Project News

E.g., Jan 2021

400 Years Forward Organizers Seek To Move The Conversation Beyond Enslavement

Source: Arizona Informant Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

First Institutional Baptist Church in partnership with various community organizations will host Arizona’s Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of Enslaved Africans Brought to North America at a Festival Event on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. This event will bring together Africans, African- Americans and others from across the state to remember, reflect, respond and recover from the inhumane systemic racism that spanned from Africa to North America, while bridging the African Diaspora, moving into the next century with determination and deliverance.

What meeting Toni Marrison taught me

Source: Ahwatukee Foothills News Date: Monday, August 12, 2019

Having a seat at the table takes on a whole new meaning for me when I was sitting next to author Toni Morrison. Thanks to poet friend Nikki Giovanni – a literary giant in her own right – I was invited to attend a celebration of Morrison soon after the untimely death of Morrison’s son.

ASU scholars reflect on Toni Morrison's impact on literature

Source: ASU Alumni Date: Thursday, August 8, 2019

With a literary oeuvre that includes 11 novels, several children’s books, plays, and even an opera, Toni Morrison long has been revered as one of the most accomplished and impactful writers in American literature. The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author died this week on Aug. 5, 2019, at the age of 88.

Over her six-decade career, Morrison cast light on the complexities of black American life through historical and contemporary contexts that chronicled the joys and anguishes of flawed narrators and characters in novels such as “Beloved,” “Song of Solomon,” “The Bluest Eye,” “Jazz,” “Love” and “Home.”

ASU Now asked several professors at Arizona State University to reflect on the authorship and scholarship of Morrison and weigh in on the impact of her popular, and controversial, body of work.

ASU scholars reflect on Toni Morrison's impact on literature

Source: ASU Now Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

With a literary oeuvre that includes 11 novels, several children’s books, plays, and even an opera, Toni Morrison long has been revered as one of the most accomplished and impactful writers in American literature. The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author died this week on Aug. 5, 2019, at the age of 88.

7 Metro Phoenix Creatives Share Reflections on Writer Toni Morrison

Source: Pheonix New Times Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Neal Lester’s office at ASU, where he teaches English and heads an initiative called Project Humanities, is filled with a mix of paperwork, books, and objects that reflect his interest in how black people have been represented in American culture.

BASIS teacher had class shame a black student for lesson on school segregation, mom says

Source: azcentral Date: Monday, April 15, 2019

A Phoenix mother says her 9-year-old son was forced to walk through his class as his teacher and fellow students yelled at, humiliated and berated him during a lesson on school segregation. 

#105: HUMANITY 101 Podcast

Source: EarthSelf Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dr. Neal A. Lester. is a Foundation Professor of English and the Founding Director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University. A popular public speaker, frequent radio guest, regular op-ed contributor, newspaper columnist and blogger, and discussion facilitator, Dr. Lester has an extensive record of lectures and keynote addresses, local and national media interviews, guest speaker events, scholarly consultations, conference presentations, and editorials.

Ortiz: You have no business saying the N-word if you’re not Black

Source: Collegian Date: Monday, March 25, 2019

The N-word has played a big part in American history, whether that is due to political and social history or in pop culture.Even if the N-word surrounds us in music and movies and our favorite artists use it, that does not give non-Black individuals the right to say it.

Blackface is a painful reality. And every time it emerges, it traumatizes African-Americans again

Source: AZ Central Date: Friday, March 1, 2019

Lester said conversations about race are hard because they can make us feel uncomfortable, but that racism should make people uncomfortable.

Blackface is a painful reality. And every time it emerges, it traumatizes African-Americans again

Source: azcentral Date: Friday, March 1, 2019

The images are haunting and cruel and, these days, seemingly everywhere. They're uncovered in public figures' pasts and rolled out in fashion companies' collections, and for the people they affect the most, they're agonizing. But African-Americans in the Valley and elsewhere say that while blackface images can trigger raw emotions, they can also force important conversations to the forefront.

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