Conference to explore ‘Arts in the Black Press During the Age of Jim Crow’

A conference at Yale will bring together scholars from diverse disciplines and institutions to study coverage of the arts in African American newspapers and magazines between Reconstruction and the end of legalized Jim Crow segregation.

“The Arts in the Black Press During the Age of Jim Crow,” which is free and open to the public, will take place Friday-Saturday, March 10-11, in Rms. 317 and 319 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St.

Between 1877 and the mid-1960s, “the black press flourished in the United States,” write the organizers, “Critics and reporters on the arts beat not only brought to light the creative output of black musicians, actors, filmmakers, writers, and visual artists, but also investigated the role the arts played in the long struggle against oppression, as well as the economic and cultural impact of the arts on black communities and the United States as a whole. By focusing on the black press, we hope to highlight African Americans’ critical responses to the heterogeneous artistic scene of black America, which thrived even within an oppressive environment that constantly discounted and disrespected black lives. In doing so, we seek to understand in greater depth how the black press illuminates new facets and/or alternative narratives of black cultural and social history.”

In addition to six panel sessions, the conference will feature a keynote address by Kim Gallon, assistant professor of history at Purdue University, and founder and director of the Black Press Research Collective, an interdisciplinary group of scholars committed to generating digital scholarship about the historical and contemporary role of black newspapers in Africa and the African Diasporas. Her talk, “No Tears for Alden: The Black Press as an Archive of Black Performance and Performativity,” will take place on March 10 at 4:45 p.m.

See the complete conference schedule.

“The Arts in the Black Press During the Age of Jim Crow” is supported by the African American Studies Program, AfroAmerican Cultural Center, American Studies Program, Americanist Colloquium, Beinecke Library, Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration, Digital Humanities Lab, Departments of English and History, Graduate School of Arts and Letters’ Dean’s Fund, Institute for Sacred Music, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Yale University Art Gallery.

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