‘Get Out’ Inspires New College Course Taught by Tananarive Due, Sci-Fi Author and UCLA Professor

(photo via elev8.hellobeautiful.com)

by Tami August via elev8.hellobeautiful.com

This fall, award-winning science fiction writer and UCLA professor Tananarive Due will teach a “Get Out”–inspired course called “Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic,” i09 reports. Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut, which couches America’s history of racist scientific experimentation in a romantic horror plot, continues to make waves months after it became a blockbuster hit. “Get Out” inspired Due to consider the history of Black horror in fiction and film.

In an interview with i09’s Evan Narcisse, Due calls herself a “horror head” who considers horror a subgenre of speculative fiction, where she reigns supreme. Winner of The American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature, and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, Due has published over ten novels since 1995. She told i09 that “Get Out” has given film executives a way to understand her own horror adaptations for the screen.

Prior to “Get Out,” Due noted, the most popular contemporary Black horror film was “Beloved,” the movie adaptation of Toni Morrison‘s novel that didn’t perform as well in the box office as it did in the bookstore. “Get Out” may have helped Due move forward in her screenwriting projects, but it also prompted her to look back at the genre’s Black history. Due said that for African Americans, the horror genre is “a great way to address this awful, festering wound in the American psyche, the slavery and genocide that was present during our nation’s birth.”

The professor mentioned film examples such as “Blacula,” “Def by Temptation,” and “Tales From the Hood.” She also plans to teach the short fiction of W.E.B. DuBois, whose story “The Comet” imagines a Black man and White woman as the sole survivors of apocalypse in the “era of lynching.” Due said, “These are two very different artists in two very different times, but DuBois’ story is a great companion, in a way, to what Jordan Peele was doing with the Black man and White woman in his movie.”

Source: ‘Get Out’ Inspires New College Course | Elev8

Los Angeles Neurosurgeon Dr. Lindsey Ross Accepted into Prestigious White House Fellows Program

Lindsay Moss (photo courtesy Cedars-Sinai)

Dr. Lindsey Ross (photo courtesy Cedars-Sinai)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center resident neurosurgeon Lindsey Ross, MD, a member of Cedars’ Neurological Surgery Residency Program, has won a coveted position as a 2016-2017 White House Fellow.

Ross will spend the next year in Washington DC working in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and participating in roundtable discussions with top government leaders, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

“I feel so grateful for this opportunity. I know I will learn a great deal about healthcare, leadership and policymaking next year, which I hope to bring back to Cedars-Sinai and the greater Los Angeles community that we serve,” Ross said.

The White House Fellows Program was founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to offer extraordinary leaders firsthand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Graduates include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and CNN medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta.

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UCLA and UC Berkeley Boost Admissions of Californians, Including Blacks and Latinos

(Photo via dailybruin.com)

(Photo via dailybruin.com)

UCLA and UC Berkeley each admitted an additional 1,000 California freshman for fall 2016, increasing students from all ethnicities for an overall boost of more than 11%.

Both also made striking gains in increasing the number of underrepresented minorities, progress that is likely to ease pressure from state legislators to boost diversity at UC’s most elite campuses.

UCLA, for instance, led the 10-campus system in admissions offers to African Americans as a percentage of all students. The Westwood campus offered seats to 624 African Americans, or 6% of all students, representing a 24% increase over last year. Continue reading

Columbia University Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw Honored by the American Bar Foundation

Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw (photo via twitter.com)

Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw (photo via twitter.com)

article via jbhe.com

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, a professor of law at Columbia University and a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, will receive the Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Professor Crenshaw is the author of many books including Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women (African American Policy Forum, 2015).

Professor Crenshaw is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She earned a master’s degree in law at the University of Wisconsin.

Channing Dungey Makes TV History, Becomes 1st African-American Network President

Channing Dungey

New ABC President Channing Dungey (photo via eurweb.com)

article via eurweb.com

Television history and black history has crossed paths today.

Channing Dungey, executive VP of drama at ABC, was today named entertainment president of ABC, replacing Paul Lee, who was removed after a reported power struggle with Disney/ABC Television President Ben Sherwood, according to reports.

Dungey is now the first African-American woman to lead a major broadcast network. The ABC veteran, known by industry insiders as the Shonda Rhimes’ whisperer, will now report directly to Sherwood.

“Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers,” said Sherwood. “We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.”

Dungey, a UCLA grad who’s been with the network since 2009 (and Disney since 2004), is credited with developing many of ABC’s successful dramas, including “Scandal,” “Quantico,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “American Crime,” according to Variety.

Said Dungey, “I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity. And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I’ve had the great honor of working alongside the talented team at ABC for many years and look forward to starting this exciting new chapter with them.”

Dungey began her career as a development assistant at 20th Century Fox-based Davis Entertainment, and did stints at other companies including Steamroller Productions and Warner Bros.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2016/02/apollonia-calls-vanitys-death-the-end-of-an-era-for-me/#Ff0TQ4cW3ec6B2x4.99

New Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver is 1st African American to Lead a Claremont Undergrad Campus

Melvin L. Oliver was named president of Pitzer College. He will take office July 1. (photo via pitzer.edu)

Melvin L. Oliver was named president of Pitzer College. (photo via pitweb.pitzer.edu)

But Melvin L. Oliver rose to become an award-winning University of California professor, researcher, author and administrator noted for championing campus racial diversity. Now he will become the sixth president of Pitzer College — and the first African American to lead one of the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges, officials announced Wednesday.

Oliver, 65, will assume office July 1 at a time of national campus unrest over racial, ethnic and gender equity, including protests that forced out the dean of students at nearby Claremont McKenna College last year. Pitzer student activists have also asked for steps to increase campus diversity.

Oliver, who has tackled racial and economic inequality with both research and practical initiatives during three decades at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, along with a stint at the Ford Foundation, said he would seek to address those concerns as one of his top priorities.

“I want to deepen the commitment of Pitzer to recruiting, supporting and graduating those students [of color] because I think it’s an exceptional education and I want it to be available to as many of them as possible,” he said in an interview.

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Deanna Jordan, Single Mother Of 3 ,Graduates from UCLA with Three Degrees

UCLA Graduate Deanna Jordan (photo via cbslocal.com)

A 28-year-old single mother of three boys graduated from UCLA with three degrees.  A packed house at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion cheered for Deanna Jordan Friday night.

“I needed for my sons to see there was a legacy that preceded them with college. I am the first in my family to go to college,” Jordan said.

Jordan grew up in Compton. After high school, she got pregnant at 18. She had her third son at 22.  “I had him and in the hospital I remember thinking, ‘I’m 22, there’s no future unless I can create one,’” Jordan said.

After two years at West Los Angeles Community College and three-and-a-half years at UCLA, the department scholar is graduating with two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in African-American Studies.  “She had limited time, plus she took the initiative,” said Dale Tatum, a UCLA lecturer.

Jordan also founded the Compton Pipeline Taskforce—she and UCLA volunteers work on academics at Compton schools, including Carver Elementary, where she attended.

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“I saw the difference in how my boys were in school in Brentwood and then how schools were in Compton where I came from,” she said.

Jordan credits family support and UCLA for making her dreams a reality.  “You can’t really succeed unless you fail, and I failed a lot of times, but it was my persistence and my willingness never to give up,” she said.

Jordan, who also works in the Compton mayor’s office, plans to take a year off before she heads to law school. She plans on becoming a district attorney.

article via risingafrica.org