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UNH Hosts 2010 Black New England Conference Oct. 14-16

By JerriAnne Boggis, 2010 Black New England Conference
September 22, 2010

The Center for New England Culture at UNH will host the 2010 Black New England Conference “The Politics of Race: Movements, Protests, Leaders and Representation” Oct. 14-16, 2010.

An academic conference and a celebration of black life and history in New England, the 2010 conference will explore varied and rich political ideologies and approaches, including the history of cultural, social, and political movements in New England from the 1700s to the present. Focusing on the black experience, the conference will include presentations on strategies for self representation, the politics of race and freedom and the ways in which race shapes the political process. It is free and open to the public.

Massachusetts State Rep. Byron Rushing will give the keynote address at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15, 2010, in the Murkland Hall auditorium. As a legislator in Massachusetts, he has focused on civil and human rights issues, worked to end homelessness and to make healthcare accessible to all. He is the original sponsor of the Massachusetts gay rights bill and oversaw lobbying efforts in Congress to establish the Boston African American National Historical Site.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, playwright Lydia Diamond will read from her play “Stick Fly” at the luncheon keynote address, which takes place at 1 p.m. in Holloway Commons. Diamond’s works include “Stick Fly” and an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” that won the Black Arts Alliance Image Award for best new play.

The conference will open Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, with an evening reception and screening of the film “Within Our Gates” (1920) by African American director Oscar Micheaux, which was a response to D.W. Griffith's “The Birth of a Nation.” The discussion following the film will be facilitated by Delia Konzett, associate professor of English and cinema/American/women's studies at UNH.

Distinguished scholars, writers, and artists will share their insights on a wide range of topics, including militancy and militarism, historic black leaders, black feminism in New England, engaging early black tradition and shaping the news. Panelists include Verdell Roberts, Lawrence Goodheart, Peter Hinks, Bob Green, Perlie Peters, Lena Ampadu, Michael Boston, Vaness Julye and Donna McDaniel, Courtney Marshall, Joelle Ryan, Marla Brettschneider, James Finley, Robert Munro, Patricia Lott, Christopher Brooks, Elizabethada Wright, Robert Paynter, Cait Vaughan, Rev. David Allen Pettee, Reginald Wilburn, and Jackie Parker.

The conference will be held in Holloway Commons and is funded by The Center for New England Culture, The Center for Humanities and the UNH Provost’s office. To register, visit www.neculture.org

The Center for New England Culture promotes understanding of the region's diverse culture and rich history, and it fosters an appreciation of the value of regional culture in contemporary American life. It was established in 2002 as a unit of UNH's Center for the Humanities.

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