AFR50: The Weekend, April 4-7th, 2019

The existence of Africana Studies at Williams College is recognition that, even in the rural hills of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Black Lives have always and continue to matter. It is my great pleasure to invite you to join the Department of Africana Studies as we commemorate our fifty-year presence at Williams. We hope you will consider coming back to Williams during the extended weekend of April 4-7th, where we will reflect and collectively remember. Please visit the Africana Studies website for the most up to date information and for general inquiries. Whether you are one our beloved alumni, a member of our extended community of family, friends, or guests, please find pertinent information about the weekend by visiting our dedicated registration page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • “On April 4, 1969, 34 students from Williams’ Afro-American Society took over Hopkins Hall. They sought action from the college on 15 demands, including adding African-American studies to the curriculum, diversifying the faculty and creating a cultural center. The campus community, black and white, rallied in support. Discussions between the administration and society members took place by telephone and via notes passed through windows. Classes were canceled that Monday and Tuesday for a campus-wide teach-in.” ~Progress Through Struggle, The Williams Magazine.

    In traditions throughout African Diaspora, drums are utilized in ceremony, ritual, and for gathering community. Join us on the west side of Hopkins Hall for the opening event, where the drums will call us together, create an opportunity to reflect on our past, and invoke the spirit of protest taken up by that those who occupied Hopkins Hall. Featuring: Tendai Muparutsa, Lecturer in Music; Jason Lucas ’02; Negasi Haskins ’20; Aiyana Porter '20; Isaiah Blake '21; Samuel Mecha ’21; and Gaurnett Flowers ‘22

    Join the Public Humanities Fellows as they take you through a walking tour designed to coincide with the commemoration of the fifty-year anniversary of Africana Studies at Williams College and the thirty-year anniversary of the Davis Center (formerly the Multicultural Center). The tours, which run approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, will provide a physical connection to the campus, with attention to the ways that our geography tells its own story in the histories of activism at Williams College. The tours will run rain or shine, and comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are encouraged.

  • Join the Public Humanities Fellows as they take you through a walking tour designed to coincide with the commemoration of the fifty-year anniversary of Africana Studies at Williams College and the thirty-year anniversary of the Davis Center (formerly the Multicultural Center). The tours, which run approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, will provide a physical connection to the campus, with attention to the ways that our geography tells its own story in the histories of activism at Williams College. The tours will run rain or shine, and comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are encouraged.

    Join us for a dynamic, interactive session with Africana Studies faculty about the intersections of Black Studies and Black art. In addition to dialoguing about student encounters with a range of WCMA materials in Africana Studies courses (e.g. Gordon Parks, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, John Wilson and others), Professors Rashida Braggs, James Manigault-Bryant, Rhon Manigault-Bryant, and Neil Roberts will riff on their experiences of teaching WCMA holdings, the overlapping themes that inform their collective work, and ways that art can be a primary source for thinking about Blackness globally.

    Join the Public Humanities Fellows as they take you through a walking tour designed to coincide with the commemoration of the fifty-year anniversary of Africana Studies at Williams College and the thirty-year anniversary of the Davis Center (formerly the Multicultural Center). The tours, which run approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, will provide a physical connection to the campus, with attention to the ways that our geography tells its own story in the histories of activism at Williams College. The tours will run rain or shine, and comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are encouraged.

    • Alumni Dinner with President Mandel & Africana Studies Faculty, Mt. Hope, 7:00pm *alumni and invited guests only
    • Kusika/Zambezi Spring PerformanceMainStage, ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, 8:00pm *open to the public
  • Africana Studies presents a series of three consecutive panels with former and current community members (10:00-10:50am), former and current faculty (11:00-11:50am), and former and current students (12:00-12:50pm) as part of the weekend-long commemoration of its 50-year presence at Williams. Panelists will convene, and in conversational style, reflect on the myriad of experiences that have informed their lives within and beyond Williams, with attention to their hopes for and the particular impact of Africana Studies. Attendees will leave with a broad picture of the diverse experiences that comprise Black experience at Williams College.

    10-10:50am: Former and Current Community Members

          • Facilitated by Sandra Burton, Lipp Family Director of Dance, Williams College
          • Bilal Ansari, Director of Community Engagement & Acting Director of the Davis Center, Williams College
          • Adrianna DeGazon '16, Admission Counselor, Williams College
          • Arif Smith, Program Manager, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL (formerly Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center, 2008-2010, Williams College)

    11-11:50am: Former and Current Faculty

          • Facilitated by Neil Roberts, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Williams College
          • Eileen Julien, Director, Institute of Advanced Study, and Professor of Comparative Literature, French and Italian, and African Studies, Indiana University (formerly Assistant Dean and Lecturer in English, 1975-1978, and Assistant Professor of French, 1978-1981, Williams College)
          • David Lionel Smith, John W. Chandler Professor of English, Williams College
          • James Manigault-Bryant, Associate Professor and Chair, Africana Studies, Williams College

    12-12:50pm: Former and Current Students

          • Facilitated by Shanti Singham, Professor of Africana Studies and History, Williams College
          • Olaide Adejobi '19
          • Sevonna Brown '15
          • Bobette Reed Kahn '73
          • Robin Powell Mandjes '82
          • Khalil Abdullah '72
    • BSU Alumni Lunch & Town Hall, Paresky Auditorium & Leutkemeyer Lounge, 1:00pm-2:30pm *complementary tickets for registered alumni only
    • “For Such A Time As This”Reception and walk through of the AFR50 Exhibit. Special Collections—Schow Gallery—Sawyer Library 455, 3:00-4:30pm *open to the public

    The Department of Africana Studies and Special Collections invite you to a reception and special walk through of this spring’s exhibit celebrating fifty years of Africana Studies at Williams. The walk through, which will be led by Professor Rhon Manigault-Bryant (curator), will provide a unique perspective through which to consider the complex contours of Black experience at Williams, will offer intimate insights to the exhibits contents, will invite guests to remember and recall pivotal moments in the life of Africana Studies at Williams, and will highlight the cyclical passage of time in the Department’s history, where tides of student, staff, and faculty have had unique impacts upon the study of the Black Diaspora. Alumni are also invited to audio record brief oral histories in the Curtain Room during this time.

    • Cocktail Buffet, Heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations. CenterStage, ’62 Center for Theater and Dance,6:00-7:30pm *registered and invited guests only
    • Kusika/Zambezi Spring PerformanceMainStage, ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, 8:00pm *open to the public
    • Reunion & Reconciliation: Alumni Talking Circle, Elm Tree House Library, 10:30pm *alumni only
    • The Response: Gospel Brunch & Send Off, Goodrich Hall, 10:00am-12:00pm *registered and invited guests only