Not In Our Town Princeton

Black History Celebrations 2012



The Carl A. Fields Center, at Olden and Prospect on the Princeton University Campus, hosts a seminar on  “Michelle Obama and the Making of a Black President” on Monday, February 13, 6:30–7:30 p.m. 


It is part of the Black History Month events sponsored by the Association of Black Seminarians at Princeton Theological Seminary that also features a panel discussion on Thursday, February 16, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the seminary’s Stuart Hall, Room 6. Topic: 



Who you Calling a $%#$%? A panel discussion on Words that Wound.” The opening panel will be from 4:30-5:30pm, Precept groups will be from 6:30-7:30pm, and the closing panel will be from 7:30-8:30pm. 


“We have over 10 scholars coming to sit on the panel,” says Teddy Reeves, moderator of ABS. Email him for reservations (teddy.reeves@ptsem.edu). The events are free. 

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Princeton Regional Schools, in partnership with community members and organizations that serve Princeton, will host “An Evening of Gospel Music and Dance” on Friday, February 24, at 7:30 PM in the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center, corner of Walnut Lane and Franklin Avenue.  The concert will feature music composed and arranged by Dr. Raymond Wise, who will also do a three-day residency with PRS students from all grade levels. For tickets ( $10 or $5 for students and seniors) call Mr. Highland at 609-806-4280. 
Raymond Wise 

A lifelong church musician and an ordained minister, Dr. Raymond Wise has prepared choirs to perform for national recording artists such as Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Yolanda Adams, Tramaine Hawkins, and Wintley Phipps.  He has also served as chorus master for several Opera Columbus productions and co-musical director for “Harlem Hallelujah,” a live Sunday morning service at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.  As a composer, Dr. Wise has penned more than 600 compositions that have been performed and recorded by local, national, and international recording artists.  He has appeared on radio and television, recorded twenty albums, and toured extensively throughout the world as a singer, dancer, pianist, composer, choral director, lecturer, and teacher.

The concert includes performances by the Princeton High School Choirs, the Trenton Children’s Chorus, and the Revelation Praise Dance Ministry of First Baptist Church.  Choir members from Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church and First Baptist Church of Princeton will also join the students and Dr. Wise to perform three finale selections.

Also, as posted previously

Thur., Feb. 9  –  Discussion of images and stereotypes of black men and women, how they are portrayed in the media, and  the ways their stereotypes affect relationships in the black community.  Carl Field Center, Class of 1985 rroom, 7 pm.
Tues, Feb.14 –  Dr. Rice-Jordan, granddaughter of the founder of the Bordentown School (Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth), will make a presentation at Westminster Choir College, Cottage 8, 7:00 pm.
Sun., Feb.19 –  Film that chronicles the life and significant contributions of singer and human rights champion Harry Belafonte,  Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon St., 6:30 pm  (“Sing Your Song” runs 1 hr. 44 min.)
Fri.,  Feb. 24 –  Journalist/writer Harry Kendall will speak about the Underground Railroad and the fugitive slave insurrection in  Christiana PA, the subject of his forthcoming novel.  Princeton Public Library, 11:30 am.
Mon. Feb. 27 – Barnes and Noble African American Interest Group, 7 p.m., book discussion led by Barbara Flythe on “Whose Afraid of Post Blackness,”  by Toure, who interviewed 105 well-known African Americans for their opinions and thoughts. 


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Of Interest in February

Thur., Feb. 2  –  Shirley Satterfield will share her experiences as a participant in the 1960s sit-ins in Greensboro NC,  YWCA Bramwell House Living Room, 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton, 11:30 am. Bring a sandwich. 
 
Monday, Feb. 6 – Not in Our Town sponsors “Continuing Conversations on Race” at the Princeton Public Library at 7 p.m., Topic: “Telling Your Story — Challenges and Opportunities — Blacks and Whites Working Together,” moderated by Wilma Solomon and Fern Spruill. 
Thur., Feb. 9  –  Discussion of images and stereotypes of black men and women, how they are portrayed in the media, and  the ways their stereotypes affect relationships in the black community.  Carl Field Center, Class of 1985 rroom, 7 pm.
Tues, Feb.14 –  Dr. Rice-Jordan, granddaughter of the founder of the Bordentown School (Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth), will make a presentation at Westminster Choir College, Cottage 8, 7:00 pm.
Sun., Feb.19 –  Film that chronicles the life and significant contributions of singer and human rights champion Harry Belafonte,  Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon St., 6:30 pm  (“Sing Your Song” runs 1 hr. 44 min.)
Fri.,  Feb. 24 –  Journalist/writer Harry Kendall will speak about the Underground Railroad and the fugitive slave insurrection in  Christiana PA, the subject of his forthcoming novel.  Princeton Public Library, 11:30 am.
Mon. Feb. 27 – Barnes & Noble African American Interest Group, 7 p.m., discussion led by Barbara Flythe on “Whose Afraid of Post Blackness,”  by Toure, who interviewed 105 well-known African Americans for their opinions and thoughts. 

Book Discussions on Fourth Mondays

Those who follow the work of Not in Our Town may also be interested in knowing about the African-American Interest Group at Barnes & Noble, MarketFair in Princeton. The discussion leader is Barbara Flythe, a co-founder of Not in Our Town. Book discussions are on fourth Mondays at 7 p.m. 
 January 23, 2012 
Before I Forget  by Leonard Pitts Jr.  is a first novel by this Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. It is the profoundly moving story of a faded 1970’s soul singer who,diagnosed with early -onset Alzheimer’s, takes off on a  road trip from Baltimore to Los Angeles as he grapples with many regrets and seeks to  make peace with both  his troubled son and estranged father.   
February 27, 2012   
Whose Afraid of Post-Blackness? by Toure. In the age of Obama, racial attitudes and feelings about race have become increasingly complicated. Toure attempts to  explore what it means to be Black in America today. In addition to sharing the many ways racial identity and racial expectations have shaped his life, he interviews 105 well-known African-Americans for their opinions  and thoughts on the subject.    
March 26, 2012   
 If Sons, Then Heirs  by Lorene Cary  is a complex story of race, inheritance and “returning to the south” which spans  three generations in the life of an African-American family. Land and its title are the ties that bind this family as they come to terms with the legacy of the past and struggle with what to keep, leave behind or just simply try to forget.

“These are exciting reads  –  great for discussions!” says Barbara Flythe,  “All of the books are available at this site. I I look forward to seeing many of you as we begin our sixth year!” 

A Question of Dignity: NIOT for January 2

The worst crime of slavery, even worse than physical abuse, is the erosion of dignity. So said Princeton University professor Kwame Apiah in his remarks after the Princeton Public Library showing of the film “Prince Among Slaves” last month. Not in Our Town Princeton will offer an opportunity to discuss the film, and Apiah’s remarks, as part of the Continuing Conversations series on Monday, January 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library.

Wilma Solomon and Marietta Taylor will lead the discussion. Those who did not see the film are welcome to attend and might also want to check out the website of the film.
“What you are essentially doing is you are removing the identity of an individual and you are giving him a very different identity-one that you as a slave owner choose and this communicates very effectively that the person is now a slave…the person is now chattel..the person is now someone who is owned.”

A question to think about: If “dignity” is defined as the state of quality of being worthy of honor or respect, to what degree do you think that African Americans and people of color today are treated in such a way as to diminish their identity and dignity?
All are welcome to NIOT’s Continuing Conversation on Monday, January 2.

(This post also appears at Princeton Comment).

Kwame Anthony Appiah: On ‘Prince Among Slaves’

Marcus Mitchell
In 1788 a slave-ship set sail from West Africa, its berth laden with a profitable but fragile cargo: hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains and headed for American shores. Eight months later the survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. Among them was the 26-year-old Abdul Rahman Sori, heir to the throne of one of the largest kingdoms in Africa.
Captured in an ambush, he was sold to English slavers for a few muskets and some rum. After enduring the brutal Middle Passage to America, he was purchased by a struggling Mississippi farmer named Thomas Foster. Foster hoped that the strong African would help establish his farm.
 Sustained by his deep faith and drawing from his well-honed intellect, Abdul Rahman applied his leadership abilities and knowledge about crops such as cotton to help Foster eventually become one of the wealthiest men in Mississippi. In the meantime, Abdul Rahman married an American-born enslaved woman, and together they had nine children.
The story of Abdul Rahman Sori, told above, is taken from the promotional materials for the documentary, “Prince Among Slaves,” which premiered on PBS 2008.  Did it have a happy ending? Read the rest of it here
This compelling documentary will be shown at the Princeton Public Library on Monday, December 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room. Two guests will contribute to the evening, including Terry Alford, who wrote the biography, and  Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. A native of Ghana, he has a PhD from Cambridge University, and his interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African intellectual history.
Not in Our Town Princeton will postpone its usual “first Monday” session of  “Continuing Conversations on Race.” Instead, everyone is urged to attend this documentary.  Refreshments will be served. 

Co-sponsored by the library, Unity Productions and Not In Our Town Princeton, this program is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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