The 44th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series
On Saturday, February 17, 2024, the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University-Newark will host the 44th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, a prestigious and longest-running Black History Month conference in New Jersey. The theme of this year’s series is “The Power of Black Voices: Afro-Latin Identities in the Americas”, which will explore the history, culture, and politics of Afro-Latin communities in the Western Hemisphere. The event will take place at the Paul Robeson Campus Center and will be free and open to the public.
The series will feature four distinguished speakers, who will share their research and perspectives on various aspects of Afro-Latin identities and experiences. They are:
- Ariana Curtis, the first curator of Latinx Studies at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, will discuss the representation and visibility of Afro-Latinx people in museums and public spaces.
- Tanya K. Hernandez, a professor of law at Fordham University and an expert on anti-discrimination law and critical race theory, who will examine the legal and social challenges of racial discrimination and inequality faced by Afro-Latinx people in the United States and Latin America.
- Nodia Mena, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and a specialist on Afro-Caribbean history and culture, will explore the historical and contemporary connections and exchanges between Afro-Latinx and African American communities in the Caribbean and the U.S.
- Lorgia Garcia Pena, a professor of Romance languages and literatures and of history and literature at Harvard University and a scholar of Afro-Latinx literature and culture, will analyze the literary and artistic expressions of Afro-Latinx identity and resistance in the Americas.
The series will also include a musical performance by The Bradford Hayes Quartet, a jazz ensemble led by the renowned saxophonist and composer Bradford Hayes, who will celebrate the musical heritage and diversity of Afro-Latinx cultures. The series will conclude with a reception at the Newark Museum of Art, where the attendees will have the opportunity to network and mingle with the speakers and other guests.
The Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series was established in 1981 in honor of Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneering historian and the first professionally trained African American woman historian in the country. The series aims to provide a forum for public education and dialogue on issues of race, ethnicity, and culture, and to showcase the scholarship and achievements of African American and African diaspora studies. The series is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the Newark Museum of Art, and the New Jersey Historical Commission.
The 44th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series promises to be an enlightening and engaging event that will highlight the rich and diverse contributions of Afro-Latinx people to the history and culture of the Americas.
Time: 9:30 am — 3:30 pm EST