Misan Sagay is a British screenwriter whose credits include the screenplay for the ABC television movie based up Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, starring Halle Berry, and the 2013 film Belle. Sagay’s work on Belle won her the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture.
Belle is a period drama inspired by a painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a woman who was born to a slave mother and British naval officer father, and raised by her grand-uncle William Murray, First Earl of Mansfield.
Read a Huffington Post article Sagay wrote about the process of bringing Belle to the screen: http://huff.to/1j0e8Ad
Read a Q&A on the film with Sagay and The Riveter’s Kaylen Ralph: http://bit.ly/1k64vnb
Jason King is currently an associate professor and academic director of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Read King’s bio from the Tisch department webpage:
“Jason King is a cultural critic & journalist, musician (performer, vocal arranger, producer, musical supervisor), manager, strategist & consultant to artists and labels, and live event producer. Founding full-time faculty member of the department; served as interim chair in 2002; and associate chair from 2003-2006, and Artistic Director from 2006-2012. He teaches classes on: record producing, music entrepreneurship, branding, rock music, hip-hop, r&b, soul, jazz, Asian American and African American culture.
March 21st marks the United Nation’s “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.” The implementation of this day was initially in response to a shooting that took place in South Africa in 1960; an event where South African police openly shot and killed 69 people during a peaceful “anti apartheid-law” demonstration. Although this day now pertains to people in every corner of the globe, it wasn’t officially recognized until 1966.
Since then, there have been other actions taken against racial discrimination around the world. In 2001 the World Conference Against Racism enacted the “Durban Declaration and Programme of Action;” a document that the UN considers to be the “the most authoritative and comprehensive programme for combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” This year’s “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” has a higher focus on the Durban Declaration, as 2016 marks 15 years since its initiation.
The recognition of this day comes at an interesting time on the NYU Florence’s campus as there is a “Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context” conference scheduled for this coming Thursday, March 24th. The “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” serves as the perfect launching point as students and the NYU community prepare to tackle these complicated and important issues.
Pamela Newkirk is a professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the New York University College of Arts and Science’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
Read Professor Newkirk’s bio from the NYU Journalism webpage:
By NYU Florence student, Nicole Johnson
Charlton McIlwain is an Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communications in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Read how McIlwain describes his work on the Steinhardt website:
“As a researcher, writer and teacher, my primary interests focus broadly on issues of race and media, particularly within the social and political arena. My previous work centered on how political candidates construct, mobilize, benefit or suffer damage from race-based appeals. In 2011 I co-authored the book Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns (Temple University Press). In 2012, the book won the prestigious Ralph Bunche Award, given by the American Political Science Association for the best book addressing ethnic pluralism. The same year, the American Library Association recognized the book as one of the Best of the Best books among academic publishers. In addition to authoring/co-authoring four additional books and close to thirty scholarly journal articles and chapter in edited volumes, and regularly providing expert commentary for local, state, national and international media, I continue to pursue research about racial appeals through collaborative work focused on analyses of individuals’ real-time perceptions of race-based appeals in political advertising, as well as a variety of cognitive/physiological responses to racialized communication. You can stay informed about my ongoing work in that area at theRaceProject.
My recent interests, however, have turned to the intersections of race and digital media, principally as they relate to three primary questions: to what degree can/has the internet and other forms of digital media use lead to increased political participation, voice and influence for people of color?; in what ways might internet use provide greater access to social, professional and economic mobility for people of color?; and in what tangible ways do forms of racial discrimination, disparate treatment and denial of opportunity take place in online environments?”
Read an excerpt from his 2012 book Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns http://bit.ly/1nvZZDm
You can read more about his current projects here: http://www.charltonmcilwain.com/projects/
By NYU Florence student Nicole Johnson
Peggy Cooper Davis is John S. R. Shad Professor of Lawyering and Ethics
“Peggy Cooper Davis joined the NYU Law faculty in September 1983 after having served for three years as a judge of the Family Court of the State of New York and having engaged in the practice and administration of law during the preceding 10 years. She has published two books and more than 50 articles and book chapters, most notably in the premier journals of Harvard, Yale, NYU, and Michigan law schools. Her analyses of cross-racial interactions within the legal system have been widely cited and used in legal training. Her analyses of judicial reliance on the social and psychological sciences have been pivotal to thinking about child placement decision-making in both public law and matrimonial contexts. Her 1997 book Neglected Stories: The Constitution and Family Values and her book-in-progress Enacting Freedom illuminate the importance of anti-slavery and civil rights traditions as guides to the scope and meaning of Fourteenth Amendment liberty interests. Her recent book Enacting Pleasure is a collection of essays exploring the implications of Carol Gilligan’s relational psychology. Davis’s scholarship has also influenced the critique and evolution of legal pedagogy. She now directs the Experiential Learning Lab, through which she develops learning strategies for addressing interpretive, interactive, ethical, and social dimensions of legal practice. Davis has served as chair of the board of the Russell Sage Foundation and as a director of numerous not-for-profit, for-profit, and government entities.”
Here is a 2001 article Davis wrote, that I thought was particularly interesting, on the neglected stories of African Americans: http://bit.ly/1RORFcR
“The Interview is the Pillar of Your House.”
A story is more than facts and events. A story is how those facts and events have influenced human beings. When Imma Vitelli, a foreign correspondent for Vanity Fair Italy, spoke to NYU Florence students on March 2 2016 she described a story that was more than facts. Vitelli covered a devastating earthquake that hit the small Italian town of San Felice. Her colleagues were quick to report the facts and move on, but Vitelli believed that left out a vital element. She interviewed a pharmacist who had lost his shop in the earthquake. When Vitelli asked what he would miss most, he replied that he would miss the blackbird who lived in the clocktower and chirped every morning. Her piece of journalistic advice: One should speak to locals, or those directly involved in the story, because that is where the true story is. Facts are easy to find, but the emotion which brings the story alive can only be found through interviews. Read more
Elliott Brown Jr. is currently a senior at NYU Tisch and a visual artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York.
Here’s how he introduces his work:
“My name is Elliott Brown Jr. and I’m a visual artist. My photography attests to the breadth and complexity of Blackness by explicating the internal and external forces that create it. My work specifically considers the intersection between Blackness and homosexuality. With an understanding of how identities are socialized and performed, my work grapples with notions of privacy as they are informed by public and political discourses. Using self-portraiture as my foremost medium, I create a point of entry for the queer identity into historical and contemporary productions of Blackness. My current series visualizes a racial discourse within interracial intimacies. Focusing on my relationships with white men, I’m looking at the space where desire becomes political; what social parameters inform desire? In what ways have I sought to be fulfilled and validated by these relationships? Likewise, how have I been desired by these men? By subverting traditional understandings of power dynamics, this work communicates the disturbances that can appear in these relationships. ” – Black Punk, see article here. Read more
Yemane Demissie teaches film, television and documentary production, writing and cinema studies classes at NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at Tisch School of the Arts. An independent writer, producer, and director, Yemane has received numerous awards for his work including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Berlin Prize, and the California Arts Council Artists Fellowship. His works center around the history of Ethiopia and modern life of Ethiopians. Yemane’s narrative and documentary films have been released in theaters in the United States, Canada, Germany, and in Britain. They have also screened in over fifty international film festivals. Read more
ISIS is scary. ISIS is coming for you in your sleep. ISIS will steal your children and turn them into suicide bombers, and I am sick of hearing about how horrible ISIS is. While sorting through misinformation and attention grabbing, fear mongering articles, I begin to feel a great sense of hopelessness. There’s this big scary threat in the Middle East and we haven’t thought of anyway to get rid of it, except that our governments continue to try to bomb the problem away, which is how we responded to the last big scary threat. What can I, as an individual, do to solve this problem? What can our governments do differently?
French professor Olivier Roy is of the opinion that, sooner or later, ISIS will self destruct and that ISIS really isn’t that scary; Naturally I went to him for answers. Read more