OLIO by Tyehimba Jess

Online Reading Group: Olio by Tyehimba Jess

Tuesdays, Feb. 2, 9, and 16
7 - 8:30 p.m.

On Tuesdays this month, join an online discussion of Tyehimba Jess's Pulitzer Prize-winning book Olio. Part fact, part fiction, it uses sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of African-American performers before and after the Civil War up to World War I. The talks culminate in a reading and conversation with Jess himself on Feb. 23. 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Collective Black Fugitive Practices in Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Thursday, Feb. 4
2:00 p.m.

Eve Eure, an assistant English professor at Lehman College, will discuss Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative—the first book-length fugitive slave narrative published by a Black woman in the United States. Focusing on the means by which Jacobs navigates the legal and social enclosures of slavery, Professor Eure explores how Jacobs’ text opens possibilities for rethinking notions of kinship, kinlessness, and Black fugitivity. Presented by the Lehman College Art Gallery, as part of its Black History Month Lecture Series.

Sorriso Negro by Dona Yvonne Lara

Reading with Mila Burns: Dona Ivone Lara's Sorriso Negro

Tuesday, Feb. 9
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

More than simply a paragon of Brazilian samba, Dona (Lady) Ivone Lara’s 1981 Sorriso Negro (translated to Black Smile) is an album deeply embedded in the political and social tensions of its time. In this event, Mila Burns, an assistant professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, explores Lara’s path-breaking career.

Frederick Douglass

The Nine Lives of Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, Feb. 16
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

In the wake of Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday, assistant English professor Augustus Durham examines him as a living multiplicity—and how our imaginations continue to grasp at all that he was, is, and presumably will be. Presented by the Lehman College Art Gallery, as part of its Black History Month Lecture Series.

Civil Rights, Equitable Policing and Social Justice

Civil Rights, Equitable Policing, and Social Justice

Tuesday, Feb. 16
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

As part of its Black History Month Speaker Series, the Department of Africana Studies presents Bernard LaFayette, cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and Omar Neal, a civil rights activist and the former mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama. 

Healing and Justice: Perspectives on Healing, Hope, and Resilience in the African American Community

Healing and Justice: Perspectives on Healing, Hope, and Resilience in the African American Community

Wednesday, Feb. 17
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

The Urban Male Leadership Program marks Black History Month with “Healing and Justice,” which features guest speaker Reverend Alamazie M. Warren, the head minister of children and youth at Convent Avenue Baptist Church. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies and the CREAR Futuros Mentorship Program.

Tara Betts

Tara Betts: Black Language and Music

Wednesday, Feb. 17
7:00 p.m.

Tune in for a riveting lecture on African American poetry and music by poet and scholar Tara Betts. Betts is the author of Arc & Hue and the chapbooks 7 x 7: kwansabas and THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. A Cave Canem alum, she received her Ph.D. at Binghamton University and her MFA from New England College. Betts has performed her poems across the country and internationally, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has taught writing at Rutgers University, Binghamton University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The Last Poets

The Last Poets: Abiodun Oyewole, Umar bin Hassan, and Felipe Luciano

Monday, Feb. 22
7:00 p.m.

Join Lehman College lecturer Hank Williams in conversation with The Last Poets—Abiodun Oyewole, Umar bin Hassan, and Felipe Luciano—and Woodie King Jr., the former head of the New Federal Theater who produced albums featuring two different iterations of The Last Poets in the early 70s. 

Tyehimba Jess

A Reading and Conversation With Pulitzer-Prize Winner Tyehimba Jess

Tuesday, Feb. 23
7:00 p.m.

A month-long reading group centered around Jess’s award-winning book Olio culminates in this exciting event, where Jess himself joins the conversation.
A Detroit Native, Jess is described by the Poetry Foundation as “the rare poet who bridges slam and academic poetry.” He earned his MFA from New York University and his BA from the University of Chicago. In addition to Olio, he is the author of the 2005 volume of poetry leadbelly, which chronicles the life of blues musician Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter and won the 2004 National Poetry Series, and African American Pride: Celebrating Our Achievements, Contributions, and Enduring Legacy. Jess is currently an English professor at the College of Staten Island.

Professor Eure and Professor Durham In Conversation

Professor Eure and Professor Durham In Conversation

Wednesday, Feb. 24
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Join English professors Eve Eure and Augustus Durham for a conversation about the ongoing significance of Harriet Jacobs's and Frederick Douglass's work to Black artists and social movements today. Presented by the Lehman College Art Gallery, as part of its Black History Month Lecture Series.

Haunting Refrains: Sampling Practice in Black Poetry and Music with Harmony Holiday and Hanif Abdurraqib

Haunting Refrains: Sampling Practice in Black Poetry and Music with Harmony Holiday and Hanif Abdurraqib

Wednesday, Feb. 24
6:00 - 7:15 p.m.

How is the technique of sampling, which is pervasive in Black music, used in poetry and literature at large? And what is the relationship between sampling practice and free improvisation in both poetry and music? Poets, writers, and cultural critics Hanif Abdurraqib and Harmony Holiday  will discuss this, looking at their own work and that of poets whom they admire, as well as music that may help refine and answer these questions. They’ll also read some of their work if time allows.

Why the Empowerment of Black Lives is a Struggle for Democracy: A Talk on Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization

Why the Empowerment of Black Lives is a Struggle for Democracy: A Talk on Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization

Thursday, Feb. 25
3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

How can a country be democratic when some people’s votes count more than others? What should be done when one of the consequences of a long history of double standards and systemic disenfranchisement is that some people’s lives count more? This talk, featuring Lewis R. Gordon, a philosophy professor and department head at the University of Connecticut-Storrs, will address this set of questions in light of recent events, including the attempted coup in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January. Presented by Lehman’s Department of Africana Studies, the talk will draw upon ideas from Africana thought, especially regarding freedom, justice, and decolonization.

Flag representing Black Cuir Revolutions: Reflections on Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and the Bronx

Black Cuir Revolutions: Reflections on Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and the Bronx

Thursday, Feb. 25
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

This panel discussion, organized by Lehman College Professor Sarah Ohmer, celebrates Black History and Women's History Months with perspectives from the American Hemisphere and Global South. Speakers Tanya L Saunders, Ochy Curiel, Juliana Costa, and Grisel Y. Acosta will offer their reflections on being Black and Queer/Cuir in the Americas, focusing on what it means to be revolutionary and how to contribute to current revolutions with Black Queer/Cuir experiences. The event will include a reading and discussion of Audre Lorde’s “Learning from the 60s.” “Palabreando,” an interactive performance hosted by Lyrical Bliss and Bocafloja Quilombo, will follow.

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song by Kevin Young

Black Poetry & Performance: Poems as Songs that 'Send' Us: Considering Selections from 'Black Language & Music' in Kevin Young's African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song

Friday, Feb. 26
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Poet Gwendolyn Brooks, in her 1967 occasional poem “The Chicago Picasso,” observed that: “Art hurts. Art urges voyages-/ and it is easier to stay at home, / the nice beer ready.” This notion invites the consideration of a lyric: Darling, you send me. Written in 1955 by the late singer Sam Cooke and released in 1957, “You Send Me” is timeless in theme and durability. How might a poem ‘send’ us? Leafing through Kevin Young’s repertoire of poets and poems, we’ll situate ‘sending’ as an effect responsive to desire and surrender. Featuring poets Rodney Terich Leonard, Lise Esdaile, Trapeta B. Mayson, and Monnette Sudler.

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