News and Announcements

Tara Bynum Releases New Book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America

Friday, February 3, 2023
Tara Bynum, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English, has released a new book through the University of Illinois Press titled, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America. "In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter."

Victor Ray in The Nation: "Florida Man Calls the Thought Police"

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Victor Ray wrote an article published in The Nation about Florida Governor Rick DeSantis's recent demand for information from college educators on “programs and initiatives” focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion or “critical race theory” at Florida’s 12 public universities.

Louise Seamster Files Amicus Brief in Biden v Nebraska Case on Student Debt Relief

Friday, December 23, 2022
An historic coalition of attorneys, advocates, labor unions, and experts filed a series of amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Biden Administration’s student debt relief program, including Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Dr. Louise Seamster.