Congratulations to Geoffrey Newman (UMKC History MA ‘13) on the recent publication of his article “Forgetting Strength: Coffeyville, The Black Freedom Struggle, and Vanished Memory” in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. Newman is a PhD candidate in American Studies at The University of Kansas.
Newman earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. His research into Coffeyville formed the basis of his master’s thesis while at UMKC. His work on that project was supervised by Drs. John Herron, Diane Mutti Burke, and Miriam Forman-Brunell.
Newman continues his study of race, ethnicity and memory. His doctoral dissertation investigates the changing racialization of Japanese-American citizens from their forced relocation and incarceration in internment camps during World War II to the payment of reparations to surviving internment camp victims in 1988.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City has announced that is expanding its internship program with the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, formerly known as the Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce. The program offers instruction for students in the Black studies program at the university who are interested in entrepreneurship or business ownership.
Undergraduate and graduate students in Black studies will combine classroom learning with community service and on-site internships at small businesses in the area. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average and must have completed six hours of Black studies courses. Continue reading
Blackface refers to the cultural practice of covering the face of a white (or black) performer to create a caricature of a black person. Although usually associated with nineteenth-century minstrel shows, blackface can still be found today both in theatrical performances and sometimes also in Halloween costumes.
The debate about the racist implications of blackface continues today. In national news, the NBC “Today” host Megyn Kelly’s show was cancelled following her on-air remarks expressing acceptance of blackface. In local news, a registered nurse at St. Luke’s was fired after she posted pictures of herself and a friend on facebook in blackface.
UMKC Professor Matthew W. Osborn and UMKC Diversity Director Makini King were interviewed on 30 October 2018 for local television about the history, politics, and ethics of blackface. Their comments aired at 5 PM on KCTV5 and Fox4.
Prof. Diane Mutti-Burke, Chair of the History Department, was quoted in an article in the New York Times on 6. August 2018 entitled “On a Civil Rights Trail” because of her research into the history of slavery in Missouri.