August 26, 2016
Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, A Memoir by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of RUN-DMC
In his brutally frank memoir, TEN WAYS NOT TO COMMIT SUICIDE (Amistad/an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers), McDaniels recounts his slide into emotional darkness and the ways he worked to rise out of his depression and embrace the gift of life. McDaniels’s story has particular resonance in our time, with a rising epidemic of suicide among black men. Indeed, suicide is the #3 leading cause of death among African Americans.
September 28, 2016
Korla Pandit Documentary, How a Black Man From Missouri Transformed Himself Into the Indian Liberace- Film screening and Q&A
(Ames Auditorium; 6:30-9:00pm)
Korla Pandit known as the Godfather of exotica music, Mr. Pandit’s career as a musician spanned from the 40s to the 90s and he was best known for his live Los Angeles television music programs , where he played popular tunes and Indian compositions on his Hammond organ. Visually stunning, with his jeweled turban and his hypnotic gaze, Korla entertained his audiences much like the pianist who later eclipsed him, Liberace. While our film celebrates Mr. Pandit as a television pioneer, a groundbreaking musician and a spiritualist, the documentary is also about racial “passing”, and the life one man created to protect that secret.
In 2015, Korla won the audience award at the Harlem International Film Festival and had it’s Northern California debut at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco to a standing room only crowd. That screening also included a panel discussion with former UC Berkeley Sociology Professor Dr. Harry Edwards and Stanford professor Dr. Allison Hobbs, who wrote “A Chosen Exile,” a book about passing. The subject of passing resurfaced last year when it was revealed that
Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter head Rachel Dolezal was actually white, passing as an African American.
Dr Rick Kittles- Lecture
PBS mini-series Finding Your Roots, traces the ancestries of prominent Americans from Branford Marsalis and Condoleezza Rice, to Samuel L. Jackson and John Legend. But where the genealogical paper trail ends for many African-Americans, due to the history of slavery, the DNA search begins. DNA expert Dr. Rick Kittles, a brilliant, forty five-year old geneticist, who serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine; division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kittles also is the co-founder and Scientific Director of African Ancestry, Inc., ancestry tracing company with a DNA database comprised of over 25,000 African DNA lineages. Dr. Kittles will discuss what DNA is, and how it reveals the hidden past, and complexity of our African-American heritage.
November 30, 2016
Zadie Smith– Reading/Lecture
Zadie Smith’s newest novel, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Set in north-west London and west Africa, it will follow the lives of two girls who both want to become dancers, but only one of whom has talent.