Black History Month Experts Available

UC Riverside scholars offer expertise on the February observance, the Children's Crusade, the African-American experience, and health care inequities

Tuskegee Airmen radio operators

Tuskegee Airmen radio operators communicate with pilots in Europe during World War II. Courtesy UC Riverside Tuskegee Airmen Archive

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Fifty years ago, the nation was shocked by images of students blasted with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs in a Birmingham, Ala., civil rights protest that came to be known as the Children’s Crusade. Days later, four children died in a bomb explosion at the 16th Street Baptist Church, and the Civil Rights Movement’s charismatic leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, penned his moving “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

As the nation remembers King on Monday and prepares to observe Black History Month in February, members of the UC Riverside faculty are available to comment on the Civil Rights Movement and the role of child activism across the country, the African-American experience, how the contributions of African-Americans have enriched the United States, and issues facing African-Americans today.

These faculty members are available for interviews:

Erica Edwards

Erica Edwards

Erica Edwards, assistant professor of English
(951) 827-1447
erica.edwards@ucr.edu
http://www.english.ucr.edu/people/faculty/edwards/index.html

Among Edwards’ research interests are black political culture and the role of charisma and masculinity in the construction of black political leaders. Charisma as a form of authority has become an organizing myth of black social organizations, which raises some key questions, she says. For example, is charismatic authority an acceptable means for black leadership? Charisma is important because it determines who gets to speak and who is visible. Edwards is working on a book project titled “Contesting Charisma: Fictions of Political Leadership in Contemporary African American Culture.”

V.P. Franklin

V.P. Franklin

V.P. Franklin, distinguished professor of history and education
(951) 827-1976
vp.franklin@ucr.edu
http://www.history.ucr.edu/People/Faculty/Franklin/index.html

Little has been written about the Children’s Crusade or youth activism generally in the Civil Rights Movement, Franklin says. He will teach two courses in the spring quarter — “The Civil Rights Movement” and “American Education and the Civil Rights Movement — and is working with students to prepare an exhibition on the national experience of the Children’s Crusade. Franklin is the author of “Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Biography” (1998) and co-authored “My Soul Is a Witness: A Chronology of the Civil Rights Era, 1954-1965.” He is editor of The Journal of African American History, formerly The Journal of Negro History, now based at UCR. The publication is the leading journal of African American history.

Keith Harris

Keith Harris

Keith M. Harris, associate professor of media and cultural studies
(951) 827-1016
keith.harris@ucr.edu
http://facultydirectory.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/pub/public_individual.pl?faculty=2914

Harris’s poetry has appeared in Corpus (2007) and Queen: A Journal of Power and Rhetoric (2000) and the anthologies “The Road Before Us” (1991) and “My Brother’s Keeper” (1992). His other publications include the manuscript, Boys, Boyz, Bois: An Ethics of Masculinity in Popular Film, Television and Video (2006); and essays,  “‘Untitled’: D’Angelo and the visualization of the black male body” in Wide Angle (2004); “Clockers (Spike Lee 1995): Adaptation in Black,” in “The Spike Lee Reader” (2007); “’That Nigger’s Crazy’: Richard Pryor, Racial Performativity, Cultural Critique” in “Richard Pryor: The Life and Legacy of a ‘Crazy” Black Man’” (2008); and “In the life on the down low: where’s a black gay man to go” in “War Diaries” (2010).

 

Rickerby Hinds

Rickerby Hinds

Rickerby Hinds, associate professor of playwriting
(951) 830-1248
rickerby.hinds@ucr.edu
http://theatre.ucr.edu/people/faculty/hinds/index.html

A native of Honduras who immigrated to South Central Los Angeles at age 13, Hinds is known for his ground-breaking introduction of elements of hip-hop to the theater more than 20 years ago. His mission is to bring a diversity of voices and experiences to the theater, and theater to new audiences. His productions connect tradition and innovation, demonstrating that hip-hop culture and expression have the ability to elevate both its practitioners and its audiences to unprecedented heights of human understanding.

 

Ruth Jackson

Ruth Jackson, university librarian
(951) 827-3221
ruth.jackson@ucr.edu
http://library.ucr.edu/?view=tuskegee/index.html

Ruth Jackson led the effort to establish the Tuskegee Airmen Archive in 2005 and to host an annual celebration honoring the airmen and women who were a part of the famed Tuskegee Experience. The graduates of the program, which trained the first African-American pilots between 1943 and 1945, established an enviable record during World War II. To date more than 80 donors have contributed papers, artifacts and historical records documenting the military careers and personal lives of dozens of Tuskegee Airmen. The UCR archive chronicles personal papers, photographs, oral histories, newspaper clippings, books by and about the airmen, military records, and memorabilia. It is the largest archive in a U.S. public university chronicling the history of the Tuskegee Airmen and Women.

Yolanda Moses

Yolanda Moses

Yolanda Moses, professor of anthropology
Associate vice chancellor for diversity, excellence and equity
(951) 827-7741
yolanda.moses@ucr.edu
http://www.anthropology.ucr.edu/people/faculty/moses/

As president of the American Anthropological Association in the mid-1990s Moses led the effort to develop a traveling exhibit and web site about race, “RACE: Are We So Different?” She is one of eight curators of the project. “The whole idea behind this project is to change the way Americans talk about race,” Moses says. The goal is make sure teachers get the information they need to change the way they teach in class, for colleagues and co-workers to be able to talk about race in the workplace, and for parents to be able to talk to their children about a subject that is still taboo in American society. Among her research interests are the issues of diversity and change in universities and colleges in the United States, India and South Africa.

Carolyn Murray

Carolyn Murray

Carolyn Murray, professor of psychology
(951) 827-5293
carolyn.murray@ucr.edu
http://www.psych.ucr.edu/faculty/murray/index.html

Murray has done ground-breaking research on the stresses on African-American families and the unequal education of minority children. Her research has focused primarily on the detrimental effects of educational inequities experienced by African-Americans — low self-esteem, low expectations by teachers and barriers to achievement — and the manner in which these are reflected in academic achievement. She also has examined the dynamics of parental socialization in African-American families, paying particular attention to the development of personality. The American Psychological Association recognized a study in which Murray found that the absence of a father from the home tended to have a much more negative effect on the self-esteem of adolescent boys than on girls.

Vorris Nunley

Vorris Nunley

Vorris Nunley, associate professor of English
(951) 827-1927
vorris.nunley@ucr.edu
http://www.english.ucr.edu/people/faculty/nunley/index.html

Nunley can speak about the tradition of African American hush harbors, spheres such as beauty shops, barbershops and women’s clubs where congregants could speak freely and obtain knowledge useful in everyday life. Hush harbors may occur within different groups and cultures, from NASCAR and churches to the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements. “They produce knowledge in ways that doesn’t occur publicly,” Nunley says. “To overlook hush harbors is to overlook a substantial part of democracy.”

 

Emma Simmons

Emma Simmons

Emma Simmons, associate dean of student affairs
UCR School of Medicine
(951) 827-7663
emma.simmons@ucr.edu
http://medschool.ucr.edu/about/staff/esimmons.html

African Americans have not traditionally shared equally in all of the advances that the medical care system in the U.S. has to offer, Simmons says.  Current efforts to increase the supply of African American physicians remain an important but ongoing challenge. She is a family physician with an interest in improving health equity.  She is available to talk about African American physicians/pioneers who have made a major impact on our medical care. Her area of research has been in the offering and acceptance of HIV screening among underserved populations.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Archived under: Arts/Culture, , , , , ,

Top of Page