Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Highly Recommended by CHOICE

A review of Living with Lynching appears in the March 2012 issue of CHOICE.
3 Stars, Highly Recommended. Here's an excerpt:

"Mitchell contends, in part, that black-authored lynching plays helped African Americans navigate lynching by de-emphasizing or completely eschewing the lynched black body in their narratives. Rather, the plays dramatized the effect lynching had on African American families, soldiers, and lawyers. Mitchell makes the interesting argument that African American playwrights intended their lynching dramas to be performed in community spaces such as black churches, schools, and homes rather than on stage. She shows how performing lynching plays in community spaces allowed African Americans to actualize the various subjectivities...that lynchings sought to expunge. This book is required reading for understanding the ways in which narrative and performance have been central to challenging white oppression as well as (re)imagining black identity in America."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Honored by Student Organization

On Friday, February 3, 2012, Unplugging Society: Woman of Color Think Tank held a Hat and Gloves Tea in honor of 4 women role models, and they counted me among them!

Before the event, I got some proof that I had actually found appropriate attire!

My English Department colleague Andrea Williams made the time to share this moment with me.

Thanking Unplugging Society for the award and for their presence. The work that this organization is doing on campus and beyond is nothing short of amazing. They are working against human trafficking, facilitating serious inter-faith discussions, mentoring students in under-resourced public schools, and more. It is truly humbling to have them see that my work emerges from similar investments, even if in a seemingly less hands-on way.

This is Dr. Patricia "Patty" Cunningham. She took a graduate literature class with me a few years ago on her way to the PhD. It was a really rough quarter for me, so I'm shocked that I managed to leave a positive impression. I am honored that she thought enough of me to nominate me for this award and that she made enough of a case that the organization's leadership decided I was suitable for recognition this year.

As a part of this celebration, the organization showed a 20-minute video featuring the honorees. It is now available here. What extraordinary company!!! I am truly humbled that they could see my contributions as even remotely in the company of the amazing work that these 3 women are doing!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guest on Street Soldiers Radio Broadcast

On February 5, I was a guest on the STREET SOLDIERS radio program, which broadcasts live on Sundays from 7 to 9 PM on Power 107.5 FM. Host Walter Smith gave me the opportunity to highlight my book and my Wednesday, Feb 8th lecture at the Wellington School in Upper Arlington.

The lecture at the Wellington School was at 7:30pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Though the staff photographer typically documents such events, no one was charged with this duty for my lecture, so I don't have a single picture from that night! But, about 50 people attended, so the school head declared it a success. The talk itself went smoothly and the audience was engaged, asking important questions that still have me thinking about links between my findings and our current historical moment.

To my delight, Street Soldiers host Walter D. Smith hurried back into town from one of his speaking engagements in order to support the Wellington event that he so generously helped me promote.

The night that I was on Street Soldiers, the Super Bowl was on, but we still had quite a few callers and I got to respond to them during the live broadcast. It was a great experience!

Walter D. Smith is a force for good in the city and beyond. He was wrongfully incarcerated for 11 years and was the first person to file a formal motion seeking DNA testing. Since being exonerated and freed on December 6, 1996, he has been a motivational speaker and healthy living advocate. For a bit more on him, click here.

This is everyone else who was in the studio that night, including Street Soldiers regulars Elisha and Kwodwo. Kwodwo runs New Harvest Cafe & Urban Arts Space.