciences Forum, “The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today.”

The author of seven books on citizenship and equality in the United States, including one that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History, Dr. Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will address why America’s political leaders avoid discussing racial policies, even as many forms of racial inequality persist and deepen. Smith argues that the United States is profoundly divided between two rival conceptions of civic equality–but that common ground may be found in the bold views of the Constitution’s purposes advanced by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

This is a Constitution and Citizenship Day Lecture, co-sponsored with the Departments of Political Science, Africana Studies, American Studies, Philosophy and Public Policy, and the Office of Student Life. For more information, click here.

The Black Church and The Black Family- Guest Speaker Rev. Dr. Ann Lightner-Fuller (3/25)

Date: March 25, 2014
Course: The Black Church (Africana Studies)
Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. Ann Lightner-Fuller, Senior Pastor, Mt. Calvary African Methodist Episcopal Church, Towson, MD
Topic: The Black Church and The Black Family
Location: Fine Arts 006
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Dr. Ann Lightner-Fuller, named one of the 15 Greatest Black Women Preachers in the nation (Ebony, 1997), is the senior pastor of the 2,000-member Mt. Calvary AME Church in Towson, MD. In 2012, Dr. Lightner-Fuller led her congregation in building a state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar Family Life Center on property adjacent to the church. On March 25, she will visit with students enrolled in the Black Church course to discuss perspectives about the relationship between the contemporary black church and the black family. The instructor for the Black Church course is Dr. Linda F. Gorham. For more information, call 410-340-2843. All are welcome to attend.

Upcoming Speakers:
Date: April 15, 2014
Guest Speaker: Bishop Clifford Johnson, Jr., Senior Pastor, Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries, Baltimore, MD
Topic: The Black Church and The Black Male
Location: Fine Arts 006
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Date: April 22, 2014
Guest Speaker: Ms. Janice Jackson, Director, UMBC Gospel Choir and Jubilee Singers; Minister of Music, Christian Community Church of God, Baltimore, MD
Topic: Music and The Black Church: Hymns and Spirituals
Location: Fine Arts 006
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Critical Social Justice Keynote with Jay Smooth (3/6)

In partnership with the Dresher Center for the Humanities and Africana Studies, Critical Social Justice presents the 2014 Daphne Harrison Lecture: “On Hip Hop, Race, and Politics: The Way We Talk About Things” with Jay Smooth.

Jay Smooth is the mastermind behind the hip hop and politically-oriented video blog “The Ill Doctrine,” where he serves up contemporary observation on topics of race, politics, music, and pop culture. A leading voice in the sociopolitical realm, Smooth gained national attention with his video “How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist” and his TEDx Talk “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race.” He entertains, challenges, and enlightens audiences with his funny, incisive perspective on music, politics, and culture, encouraging audiences to do their own critical thinking about the world, engage in conversations about cultural issues that matter, and find some common ground.

Jay Smooth’s keynote lecture will be held in the UC Ballroom on Thursday, March 6th at 7:30pm with a Q&A and reception to follow. For more information on this and other Critical Social Justice events, visit the CSJ site.

American Studies Road Trip to Washington, DC (11/16)

The American Studies department is sponsoring a road trip to Washington, DC to tour the exhibit “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963.” The exhibit is at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The trip is Saturday, November 16th. Round-trip free transportation is provided. A bus will be leaving UMBC at 10am and will return by 3pm. Seating is limited.


For more information about the exhibit, click here. The Africana Studies and History departments are also sponsoring the event.

David Levering Lewis to Present W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture (11/13)

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis is this year’s speaker for the W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, “W.E.B. Du Bois Fifty Years after the March on Washington.” He is the author of eight books and editor of two more.

David Levering Lewis

Lewis is a Professor of History at New York University and his field is comparative history with special focus on twentieth-century United States social history and civil rights. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography twice for part one and part two of his biography of W.E.B. Du Bois in 1994 and 2001 respectively.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies, the Department of History, the Department of American Studies, the Language, Literacy and Culture Doctoral Program, the Honors College, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, and the Mosaic Center of the Office of Student Life.

The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on November 13th in the University Center Ballroom.

Tyson King-Meadows, Political Science and Africana Studies, on Facing South

Tyson King-MeadowsIn “Why the 2014 Election Matters for Voting Rights,” the online magazine Facing South delves into analysis by UMBC’s Tyson King-Meadows on last week’s CBC Annual Legislative Conference panel “Protecting the Right to Vote.” King-Meadows is associate professor of political science and chair of Africana studies.

The panel discussed voting rights issues in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). In his remarks, King-Meadows described two ways the VRA’s influence could shrink further, including underfunding for the attorneys who address claims relating to voter rights and appointing people who are hostile to the VRA’s tenets to roles in the Department of Justice (DOJ) or federal courts.

“Let me give you a number: 684,” said Kings-Meadows. “That’s the number of non-competitive appointments in the DOJ alone.”

King-Meadows suggested that means an individual who is antagonistic toward the VRA could direct Justice staff to interpret the law in ways that could lead to further weakening of its powers, “or simply ignore meritorious complaints that come in,” Facing South notes. Read the full analysis on Facing South.