Thursday, October 26, 6:30 PM at The Mercury Events Center in Norman, 426 E. Main St.
A panel discussion on the topic The Pace of Change: History and Race Relations in a College Town
In Oklahoma and elsewhere, the progressive atmosphere of college life often exists against a frustrating historical backdrop of local politics when it comes to race relations. Indeed, many universities’ guiding principles of education and tolerance can conflict starkly with more outdated attitudes about race both on campus and off. How do we understand this kind of tension? How do we best respond? Our conversation will focus on the local experience of life in Norman and at the University of Oklahoma as we confront these issues. We will also explore the related topic of how history helps us to understand the reality of our current cultural moment as well as, perhaps, to change it.
To guide discussion, we will draw upon excerpts from Ralph Ellison’s writing including his essay “What America Would Be Like Without Blacks” to examine the ways in which his statement there is still true—in our time as it was in his—that “today it is the black American who puts pressure upon the nation to live up to its ideals.”
Panel participants will include Dr. Shannon Bert, Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma; City of Norman Council member Breea Clark, who also serves as the Associate Director of Academic Honesty Programs at OU; and Dr. Dorscine Spigner-Littles, Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma.
Our In the Light Bulb Room series of conversational forums is sponsored by Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities with this session co-sponsored by The Mercury Events Center and Scratch Kitchen and Cocktails.
For more on this series, please click here.