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LIVE from the NYPL and BOOKFORUM present CULTURAL OBITUARIES: The Death of Black Nationalist Culture?


Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 7:00 PM in the Trustees Room (Rm 206)
of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street
Tickets or 212 868 4444

Making Sense of Black Nationalism in the Obama Era
With an African-American president in the White House—and the first black chairman voted to head the Republican National Committee—has black nationalism become irrelevant? Novelist Victor Lavalle explores the personal and political valences of the nationalist idea, and makes a case for embracing a more ecumenical view of black experience—including the freedom to move beyond traditional conceptions of blackness. Baz Dreisinger, author of Near Black: White to Black Passing in American Culture; Peniel E. Joseph, author of Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America; and Atlantic Monthly contributing editor Ta-Nehisi Coates respond.

This event is co-presented by: BOOKFORUM 

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He lives in Harlem with his partner and his son. 





Baz Dreisinger is the author of Near Black: White to Black Passing in American Culture. She teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Together with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Peter Spirer, she produced and wrote the documentary Black & Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop which investigates the New York Police Department’s monitoring of the hip-hop industry.


Peniel E. Joseph is associate professor of Afro-American Studies and history at Brandeis University. He is author of Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America. His book Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama will be published in 2010. 


Victor LaValle is the author of Slapboxing with Jesus and The Ecstatic. His novel, Big Machine, will be published in 2009.




Our participants recommend...

These sites:,, Racialicious, An overview of Drug Policy in the United States, WNYC interview with William Julius Wilson, NPR interview with Peniel E. Joseph, Black Power: Inside The Movement Debrah Dickerson's website, and Melissa Harris-Lacewell's website.

These articles: "The End of White America?" by Hua Hsu,"Passing and the American Dream" by Baz Dreisinger,"Beyond the Skin Trade: How does black nationalism stay relevant in the age of Barack Obama?" by Victor Lavalle and "Black Power" by Phillip M. Guerty in the Magazine of History.

And, these books: Hip Hop Revolution by Jeffrey Ogbar, Color Conscious by Anthony Appiah, Black on White: Black Writers on What it Means to be White by David Roediger, The Great Negro Plot by Mat Johnson, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 by Jeffrey B. Perry, Black Politics / White Power: Civil Rights, Black Power and the Black Panthers in New Haven by Yohuru Williams, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt by Hasan Kwame Jeffries and Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North by Thomas J. Sugrue.


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Whimsical approach

Whimsical approach outlined the philosophical braiwashing, heretically assumed by agents of ill-formed doctrines based on parochial, insubordinate, aggravated apathy. The sectionalist principles of determined nepotism, has mismanaged and undermined the potentiality of cultural development. Evolution of the mind, condemned the disparities associated with prejudicial malpractices, of social discrimination, which arouses the intercedent fore-bearing of revolutional stability. A responsive Stance to ward off oppressive pyramid of idiosyncrasies and Poverty. Darkness, potomac those horendous claims of Stampede Judiciary. Leadership, is as significant as the vicar, that stands firmly to be Good, and impartial to his people. The Intellect disolves all atributes of Happiness, when not applied with Joyful Intuitive Perception! Let us be Good and retain Good! The fact remains, no matter how you view it, no man is either of white color or black color, the consistency is absent.

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