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SECSOR Panel March 2021 Breathe Presentation

Black Lives Matter in the Time of COVID: Fall 2020 Course Recap

SECSOR Panel March 2021

In Fall 2020, with generous support from the Willson Center for Humanities and the Arts, the Institute for African American Studies offered a Special Topics course for upper level undergraduates and graduate certificate students focused on “Black Lives Matter in the Time of COVID.” Taught by IAAS Director, Dr. Carolyn Jones Medine, this course explored ongoing Black Lives Matter movements and their history. The reading list included: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Ibram X. Kendi), When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir (Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele), Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, and A Story Untold: Black Men & Women in Athens History (Michael Thurmond).

With a special focus on the Athens community and University of Georgia campus, the course heard from local artist Broderick Flanagan on reading art and activism, public official and historian Michael Thurmond regarding his history of Black Athens, and Professor Emerita Dr. Freda Scott Giles regarding the multimedia devised virtual production Breathe. Grounded in history, practice, art, and movement, this course provided a space for students to process what was happening to and around them, meeting over Zoom once a week, with independent readings throughout the semester. Further, the course was a creative and generative space, resulting in a CURO research award, an Instagram series on BLM and African American health, visual artistic creations, and two academic panel presentations at regional conferences in March.

Friday, March 12, 2021 – Virtual Round Table Presentation & Discussion during the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference (Theme: Precarious Times: Embodying Disobedience, Crafting Affinities; Moderator: Carolyn Jones Medine; Panelists: Panelists: Carolyn Jones Medine, Sha’Mira Covington, Estee Dillard, Sydney Gabrielle Patton, Danielle Obiri, & Chera Jo Watts)

Saturday, March 13, 2021 – Virtual Paper Presentation during the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion Conference (Theme: Religion, Health, & Disease: An Online Conference Where Interdisciplinary Lines Intersect; Moderator: LaToya Leary, Florida State University; Panelists: Carolyn Jones Medine, Sha’Mira Covington, Estee Dillard, Sydney Gabrielle Patton, & Chera Jo Watts)

If you are interested in getting involved with IAAS through our courses, programs of study, or events, please email Ms. Kendra Freeman and let us know how we can support you.

Type of News/Audience:
Monday, March 22, 2021 - 11:55am


Director, Institute for African American Studies, All Shall Be Well Professor of Religion

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