The history of racism in the South is well known—the chain gangs, lynch mobs and views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow period are, for the most part, common knowledge today. But what do we know about the role the urban North played in shaping views on the intersection of race and crime in American society?
In this talk, Khalil Gibran Muhammad reveals how the idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime. In the North, crime statistics, immigration trends, and references to America as the “land of opportunity” were woven into a cautionary tale about the threat Black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in Northern prisons were pointed to by whites—liberals and conservatives alike—as proof of Blacks’ inferiority. The prevailing feeling was that, in the heyday of “separate but equal,” what else but pathology could explain Black people’s challenges in the “land of opportunity”?
Chronicling the beginning of the deeply embedded notion of Black people as a dangerous race of criminals, Muhammed explores a different side of the history of racism, weaving a narrative that is both engaging and educational.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad is author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, which won the John Hope Franklin Best Book Award in American Studies. Also the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Muhammad is a contributor to a National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Recently, he also appeared in several popular documentaries, lending his expertise to Ava DuVernay’s Netflix feature, 13th , Slavery By Another Name (PBS), and Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football.
Muhammad is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. Much of his research focuses on racial criminalization in modern U.S. history. His work has been featured in a number of f national print and broadcast media outlets, including The New York Times—notably as one of the contributors to its’ viral 1619 Project, which explores and exposes the true history of slavery in America— The New Yorker, The Washington Post, NPR, and MSNBC. Muhammad was an associate editor of The Journal of American History and prior Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice. He holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, two honorary doctorates, and is on the board of The Museum of Modern Art, The Barnes Foundation, and The Nation magazine.
Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series hosted by Joe Kelty, Ed Morin, and David Jibson • Second and Fourth Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. in the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room • Second Wednesdays are poetry workshop nights. All writers welcome to share and discuss their own poetry and short fiction. Sign up for new participants begins at 6:45 p.m.
Fourth Wednesdays have a featured reader for 50 minutes and then open mic for an hour. All writers welcome to share. Sign up begins at 6:45 p.m. Free. Contact Ed at 668-7523; email@example.com or cwpoetrycircle.tumblr.com.
Jan. 22 • Khaled Mattawa has published five books of poems, translated several books of poetry, and edited anthologies of Arab American writing. Recently his Mare Nostrum appeared from the Quarternote Chapbook Series of Sarabande Books. He has a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He teaches creative writing at UMich and edits Michigan Quarterly Review.
ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.
We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.
Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.
Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!
$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.
8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.
Literati is pleased to be the official bookseller for the Zell Visiting Writing Series, produced by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Rion Amilcar Scott’s story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019), shatters rigid genre lines to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love—all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism.
Scott’s debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, and The Rumpus, among others. One of his stories was listed as a notable in Best American Stories 2018 and one of his essays was listed as a notable in Best American Essays 2015. He was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, and earned an MFA from George Mason University where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart award and a Completion Fellowship. He is currently a Kimbilio fellow and lives in Annapolis, MD.
This event is free and open to the public. Onsite book sales will be provided by Literati Bookstore.
The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. UMMA is pleased to be the site for most of these events. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (BA ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Program webpage: https://lsa.umich.edu/writers
We welcome author Luke Geddes as part of our ongoing Fiction at Literati series and in support of his novel, Heart of Junk. Free and open to the public. Book signing to follow.
About the book: A hilarious debut novel about an eclectic group of merchants at a Kansas antique mall who becomes implicated in the kidnapping of a local beauty pageant star.
“Luke Geddes is a master of humor. Heart of Junk deftly explores the loneliness of the human condition through a dazzling spectrum of characters. You will laugh ’til you cry, and cry ’til you laugh. This book is an instant cult classic. Meet your new favorite author.”– Alissa Nutting, author of Made for Love and Tampa
Luke Geddes holds a PhD in comparative literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, he now lives Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of the short story collection I am a Magical Teenage Princess and his writing has appeared in Conjunctions, Mid-American Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Washington Square Review, The Comics Journal, Electric Literature, and elsewhere.
We welcome Matthew Thoburn & Mary Biddinger to read from their latest collections as part of our ongoing Poetry at Literati Series. Book signing to follow. Free and open to the public.
Matthew Thorburn is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Dear Almost, winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.
Mary Biddinger is the author of six poetry collections: Prairie Fever (Steel Toe Books, 2007), the chapbook Saint Monica (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), O Holy Insurgency (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), Small Enterprise (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), and a collaboration with Jay Robinson titled The Czar (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). She is also the co-editor of a volume of essays, The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics (with John Gallaher, University of Akron Press, 2011). Her latest is a collection of prose poems, Partial Genius.
One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.
Monthly meeting of the AASG Open to the public. This Month we are at the Ann Arbor District Library downtown.
Journalism is often called the first draft of history. But journalism can also be used as a powerful tool for examining history.
Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia, establishing the system of slavery on which the United States was built.
With The 1619 Project, The New York Times is prompting conversation and debate about the legacy of slavery and its influence over American society and culture. From mass incarceration to traffic jams, the project seeks to reframe our understanding of American history and the fight to live up to our nation’s central promise.
Wallace House Presents the project’s creator, New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, in conversation with Rochelle Riley, longtime journalist and columnist.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is a domestic correspondent for The New York Times Magazine focusing on racial injustice. She has written on federal failures to enforce the Fair Housing Act, the resegregation of American schools and policing in America. Her extensive reporting in both print and radio on the ways segregation in housing and schools is maintained through official action and policy has earned the National Magazine Award, a Peabody and a Polk Award. Her work designing “The 1619 Project” has been met with universal acclaim. The project was released in August 2019 to mark the 400th anniversary of American slavery and re-examines the role it plays in the history of the United States.
Hannah-Jones earned her bachelor’s in history and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rochelle Riley was a 2007-2008 Knight-Wallace Fellow and is the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit. For nineteen years she was a columnist at the Detroit Free Press. Riley is author of “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery” and the upcoming “That They Lived: Twenty African Americans Who Changed The World.” She has won numerous national, state and local honors, including the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for her outstanding efforts to make newsrooms and news coverage more accurately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and the 2018 Detroit SPJ Lifetime Achievement Award alongside her longtime friend, Walter Middlebrook. She was a 2016 inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.
This is a 2020 Annual U-M Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium event.
U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
U-M Center for Social Solutions
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Come kick off a new year of poetry with us at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea Washington St. with a fabulous feature by Dennis Hinrichsen! Whether you’re a page poet, slammer, performance artist or refuse a label, we want to hear your new stuff on our open mic. We look forward to sharing great poetry (and great coffee) with you and invite you to join this free open mic and monthly reading series!
Sign up! 7:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m. – Open mic
8:00 p.m. – Featured Reader
This month’s feature: DENNIS HINRICHSEN!
Dennis Hinrichsen is the author of three chapbooks and seven previous full-length collections. His most recent work is is [q / lear], a chapbook from Green Linden Press, and Skin Music, winner of the 2014 Michael Waters Poetry Prize from Southern Indiana Review Press. His previous books include Rip-tooth (2010 Tampa Poetry Prize), Kurosawa’s Dog (2008 FIELD Poetry Prize), and Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights (1999 Akron Poetry Prize). Other awards include the 2015 Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Prize from Map Literary for Electrocution, A Partial History as well as the 2016 Third Coast Poetry Prize and a 2014 Best of the Net Award. New work of his can be found in two anthologies from Michigan State University Press, Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, and RESPECT: An Anthology of Poems on Detroit Music. From May 2017 – April 2019, he served as the first Poet Laureate of the Greater Lansing [MI] area.