More than 100 people celebrated the launch of the Callie House Research Center for the Study of Black Cultures and Politics on March 12 in the Buttrick Hall Atrium.
The center, housed within African American and Diaspora Studies, is named for Callie House, a former slave who led from Nashville the first mass slave reparations movement in the United States. The center will sponsor lectures, conferences, working groups, professional development and academic seminars, and activities associated with the peer-reviewed journal Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender, and the Black International (SUNY Press).
Noted historian and public servant Mary Frances Berry, who wrote the definitive biography of House, delivered the inaugural lecture. She was introduced by Tiffany Patterson, associate professor of African American and Diaspora Studies. In addition, the event celebrated the 46-year anniversary of the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies and recognized the research of three professors affiliated with African American and Diaspora Studies who have published books this spring. Houston Baker, Alice Randall and Tracy Sharpley-Whiting each delivered brief remarks and quotations from their latest works.
The Trouble with Post-Blackness (Columbia University Press) is co-edited by Baker, a Distinguished University Professor and professor of English and African American and Diaspora Studies. Randall, writer-in-residence in African American and Diaspora Studies, has co-authored with her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, the cookbook Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family (Random House). Sharpley-Whiting, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French, is the author of Bricktop’s Paris: African American Women in Paris Between the Two World Wars (SUNY Press). The launch included a reception and book-signing with all four authors, including Berry.