Posted in On The Radar

Upcoming Event for Dr. G!!

Check out this upcoming event that Dr. G will be moderating on this Thursday!!

See the details below:

The Day the Klan Came to Town: A Comic Book Retelling of Community Resistance

November 4, 2021 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

(This will be a hybrid event. You can attend in-person or online.)

Description: Author Bill Campbell and artist Bizhan Khodabandeh discuss their work on the acclaimed new graphic novel, The Day the Klan Came to Town, a fictionalized retelling of a community’s resistance to a violent 1923 march of thousands of Ku Klux Klan members in Carnegie, Pa. Thi Bui, author of The Best We Could Do, describes the book as “A piece of American history in all its ugliness told as an astonishing coming together of misfits to stand up against a common threat. Bill brings an international scope to the history and a concise understanding of politics to the story. Bizhan’s art is dazzling. This is a book for our times.”

The event is free and open to all and will be held in person but will also be live streamed through Zoom. The in-person location will be James Branch Cabell Library, Room 303, 901 Park Ave., Richmond, Va. 23219. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad StreetWest Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks.

Please register to attend in person or online. For questions or accommodations, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office at applewhiteec@vcu.edu or (804) 357-7655.

To register, click here

About the book: The year is 1923. The Ku Klux Klan is at the height of its power in the U.S. as membership swells into the millions and they expand beyond their original southern borders. As they continue their campaigns of terror against African Americans, their targets now also include Catholics and Jews, southern and eastern Europeans, all in the name of “white supremacy.” Incorporating messages of moral decency, family values and temperance, the Klan has slapped on a thin veneer of respectability and become a “civic organization,” attracting new members, law enforcement and politicians to their particular brand of white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant “Americanism.”

Pennsylvania enthusiastically joined that wave. That was when the Grand Dragon of Pennsylvania decided to display the Klan’s newfound power in a show of force. He chose a small town outside of Pittsburgh named after Andrew Carnegie, a small, unassuming borough full of Catholics and Jews, the perfect place to teach immigrants a “lesson.” Some thirty thousand members of the Klan gathered from as far as Kentucky for “Karnegie Day.” After initiating new members, they armed themselves with torches and guns to descend upon the town to show them exactly what Americanism was all about.

The Day the Klan Came to Town is a fictionalized retelling of the riot, focusing on a Sicilian immigrant, Primo Salerno. He is not a leader; he’s a man with a troubled past. He was pulled from the sulfur mines of Sicily as a teen to fight in the First World War. Afterward, he became the focus of a local fascist and was forced to emigrate to the United States. He doesn’t want to fight but feels that he may have no choice. The entire town needs him—and indeed everybody—to make a stand.

You can also purchase the book through the publisher PM Press!

Posted in On The Radar

On The Radar

A Celebration of Black Joy and Black Life…”A Beautiful Resistance”!!

Illustration by Paula Champagne (paulachampagne.com)

As we usher in a new administration and a new year, for Black folks in particular, it is important that we celebrate the wins, begin to heal from past traumas, acknowledge and fight the injustices but also not let them define us. As someone who teaches and engages with what is going on in society and the world (historically and culturally), it is important that we magnify our truths and avoid being pushed to the margins. A Beautiful Resistance does just that in a way that allows Black people and other people of color to tell their stories via a popular social media vehicle…Instagram!

Launched in November 2020, A Beautiful Resistance is a digital episodic series sponsored by The Boston Globe and led by cultural columnist Jeneé Osterheldt. Described as a series that “amplifies the truths of Black folk and other people of color living as their fullest selves in a region, in a country, set up to keep them from doing just that. Their joy is a form of resistance.”

We are more than police brutality and suffering. We can acknowledge injustice without being defined that way. Blackness is not a burden. Here, we tell our stories and our struggles, too, through the lens of love. We amplify the truths of Black folk and other people of color living as their fullest selves in a region, in a country, set up to keep them from doing just that. Their joy is a form of resistance. 

Watching many of these episodes is actually very encouraging and therapeutic! To watch the various stories being told, achievements recognized, and gain exposure to numerous Black creatives is quite timely and much needed.

To take a brief look at some of folks who are highlighted check out the trailer below:

When it is all said and done how do you use joy as resistance?

~Dr. G