African American and African Studies Week at Rutgers-Newark

Image of Globe featuring Africa imposed on panorama of RU-N campus

AfAm Week
10-15, 2020


African American and African Studies Week at Rutgers University-Newark is February 10-15, 2020!

This week-long event will showcase the value of a major or minor in African American and African Studies and present opportunities to learn more about our world-class faculty, course offerings, and career pathways.

Don’t miss a moment of this week devoted to community by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@RUNAfAm) and by sharing photos of events/exhibits and what you have learned using the tag #RUNAfAmWeek.  Our most engaged students will be among those receiving special prizes as part of the week’s celebration.


Monday, February 10
AfAm Week Kick-Off

Come visit the third floor of Conklin Hall! Our Department will have tables with beverages and brochures about our major and minor available throughout the week.  

Start the week by following us on social media and stopping by for a gift bag containing snacks and other surprises. 

Tuesday, February 11 | 1:00-2:20pm | 346 Conklin Hall
AfAm Week Quiz Bowl (open to all Rutgers University-Newark students)

Who was the first African American to win an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Oscar? What Caribbean nation became the first to gain its independence from European colonization in 1804? The landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education arose out of what state?

Join us for the AfAm Week Quiz Bowl, a fast-paced game of trivia spanning African and African American literature, history, and popular culture.  Students are invited to show off their knowledge while competing for prizes. All participants will receive a prize. Those with the highest score will receive a Kite and Key gift card.  

Follow us on social media (including Instagram stories) for a sneak peek at some of the questions we will be asking.  

Lunch will be served.

Wednesday, February 12 | 2:30-3:50pm | 346 Conklin Hall
Complexions: Why Study African American and African Studies?  (open to all Rutgers University-Newark students)

Join students, faculty, and alumni for a discussion on the continued importance of black studies. This event will explore the complexity of black identity and the broad cross range of cultures, customs, languages that reflect who we are. 

Lunch will be served.

Thursday, February 13 
Gallery Walk 

Take some time to engage with the exhibits mounted on the third floor of Conklin Hall and a very special art exhibition in the Paul Robeson Campus Center. 

Featured installations on Conklin Hall’s 3rd Floor:

  • Conklin Hall Takevoer
    On February 24th 1969, members of the Rutgers-Newark Black Organization of Students (BOS) took over Conklin Hall, one of the main classroom buildings, to protest the lack of minority students and faculty on campus. View images from that time and stay tuned for an expanded installation in 2020.

  • From Rebellion to Review Board
    Tells the story of African American, Puerto Rican, and LGBTQ activists’ struggles against police misconduct and political disenfranchisement to claim power in Newark.

  • At Home in Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project 
    Tells the stories of how LGBTQ Newarkers have claimed space for themselves in bars, balls, houses of worship, street corners, community centers, and artistic venues in the face of poverty, violence, illness, racism and discrimination. Through their activism, creative expression, and determination, they have made Newark their home.

Visit our office to ask any questions that you may have about the exhibits or about our academic program, courses, and faculty.

The Glamorous Life: German Pitre
Paul Robeson Campus Center Gallery (open 12:30-4:30pm)

The Glamorous Life is a solo exhibition of recent works by German Pitre, the 2019 Paul Robeson Galleries at Express Newark Artist in Residence. The exhibit was recently featured on the PBS show State of the Arts

Thursday, February 13 | 6:00-8:00pm (doors open at 5:30pm)
6th Annual #BlackLivesMatter - Newark Panel Discussion on Sports & Activism

James Brown African American Room | Newark Public Library | 5 Washington Street | Newark, NJ 07101

Featuring local Coaches and community activists Shawn McCray and Vanessa Watson; Douglas Freeman, Founder, Weequahic Park Sports Authority; Tommy Garrett, Tennis Instructor; CC Minton, President, Board at Stevenson & Moses Boxing for Life Foundation (Moderator).

Friday, February 14 
Community Gallery Walk

We love our community partners! Discover the magic for yourself and visit the incredible exhibitions at the Newark Museum of Art (open from 10:00am-6:00pm) and the Newark Public Library (open from 9:00am-5:30pm). 

  • Radical Women: Fighting for Power and the Vote in New Jersey!
    Newark Public Library 3rd Floor Gallery | 5 Washington Street | Newark, NJ 07101
    Radical Women commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which legally granted American women the right to vote. It illuminates the courage of New Jersey women who decided to challenge the social and legal restrictions on their lives. These women worked and fought for their rights and demanded visibility and justice for themselves and their communities.
    Women from a wide variety of backgrounds petitioned and agitated relentlessly to get the vote. Suffragists included women who were rich and poor, Black and white, native born and immigrant. Sometimes in alliance with each other and sometimes in conflict, diverse women fought for equality and challenged the notion that a woman’s place was in the home.

  • The Black Athlete in America: Protest, Activism and Inclusion
    Newark Public Library 2nd Floor Gallery | 5 Washington Street | Newark, NJ 07101
    The first Black athletes in America were enslaved men who were commanded to compete.  Some boxed, some ran foot races, others rolled logs and a few rode horses. Excelling in sport gave these athletes an elevated place in society, even in enslavement. Throughout history, the Black athlete’s abilities have afforded these talented few a protected status but almost always with conditions.  Many who’ve achieved this distinction have used their unique platforms to call attention to injustice, unfairness, oppression and discrimination. While being lauded for their strength and dexterity, they were often intimidated, threatened with violence or death when they veered outside of the arena to speak, voice an opinion, boycott or take a stand.
    The 2020 Black History Celebration exhibit and program series explore the role and status of the Black athlete as activist since the mid-19th century.

  • Arts of Global Africa
    The Newark Museum of Art | 49 Washington Street | Newark, NJ 07102
    Explore an extensive collection of ritual, ceremonial and daily-use objects spanning an array of African countries and time periods, as well as historic and contemporary African artwork, textiles, jewelry, and decorative objects.
    This is one of the country's most comprehensive African art collections.

Show your love for our community partners by tagging them on social media and spreading the word by sharing photos and facts from the exhibits.

Saturday, February 15 | 9:30am-3:30pm| Essex Room, Paul Robeson Campus Center
The 40th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series: "Black Futures: What Seems to Be, Need Not Be"
The Marion Thompson Wright Series’ fortieth installment, “Black Futures: What Seems to Be, Need Not Be,” will look to multiple futures – of the series itself, the field of African American Studies, and of Black America as a social, cultural, and political formation – to foreground a tradition of futurism in black intellectual and cultural life, as well as how that tradition and the freedom dreams it has generated have driven movements for change. Ten years ago, the thirtieth anniversary of the series looked back to take stock of its history and that of the field in which it works. For this anniversary, it will look forward to how the series might more fully and meaningfully participate in bringing about a more just and inclusive future.

The day’s celebrated lecturers will include keynote speaker, scholar and historian, Saidiya Hartman(Columbia University); songwriter, producer, and scholar Jason King (New York University); sociologist, Ruha Benjamin (Princeton University); and author and filmmaker, Ytasha Womack (Afrofuturist/Independent Scholar).

Following the conference, you are invited to a reception in the Engelhard Court of the Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street. The reception will feature food and live musical entertainment by The Bradford Hayes Trio