2015-2016 Events

“Florynce ‘Flo’ Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical,”

on Wednesday, April 27 at 12:30pm in the Dolores Huerta Room in South Hall 1623.

Sherie M. Randolph, UCSB’s Ella Baker Visiting Professor in the Department of Black Studies and Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will discuss her recently published book:

The former Associate Director of the Women’s Research & Resource Center at Spelman College, she has received several grants and fellowships for her work, most recently being awarded fellowships from Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Center and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Randolph’s book, Florynce “Flo” KennedyThe Life of a Black Feminist Radical (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), examines the connections between the Black Power, civil rights, New Left, and feminist movements.

Letters from Langston: A Public Lecture and Reading

Please join us on ThursdayFebruary 25 at 5:30PM at South Hall 2623 (The Sankey Room) as editors Evelyn Crawford and MaryLouise Patterson discuss their book Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond (University of California Press). The editors will share memories of “Uncle Lang,” their activist parents, and their meticulous compilation of the edition.

Guest presenters Geoffrey Jacques, Stephanie Batiste, Natasha O’Neill, and Christopher Williams will read passages from the collection of correspondences. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. ​

From the official press release:

“Letters from Langston is a collection of unguarded and candid confidences—both personal and political—between American literary giant, and leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes and four of his closest African American friends, Louise Thompson Patterson, William L. Patterson, Matt N. Crawford, and Evelyn Graves Crawford. The four exchanged letters with Hughes for nearly forty years; three were important leftist political figures and active members of the Communist Party. Like Hughes, all were investigated and harassed by the F.B.I., and in the case of William L. Patterson, imprisoned for political reasons.

Letters from Langston begins in 1930 and spans the succeeding decades, ending shortly before Hughes’s death in 1967. The two couples share their lives of political activism and the everyday joys and sorrows of family life with their friend Langston. He, for his part, savors their affections, companionship, and support during his own struggles as an often-misunderstood ‘literary sharecropper.’ This distinctive volume of correspondence captures stories of friends and family, living in an era of uncertainty and sharing a vision of an idealized world—one without hunger, war, racism, and class oppression.

Evelyn Louise Crawford, a retired arts administrator and consultant, and MaryLouise Patterson, a pediatrician in clinical practice, are the daughters of Langston Hughes’s cherished friends… Hughes was a frequent guest in the homes of the two families and an ‘uncle’ to both girls who knew him from their respective childhood years in California and New York.”

PassingSolo: From Book to Play to Passing Today

On Tuesday, October 20 at 2:00pm in South Hall 2635.

Nancy Davis-Bellamy, co-founder of the Towne Street Theater, will be discussing her one-woman show Passing Solo, based on Nella Larsen’s famous Harlem Renaissance novella Passing.

An alumna of American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and Lincoln Center Directors Lab West, Davis-Bellamy’s directing credits include “Nevis Mountain Dew,” “Passing,” “Madwoman of Chaillot,” “Five on the Blackhand Side,” “30 Love,” “Medals,” and more.

Also an actor, she won the NAACP Theatre Award for “Passing” which she also conceived and has appeared in the films “Menace 2 Society,” “The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson,” “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” “The Five Heartbeats,” and “Hollywood Shuffle.”

“The Power of North American Urban Textures (As Seen from a Large European Postmetropolis)”

On Monday, October 19 at 5:00pm-6:30pm in the Sankey Room (South Hall 2623).

Dr. Buchenau’s past work has explored the “so-called ‘postracial turn’ in recent North American writings, the diverse forms of literary and cultural transfers and exchanges informing literary production in North America, and the cultural and political work of stereotypical and typological representations of minority groups in texts, maps and visual art.”

Dr. Buchenau is also one of the directors of the Research Training Group “City Scripts: Condensation, Inversion, and Assemblage in North American Urbanity,” which focuses on “systematic insights into how textual and historical processes have operated in North American scenarios of (de)urbanization and thus have also impacted global developments and phenomena.”