WSSU to Host 7th Annual Black Male Symposium

Dr. Mark Anthony Neal

Dr. Mark Anthony Neal
February 14, 2012

Duke University’s professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies, and author of as he states; the “invisible” component of a Black Males Identity, entitled as the New Black Man, Dr. Mark Anthony Neal will keynote Winston-Salem State University’s Seventh Annual Black Male Symposium on February 16, at 7 p.m. in Dillard Auditorium.

The day will also include a morning panel presentation at 10 a.m. in Dillard Auditorium. The panelists will include Dr. Trae Cotton, WSSU Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs; Dr. William Boone, WSSU associate professor of African American Culture, Ms. Chevara Orrin, WSSU Director of Business Services and Advisor to Black Men for Change; Dr. Kwame Z. Shabazz, associate professor of African American Studies; and Edward D. Gerald, a student member of Black Men for Change.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, executed by student leader Zuogwi Reeves, and the student group Black Men for Change, the Black Male Symposium examines issues related to Black male upward mobility and progress to uplift black males, prepare them to be leaders, and see them through the graduation process.  In past years, featured speakers have included Dr. Mark Lamont Hill, Spike Lee, Kevin Powell, Dr. Na’im Akbar, Rev. Floyd Flake, and Jim Ellis.

Neal is the founder and managing editor of the blog New Black Man. Neal hosts the weekly webcast, Left of Black in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. A frequent commentator for National Public Radio, Neal contributes to several on-line media outlets, including Huff Post Black Voices and Georgetown professor and public intellectual Dr. Michael Eric Dyson asserts, “Neal can offer insightful critical analysis on everything from bebop to hip-hop; from Black Power to ‘post-racial Obama.’”

Neal is the author of four books, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003) and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005). Neal is also the co-editor (with Murray Forman) of That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader, 2nd Edition (2011) Neal’s next book Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities will be published in 2012 by New York University Press. 

WSSU’s Black Men for Change is a student organization, founded in 2003 to help empower African-American males to rise above negative stereotypes and become productive assets to their community. The mission is “to address the obstacles facing underrepresented male groups by providing access to greater social and cultural opportunities by way of networking and activism within our campus and broader community.  Ultimately, we seek to create a supportive environment built upon the tenants of brotherhood, personal excellence, and community awareness.”

WSSU’s Black Men for Change is involved with numerous community organizations and initiatives. Members of the organization are active volunteers with the Winston-Salem Symphony, Piedmont Craftsmen, AIDS Care Service, Forsyth County Department of Public Health P.O.S.S.E initiative, Forsyth County Democratic Party, RiverRun International Film Festival, Piedmont Opera, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes initiative, and the Black Male Summit initiative. They also have a long-standing mentoring program with Petree Elementary School. They have received special recognition from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County for their contribution to the arts community and were awarded the 2007 Winston-Salem State University Student Organization of the Year and the 2010 Winston-Salem Foundation ECHO award. The organization has also been featured in the Winston-Salem Chronicle and Winston-Salem Journal.

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