Black studies takes African American poetry to charter school

The Black Studies Program continues to educate diverse audiences on the creative contributions of African Americans with its most recent project which took African American poetry to the SIUE East St. Louis Charter School.

Photo by Howard Rambsy.

On November 15, the Black Studies Program took its mixed media poetry exhibit to the charter school with the objective of sharing the works of African American authors with those in neighboring communities – particularly younger audiences –  and hearing their perspectives.

Howard Rambsy, chair of black studies and associate professor of English language and literature, said that the Black Studies program was initially invited by Colin Neumeyer, English teacher at the charter school, to make a presentation to a group of students. As the event was being organized, Neumeyer decided to expand the audience to include a larger group of students.

Photo by Howard Rambsy

“As always, the event gave us an opportunity to interact with a lively group of students and hear their perspectives on African American poetry,” said Rambsy.

The exhibit featured the work of renowned poets Maya Angelou, Eugene B. Redmond, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton and Margaret Walker.

Poetry by SIUE students and regular black studies’ contributors Joy Howze, Dometi Pongo, Vincent Manuel and Cindy Lyles was also featured along with images from the Eugene B. Redmond Collection.

Rambsy hopes that the Black Studies Program can continue its collaborations with the charter school and other communities beyond SIUE.

“We’re hoping to make some return visits to the school and collaborate on more projects,” said Rambsy.

The Black Studies Program also hosted a mixed media exhibit at Woodland Elementary School in Edwardsville this semester.

Colin Neumeyer, English teacher at the charter school, with student. Photo by Howard Rambsy.

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