Blog

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Blog Author:
Christy McDaniel, Sociology & Psychology Major with a Minor in Education. Class of 2016.

Throughout this piece, Black will be referring to all descendants of the African Diaspora, a definition I first heard given by Ms. Guinn. Maybe this dispersal (both forced and voluntary) can be seen as a means to understand the almost schizophrenic fluctuations of the definition of Blackness and the subsequent complexity of my people. It is a complexity that the majority of Black folks are unaware of. We seem to forget that the different shades of brown we wear are not the only variations amongst Black people, which can be seen in the ‘light-skinned’ vs. ‘dark-skinned’ feud that has followed us from the plantation. Each individual comes to define and reflect Blackness differently based on their experiences and environment. My arrival to Duke has caused me to look at my own reflection questioningly.

Audience:
Blog Author:
Chandra Guinn

The Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture
Cordially Invites You to Enjoy A Late Afternoon Delight
featuring Live Jazz & Fabulous Dessert

Thursday, May 1, 2014
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!!!

Blog Author:
Sean Palmer

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.

by Dorielle Obanor

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.

by Sean H. Palmer

It is on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Black Student Life that we pause to think about the principal of Ujima in our annual Kwanzaa Celebration. Since restarting this tradition in 2010, Duke’s Kwanzaa celebration has sought to lift up one principal each year in the hopes of honoring each principal in a seven-year cycle.

by Sean H. Palmer

Only four short years ago Black undergraduate students crowded into the the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture on November 4th.   Off-campus, our Black grauduate students gathered at a local apartment complex community area. Both groups prepared to witness what would be a historic election as Barack Obama became the first American President with African ancestry.