Earlier this week, Kalonji and I attended an informative lecture at Vanderbilt’s Black Cultural Center. We’d only learned about it after my sister sent me the link, but we were so glad we were able to catch it! The lecture was given by Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Schomburg Center is the premier place of research of African-American life and Kalonji and I are quite hopeful that we get to visit one day.
Dr. Muhammad’s talk was titled “Partners in Crime: Statistics and The Logic of Post-racialism” and was educational and interesting. His discussion started with the 1890 census, so you know my genealogical ears perked right on up! There were so many aspects to his talk that I couldn’t begin to do him justice here, but he has a book published “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America” so we plan to pick that up so we can read more.
Generally speaking, Dr. Muhammad talked from a sociological-historical perspective on how statistics have been used to argue viewpoints on crime statistics of blacks and how it is important to look beyond the numbers in search of the background context. After the lecture, we had a chance to speak to Dr. Muhammad and even Jihad got a picture!
Now, despite having been at Vanderbilt for close to 12 years now, I’ve never been over to the Black Cultural Center. Guess there’s a first for everything. It is a nice building and I enjoyed the current art displays – art was by Tamara Madden.
We had an overall great night! Thanks Dr. Muhammad for the talk. Oh, did I mention that he is also a great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad? Kalonji got the biggest kick out of that!