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Spotlight: Why the Black American Male Still Matters

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Spotlight: Why the Black American Male Still Matters

Date Published:
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The relevance of the American black male in the 21st century offers the impetus for a yearlong series of candid community conversations, beginning with a focus on families on Thursday, May 22 at 6:00 PM at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.

The Gantt Center and the UNC Charlotte Center for the Study of the New South are presenting the free series, titled "Real Talk: A Community Conversation – The Black American Male and Why He Still Matters in the 21st Century." The Question Bridge: Black Males transmedia art project, hosted by the Gantt Center, serves as a foundation for the sessions.

"Together, we will explore the unique challenges faced by the black American male – a man who, in many cases, still searches for his authentic self in a society within which he continues to be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented," said Jeffrey Leak, director of the Center for the Study of the New South. "We welcome all members of the community to join us for what is sure to be opportunities for thoughtful, respectful dialogue."

Radio and television host Bea Thompson of Power 98 WPEG-FM and V101.9 WBAV-FM will moderate the first panel discussion on "Family Matters: What Does the Future Hold for the Black Male and his Family?" Panelists will include:

  • The Rev. James R. Covington, Jr., Minister of Spiritual Guidance and Wellness, Friendship Baptist Church;
  • Michael DeVaul, Senior Vice President, Organizational Advancement, YMCA of Greater Charlotte;
  • Reggie Singleton, Director, The Males Place;
  • Nicholas Wharton, Chief Operating Officer, Urban League of Central Carolinas.

Each event will feature a collection of content experts from academia, the community and the non-profit world. The dates and topics for the subsequent events, all of which are from 6:00 - 8:00 PM are:

  • Thursday August 21, 2014, Where is the Black Male? The Invisible Man on High School and College Campuses;
  • Thursday, October 30, 2014, Color, Culture and Cash: Realities and Fallacies of Employment and Economic Equity;
  • Monday, January 19, 2015, Heart and Soul: What the Health of the Black American Male Means to the Entire Community;
  • Thursday April 23, 2015, Gone ‘Til November: Why the Judicial System Fails the Black American Male;
  • Thursday May 21, 2015, I Am a Man! Black, Male and Gay.

Please note that the first event, scheduled for May 22, has reached capacity and no more reservations are being accepted.