When Historian Carter G. Woodson initiated the celebration of “Negro History Week,” in 1926, his hope was that that it would inspire the recognition of black history as an important component in the teaching of world history. Nearly 90 years later, the United States has seen the March on Washington, an end to segregation and the election of a black president. So, where does that leave what is now-known as “Black History Month?”
Join Eric Kofi Acree, director of Cornell University’s John Henrik Clarke Africana Library, for “Black History Month: Is it Still Needed, Where Do We Go From Here?,” a community conversation and panel discussion, featuring Robert L. Harris, Jr. and Margaret Washington, February 16 at 2 p.m. in the Tompkins County Public Library’s BorgWarner Community Room.
This program will explore the significance of Black History Month-- in light of this year’s sesquicentennial celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Panelists will reflect on why it is still important to commemorate, acknowledge and participate in the celebration of the contributions made by people of African descent and look into how far blacks have come in the achievement of freedom, justice and equality.
Harris, a professor of African American History, former vice provost for diversity and faculty development at Cornell University and former director of Cornell’s Africana Studies and Research Center, has contributed more than 60 articles and chapters to academic journals and books, including “The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939.” He serves as National Historian for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, past president of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and is a recipient of the Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony at Cornell, the Woodson Scholar’s Medallion from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Cook Award for Commitment to Women’s Issues at Cornell.
Washington joined the Cornell University faculty in 1988 and specializes in African American history and culture, African American women, and the American South. She has been a Fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Fellow at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities and Senior Fellow at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Humanities. She has published numerous articles and books, including the only edited and annotated edition of the “Narrative of Sojourner Truth” and “Sojourner Truth’s America,” which received the Letitia Woods Brown Award for the best publication on African American women from the Association of Black Women Historians and won the inaugural Darlene Clark Hine Award for the best book in African American women’s and gender history from the Organization of American Historians.
This program is free and open to the public, audience participation will be encouraged.
For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty at (607) 272-4557 extension 248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.