Friday, September 18, 2015

HU Hosts Annual 1619 Making of America Conference The Arc of Social Justice: From 1619 to the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Beyond

HU Hosts Annual 1619 Making of America ConferenceThe Arc of Social Justice: From 1619 to the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Beyond 

(Wednesday, September 16th)

In an era of nationwide discussion and unrest in regard to civil rights, Hampton University’s School of Liberal Arts partnered with The Joseph Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at Norfolk State University (NSU), to analyze the irony of American democracy and enlighten millennials of their power to replace a falling empire.  HU’s McGrew Towers opened its doors to students, faculty and the general public to host the 2015 “1619 Making of America Conference.”  

The 1619 Conference works to bring awareness to issues of race, gender, law and culture. Dr. Eric Claville, Assistant Professor of Law, Political Science, and History and Co-Chair of the 1619 Conference, welcomed guests as well as delivered the conference's keynote address. 

"Laws and public policy are created for several reasons: to control and dictate people, beliefs and resources. What is was and what was, shall be. If you think that a style you're wearing is new, it's been done before. " 

Dr. Eric Claville (left) greeting press before his keynote address.
-Photo by Mariah Baylor

Of the many scholar and student panel presentations, throughout the day-long event, famed actor and Norfolk native Tim Reid delivered a riveting message to millennials.  Reid focused on the transition from resistance fighter, made popular by The Black Panther Party, to the “hands up, don’t shoot” campaign used today. As well as the concept that all art and media are some sort of propaganda.

“What is that (hands up, don’t shoot) known around the world to be? Surrender. Think about that. (hands up, don’t shoot insinuates) I’m not like the Black Panther Party. Don’t hurt me, I’ve got selfies to take,” said Reid.

Actor & panelist Tim Reid
-Photo by Mariah Baylor

Each conference speaker presented in a round table format and encouraged all participants to contribute to the conversation.  Visiting NSU assistant professor of sociology Dr. James Curiel, shed light on pop culture’s (Hollywood specifically) “monsterizing of progressives: liberals, feminists and people of color,” during his presentation of The Birth of a Cinematic Storyline.

Other notable conference attendees and panelists included HU’s own Dr. Mavis Carr, Assistant Professor at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications (SHSJC), Larry Rubama, sports journalist with the Virginian-Pilot, and Dr. Cathy Jackson, NSU Associate Professor of Mass Communications.

Images of Blackness & Criminality in America's Media Panelists
-Photo by Mariah Baylor

Panel-goers await the keynote address.
-Photo by Mariah Baylor

-Mariah Baylor '13 

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