▶︎ What Was African American Marriage?

What was marriage under slavery? Professor Tera W. Hunter’s new book, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century provides an intimate glimpse of the affections and complexities of black marriage in the United States from its origins. In an illuminating conversation, Professor Tera Hunter and Professor Eddie Glaude discuss major takeaways from the book, key language introduced by Hunter, and various new understandings about African American marriage and family life from 1800 to the present day. A common assumption shared by liberal and conservative commentators alike is that low marriage rates in African American communities are a byproduct of slavery. However, Hunter’s research shows that marriage among African Americans, respected by law or not, was widely embraced in earlier times. From slavery to reconstruction, a desire to marry and build lives together factored centrally in the hearts and minds of African American men and women. After marriage was legalized following emancipation, black marriage rates started to eclipse white Americans’ by the turn of the twentieth century. Hunter suggests current declining marriage rates may best be attributed to advantages offered to some Americans, and denied to other Americans at specific, consequential junctures, such as in the wake of World War II. Bound in Wedlock is a groundbreaking book which, through an extensive archive, dismantles pathologies as it fascinates.

 

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This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Media Specialist: Allison Bland
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

▶︎ ‘Before Cornel West, After Cornel West’

In episode six of AAS 21 podcast, Professor Glaude is joined by teacher and friend of 30 years, Dr. Cornel West. When it comes to habits of reading, West tells of staying in contact with the best of the past, feeling incomplete if he doesn’t accomplish his nightly three hours of study. West considers artists as the vanguard of the species, and more than enjoying great literature and writing as a spectator, West believes authors provide the blueprint a person needs to live their life as a work of art. Contemporary writers like Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, Susan Sontag, and Sheldon Wolin are only a sample of the ‘post-Du Bois’ intellectuals West knows can bring a world of depth to a person. But in many ways, with his consistent and constant embodiment of the three pillars of piety – remembrance, reverence, and resistance – the life of West is itself a new marker of time.

For more information on all things AAS 21 Podcast, please visit podcast.aas.princeton.edu.

▶︎ ‘A Through Line for African American Studies’

African American Studies is a field that shows how ‘this connects to that.’ In this conversation, Professor Glaude interviews his colleague Professor Imani Perry about her expansive, pathbreaking archive. Perry discusses her forthcoming book projects, ideas about methodology, and habits of reading. One book, May We Forever Stand, a cultural history of the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” tells a story about black institutional life, ritual and loss. Another book, Vexy Thing: A Book on Gender is an account of patriarchy, empire, conquest and – through a real commitment to feminist practice – liberation. Finally, Perry is at work about a book on the life of Lorraine Hansberry. Perry’s insight as a scholar trained in multiple disciplines reveals a valuable toolkit for those seeking to enter and make a difference in the academy. Glaude and Perry also discuss what they are reading and listening to today.

For more of the AAS 21 podcast, please visit podcast.aas.princeton.edu.

▶︎ Activism and Risk in the Face of Trump

Destiny A. Crockett and Asanni A. York were thirteen year-olds when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. Crockett and York, who are good friends, are activists and student leaders in their last years at Princeton. York is a concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy earning a certificate in African American Studies and Crockett is a concentrator in the Department of English earning a certificate in African American Studies. The two join Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr., who has taught them both, for a conversation about what it has meant to them to mature politically during Obama’s presidency, their research and coursework in African American Studies, the organizing movement work they’ve done on campus and in the world, and how they are now imagining their activist futures in the context of President-Elect Donald Trump.

Subscribe to the AAS21 podcast on iTunes!


This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Media Specialist: Allison Bland
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

▶︎ Langston Hughes, Religious Thinker

In the second episode of the AAS 21 podcast, Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. spoke with Wallace Best, Professor of Religion and African American Studies about his forthcoming book, Langston’s Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem. In the book, Professor Best encourages readers to read Langston Hughes religiously, and as a humanist in the tradition of American Religious Liberalism. Though Hughes was criticized, censored and even humiliated by other writers, and federal investigators, because of some of his more radical work like the poem ‘Goodbye Christ,’ Best contends that even through imagining a critical discourse with God, Hughes demonstrates an acknowledgement as to the existence of God. In fact, Hughes was a lover of gospel music and an avid churchgoer, never belonging to one church, but present in his own way in many, reflecting Hughes’ evasive way of being, a style Best describes as influenced by Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg. Best’s new work is the result of 12 years of archival research and “communing with Langston.”

Subscribe to the AAS21 podcast on iTunes!


This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Social Media Manager / Producer: Allison Bland
Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

▶︎ Convergences and Dissonance

 

In the first podcast produced by the Princeton University Department of African American Studies, colleagues Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry, Naomi Murakawa, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor discuss, among other topics, contemporary American politics and the disaster called this election. The discussion moves from examining the political policy points put forward by Clinton and Trump to the political vision put forward by the Movement for Black Lives. The group also addresses the demands of mainstream media, considers how scholars and activists may understand their interaction with media, and discusses how scholars and activists may serve as bridges to one another.

Subscribe to the AAS21 podcast on iTunes!


This podcast was recorded, edited, and published by the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Social Media Manager / Producer: Allison Bland
Audio Engineer & Technical Specialist: Elio Lleo
Music: Courtney Bryan, composer, AAS Postdoctoral Fellow alum, assistant professor of music at Tulane University

Imani Perry and Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor African American Studies and Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Will S. Tod Professor African American Studies and Religion
Naomi Murakawa and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Naomi Murakawa, associate professor of African American Studies and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African American Studies

Standing on the Rough Side of the Mountain: Honoring Lillian E. Smith

How to Address the Persistence of Racial Inequality and Conflict in the 21st Century

Professor Imani Perry’s talk (below) is part of Piedmont College‘s 2015 Lillian E. Smith Symposium on Arts & Social Change which took place on Saturday, March 14, 2015

About Lillian Smith

Lillian Eugenia Smith was born in Jasper, Florida in 1897.  When her father’s Florida businesses failed in 1915, the Smith family came to Rabun County, Georgia, where her father had recently acquired property on Screamer Mountain and where he opened a summer camp for girls.  At first Lillian worked with her family to create the camp, but with her father’s blessing, she soon became the owner and director of Laurel Falls Camp for Girls.  This institution continued until 1949 and developed quite a reputation for being a progressive and well-rounded camp for young women, not only throughout the South, but across the country.

Lillian Smith emerged in the 1940s at the forefront of the Southern debate on segregation, where she was at least a decade ahead of other white liberals and stood virtually alone in calling for an immediate end to segregation laws and practices.  Meanwhile, she was developing her talents as a fiction-writer.  Her 1944 debut novel, Strange Fruit, was about a secret interracial love affair in a small Georgia town.  In 1949 she published Killers of the Dream, a brilliant psychological and autobiographical work warning against the evils of segregation.  Before her death in 1966, Smith would go on to publish several more books, fiction and nonfiction, and numerous articles and essays on social justice and racial equality, all of which were written from her home on Screamer Mountain.

Books by Lillian Smith:

Strange Fruit  1944
Killers of the Dream  1949
The Journey  1954
Now Is the Time  1955
One Hour  1959
Memory of a Large Christmas  1962
Our Faces, Our Words  1964
The Winner Names the Age: A Collection of Writings  1978
How Am I To Be Heard? Letters of Lillian Smith (edited by Margaret Rose Gladney)  1993

Teaching to Transgress Today: Theory and Practice In and Outside the Classroom

A lecture by Imani Perry (Professor, Center for African American Studies, and Faculty Associate, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University) followed by a dialogue with bell hooks, Karlyn Crowley (Director of the Cassandra Voss Center & Professor of English, St. Norbert College), Zillah Eisenstein (Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence & Professor of Political Theory and Anti-Racist Feminisms, Ithaca College), and Shannon Winnubst (Associate Professor, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ohio State University) in a continuing discussion. Presented by Eugene Lang College (http://www.newschool.edu/lang).

bell hooks (née Gloria Watkins) is among the leading public intellectuals of her generation. Her writings cover a broad range of topics including gender, race, teaching, and contemporary culture. This fall marks the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Teaching to Transgress: Education as a Practice of Freedom, Dr. hooks’ seminal book on educational practices. This week-long residency is an opportunity for The New School community to directly engage with Dr. hooks and her commitment to education and learning as a place “where paradise can be created.”