2017 National Black Writers Satellite Conference “Black Women Writers: The Power of Their Voices”

2017 National Black Writers Satellite Conference

“Black Women Writers: The Power of Their Voices”

February 25, 2017; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

California State University, Sacramento

University Union, Hynde Auditorium

6000 J Street

Sacramento, CA 95819

Registration for the Satellite Conference is through the Multicultural Education Conference at http://www.csus.edu/coe/events/mce/.

The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, in collaboration with the California State University, Sacramento 23rd Annual Multicultural Education Conference, presents “Black Women Writers: The Power of Their Voices” at the 2017 National Black Writers Satellite Conference.

In keeping with the 2017 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration,” the theme of the Satellite Conference will focus on the legacy of educator and Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director for The Center for Black Literature and Chair of English Department at Medgar Evers College, and Dr. Dale Allender will be in conversation to discuss the impact Gwendolyn Brooks had on American culture then and now.

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize; she was also poet laureate for the state of Illinois and poetry consultant to the Library of Congress. Brooks was the author of more than 25 published works, including the collections Annie Allen and The Bean Eaters, and the novel Maud Martha. In her later works, Brooks took on political issues and through her powerful, passionate, socially and politically conscious poetry and prose, she used a range of modern literary aesthetics to provide a window into the life of Blacks in 20th-century urban America.

The program will also feature discussions and readings with activist and educator Debra Watkins, author of Thoughts Held Hostage: A Black Teacher’s Journey of Unlocking Young Minds; Tennessee Reed, author of Spell Albuquerque: Memoir of a “Difficult” Student; and Chinaka Hodge, poet, educator, playwright, screenwriter, and author Dated Emcees and Mirrors in Every Corner. The panel is sponsored by the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE) and the National Black Writers Conference.

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Registration for the Satellite Conference is through the Multicultural Education Conference at http://www.csus.edu/coe/events/mce/.

 

Program

8 AM — Convening of 23rd Annual Multicultural Education Conference:

“Igniting Critical Hope: Toward a New Social Justice Paradigm”

10:00 AM — Welcome: 2017 National Black Writers Satellite Conference

“Black Women Writers: The Power of Their Voices”

Dr. Brenda M. Greene
Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director, The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY
Dr. Dale Allender
Dr. Dale Allender, English Professor of Language and Literacy, California State University, Sacramento

  

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM —Dramatic Reading and Performance

Chinaka Hodge, Poet, Educator, Playwright, & Screenwriter

Dated Emcees and Mirrors in Every Corner image4

In Dated Emcees, Hodge examines her love life through the lens of hip-hop’s best-known orators, characters, archetypes and songs, creating a new and inventive narrative about the music that shaped the craggy heart of a young woman feminist and poet, just as it also changed the global landscape of pop. Hodge’s stage play Mirrors in Every Corner is a drama about a black woman who gives birth to a white child. Hodges’ “ambitious and provocative” drama presented by the theatre company Campo Santo and The Living Word Project in 2014.

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM — Discussion

Debra Waimage5tkins, Educator, Activist, & Founder of CAAAE

“Thoughts Held Hostage: A Black Teacher’s Journey of Unlocking Young Minds”

In Watkins’ book Thoughts Held Hostage, readers will follow the journey of an award-winning teacher and social activist who has positively affected the lives of thousands of multicultural students through programs and institutions that she has built. Prospective teachers as well as veterans and others who support students will learn much from this book. As the founder of an award-winning STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program in the heart of Silicon Valley, Watkins shares just how she managed to send 100 percent of her Scholars of African Ancestry to college where 90 percent graduate in four years with BA or BS degrees and 60 percent of those degrees are in STEM fields, which is about eight times the national average for Black students.

11:45 AM – 12 NOON

Book Signing with Chinaka Hodge and Debra Watkins

12 NOON – 1:00 PM — Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Discussion & Reading

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Tennessee Reed, Poet & Author

Spell Albuquerque: Memoir of a “Difficult” Student

Spell Albuquerque is an inspiring memoir of author and poet Tennessee Reed’s struggle to overcome racism and institutional authority and to achieve what everyone said was impossible. Reed was diagnosed at an early age with several language-based learning disorders. The bottom line, the experts agreed, was that she would never read or write. Reed demonstrated her courage and self-determination to fight against an educational system that often defined her disabilities as laziness or stupidity, and within a few years she published her first book of poetry. By the time she was a teenager, she was writing the text for Meredith Monk performances and traveling the world to read her poems.

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM — Discussion & Reading

Dr. Brenda M. Greene and Dr. Dale Allender

“Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks at 100”: The Power of Her Voice, Then and Now

Drawing upon the centennial celebration and the legacy of the poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, Dr. Greene and Dr. Allender discuss her emergence as an award-winning poet prior to the Black Arts Movement place and her prominence in and embracing of the Black Arts Movement. They explore the ways in which the themes of her poetry resonate today and serve as explorations of the dreams, fears, and cautious tales about the lives of young people in urban America.

2:50 PM — Book Signing

The National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium Satellite Conference at California State University, Sacramento is sponsored by the Multicultural Education Conference, the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE) and the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY.

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