Donna Nicol: An Agent of Change for Africana Studies

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-26 02:30Z by Steven

Donna Nicol: An Agent of Change for Africana Studies

CSUDH Campus News Center
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Carson, California
2018-03-12


Donna Nicol, associate professor and chair of Africana Studies at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Donna Nicol, associate professor and chair of Africana Studies, arrived at CSUDH in fall 2017. As a faculty member, she teaches Comparative Ethnic and Global Societies. As chair, Nicol is working with her colleagues and the university administration to strengthen the program’s curriculum and bolster its presence on campus and in the region.

A fourth-generation “Comptonite,” Nicol’s deep local roots and unique upbringing in a community-focused family has had a profound effect on her as a researcher and educator. She briefly left South Los Angeles for Ohio State University where she earned a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Foundations of Education with a specialization in African American higher educational history, and a minor in African American Studies in 2007.

Prior to coming to CSUDH, Nicol was the first woman of color to be promoted and tenured in Women’s Studies at CSU Fullerton. She joined the faculty ranks at Fullerton after spending nearly a decade working in higher education administration, a nontraditional career path that she believes gives her a unique perspective on the ethos of public education, and an advantage as an academic chair…

…Nicol sat down with CSUDH Campus News Center to discuss her unique Compton upbringing, her latest research, and her perspectives regarding the African American experience in higher education.

Q: To get started, can you tell me about your upbringing in Compton, and a little about how it influences you as an educator?

A: My family moved the Compton because it was one of the few places in Los Angeles at the time that allowed African Americans to buy homes. Coming from a military background—my great-grandfather was as an Army doctor during World War I—my great-grandparents didn’t want to go back to the South with mixed-race kids (Filipino and Black). After World War II, they moved to California as did my paternal grandparents who also moved to Compton to avoid racial segregation in the Jim Crow South. We were one of the few families that had the opportunity to go to college. My great-grandfather was a doctor, so he had “cultural capital,” and taught my grandmother how to prepare for college; who passed it on to my mother; who passed it on to me…

Read the entire article here.

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New York Times journalist comes to talk about multiracial identity for Black History Month

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-10 03:17Z by Steven

New York Times journalist comes to talk about multiracial identity for Black History Month

Iowa State Daily
2018-02-23

Naye Valenzuela


Journalist Walter Thompson-Hernandez came to Iowa State on Feb. 22 to speak to students about what it’s like being multicultural and speaks about how to define ones identity.
Megan Petzold/Iowa State Daily

As the lights went down and as the crowd hushes to a silence, a man gets up and walks to the podium. He opens his laptop and presents a PowerPoint. The first slide presents a graffiti on a blue brick wall in Los Angeles.

The graffiti says “black power, brown pride – Tupac,” which led to the man’s first question.

“What Tupac song is this from?” He asks the crowd.

A student jumps up right away and proudly states the song is “To Live and Die in L.A.”

Walter Thompson-Hernandez, the guest presenting, is shocked, to realize a lecture attendee in Ames was the first to get it right.

Most known for his work called “Blaxicans of L.A.,” where his photos and videos talk about people in South Central Los Angeles and their experience with their multiracial identity of being both black American and Mexican in the United States, Thompson-Hernandez talks about the history of Blaxicans and what could be the future of multiracial identities in the future…

Read the entire article here.

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Painter Ellen Gallagher’s tragic sea tales: How African slaves went from human to cargo on the Atlantic

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2017-12-27 21:13Z by Steven

Painter Ellen Gallagher’s tragic sea tales: How African slaves went from human to cargo on the Atlantic

The Los Angeles Times
2017-11-17

Carolina A. Miranda


An installation view of Ellen Gallagher’s painting “Aquajujidsu” at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles. (Fredrik Nilsen / Hauser & Wirth)

On first glance, the painting that greets visitors to the South Gallery at Hauser & Wirth in downtown Los Angeles looks like a crab quietly resting on the bottom of an ocean floor. But look again and that crab morphs into the fragmented face of a person, its myriad pieces coming undone in a watery deep.

In her first solo show in Los Angeles, painter Ellen Gallagher broaches the history of the Middle Passage in ways that are both poetic and surprising — rendering underwater scenes that seem perfectly innocent at first glance, but that on second, third and fourth viewing, quietly evoke the terrible tragedies that occurred in the Atlantic Ocean during the roughly four centuries of the slave trade.

“These are history paintings,” she says thoughtfully, as she settles into a sleek chair in a small lounge at Hauser & Wirth. “It’s this portrait of this space in between, this space where you are dead and alive at the same time.”


Artist Ellen Gallagher. Ellen Gallagher / Hauser & Wirth

The artist, who divides her time between New York and Rotterdam, and whose work resides in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, has long explored questions of history and power in works that straddle the gray area between figurative and abstract…

Read the entire article here.

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“Blaxicans of LA” challenges racial binaries and unpacks the complexities of intersectional identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Campus Life, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-04-07 00:55Z by Steven

“Blaxicans of LA” challenges racial binaries and unpacks the complexities of intersectional identity

The Occidental Weekly
Los Angeles, California
2017-04-04

Mallory Leeper


Photograph by Walter Thompson-Hernández

Walter Thompson-Hernández, multimedia journalist and current doctoral student at UCLA, visited Occidental College Monday, March 27 to discuss his research, which aims to bridge the gap between academia and photography and popular culture. Thompson-Hernandez’s lecture explored the historical framework of brown and black relations including anti-black sentiments within the Latinx community. Thompson-Hernández sought to highlight the experiences of Angelenos facing issues of racial classification and assumed singular ethnic identity.

The Latino/a & Latin American Studies department at Occidental College and the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles (ISLA) co-sponsored the Blaxicans of LA lecture in Fowler 202. As a part of their spring speaker series, Professor Raul Villa, department chair, explained that the event is a part of an educational and promotional campaign to bring awareness about the stdy of Latinxs across the hemisphere to Occidental. According to Villa, Latinx representation is an important component in a global education.

Three years ago, Thompson-Hernández started the Instagram page Blaxicans of LA to address the complexity of intersectional experiences — especially those of “Blaxican,” a combination of African and Mexican heritage…

Read the entire article here.

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Number of Interracial Marriages, Multiracial Americans Growing Rapidly

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2017-03-07 01:34Z by Steven

Number of Interracial Marriages, Multiracial Americans Growing Rapidly

VOA News
Voice of America
2017-03-04

Elizabeth Lee, West Coast Bureau Reporter

LOS ANGELES — Delia Douglas’ experience growing up has been different from the rest of her schoolmates.

“In any of the storybooks that I was reading growing up, I remember the families always looked a certain way. Both parents matched,” she said. “Even it seemed like in many of the storylines that were about animal families, both bears kind of looked the same, and the baby bear looked the same.”

These storybooks did not reflect her family. Douglas’ father is African American and American Indian. Her mother is white. And Douglas is married to William Haight, who is white. They have a 5-year-old daughter who is fair skinned, with light hair.

“Especially in the first three years of my daughter’s life, people often would stop and ask me if I was the nanny. There were days when that would be incredibly frustrating,” Douglas recalled…

…“In the year 2000, the U.S. Census actually allowed for individuals to check more than one box, so now each person was able to see, for instance, I’m Mexican and black, so I was able to check more than one box. And so we’ve noticed an uptick in the amount of multiracial folks,” Smith-Kang said…

Read the entire article here. View the story here.

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An Artist Reinvents Herself to Mine the Fictions of America

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-01-10 02:24Z by Steven

An Artist Reinvents Herself to Mine the Fictions of America

Hyperallergic
2017-01-09

Alicia Eler

Genevieve Gaignard makes the personal political while also creating new American mythologies.

LOS ANGELES — In the lead-up to a Trump presidency, the worst possible outcome for an America that has come so far in the past 100 years in terms of social progress and civil rights, it’s not insane to think that conservatives could take us back to a pre–Roe v. Wade era, to a time when all race-based hate crimes were labeled as basically normal. Not to mention that the environment and the economy will go to hell. This is not our country, and this is not the new normal — this is a time for refusal, a time to resist rather than to hallucinate into some sort of feeble complacency.

The election was certainly on my mind when I saw LA artist Genevieve Gaignard’s exhibition Smell the Roses at the California African American Museum. The characterizations that she creates in her work mine the intersections of race, class, and gender, portraying some of the vulnerable Americans who will be most affected by the next four years (or fewer, if Trump gets impeached like Michael Moore is predicting!).

This is Gaignard’s first solo museum show, which follows her solo exhibition Us Only last year at Shulamit Nazarin Gallery in Venice, California. Here, Gaignard continues her exploration of the space between performance and the reality of race, class, and gender through different personas or avatars, domestic spaces, and collections of Americana kitsch and knickknacks, toeing the line between high and low culture, between fiction and personal history. As the fair-skinned daughter of a black father and a white mother, her work speaks to being mixed race, discussing issues of visibility and invisibility. She mixes highbrow and lowbrow aesthetics — a major influence is John Waters, who similarly indulges in camp and kitsch. Gaignard’s arrangements of objects ranging from books and records to family photographs mix the familial and the political in a way that’s reminiscent of Rashid Johnson’s post-minimalist, cold domestic “shelves.” The difference is that in Gaignard’s work, every object emanates warmth. It’s fitting that her exhibition deals heavily with the emotional experience of loss on both a personal and political level…

Read the entire article here.

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Towne Street Theatre Announces Special Events During the Limited Engagement Run of PassingSOLO

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-09-29 01:04Z by Steven

Towne Street Theatre Announces Special Events During the Limited Engagement Run of PassingSOLO

BroadwayWorld.com
Los Angeles
2016-09-21

Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s premiere African-American Theatre Company, is proud to announce that there will be a number of special events during the limited engagement run of “PassingSOLO.” The production, which runs for three weeks only from October 8 – 23 at the Stella Adler Theatre, will offer theatre-goers receptions, special presentations, and talkbacks.

Nancy Cheryll Davis’ acclaimed one-woman show is adapted from Nella Larsen’s 1927 novella and the Towne Street Theatre play “Passing.” “PassingSOLO” will be in L.A. for a limited engagement before she takes it to Germany this fall, where it will be presented at the University of Duisburg in Essen, Germany.

It’s the height of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance and like a moth to a flame, Irene Westover Redfield is drawn to childhood friend Clare Kendry Bellew, who’s suddenly reappeared in her life. Both share a secret. Their birth certificates read “Negro” but both can – and do – pass as white. In fact, Clare’s been married to a wealthy, white racist for twenty years. Now she’s sought out Irene as she flirts with her roots. A memory play, “PassingSOLO” explores the conflicting demands of race and friendship; the slippery line between trust and deception – always with the danger of discovery. Nancy Cheryll Davis portrays both Irene and Clare, as their renewed friendship exposes the price we pay in a society where freedom is bought with deceit. Check out this video on Youtube to learn more about PassingSOLO

Read the entire article here.

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LA poets document the city in ‘Coiled Serpent’ anthology

Posted in Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-29 20:18Z by Steven

LA poets document the city in ‘Coiled Serpent’ anthology

Los Angeles Daily News
2016-03-25

Richard Guzman, Arts and Entertainment Reporter
Long Beach Press Telegram

As students take part in a guitar workshop inside his Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in Sylmar, Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez grabs a copy of the latest book published by his nonprofit organization.

He walks outside to a small table and sets down his blue Winnie the Pooh coffee cup, exposing a faded forearm tattoo of a long-haired indigenous woman as he flips through the pages of “Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles.”

“I love the beauty of it. The poems really stand out, and I think it’s really reflective of the city. The city is beautiful in so many weird ways,” says the poet and novelist, who is perhaps best known for his memoir “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.

Rodriguez, who was named poet laureate by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014, has long been an advocate for the city, its poetry and the power of words to change lives.

And the new book exemplifies those tenets with a collection of poems that capture the experiences, cultures and even the weirdness that intertwine — and at times collide — to create the fabric of the city.

The anthology includes the voices of more than 160 L.A. poets who are part of the sweeping 371-page tome…

Read the entire article here.

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The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2016-04-22 01:34Z by Steven

The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles

Northwestern University Press
2016-04-15
250 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1882688524

Edited by:

Daniel A. Olivas

Neelanjana Banerjee

Ruben J. Rodriguez

This anthology features the vitality and variety of verse in the City of Angels, a city of poets. This is more about range then representation, voice more than volume. Los Angeles has close to 60 percent people of color, 225 languages spoken at home, and some of the richest and poorest persons in the country. With an expansive 502.7 square miles of city (and beyond, including the massive county of 4,752.32 square miles), the poetry draws on imagery, words, stories, and imaginations that are also vast, encompassing, a real “leaves of grass.”

Well-known poets include Holly Prado, Ruben Martinez, traci kato-kiriyama, and Lynne Thompson. Many strong new voices, however, makes this a well-rounded collection for any literary class, program, bookstore, or event.

The image of the coiled serpent appears in various forms in mythologies throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, India, and America. In pre-conquest times, Quetzalcoatl—the Precious Serpent—served as a personification of earth-bound wisdom, the arts and eldership in so-called Meso-America, one of seven “cradles of civilization” that also includes China, Nigeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and Peru.

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Coiled Serpent: Poems that Protect, in New Anthology

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-12 02:13Z by Steven

Coiled Serpent: Poems that Protect, in New Anthology

KCET
Burbank, California
2016-04-01

Mike Sonksen


The coiled serpent serves as a poetic totem to protect the City of Angels. Published by Tia Chucha Press

Over the last five years, a number of books and anthologies have been published to spotlight literary Los Angeles and its rich landscape of poets and writers. The newest anthology is the most extensive yet. Tia Chucha Press has just released, “Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles.” Edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas and Ruben J. Rodriguez, this collection includes 160 poets from well-known seasoned scribes like Wanda Coleman, Kamau Daaood, Michael C. Ford, California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Peter J. Harris, Ruben Martinez, S. Pearl Sharp, Amy Uyematsu and Terry Wolverton to up-and-coming younger bards like Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, F. Douglas Brown, Jessica Ceballos, Chiwan Choi, Francisco Escamilla, William Gonzalez, Douglas Kearney, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Teka Lark, Karineh Mahdessian, Jeffrey Martin, Luivette Resto and Vickie Vertiz.

The book is dedicated to three great writers who have died in the last few years: Wanda Coleman, John Trudell and Francisco Alarcon. The volume’s four-page “Introduction,” is written by Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez and it goes a long way to describe the collection’s spirit…

Read the entire review here.

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