The elegant 1986 work he’s dancing, “Divertimento,” is one of the first images visitors see in “The America That Is to Be,” an exhibition at the Frye Art Museum here that runs through Jan. 26. Organized by the dance artist and scholar Thomas F. DeFrantz, the show traces the evolution, over 40 years, of Mr. Byrd’s commitment to dance as a catalyst for social justice. “Donald has been celebrated but way undervalued,” said Mr. DeFrantz, who has been his friend and worked with him intermittently as a dramaturge since the 1990s… read more about Can Dance Make A More Just America? Donald Byrd is Working on It »

Global experts gathered at Duke University to examine today’s border policies and the movement of migrants between Africa and Europe. Although borders are often considered fixed and rigid boundaries, the definitions of who can cross and who cannot are constantly changing, Duke professor Charlie Piot told attendees at the “Challenging Borders” conference held on Nov. 18 at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. “Many borders are decided in places that aren’t at the edges of nations or represented by a fence,”… read more about How Migration Scholars Interpret Borders »

William Darity Jr., a professor at Duke University, has written a series of reports about wealth inequality cited by Mr. Moore and Ms. Carnell. In one report, Dr. Darity found that the median net worth of white households in Los Angeles was $355,000, compared with $4,000 for black Americans. African immigrants in the city had a median net worth of $72,000. Dr. Darity’s research also shows that not all immigrant groups are wealthy. Dr. Darity did not attend the recent conference in Kentucky, but he said he saw ADOS as a… read more about We're Self-Interested: The Growing Debate in Black America »

Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, one of the first five African-Americans undergraduate students at Duke, died Oct. 22 at age 72. Reuben-Cooke entered Trinity College of Arts and Sciences in 1963 along with Gene Kendall and Nathaniel "Nat" White, Mary Mitchell Harris and Cassandra Rush. With Reuben-Cooke’s death, only Kendall and White remain as surviving members of the original five. Read More read more about Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, A 'First Five' African-American Undergraduate at Duke, Dies at Age 72.  »

But more than being a musician, he is committed to preserving hip-hop music, culture and history using the classroom as one of his platforms. He’s a professor at N.C. Central University and Duke University and has taught classes at Harvard University through a fellowship with the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute. Read More read more about 9th Wonder, Our Tar Heel of the Month, Goes Beyond Making Music. He Preserves Its Legacy. »

The racial divisions that so permeate American society are not rooted in biology, a group of scholars agreed Wednesday at a public forum on race. The event, “RACE: Past, Present and Future,” featured scholars from Duke and N.C. A&T State University along with Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey, known for fossil discoveries that shed light on early human evolution. Humans are “genetically remarkably uniform,” Leakey said. “Race and color are totally different things. “It is uniquely American to… read more about Shaking Off Outmoded Ideas On Race  »

The project has been designated a Sawyer Seminar Series and awarded a grant of $225,000 over two years. Institutions must be invited to apply for the opportunity. Leading the effort are professors Edna Andrews, chair of Linguistics; Lee Baker, chair of Cultural Anthropology; and Liliana Paredes, director of the Spanish language program in Romance Studies. Read More read more about Seminar Series to Raise Awareness of Language Discrimination »

Cummings was born to sharecroppers, and during his more than 20-year career in congress, he became known as someone who often spoke truth to power. On this installment of #BackChannel, The State of Things’ recurring series connecting culture and context, popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal join host Frank Stasio to reflect on the Baltimore-born congressman’s impact as an activist and as a community leader. LISTEN read more about Elijah Cummings, 'Red Table Talk,' and Chelsea Handler's White Privilege »

Like others in this field, Kerry L. Haynie drew from personal experience to develop what became Duke University’s Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement. One day, two years into his first job, he was walking across campus with a senior colleague who mentioned that Haynie should start thinking about his third-year review. Haynie had no idea what he meant. Junior faculty members of color, he said, “are often excluded from networks, due mostly to benign neglect,” and so “we tend to find out important… read more about When Faculty of Color Feel Isolated, Consortia Expand Their Networks »

Jessica Covil, a third-year doctoral candidate studying English, African and African American studies and gender, sexuality and feminist studies, is the creator and instructor of the Black Feminism in Pop Culture course. This class presents the principles of effective communication through the lens of feminist activism in the 1970s and 1980s, a revolution that experienced a resurgence in 2013 in the form of the modern Black Girl Magic movement. Read More read more about New Writing 101 Class Teaches First Years Through Feminist Lens »

Easter and Douthit, who uses the moniker 9th Wonder, used their finely tuned ears and savvy instincts to become nationally renowned and critically acclaimed producers whose fingerprints are all over songs that millions of people include on the soundtrack of their lives. They share something else as well. They are now both members of the N.C. Music Hall of Fame, alongside such legendary native sons and daughters as Nina Simone, John Coltrane and the “5” Royales Read More read more about Easter, 9th Wonder Inducted Into N.C. Music Hall of Fame »

Nearly 30 students and faculty from Duke and neighboring universities filled the Moyle Room at the Karsh Alumni and Visitor Center on Sept. 18, for the launch of the Department of African and African American Studies’ 50th anniversary speaker series. The 2019/20 series features a lecture by Duke alum who was trained or mentored in black studies at Duke and went on to a career in the field. Read More read more about Where Did the Hammond Sound Come From - And Where Did it Go? »

State efforts to offer reparations are problematic because they’re a piecemeal solution to a national problem, said William Darity, a Duke University economics professor, who is heading up the national team of academics exploring reparations. State resolutions should endorse the development of a national program, Darity said. “The culpable party is the United States government,” said Darity, who is black. “They created the legal and authority structure to allow for these atrocities.” Read More read more about Talk of Reparations For Slavery Moves To State Capitols »

History and African & African American Studies Professor Thavolia Glymph led a discussion for Philadelphia Municipal Court judges and other court employees regarding an 1857 U.S. Supreme Court decision on rights of black people. Read the full article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. read more about Philadelphia judges find modern meaning in the 1857 Dred Scott case »

In February of 2019, many of the original Allen Building protestors and their families met for a weekend long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the takeover. From the Washington Duke Inn to the Nasher Museum of Art, the event celebrated the Takeover and its participants –a sharp contrast to how the students were treated 50 years earlier. The events included remarks from the chair of Duke’s African and African American studies program, members of Duke’s senior leadership team, testimony of the original protestors, and… read more about “Institutions Need to Be Pushed”: An Oral History of the Allen Building Takeover »

Professor William Darity Jr. of Duke University, co-author of a forthcoming book on reparations, is in favor of it. He told Mother Jones it would take between about $10 and $12 trillion to carry out. He said a government-based program could frame reparations as a national debt and obligation, rather than an issue of any individual or family’s “particular guilt.” Darity is also a proponent of “baby bonds,” in which each child born would receive a trust fund, the size of which would vary in relation to the family’s… read more about Making Amends: How Funders Can Address Slavery’s Legacy »

A book that is not only a biography of a dance company, but that also contextualizes that company against the larger background of gay rights, civil rights and women’s liberation. DeFrantz uses the story of Alvin Ailey to chart the story of African Americans in 20th-century America. The book takes you deep into some of the most iconic pieces in the Ailey Company’s repertory, including “Revelations,” and traces the influences of jazz and blues that permeate Ailey’s work.  Read More read more about 9 books about dance that will change how you see the art form »

He’s been one of academia’s leading authorities on American racial inequity for years, in high demand by Democratic presidential candidates who hope he’ll endorse their proposals to close the “racial wealth gap” — a term that his research helped popularize. But as William “Sandy” Darity shuffles through papers in his second-floor office at Duke University, the gray-haired economist explained that he was hard at work on his own proposal, one that could be the most sweeping of his career — a concrete plan for paying monetary… read more about Which Black Americans Should Get Reparations? »

On Wednesday afternoon the Department of African & African American Studies will launch its 50th anniversary speaker series with Duke alum Ashon Crawley. Crawley, Ph.D., ‘13, will deliver a talk, “Migration Stories and the Hammond Sound,” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 in the Moyle Room of the newly opened Karsh Alumni and Visitor’s Center (2080 Duke University Rd., Durham). The talk is free and open to the public. Free parking is available across the street in the gravel lot. A reception will follow the talk.… read more about AAAS Speaker Series Highlights Duke Black Studies Alum »

Next Thursday, Sept. 19, comedienne, actress and self-dubbed “upper ghetto godmother,” Marsha Warfield, perhaps best known for her wise-cracking bailiff ‘80s-sitcom character, Roz, on NBC’s “Night Court,” will visit Duke University. Warfield is a special guest for the Duke University course “Dick Gregory and the History of Black Comedy” course, taught by Professor Mark Anthony Neal, the James B. Duke Professor of African & African American Studies. The course features guest appearances by professional comedians, critics… read more about Duke’s Black Comedy Class Brings ‘Upper Ghetto Godmother’  »

Warfield is a special guest for the Duke University course “Dick Gregory and the History of Black Comedy” course, taught by Professor Mark Anthony Neal, the James B. Duke Professor of African & African American Studies. The course features guest appearances by professional comedians, critics and screenings of rare and/or classic films. Read More read more about Duke's Black Comedy Class Brings 'Upper Ghetto Godmother' »

Warfield is a special guest for the Duke University course “Dick Gregory and the History of Black Comedy” course, taught by Professor Mark Anthony Neal, the James B. Duke Professor of African & African American Studies. The course features guest appearances by professional comedians, critics and screenings of rare and/or classic films. Read More read more about Duke's Black Comedy Class Brings 'Upper Ghetto Godmother,' Sept. 19 »

At an event at Page Auditorium moderated by Mark Anthony Neal, James B. Duke professor of African and African American studies, the two spoke of their story’s connection to racial bias, the flawed criminal justice system and the media’s role in both. They described their story as one of personal evolution, resilience and even love.  Read More read more about Members of Exonerated Five Reflect on 'Criminal System of Injustice' in Monday Talk »