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Annual Public Lecture in American History

"Whose Neighborhood is It? An African American Festival and the Fight Against Gentrification?"


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Gerald Early will deliver the third Annual Lecture in U.S. History in the Synge Theater in the Arts Block at Trinity College on 19 February at 7:00. Early is the Merle Kling Professor of English and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. An internationally-known essayist and expert on African American culture, Early is the author of several books, including "A Level Playing Field: African American Athletes and the Republic of Sports" and "One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture." He has appeared in the television documentaries of Ken Burns on jazz and baseball.

The title of Professor Early's lecture is "Whose Neighborhood is It? An African American Festival and the Fight Against Gentrification?" Early will be drawing from his current book project, co-authored with his daughter, a professional journalist. It examines the history of the Odunde festival in his home town of Philadelphia. Established in 1975 as part of the Afrocentric black consciousness movement of that era, this popular ongoing street festival had recently been the subject of controversy as the once African American neighbourhood in which it takes place has been gentrified by affluent white residents. Early's talk will shed light on the history of African American culture since the 1960s, on the recent reshaping of public space in American cities, and on the political and cultural conflicts over race that remain a prominent feature of American life in the Obama era.

For further details, please contact Jennifer Scholtz in the Department of History at or at 018961020.

Last updated 30 January 2014 History (Email).