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Last modified: Tuesday, October 19, 2010

IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's "Critical Issues" series looks at Obama presidency

Oct. 19, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The next event in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's "Critical Issues Forum" series at Indiana University Bloomington will have the theme, "The Obama Presidency at Midterm: The Perils and Prospects of a 'Post-Racial' Presidency."

Khalil Muhammad

Khalil Muhammad will be one of the panelists.

In advance of the Nov. 2, midterm elections, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center is presenting the forum next Wednesday (Oct. 27) in collaboration with the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. It will begin at 7 p.m. in room 152 of the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

The forum will bring together a diverse group of IU faculty and students from a range of academic areas and perspectives to discuss the first two years of President Barack Obama's presidency.

Participants will include:

  • Sylvester A. Johnson, assistant professor of religious studies;
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad, assistant professor of history and an adjunct assistant professor in the departments of African American and African Diaspora Studies and American studies;
  • Purnima Bose, associate professor of English, director of cultural studies, an adjunct professor of American studies, comparative literature, cultural studies and history and an affiliated associate professor of gender studies;
  • Frederick L. McElroy, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in African American and African diaspora studies;
  • Emily Metzgar, assistant professor of journalism

Also participating will be students Lynette Anigbo, Michael Coleman, Sekou Kante and Kalemwork Tiriku-Shotts. The forum will be an interactive dialogue among the participants and the audience.

A key question during the discussion will be whether the media and public discourse have attempted to define the Obama presidency in racial terms.

"We are witnessing the height of a trend that more typically identifies racism as only something that blacks like Obama do to whites," Johnson said.

The forum will provide an opportunity to examine such issues as well as assess the Obama administration's accomplishments and prospects in this highly charged political environment.

Audrey T. McCluskey, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and professor African American and African diaspora studies, will moderate the forum.

A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.