The Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture Cordially Invites You to Enjoy A Late Afternoon Delight featuring Live Jazz & Fabulous Dessert
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 3:00 - 5:00 Mary Lou Williams Center 201 West Union Building
In celebration of YOU, our 30th Anniversary & in gratitude for another successful year... In honor of our namesake’s 103rd birthday & In gratitude for the awesome service of our graduating student staff!!!
THIS WILL BE THE LAST MARY LOU DAY BEFORE OUR BIG MOVE TO FLOWERS!!!
Each year we seek to make the Abele Awards an extra special event by theming it with something from the history/creative genius of Black life. In the past, we’ve honed in on the Harlem Renaissance, contemporary Hip Hop, and The Wiz. This year we take for our inspiration both the year of integration at Duke and the sound of Motown. We imagine that young people in 1963 had to be listening to the “sound of young America” as artists like, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Temptations, Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, and The Vandellas played on their record players. Thus, the sound of Motown would have been spinning on their record players, as the world would have been spinning toward equality.
We have designed an Abele Awards that continues to highlight the contributions of Black students annually, and that honors what five courageous "crossovers" did in the evolution of a world class university! This year's Abele Awards is a tribute to 1963 and the Motown Sound. In our planning we seek to honor the style and significance of the Motown era by designing the space to emulate elements one would expect to see from that era. Our research has included menu, video, songs, attire, people, and history. We are hoping to bring all of that alive in this “Circa 1963.”
So, the 27th Annual Abele Awards, seeks to turn the Searle Center into a musical soundstage that brings the music of Detriot to Durham on Saturday, April 13th, 2013 at 6PM. Join us in our celebration of Black student excellence!
As the Mary Lou Williams Center is engaged in honoring the legacy of those first Black Undergraduates who came to Duke in 1963, we have begun to imagine that time and space. We imagine that some of them would have been watching the news and would have seen James Meredith graduate from Ole’ Miss. We imagine that weeks before entering Duke, some of them would have just heard Rev. King at the March On Washington.
And, all of them would have been listening to the burgeoning sounds of Detroit emanating from Berry Gordy’s Motown. We imagine that many of them would have been listening to singers like Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Temptations, Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, and The Vandellas. Thus the Sound of Motown would have be spinning, as the world would have been spinning toward equality.
With beauty, drama, talent, and intrigue all a part of the Motown legacy, we thought it important to showcase “the music of the 60’s” as an homage to our beginnings. Come see our new “wall” exhibit as it uses albums, images, and all things “sparklely” to highlight the legacy of Motown, as both a reminder of 1963 and as foreshadowing to our upcoming Abele Awards, entitled “circa 1963.”
While you've probably heard a lot about Duke, this is the time when you come see for yourselves. We believe you will come away informed, inspired and impressed and in fact have been working hard to make sure of it. We know you all have a choice - and so we are grateful that you have chosen to give us the chance to show you the Duke that is so special to us.
Below (and attached) is the schedule that gives you a sense of what will be going on. Should you have questions about this weekend’s events, please do not hesitate to contact us via email (email@example.com) or phone 919.684.3814.
Duke University’s Black Student Alliance Invitational 2013 Thursday, March 28 – Sunday, March 31 At-A-Glance Schedule Events are open to the Duke community unless otherwise noted.
ITEMS IN BOLD ARE MANDATORY FOR PROSPECTIVE FIRST YEAR [P-Frosh] STUDENTS
Thursday, March 28 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Students Arrive & Registration [WEST UNION, OLD TRINITY ROOM/ROOM107]
8:00 am – 4:00 pm Classes
9:00 am – 4:00 pm Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture Open House
10:00 am & 12:00 pm Tours of West Campus 11:00 am & 1:00 pm Tours of West Campus
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Chapel Climb sponsored by Black Campus Ministries
Every Spring I can expect for the chronicle to release an article or op-ed piece challenging the necessity of Duke’s Black Student Alliance Week. Programs such as these promote self-segregation, racial division, and an unrounded experience of Duke these articles assert. Personally, I have grown tired of these wrongly aimed and ill-informed articles, as many with strong convictions have neither participated in BSAI events nor have taken the time to speak with attendees.
My BSAI experience was amazing. For me, BSAI weekend was important opportunity for me to experience what being a black student is like at Duke a predominately white institution. Furthermore, it allowed me to assess the amount of support and solidarity both within the black community and outside. Having several prestigious schools on my list, I wanted to ensure that wherever I attended I would feel not only comfortable but also supported as a minority student. Throughout my weekend I interacted not only with black members of the Duke community, but several p-frosh who were there for scholarship interviews as well as various friends and acquaintances of my host. I left BSAI with a strong conviction that Duke University was the best fit for me, and that weekend is one of the main reasons why I ultimately decided to attend Duke. Because of this, I undoubtedly support the efforts of this weekend.
This year we celebrate 50 years of black students at Duke, retrospectively 50 years is not a long time ago. Weekends like BSAI are extremely important in ensuring not only diversity at Duke but showing black students that Duke is an environment where all can flourish and be supported. While this short weekend is merely a glimpse of the Duke experience it is useful and necessary. This year, I challenge my peers to take the time to experience the step show, Jabulani, discussion panels, and performers that BSAI showcases, rather then taking to the chronicle to criticize the weekend. Take the time to speak with p-frosh that come from across the country, the students at Duke that commit their time and energy in to putting the weekend on, and I’m sure you’ll realize how impactful and important BSAI is.
With all of this talk about celebrating the 50th anniversary of Black Student Life at Duke University, the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture wanted to make sure that it was central to this commemoration. As such, “Through The Years” is a photographic exhibit that looks back – Sankofa – at Black Student Life. The mostly Black and White pictures seek to showcase eras of Black life that include Duke’s first students, periods of protest, organizations, and “Chronicle” articles. Crystal Fuller, curator of the exhibit, is hoping that the “snap shots” provide insight into the unique experiences of integrating one of the world’s best universities. Join us as we take a sneak peak into the Black Student experience at Duke University by visiting the center to witness “Through The Years.”
As we turn our attention to our annual observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, we continue to be reminded that we live in an interesting time of contradictions. A Black man remains president (and will be inaugurated), but Blacks are unemployed at twice the rate of the entire country. We continue to celebrate the notion of freedom through our observance of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation as movies like “Lincoln” explore the notion of slavery in the Civil War…at the same time over 300 Black and Brown children died last year in the streets of Chicago due to an inability to create solutions for gun control and gang violence. We commemorate “The March on Washington,” yet controversial “Stand Your Ground Laws” are used in vigilante justice most notably against black teens like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.
And here at Duke, we begin our year-long commemoration of Black Student Integration (50 years), even as “slave” action-figures are being sold to the public on websites like Amazon in conjunction with Quentin Tarantino’s racially charged movie, “Django.” When King offered that he had a dream in his eminent “March On Washington Address” in 1963, I don’t believe that his dream foretold of this reality. Yes, my friends, race and racism are complicated conceptual frameworks as we stand in the doorway between our reality and historical memory. King’s prophetic imagination had hoped for mutual love and respect, helping to sequester domestic terrorism. And, 50 years after that speech, and 100 years after a group of Black women (who called themselves Deltas) organized to march for women’s suffrage, and 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, we find ourselves facing many of the same challenges of racism, albeit in new ways.
When King offered early in his profound speech that, “instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds,’” I wonder if he thought that by now we would be able to cash this check for justice, equity, and equality? While much has changed in the ability for people of color to move “freely” in society, much has remained the same in regards to access, equity, and justice. Scholars like Adolph Reed have remarked that Black people have been getting symbolic justice…and symbolic justice isn’t actually justice. Contrary to popular opinion and praxis, populating Black faces around hostile policies don’t, in fact, make the policies more palatable. And while some might be confused for a season, the voices of Dr. King et al. continue to ring true. We cannot get lost in the chorus of Hosannas as we teeter on the cliff of obscurity.
While many of us praise God for faith in the efforts to persevere in spite of what we see, King reminds us to remain vigilant to the case for freedom. While we protest the various disparities of the day, King reminds us to remain committed to the task of equality and justice. While we seek the power to control our personal destinies, King reminds us that love must be coupled with power if we are to ever use this gift of power wisely. And, we persevere because we believe in humanity beyond degradation and volatility. Thus, we invite you to join us as we remember our roots and expand our reach in 2013. We invite you to visit our office as we reflect on “Praise | Protest | Power | Perseverance,” in our newest wall exhibition. Finally, we invite you to join us as we seek to cash a check that has the possibility of provision for all of the world’s people.