Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Monthly Book Recommendations

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-November 2022

One more month and we will be closing out 2022….but hold tight!! Got another list for you to stock your bookshelves. Check out this month’s recommendation below:

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  • The World We Make ~N.K. Jemisin
  • Extraordinary Women with Cameras ~Darcy Reed
  • Concentrate: Poems ~Courtney Faye Taylor
  • Someday Maybe ~Onyi Nwabineli
  • The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times ~Michelle Obama
  • Making Happy ~Sheetal Sheth

And remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s list and past recommendations in the “Resource” section of the website!!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, On The Radar

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics!!

It’s a new month and the HOT TOPICS are here!! As always a few goodies for you to put on your calendar, add to your grocery list, cue up in your AirPods, dig into and find some more info about, or to make your coffee table stand out!! Check out this week’s hot topics below:

For all my nature lovers or ones that aspire to be, I got a new book that might just pique your interest. Described as a 192-page visual book, author and “Outdoor Afro” founder Rue Mapp compiled various experiences to highlight “Black joy in nature” via Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors. Nature Swagger includes portraits and personal essays by Black travelers, highlighting their experiences in the outdoors—from breakthroughs had while scaling the highest mountain in Africa, to learning (and teaching) about sustainability through beekeeping, and beyond. Here is a book that is rewriting the script that Black folks not only celebrate nature, but are active participants in discovering it. For Mapp, she was very intentional “about breaking barriers, literacy, and accessibility.” Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors hit book stands on November 1st.


Leave me a voicemail… New Exhibition to honor Black and Brown lives that were taken at the hands of police brutality. Created by Iranian-American artist, filmmaker and Even/Odd founder, Mohammad Gorjestani, in collaboration with curator Klaudia Ofwona Draber and art director Neil Hamamoto, “1-800 Happy Birthday” sets out “to transcend the subject matter to new channels both physical and digital and have it live in aesthetic and community in places born from the culture it represents”. Originally as an online voicemail project, callers could leave a message for people who were unjustly killed by law enforcement on their birthdays. Wow!! The power of a message. The exhibition will be on view at WORTHLESSSTUDIOS (7 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11237) till January 16th, 2023.


Need a morning pick me up or something for your late night study grind?? Well hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Jadakiss is teaming up with his father and son to bring you the Black-owned coffee brand, Kiss Café . Described as “created with honesty and accessibility” Kiss Café seeks to highlight a legacy of three generations that bring you premium coffee. Now this is right up my alley!! Cannot wait to make my purchase!!


A.S. degree program in Cannabis Studies….Soon students at Olive Harvey College (a predominately Black community college) will be able to get an Associate Degree in “Applied Cannabis Studies a first of its kind in the state of Illinois. The degree was designed for students to gain an advantage in the cannabis industry and offer pathways to acquire the proper licensing. As noted by the president of Olive-Harvey College, Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, “Olive-Harvey College has always been a leader in the study of cannabis agriculture and operations because of the exponential job growth in the industry and due to its numerous upward mobility opportunities in the mainstream economy.” For more information about the program, see here.

Photo credit: Olive-Harvey College Hemp House

For all my Theater folks…Check out the 20th-anniversay of Suzan-Lori Parks Broadway revival of Topdog/Underdog starring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Directed by Kenny Leon, Topdog/Underdog is a “play that chronicles the adult lives of two African-American brothers as they cope with poverty, racism, work, women, and their troubled upbringings. Lincoln lives with Booth, his younger brother, after being thrown out by his wife.”

As noted by Parks about the play, “I think the meaning of the play isn’t just confined to a man’s experience… I think it’s about what it means to be family and, in the biggest sense, the family of man, what it means to be connected with somebody else.”  

You can see Topdog/Underdog at the John Golden Theatre (252 W 45th St. New York, NY 10036) till January 15th, 2023. Purchase tickets here.


As we prepare for the much anticipated sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is giving fans a little taste of the comic book mythos. Set to debut on November 3rd, the “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” hosted by Coates, will bring fans into the making of the larger-than-life sequel.

The podcast will be a 6-episode series that features interviews with director Ryan Coogler, producer Kevin Feige, cast member Angela Bassett, and much more. The first three episodes will premiere on November 3rd (in advance of the film) with the remaining episodes dropping weekly in January 2023 connecting to the 5-year anniversary of the first film, Black Panther.

“Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” is a production of Proximity Media in partnership with Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Studios. The series is produced by Paola Mardo. Executive Producers are Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, and Paola Mardo. 

For a quick preview, check it out here:

You can tune into the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pocket Casts, and Pandora!

See you on the next round!! ~Dr. G

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Featured Upcoming Panel Conversation with Dr. G!!

On November 06, 1992, a group of students stood in protest against an act of racism at Georgia State University. This protest, and the demands that they issued to the university, led to the creation of the department of African-American Studies (now Africana Studies). To honor their courage, as well as those that supported them, we will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the protests during the 2022-2023 academic year.

On November 3rd, I have the pleasure of giving back to one of my alma maters, Georgia State University-Department of Africana Studies. As part of the 30th Anniversary Celebration events, I will be participating in a Freedom School Panel with Alumni professors.

The panel will take place November 3rd at 7pm via Zoom.

To register for the panel and for more information about the entire week of events, check out the following link!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Monthly Book Recommendations

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations- October 2022

Fall is here!! Another one of my favorite times of the year!! Nothing like the crisp breeze blowing, the crunchy leaves, the sweaters and knee-high boots, and the early nights! And as always why not have a good book to curl up and read. Well I got you covered!! Check out this month’s book recommendations below:

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  • find her. keep her ~Renaada Williams
  • Bittering the Wound ~Jacqui Germain
  • Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem ~April Ryan
  • Love in the Age of Dragons ~Fatima R. Henson
  • Running to Fall ~Kalisha Buckhanon
  • Mr. Loverman ~Bernardine Evaristo

And remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s list and past recommendations in the “Resource” section of the website!!

“I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure, but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.” ~Nikki Giovanni

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight

Featured Upcoming Community Talk with Dr. G!

Anytime I can get a chance to give a talk in the community especially to the youth, I welcome the opportunity. This coming Saturday I have the great pleasure of serving as the “Kick off” speaker for the “Saturday Sojourners Program” put on by The Light Community Church (Richmond, VA).

The kick-off program will be a “Table Talk” discussion on “Behind the Veil: Who Do You See?”!

See the flyer below for more details:

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

Dr. G Featured in a New Edited Book Collection

HOT OFF THE PRESS!!

Family and Friends….I got some exciting news for you!! I have a chapter featured in the latest collection Teaching with Comics: Empirical, Analytical and Professional Experiences (2022) (Palgrave Macmillan) !!

Here is a brief description of the book:

This edited collection analyses the use of comics in primary and secondary education. The editors and contributors draw together global research to examine how comics can be used for critical inquiry within schools, and how they can be used within specific disciplines. As comics are beginning to be recognised more widely as an important resource for teaching, with a huge breadth of topics and styles, this interdisciplinary book unites a variety of research to analyse how learning is ‘done’ with and through comics. The book will be of interest to educational practitioners and school teachers, as well as students and scholars of comic studies, education and social sciences more broadly.

Now the title of my chapter is, #BlackFemaleIdentityConstructions: Inserting Intersectionality and Blackness in Comics !!

You can find the full text here!!

The physical copies will be available for purchase late September early October, but you can access it now!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Monthly Book Recommendations, On The Radar

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-July 2022

Hopefully you are staying cool in this heat, because Summer is ALL the way here!! So why not continue the party with some HOT reads!!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

This month we continue bringing in those literary gems!! Now don’t forget to stop by your local bookstore (virtually or in-person) and pick up your copies!! Enjoy!!

  • Woman of Light: A Novel ~Kali Fajardo Anstine
  • African Town ~Irene Latham & Charles Waters
  • Mademoiselle Revolution ~Zoe Sivak
  • Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology ~Edited by Vince A. Liaguno & Rena Mason
  • I Rise ~Marie Arnold
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau ~Silvia Morena-Garcia

And remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s list and past recommendations in the “Resource” section of the website!!

“We read books to find out who we are.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Dr. G featured in “VCU News” discussing inclusive teaching and learning practices

Nothing like opening your email after coming back from an international trip and seeing yourself featured in your universities newsletter.

Upon my return from Belgium, what do I see in my inbox a feature where I contributed my thoughts as part of the Leaders for Inclusive Learning (LIL) program that I participated in during 2021-2022.

Here are a few excerpts where I discuss the importance of one-on-one student engagement and alternative methods of evaluating student learning:

“Not all students are open to engaging in the classroom. It can be intimidating . One-on-one conversations allow professors to get to know their students in a way that can be more comfortable than a large classroom…”

“There are other ways to evaluate student learning, and the LIL program got me to broaden my thinking. I have a lot more fun formulating the syllabus now…”

I also speak to a specific change that I made when updating my syllabi, regarding office hours/check-in sessions.

“I used this time to check in and learn about a student without them feeling worried or having the conversation just focused on grades…we often talked about something outside of the class, and many of the students were free and open.”

I really enjoyed my experience with LIL! I was not only able to gain new knowledge and resources, but I was also able to gain a new network of colleagues on the VCU campus that may not have happened otherwise. The fact that this program began during the pandemic, really speaks to the access afforded to faculty as well as the specific attention given towards transforming the classroom.

To read more of about the LIL program, my thoughts along with my fellow LIL cohort members see here!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

Fourth of July Reflections from Dr. G!!

In collaboration with Georgia State University’s Department of African-American Studies, the Auburn Avenue Research Library (AARL) hosted Dr. Grace D. Gipson, who presented on the topic This Fourth of July is Yours, not Mine? Understanding Frederick Douglass’ “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”.

In the shadow of America’s most revered holiday, Independence Day (2022), Dr. Gipson discusses the historical significance and contemporary relevance of Douglass’ July 5, 1852 speech, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Gipson use Douglass’ biting oratory as a lens to examine the ongoing structural underpinnings of systemic anti-black violence that continues to thwart freedom for Blacks in the United States.

See the presentation below:

I always appreciate the opportunity to annually collaborate with Auburn Avenue Research Library and discuss this poignant speech! It is a speech that we have to constantly refer to, so the conversations around freedom and justice do not go silent!!

My Freedom Matters!! ~Dr. G

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., On the Desk..., On The Radar

Check out Dr. G as a Featured Contributor for VCU News!

On this past Wednesday, I had the opportunity to be a featured contributor for a Juneteenth Reading List on VCU News!! I am always excited when I get to share a some resources and good reads/finds!!

The recommended reading list consists of various faculty on the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) campus. The list is meant to inform and celebrate the Juneteenth holiday. As noted by Elinor Frisa,

VCU News asked faculty, as well as staff from VCU Libraries, to suggest books that help readers understand and celebrate Juneteenth and all that it represents.

For my featured selection, I chose ‘We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy’ by Natalie Baszile.

Readers also get the opportunity to see the ways in which Black farmers use the land to discuss race relations, create identities, showcase the harvest as a healing tool and explain how it passed down through generations. I recommend this book as it is filled with rich history (past and present), it speaks to the importance of land ownership for Black Americans and it does not rely on one type of farming story. “We Are Each Other’s Harvest” is an inspiring book that informs, encourages and serves as a guide to the future legacy of Black American farmers.  

To see the full feature and article, click here!!