Research

"Teaching Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight through a Critical Race Theory Lens," The National Journal of Urban Education and Practice (2012)

Abstract: Discussing race in the classroom can be difficult for students who have not experience discussing the complexities of race in a confined space. This reality has continued to serve as a disadvantage for students living and learning in a racialized society. To this end, this paper explores ways of using Critical Race Theory as a theorectical framework to discuss Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight, Los Angeles 1992 in the classroom. Drawing on Critical Race Theory, the author contends that an important part of articulating topics that include race in the classroom is the beginning of critical awareness in how we deal with race in our society.

Link to The National Journal of Urban Education & Practice Special Issue: Race and Urban Space 

 

“Fight the Power”: Hip-Hop and Civil Unrest in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing,"' Black Camera: An International Film Journal (Forthcoming, 2017)

Abstract: A pivotal scene in Spike Lee’s Oscar nominated film Do the Right Thing (1989) happens when the protagonist Mookie, played by Lee throws a garbage can through Sal’s Famous Pizzeria following the death of his friend Radio Raheem who is strangled to death by three white policemen. The action made by Mookie incites a riot and causes a race war in the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn neighborhood. Hip Hop, a cultural movement spawned from the Black Arts and Power Movements that articulates social awareness, consciousness of one’s identity, social enjoyment, and creativity drive Lee’s narrative. The signature song,“Fight the Power” performed by Public Enemy is heard throughout the entire film and dominate characters’ dialogue with one another. Most notably, Radio Raheem utilizes the song as a protest speech against the lack of racial diversity and respect among Sal, Pino, and Vito who work and own Sal’s Famous Pizzeria—a business Black youth congregate frequently. This article contends that hip-hop drives the narrative of Do the Right Thing in which Lee places at the center a racial uprising that embarks on a historical trajectory of Black Americans challenging American democracy and civil inequality.

 

Interviews

WAER, Syracuse Public Media, Black History Month Installation: Constrasting Past and Present African American Protest Movements Protest Movements (2016)

 

Link: WAER, Syracuse Public Media Black History Month Interview