We Gon' Be Alright: The Importance of the Arts in an Era of Resegregation

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In a moment of cultural change and political turmoil, the arts are an essential part of the larger fight for empowerment and change in Memphis and cities around
the world. In this exciting event, we welcome world-renowned scholar and teacher Jeff Chang, whose passionate and provocative talk will challenge us to think
about the role of the arts — and those who love them — in the struggle for social justice in the 21st century.

Acclaimed author and educator Jeff Chang comes to campus to discuss the role of hip-hop arts, activism and education in the pursuit of social justice in the 21st century. Chang's award-winning books include Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America, and We Gon' Be  Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.

Prior to the talk, please join us at 4:30 p.m. in the Crain Reception Hall of the Bryan Campus Life Center to celebrate
the new Lynne & Henry Turley Memphis Center.

Memphis Center

An Evening with Claudia Rankine

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Rhodes College is thrilled to welcome acclaimed author, Yale
    University professor, and 2016 MacArthur Fellowship recipient
    Claudia Rankine to campus. Rankine’s most recent book, 2014’s
    bestselling Citizen: An American Lyric, won the National Book
    Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the NAACP Image Award, and
    numerous other prizes. This book – which will form the basis of
    her remarks – engages America’s painful and complex history
    of race, citizenship, and policing in ways that invoke the past
    and speak profoundly to the #BlackLivesMatter moment. In this
    necessary and provocative conversation, Rankine will demand a
    reckoning with our past and a reimagining of our future.

An opening reception will be held at 4:30 in the lobby of McNeill Concert Hall, with books available to purchase. A closing reception and booksigning will follow the event in the lobby of the bookstore.

This event is free and open to the public.

Historian and Author Timothy Tyson: The Blood of Emmett Till

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Reception at 5:30 p.m., event to follow at 6 p.m.

The 1955 lynching of Emmett Till was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement and remains a crucial symbol of the national struggle for racial justice. To discuss the killing and its contexts, we welcome author Timothy B. Tyson, historian and author of the acclaimed and bestselling new book The Blood of Emmett Till. Tyson’s groundbreaking research – which includes the first-ever interview with accuser Carolyn Bryant – sheds new light on what happened to the 14-year-old Till, as well as the larger consequences of his murder on Mississippi, Chicago, and the United States. As we continue to wrestle with the causes and effects of racial violence, the Till case and the movement it provoked remain vital to understanding both past and present. 

Joining Tyson this evening will be two respondents who will enrich the conversation:

·         Aram Goudsouzian – Chair of History Department at the University of Memphis

·         Doria Johnson – Activist, Historian, and 2016 Nelson Mandela Fellow for International Dialogues


Africana Studies

Holograms and Microwaves: The Science of Black Music

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The Africana Studies Program at Rhodes College is proud to welcome acclaimed scholar Shana L. Redmond. An interdisciplinary scholar of music, race, and politics, Redmond centers the sounds of the African diaspora within the global struggle for Black liberation. She offers groundbreaking and thought-provoking insights into how the practice of music-making has reflected and redirected the formation of racial identities and the resistance to colonialism and white supremacy.

Redmond is the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (2014) and Associate Professor of Musicology and African American Studies at UCLA. She is a contributor to and co-editor for Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader (2016) and series co-editor for Music of the African Diaspora on the University of California Press. 

Africana Studies
Africana Studies Program, Memphis Center

My Life in China: A Documentary Film Screening and Q&A with Director Kenneth Eng

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My Life in China depicts a journey of a Chinese-American family
    seeking identity through the transformative process of
    documentary filmmaking. 
    About the Director:
    Kenneth Eng is a director, editor, and executive producer.  After
    graduating from Boston Latin School, Ken left for New York in
    1994 to study film at the School of Visual Arts.  His thesis
    Scratching Windows, a short documentary film about graffiti
    writers, was broadcast as part of the doc series REEL NY on WNET
    - NY PBS. In 2001, Ken directed and edited Take Me to The River, a
    feature-length documentary about the Maha Kumbh Mela festival in
    Allahabad, India. Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball, his film about
    the famous Koshien Tournament in Japan, was nationally broadcast
    on PBS as part of POV and continues to play in Japan on NHK-TV. 
    In 2007, Ken was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to launch My
    Life In China.  Recently, he edited Tested for director Curtis
    Chin, and is currently developing projects on post-genocide
    reconciliation in Rwanda and the Critical Legal Studies movement
    at the Harvard Law School.
Join us for a reception, film screening,
    and Q & A with the director. This event is free and open to the
    Rhodes community and the public.

Chinese in the Mississippi Delta and Greater Memphis: An Evening with Shaolu Yu

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For the next event in the “Memphis Centered” speaker series,
    we are proud to welcome our own Dr. Shaolu Yu. Dr. Yu, an urban
    geographer and Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban
    Studies, will speak on her ongoing research into both historical
    and contemporary Chinese immigrants and Chinese American
    communities in the Mid-South. Although these experiences have
    been obscured in discussions of the Memphis area, Yu will
    demonstrate that they reveal a tight-knit and active community
    that has shaped this region in crucial ways. It is sure to be an
    engaging and thought-provoking presentation.
    This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are
Memphis Center

Baldwin Now Symposium: Keynote Lecture

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This two-day symposium celebrates the life and legacy of James Baldwin. Baldwin’s work has become a touchstone in our present cultural moment. Baldwin is an intellectual forbearer of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jesmyn Ward, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and a key reference for post-civil rights discussions of race in America. As such, Baldwin continues to be a cultural catalyst for American society.

Keynote lecture by Dwight McBride, author of Impossible Witness, Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch, and editor of James Baldwin Now.

The Symposium continues March 30 @ 6:00 p.m. in Ellington 100 at the University of Memphis with a roundtable discussion with leading Baldwin scholars Quentin Miller, Soyica Colbert, and Magdalena Zaborowska. Moderated by Ernest Gibson.


Talking Sports: A Conversation with Chris Vernon

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In the first event of this year’s Memphis Centered lecture series, please join us for a visit by award-winning Memphis broadcaster Chris Vernon. Host of “The Chris Vernon Show” on ESPN Radio, as well as an on-air analyst for Fox Sports Tennessee's coverage of the Memphis Grizzlies, Vernon has become one of the city’s most popular and respected sports journalists. In conversation with Rhodes professor Michael Nelson, Vernon will discuss his life and work so far, as well as his thoughts on this important moment in the city’s sports history. It is sure to be an engaging and exciting event.
The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed. A reception will follow the event. 
For more information, please contact Dr. Charles Hughes at hughesc@rhodes.edu or 901-843-3379. 
Memphis Center

Tanisha C. Ford

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Professor Tanisha Ford, author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style and the Global Politics of Soul, will be giving a public lecture and signing copies of her new book on Tuesday, March 22 at 6pm in Blount Auditorium.


Co-sponsor : Office of External Programs

'Ain't Nuthin' But a She-Thing': Women, Hip Hop, and The Making of Tradition

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Cheryl L. Keyes is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Chair of FAC for the Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her areas of specialty include African American music, gender, and popular music studies.  Professor Keyes has conducted extensive fieldwork on rap music and hip-hop culture all over the world, and her research has been published in major journals such as Black Music Research Journal, Ethnomusicology, Folklore Forum, Journal of American Folklore, Journal of Popular Music Studies, The World of Music, and has appeared as book chapters, reference articles, and as reviews. Dr. Keyes is the author of _Rap Music and Street Consciousness_ (2004), which received a CHOICE award for outstanding academic books and was the first musicological history of rap music.

Music Africana Studies