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Librarian Participates in UNCF-Mellon Faculty Institute Black Girls Write/Right the Future

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Clarissa West White, Ph.D, reference/instructional librarian, was invited to participate in the UNCF-Mellon Faculty Institute at Hampton University: Black Girls Write/Right the Future! The Institute focused on scholarly analyses of the work of Black women and girls as they dynamically explore and write about the future.   

"I am a ​​fledgling to the fields of​ ​Afro-futurism, speculative fiction and comics. Although I have used graphic novels and speculative fiction in middle and high, and undergraduate and graduate college courses, I was eager to apply to the UNCF/Mellon Faculty Institute at Hampton University in order to receive succor in gaining a better footing in the discussion and developing​ a guiding framework from which to work​ ​and write," said West-White.

Participants ​engaged  in commentary on a diverse range of genres​,​ including literature, visual art and media, that aspire to right the misrepresentation of or absent representation of Black women​ and ​girls during the three-day conference held June 27 – 29, 2018. 

"It is important that girls of color, especially our Black Roses, see themselves as whole, gifted, and talented beings in all existing, preexisting and future worlds. Afro-futuristic and speculative fiction such as Nalo Hopkinson’s Falling in Love with Hominids and Tananarive Due’s ​​Ghost in Summer provide such an experience​," explained West-White.​ ​"​​Even in foreign and voided lands, parallel dimensions and distant galaxies, if there​ ​are multi- or non-colored people​, ​​​there would still be mothers, sisters and kinship circles​,​ as these congruencies are inexplicably coded vestiges of female writers of color." 

Furthermore, Dr. West-White has created a number of research guides to assist other entrants in navigating these terrains. "The Institute will allow me to​ ​continue to construct additional guides to complement those available from the Carl S. Swisher Library's webpage: Afro-FuturismGraphic Novels, Comics, Manga & Anime, and Speculative Fiction." ​ West-White's Institute presentation ​focused on Afro-Futurism and comics.​

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit  www.cookman.edu.

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