n a i l l i v e z n o r B e th
nt Suppleme A newsletter from the An electronic newsletter from the Department of African African American American and and African African Studies Studies Community Extension Extension Center Center Community
Addie Mae, Cynthia, Carole and Denise: Gone but not forgotten By: Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D.
Features Pages 1, 3: Addie Mae, Cynthia, Carole and Denise: Gone but not forgotten – Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. Pages 4-6: Can Africa tell its own stories? – Simon Allison Upcoming Events/ Activities Page 7: The Math and Science Program Page 8: Enemies of the State Applications Page 9: Call for Summer Camp Proposals
n September 15, 1963, sometime after 10:00 am, a bomb exploded inside the 16th Street Baptist Church killing four little girls and injuring more than twenty parishioners. The deaths of Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair were the latest in a long line of murders committed by whites determined to evoke fear among Blacks and so-called N_ _ _er loving whites with the expressed purpose of keeping both in their place. The summer of 1963 was filled with extreme highs and lows. On June 11, Governor George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway to prevent two Black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama. Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever was his battle cry. President Kennedy ordered him out of the way and enforced Federal court integration orders. The following day, NAACP leader and decorated veteran Medgar Evers was gunned down in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi. On June 18, James Meredith becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi. Two months later, people of many races, creeds, and stations gathered on the Washington Mall to hear John Lewis render a scathing critique of America and the Kennedy Administration. The afternoon concluded with Dr. King’s mesmerizing and spell-binding oration, which has become known as simply the “I Have a Dream Speech.” The euphoria left over from the heralded March on Washington had all but dissipated when the mutilated bodies of Addie Mae, Cynthia, Carole and Denise were pulled from the church’s ruins. This horrific act may have shaken the city of Birmingham, but the tremors were felt by many around the world. Birmingham Mayor Albert Boutwell is reported to have wept upon hearing the news. The idea that someone would bomb a house of God on the day of service was unthinkable to some. The deed was so heinous that it gave rise to books such as The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and musical tributes such as Birmingham Sunday by Joan Baez, Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone and John Coltrane’s Alabama. More than thirty years later Spike Lee chronicled Continued on page 3
Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center 905 Mount Vernon Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43203-1413
Phone: (614) 292-3922 Fax: (614) 292-3892 http://aaascec.osu.edu firstname.lastname@example.org
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of the CEC 12Core Programs 6 T he Ohio State University’s AAAS Community Extension Center is the outreach component of the Department of African American and African Studies. The CEC is one of the few off-campus facilities of its kind in the nation. Originally housed at two different locations on Ohio Avenue, the CEC moved to its current location in 1986. The CEC plays an integral role in enhancing the life chances of those who live in and around the Mount Vernon Avenue Area. Toward that end, the CEC offers an array of programs at no or nominal cost to the public. Programs include, but are not limited to, the following: conferences, symposia, computer classes, credit and noncredit courses, summer programs, lecture series, and film series. People from all walks of life have participated in these programs. Based on evaluations of our programs and personal testimonies, the CEC is having an impact on residents living in and around the Bronzeville Neighborhood.
1 Black Veterans Day Salute During the salute, Black men and women from Ohio who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces are publicly recognized. Since the salute’s inception in 2006, the CEC has honored the Tuskegee Airmen (2006), Vietnam War veterans (2007), Korean War veterans (2008), African-American servicewomen (2009), World War II veterans (2010), Gulf War Era veterans (2011) and Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans (2012).
2 Ray Miller Institute for Change & Leadership This 10-week long leadership course trains young Black professionals from the Columbus community in various areas of leadership. The Institute was founded in 2006 by former State Senator and Minority Whip Ray Miller. Miller has built a reputation as a strong advocate for those who have historically not had access to power. Admission to the Institute is highly competitive. The Institute is offered during OSU’s autumn and spring semesters with the support of OSU’s Office of Continuing Education. Participants who complete the course receive three CEU credits.
3 Senior Citizens Movie Matinee The movie matinee is a chance for senior citizens to watch a film that otherwise might be cost prohibitive in an accommodating environment. A discussion, usually led by an OSU professor or administrator, is held at the end of the film.
4 Computer Literacy Program Throughout the academic year, the CEC offers free and reduced-cost computer technology courses. The program is geared toward seniors but open to everyone. Courses include the following: Senior Computer Orientation, Internet, Email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher.
5 Lecture Series Presentations given by OSU faculty, students and/or community members about topics pertinent to the Black community.
Math and Science Program
The Math and Science Program was established in partnership with the OSU Medical Center in 2003. The Math and Science Program exposes students in grades 4 through 12 to the wonders of math and science using hands-on activities. The purpose of the program is three-fold: 1) To increase competency in math and science among students of color; 2) To expose students of color to math and science related careers; and 3) To encourage students of color to major in math or science. The program meets on the fourth Monday of each month from October to May.
7 Summer Residential Program The Summer Residential Program (SRP) was established in 1999 and is designed to provide students with both an appreciation for and an understanding of African-American and African culture and history. The SRP also helps students strengthen their computer literacy skills. Past themes include: “The Underground Railroad” (2012), “All Eyez On Me: Deconstructing Images of African-American Women in Hip Hop” (2011), “letz b down: Social Justice Advocacy for Blacks During the American Revolutionary War Era” (2010), “The Low Country: Black Culture, Literacy and History in Charleston, South Carolina” (2009), and “Hip Hop Literacies” (2008). The program is held every June and is for rising 11th and 12th graders. Students live on OSU’s campus.
8 African Affairs Symposium This one-day symposium brings members of the African American and African communities together to discuss issues of particular interest to Africa. The inaugural symposium in 2007 examined the life of South African civil rights activist Steve Biko. “Africa in the Age of Globalization” was the theme of the 2008 symposium. The 2009 symposium examined the life of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, West Africa. In 2010, the focus was on Pan-Africanism and the Diaspora. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was the theme of the 2011 symposium.
9 Summer Enrichment Program This week-long, non-residential day program is designed to help rising 9th and 10th graders improve their reading and writing skills. The program, which was founded in 2009, is hosted annually in June and accepts approximately 15 students.
10 History of Black Columbus Conference This one-day conference celebrates the rich history of African Americans in Columbus and increases awareness of the significant contributions African Americans have made in all areas of city life. This annual conference is held in the spring.
11 Black History Month Forum The forum is in its fourth year and is focused on celebrating African descended peoples from all over the world. This year, documentaries about the following influential Black historical figures were shown: John Henrik Clarke, Kwame Nkrumah, Fannie Lou Hamer, James Baldwin, Minister Elijah Muhummad.
12 Enemies of the State The annual event features activists from America’s most notorious radical organizations, people who pressured America to live up to its highest ideals. In past years, activists from The Us Organization (2012), The Black Panther Party (2011) and the Young Lords Organization (2010) were invited to speak.
About Bronzeville During the 1930s, African-American leaders in Columbus named the predominately African-American neighborhood between the boundaries of Woodland Avenue (East), Cleveland Avenue (West), Broad Street (South) and the railroad tracks (North) “Bronzeville.” The population was approximately 40,000 residents. In 1937, the same African-American leaders elected a mayor of Bronzeville and created an eight member Cabinet to address social, political and economic issues in the neighborhood. Now, as a result of the establishment of several Neighborhood Civic Associations such as the Woodland Civic Association (East) and the Discovery District (West), Bronzeville was reduced to its current boundaries: Taylor Avenue (East), Jefferson Avenue (West), Broad Street (South), and I-670 (North). The Bronzevillian is inspired by this rich history.
CEC Advisory Board Paul Cook Wanda Dillard Francisca Figueroa-Jackson Mark S. Froehlich Ray Miller, former State Senator Lupenga Mphande, Ph.D. William E. Nelson, Jr., Ph.D. (Deceased) *Ike Newsum, Ph.D. and Chair Rick Pfeiffer, City Attorney Thomas Simpson, Ph.D. Reita Smith Charleta Tavares, State Senator Nana Watson
CEC Director *Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D.
CEC Staff Sarah Twitty Senior Program Coordinator & Fiscal Officer Kevin L. Brooks, Ph.D. Program Coordinator Alecia Shipe Technology Program Coordinator
Address Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center 905 Mount Vernon Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43203-1413 *Ex officio members.
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the events in the form of a documentary titled Four Little Girls. The four men (Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Robert Cherry) who committed the atrocity belonged to a splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan called the Cahaba Boys. Several years passed before three of the men were brought to justice, the other died in 1994 without ever being charged. How do we honor those whose lives were taken by people who sought to deprive Blacks of the rights afforded them by the U.S. Constitution. At a time when ethnocentrism appears to be on the rise (following the election and re-election of Barack Hussein Obama) we need to ask ourselves, are we doing enough? Ask yourself, what have I done in my lifetime to actualize the goals that people like Septima Clark, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Wyatt T. Walker, Diane Nash and Euvester Simpson set out to accomplish? If the answer to this question is nothing; then the least you can do is REMEMBER and NEVER FORGET.
Photo courtesy of www.tv.msnbc.com
Photo courtesy of www. news.stlpublicradio.org
Photo courtesy of www.english.illinois.edu
Photo courtesy of www. www.glogster.com
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Can Africa tell its own stories? By: Simon Allison
here is not a lot of money in African journalism. As an African journalist, I know this all too well. An illustrative example: I was in South Sudan in November 2012, on a trip I was financing myself. Weeks in flea-ridden hostels culminated in a four-day stay at a refugee camp near the border with Sudan. I was the only reporter there and pleased with myself for getting a story that no one else had. Not so fast. On my last day there, a small plane descended unannounced on the tiny airstrip and disgorged four foreign correspondents in their khakis and combat boots. They represented two of the biggest and best-known international media outlets. They spent a total of two hours in the camp. One of them had filed his story even before he left. As they hijacked my interviews, I chatted to their fixer who whispered to me that they had spent $8,000 to hire the plane for the morning. To me, this was an unimaginable sum: their morning cost more than four times my entire two weeks in South Sudan. And, of course, they missed the story. In four days I barely scratched the surface of what was going on in the camp, but in their two hours, they could not even get beyond official statements. For aid workers and the camp’s refugee leadership, this was a common complaint: journalists, invariably foreign, screeched in for a few hours and got the story wrong. This echoes a common lament among African journalists, politicians, policy- makers and civil society activists, which goes something like this: one of Africa’s biggest problems is that it is not allowed to tell its own stories. The agenda for African news is decided in far-off Western capitals—London, Paris, New York—and written by dashing foreign correspondents who do not understand the local complexities and base their narrative on sweeping, misleading generalisations. Sometimes the reports are wrong or distorted. Sometimes their depictions and analysis are borderline racist. (Sometimes, foreign reporting on Africa is excellent; but in general it is hit and miss.) The broader point remains that Africa is not setting its own news agenda. The end result is that Africa continues to be defined by stereotypes: it is poor; it is conflict-ridden; it is starving and dangerous. It is the helpless continent, or—if those invariably white editors are in a good mood—it is “Africa rising”, the positive generalisations just as sweeping as all the negative ones which came before. The potential real-world impact of all this is obvious. Policy is determined, money is spent and decisions are made at all levels based on an outsider’s view of Africa. If the image is wrong, then the policy will be too. And if the vision is formed by often clueless interlopers, then chances are that the representation is wrong. This has implications when it comes to protecting freedom of expression in Africa, particularly press freedom. Usually, there is a lot
of emphasis on governments to guarantee freedom of expression. This is as it should be: censorship and media manipulation are widespread, and the powers-that-be are overwhelmingly responsible for imposing these types of restrictions. It is easy to forget, however—and it is all too often forgotten— that there are other ways in which this right is undermined, and it is not always the fault of authoritarian rulers. In this case, the failure of Africa to tell its own stories for its own audience is curbing the continent’s freedom of expression. The solution, then, is simple, and oft-repeated—we need African stories told by Africans, for Africans. The only problem is that these stories are hard to come by. In the overwhelming majority of news- papers across the continent, news about the rest of Africa comes via the usual sources, principally Reuters, the Associated Press, Agence France Presse (AFP) and the BBC. It doesn’t matter if you are reading South Africa’s The Star in Johannesburg, Ghana’s Daily Graphic in Accra or the Gambia’s Daily Observer in Banjul: the African section will be a cut-and-paste job from Western news sources writing for Western audiences. “It’s true,” said Frederick Kebadiretse, a reporter with Botswana’s Mmegi (Reporter) newspaper. “Most of our African articles we get from the internet.” There are a few beacons of continent-wide journalistic excellence, but these are few and far between. East Africa’s Nation Media Group, bankrolled by the deep pockets of the Aga Khan, has an excellent network of foreign correspondents across the continent. It produces much of its own news about Africa for its stable of newspapers, television stations and news sites. South Africa’s e-tv has a bureau in Nairobi, Kenya. For the most part, though, the African press is lacklustre and passive. We need to question the role it plays in perpetuating the image of Africa that is created by Western media. And we need to remember this when discussing freedom of expression in Africa: sometimes, even when newspaper, television and radio outlets are theoretically free, they are either unwilling or unable to express themselves due to a deficit of funds and skills. In this case, it’s mostly about the money. “I think the thing is most newspapers here are under-resourced,” Mr Kebadiretse said. “If you say something happens in a place like Marikana [South Africa], for us to send a team of journalists to cover it directly it would be too expensive. I do think it’s a problem. When foreigners come here they may paint somehow a different picture from the way Africans can see things happening.” Other African journalists contacted by Africa in Fact echoed this problem. Even the relatively prosperous and established Nation Media Group finds it difficult to compete with the likes of Reuters and AFP.
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“While there is a certain acceptability when you have an African news organisation covering Africa, regional media houses are still very much handicapped by a lack of finances,” said Lee Mwiti, senior writer with the Nation Media Group’s Africa division. “More often than not the case is that we cannot compete with foreign organisations when it comes to paying correspondents and funding their work such as travel. That means that we often have to resort to depending on foreign wires to cover the continent for us—the very thing we are trying to get away from.” The lack of funding also leads to a brain drain of top African journalists to richer international competitors. “The best African journalists end up working for the foreign agencies—the wires and big media houses—who then require the journalist to write according to their template, or re-edit to fit their reporting ethos, attracting the usual criticism of biased reporting of the continent,” Mr Mwiti added. High profile examples of this include Anand Naidoo, who works for China’s national broadcaster, CCTV, and CNN’s Robyn Curnow, both of whom started their careers with the South African Broadcasting Corporation. This trend compounds the issues with competence that the African press already faces. It is no secret that many African news organisations suffer from a shortage of skills and training. They certainly cannot afford to have richer international rivals poach their top talent. Compared to funding their own correspondents, however, wire copy is cheap—or even, all too often, free. “A more worrying trend in African media is plagiarism,” said Johannes Myburgh, an AFP editor based in Johannesburg. “Many use the wires for African news, but many [if not most] do not subscribe. They pirate it from the internet.” This is, of course, because African newspapers, wire services, television and radio stations, and even internet sites are chronically under-resourced. “African news outlets are often quite poor though and struggle to stay afloat, let alone afford to maintain correspondents in neighbouring countries, Mr Myburgh said. “It is not simply a lack of interest in the rest of the continent.” Even the big guns in the media world have been cutting down dramatically on their foreign coverage, with Africa often the first victim. This leaves a grim picture for the future of the African narrative, which will continue to be written by a foreign press with everdiminishing resources. But all is not lost. There are solutions. First, African news organisations can be encouraged to share content with each other. Why run what Reuters has written about the Liberian elections when you can run what Liberia’s The Analyst newspaper has written? Content- sharing agreements would be cheap and easy to arrange. They would ensure a stream of wellinformed stories aimed at a local rather than foreign audience. AllAfri-
ca.com is pioneering this approach, publishing articles from over 130 African media outlets with exactly this intention. But this is not a flawless method. The local press can be partisan. Skilled editors need to be able to sort the good journalism from the empty rhetoric, which can appear side by side in the same newspaper. Sometimes stories aimed at domestic audiences do not translate that well when taken across borders, purely because knowledge of context and background is assumed; this too needs careful editing for a wider African audience. AllAfrica.com has successfully adopted this approach. Although its content is relatively small in volume, it is “widely used” by African news organisations, according to John Allen, AllAfrica’s executive editor. AllAfrica’s editors, when they can, try to package domestic reporting in a way that is suitable for a continent-wide audience. Again, however, they are limited by a lack of funding. “Ideally we need a cooperative news service, in which we employ writers to take local publishers’ copy and package it in full-length stories which provide the context an outside reader needs. But right now we just don’t have the resources to do this on any meaningful scale,” Mr Allen said. An even more direct approach to fixing this problem is to plug the funding gap. There is plenty of money floating around aimed at supporting African media, but a lot of it is being spent unwisely. Another illustrative example: a few years ago one prominent NGO, which shall remain nameless, spent tens of thousands of dollars to fly ten Sudanese journalists to Nairobi for a workshop on electoral reporting. After the workshop, delivered by a former journalist who had more theoretical than actual experience reporting from conflict zones, one of the Sudanese editors offered his verdict on the training: “The cake was good.” What he needed more than costly workshops was money to pay his reporters, buy flak jackets and keep the cars filled with petrol. That would have improved his electoral reporting considerably. A similar logic applies to helping African news organisations cover Africa for themselves. Donors looking to support the African press could sponsor a continental correspondent or two, or even fund an Africa desk with the requisite copy-tasting and editing skills necessary to make domestic content from other African countries relevant locally. This is not, perhaps, a sustainable solution; but in a global media market that is haemorrhaging money, sustainable options are difficult to come by. It is a serious, continent-defining problem that Africa is unable to tell its own stories, especially to other Africans. It is a curtailment of our freedom of expression, just like censorship, although this time governments are not entirely to blame. The culprits here are rather more prosaic: declining circulation figures, minimal advertising spend, and the generally poor financial health of so many African
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news organisations. Yes, there are solutions, but they are imperfect at best, meaning ultimately that for the foreseeable future, foreigners will continue to craft the African narrative. * Simon Allison is the Africa correspondent for the Daily Maverick, based in Johannesburg. This article was first published by Africa in Fact. http://gga.org/publications/publications.
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The Math and Science Program
The Math and Science Club is a partnership between The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, The African American and African Studies Community Extension Center and The Ohio State University Medical Center. The club aims to improve studentsâ€™ academic skills and increase their knowledge of math and science. Through monthly meetings, the club will seek to challenge students (grades 4-6, and 7-12) to critical thinking, problem solving and comprehension, and understanding mathematical principles and physical sciences while having fun! The Math and Science Club Meetings are: October 28, November 25, December 9, 2013, January 27, February 24, March 24, April 28, & May 19, 2014 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at The African American and African Studies Community Extension Center. If you have any questions please call Beth Bowman at 614-293-8357 or The African American and African Studies Community Extension Center at 614-292-3922.
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Enemies of the State On Thursday, September 26, 2013, the AAAS Community Extension Center will host its fourth installment of “Enemies of the State: An Evening with America’s Most Notorious Radicals.” Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) members Dr. John H. Bracey Jr. and Dr. Muhammad Ahmad will be the guest speakers.
Dr. Muhammad Ahmad
Dr. John H. Bracey Jr.
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Call for Summer Camp Proposals The Ohio State University Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center
A Call for Summer Camp Proposals
Deadline: November 1, 2013
The Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center is requesting proposals from faculty and advanced graduate students for its 2014 Summer Enrichment Program day program for rising 9th and 10th graders and for its 2014 Summer Residential Program for rising 11th and 12th graders. The day program is one week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the residential program is two weeks – both programs are during the month of June. The purpose of these programs is to help students develop the critical thinking skills necessary for success in high school, college, and beyond. The program is designed to provide students with both an appreciation for and understanding of African American culture and history and an opportunity to develop familiarity and proficiency in the use of computer technology. We are seeking proposals that focus on the various aspects of the civil rights movement such as economic development, voting rights, labor laws/policies, and community activism. Proposals should be one page, single spaced and include a title, theme, goals and objectives, course outline, and a description of a final project to be presented on the last day of class. Proposals and curriculum vita should be sent to Dr. Kevin Brooks, Program Coordinator at email@example.com or mail to 905 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203 by November 1, 2013. Decisions will be made by November 15, 2013.