The films will be shown on four consecutive Monday evenings from 6 pm to 9 pm in 309 Mitchell Hall. There is no admission charge, and free pizza will be served.
GAAAH published volume 1, issue 1 of its newsletter on March 17, 2009.
Download your own copy of the newsletter (Adobe PDF document, requires Adobe Reader)
This year’s conference was scheduled to feature a keynote address from Dr. Deborah Gray White, Professor of History at Rutgers University and the author of Ar’n’t I A Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South (1985 and 1999), the groundbreaking gendered analysis of the institution of slavery. Unfortunately, travel uncertainties caused by Hurricane Sandy forced Dr. Gray to cancel and Dr. Ann Twitty from the University of Mississippi stepped in to deliver the keynote address on “Promiscuous Legality: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence.” (The keynote lecture was an event of the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities and a full report on the lecture may be found at http://marcusorr.blogspot.com/ under the date of November 5, 2012.) Professors from area institutions served as panel commentators and participated in a workshop on professional development and the job market.
This year’s theme is “Black Soldiers in Film.” All films were shown on Wednesday evenings throughout Februry in 200 Mitchell (auditorium), beginning at 6 pm. Each film was followed by a brief discussion. Pizza and drinks were served.
This conference was co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, the Program in African and African-American Studies, Student Event Allocation Funds, and the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities.
In addition to the numerous sessions at which students presented papers, there were several special events:
This conference was the first to be held in the new University Center at The University of Memphis.
The keynote speaker was Dr Leon Litwack, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, speaking in the University Center Ballroom at 7 pm on November 11 on the topic “Stormy Monday: African Americans and Race Reflections from the Civil War to the Present.”
Download a complete listing of conference sessions (Microsoft Word document), or a flyer that lists all the presentations (PDF document), or a flyer that lists session titles only (PDF document),
For a report on the conference, written by Shirletta Kinchen, with photographs by Sheena Harris, read the item in History Happenings. For several more photographs, view the album on Facebook devoted to the conference.
This year’s theme was “The Evolution of Black Women in Film.” All films were shown in 200 Mitchell (auditorium) from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
Download a poster for the festival (Microsoft Word document)
The Graduate Association for African American History (GAAAH) hosted its fourth annual Thanksgiving Canned Food/Penny Drive. All food donations went to the Memphis Food Bank and money collected will support a school at the Atiyeenu Village in the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa.
From an e-mail message by James Conway, announcing the drives:
The village is located outside the city of Ho and has 700 members. The school has only nine teachers and the school children’s age range is from 4 to 13 years. Because it is in a rural area, the school does not receive the same amount of financial support as those in urban areas. Part of it has grass roofs and the other has tin. It is not closed in so when it rains everything gets wet or school gets canceled which means children are forced to miss school. Some of the children don’t have books. The village chief said the school needs around $30,000 (American) for repairs, schools supplies, books, uniforms, desks, etc.
I encourage everyone to donate as much money (pennies, dollars, checks, etc.) and canned foods to aid this local and international effort.
This year the penny drive will end on November 12th. Study Abroad Director Rebecca Laumann is returning to Ghana on November 13th and will take the donations to the village during her visit. That gives us exactly one month to make donations. Just think, your loose change could help educate a child in Africa and unused canned goods could feed a family in Memphis this Thanksgiving.
Last year we collected 315 canned goods and $195 in cash and checks. Our goal is to match or pass that number over the next month. Please encourage your students to donate any canned foods or loose change they may have sitting around their apartments or dorm rooms. Large gray totes and money boxes have been placed in the history department as well as the faculty lounge. The canned food drive will end Tuesday, November 24th. The Memphis Food Bank’s website is www.memphisfoodbank.org. I have also attached pictures of the village school to this email.
If you have any questions, please contact James Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org. GAAAH, the Memphis Food Bank, and the Atiyeenu Village School thank you in advance for your support.
The Graduate Association for African-American History (GAAAH) at The University of Memphis hosted graduate students at all levels in a conference on the theme “From Slavery to Freedom: The African American Experience.”
The conference opened with a panel on “‘On the Pulse of Morning’: Labor, Rights, and Resistance” at 1 pm on Wednesday, September 9. Other panels on Wednesday were “‘Lifting as We Climb’: Teachers in the South” at 3 pm and “‘Freedom on my Mind’: Identity in the Black Diaspora” at 5 pm.
Morning panels on Thursday, September 10, included “’If We Must Die’: African Americans and the Military” at 8:30 am and “‘Not Without Struggle’: Racial Violence and White Supremacy.” During the noon hour there was lunch and discussion and book signing with Dr Clayborne Carson, who was the keynote speaker later in the day. Afternoon panels were on “‘Praise Song for the Day’: Race and Modern America” at 1 pm and “‘They Carried Their Freedom Bags’: Women in the Age of Slavery” at 2:45 pm. Dr Carson delivered the keynote address in 200 Mitchell at 4:45 pm (see the separate listing for this event).
Panels on Friday, September 11, began at 8:30 am with “‘That All May Be Free’: Colonial Slaveries” and continued with “‘I’ll Be Sitting Right There’: Myth, Memory, and the African American Past.” At noon there was a pizza lunch and roundtable on professional development which featured a discussion about the practice of history, the graduate school experience, and professional opportunities with two alumnae of the GAAAH Conference, Dr Deidre Cooper Owens and Dr Sowandé Mustakeem. This was followed by the awarding of the “Memphis State Eight” paper prizes for the best papers presented at the conference. The first-place prize went to Kimberly Sambol-Tosco of the University of Pennsylvania for “The Dilemma of Black Families and Households: A Reconsideration of the Transition to Freedom among African- Americans in the North before the Civil War.” Kevin Boland Johnson of Mississippi State University won second prize for “Taking It to the Streets: Garbage Men, the Memphis Crises of 1968, and Problems with Trash Collection.” Third prize went to Kyle Ainsworth of the University of Southern Mississippi for “The Harbinger of White Supremacy: The Clarke Courier, 1869-1877.”
After the conclusion of the conference there was an opportunity to make a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum downtown.
Many faculty members and graduate students from the Department of History at The University of Memphis served as chairs and commentators for the panels.
You may find full information about the conference and the papers that were presented in two forms:
Dr Clayborne Carson spoke on “The Global Significance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” at 4:45 pm on Thursday, October 10, 2009, in the keynote address in the Eleventh Annual Graduate History Conference of the Graduate Association for African-American History. The lecture was held in 200 Mitchell Hall (the auditorium) and was free and open to the public. There was a book signing before the lecture and a reception following the lecture. (For a report on the speech, see the article on the website of the Department of History.)
Dr Carson is the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. He is also Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Professor and executive director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection at Morehouse College. He received his doctorate from UCLA in 1975.
During his undergraduate years at UCLA, Dr. Carson participated in civil rights and antiwar protests, and many of his subsequent writings reflect his experiences by stressing the importance of grassroots political activity within the African- American freedom struggle. His first book, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, remains the definitive history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Published in 1981, it won the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner Award. His other publications include Malcolm X: The FBI File (1991) and African American Lives: The Struggle for Freedom (2005), a comprehensive survey of African-American history.
Under Dr Carson’s direction, the King Papers Project, a component of the Institute, has produced six volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. — a projected fourteen-volume comprehensive edition of King’s speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. In addition to these volumes, Dr Carson has written or co-edited numerous other works based on the papers, including A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998); The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998), compiled from King’s autobiographical writings; and A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2001).
The lecture was sponsored by Student Event Allocation, the Belle McWilliams Fund, the Department of History, and The University of Memphis.
Top l to r: Shirletta Kinchen and Amy Piccaretto
Bottom l to r: James Conway, Sheena Harris, and Ann Mulhearn
On Saturday, March 21, 2009, several students from the Graduate Association for African-American History and Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history, participated in the Habitat for Humanity’s 2009 Spring Build. According to its website, “Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.”
There are several houses under construction on Pershing Avenue in the Binghampton section of Memphis. Despite the rain, the students enjoyed their experience. GAAAH vice president James Conway commented, “Last year I voted for hope and change. Habitat’s home builders program gave me an opportunity to do my part in fulfilling that message. I look forward to continuing as a volunteer with this benevolent organization in the future.”
This was the first of what it is hoped will be many joint service projects that GAAAH and PAT will participate in together. PAT vice president Amy Piccaretto also shared her thoughts on the impact of working on the project: “Although the weather didn’t cooperate, it was very inspirational to see the number and range of people who came out to help out and the variety of homes being constructed. It was great to be a small part of such an important and worthwhile event.”
The group reported that the great thing about this project was that they had the chance to give back by working side-by-side with the homeowners to build their homes and everybody left the experience enpowered.
The volunteers were Meredith Baker, James Conway, Armanthia Duncan, Sheena Harris, Shirletta Kinchen, Rachel Mittleman, Ann Mulhearn, and Amy Piccaretto.
Since its founding in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International has built and rehabilitated more than 300,000 houses with partner families, helping house more than 1,500,000 people and becoming a world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. Its best-known supporters are former president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter.
This year’s theme was Blaxploitation, with the title “From Sidney to Superfly: The Transformation of the Black Image on Film.” All films were shown in 305 Mitchell from 5 pm to 8 pm
All films were shown in 200 Mitchell Hall (the auditorium) from 5 to 7:30 pm.
This year for Black History Month, the Graduate Association for African American History (GAAAH) hosted its first Black History Month film fest, showing three of Spike Lee's films starting February 8 with his 1980s film "School Daze," which emphasizes the black college experience through political protest, fraternities and sororities, interracial conflict, masculinity and femininity, among other things.
This was followed on February 15 with the showing of Lee's "Bamboozled," which previews a modern-day minstrel show but discusses the history of minstrel shows.
Lastly, on February 22 there was the showing of Lee's "Do The Right Thing," which discusses the frustrations, animosity, and relationships of inner-city working-class blacks, whites, ethnic minorities, Hispanics, and other groups. The emphasis of this film will be the riot that ensues towards the end.
Read the article about the lecture
Read the article about the lecture
Read the article about the event (Microsoft Word document)
(These links are under construction -- check back later)
Last modified: 29 January 2013