Project News

E.g., Oct 2020

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: 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.

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 and related behaviors: What is the appropriate response?

Source: KSTAR NEWS Date: Sunday, February 24, 2019

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wore blackface 35 years ago. As did his attorney general, Mark Herring. And a review of 900 college yearbooks showed that the practice was not rare. Among those caught up in the review was Nicole Carroll, who later became the editor of The Arizona Republic and is now editor-in-chief of USA TODAY.

Lester receives 2 MLK awards

Source: The Jackson Herald Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Jefferson native Neal Lester recently received two special awards named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lester was awarded the MLK “Living the Dream” Award by the City of Phoenix, Ariz., and the Paradise Valley (Ariz.) MLK 2019 Diversity Award. Lester had also received an award named after MLK in 2017 from the City of Tempe, Ariz.

Self-talk: It can perpetuate toxic messages about our bodies and others

Source: Human Communication, The Hugh Downs School Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Many of us wish we could change something about our bodies. Some of us might want to be thinner, taller, or more muscular. “Many people base their sense of self-worth on their physical appearance, and how they perceive themselves to be in comparison to others,” said Benny LeMaster, assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. “We too often internalize cultural hierarchies that tell us there is only one type of healthy body, only one shade of beautiful skin, and only two rigid gender identities, for instance.”