Saturday is the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience‘s 31st annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series (MTW). It is New Jersey’s largest and most prestigious conference commemorating Black History Month.
This year’s program, Beauty and the Black Body: History, Aesthetics, and Politics, will explore the evolution over time of the concepts of black beauty, featuring a day of distinguished speakers and a free reception at the Newark Museum to view Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present.
The lecture series was co-founded in 1981 by Dodge Trustee Dr. Clement Price, who is the Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History at Rutgers University, and the late Giles R. Wright, from the New Jersey Historical Commission. Since its inception, the conference has drawn thousands of people to the Rutgers-Newark campus, and has attracted some of the nation’s foremost scholars and humanists who are experts in the field of African and African American history and culture.
The annual conference was named for East Orange native Dr. Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneer in African American historiography and race relations in New Jersey, who served for many years on the faculty of Howard University. An honors graduate of Newark’s Barringer High School and Columbia University’s Teachers College Class of 1938, she was the first professionally trained woman historian in the United States.
MTW is held at the Paul Robeson Campus Center on the Rutgers University’s Newark Campus. It is free and open to the public. For a complete printable program of the day’s events, click here.
For additional information about the program, contact the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, 973.353.3891.
Image: Pickin’ by Lauren Kelly, part of the Posing Beauty exhibit at the Newark Museum