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Langston Hughes Center

Diverse Dialogues Series presents Pero Dagbovie

Representations of African American history in U.S. politics and popular culture will the the focus of this round of Diverse Dialogues with Pero G. Dagbovie, on Thursday, JAN 18 from 7-8:30 PM in our Auditorium.

Dagbovie is professor of African American history and Associate Dean in The Graduate School at Michigan State University.

His research and teaching interests comprise a range time periods, themes, and topical specialties, including black intellectual history, the history of the black historical enterprise, black women’s history, black life during “the Nadir,” the civil rights-Black Power movement, African American Studies, hip hop culture, and contemporary black history.

Diverse Dialogues is an ongoing series offered in partnership with the Langston Hughes Center.

Diverse Dialogues Presents: Class, Race, and Marxism

On MondayOCT 30 from 7-8:30 PM in the Auditorium, join KU American Studies professors David Roediger and Elizabeth Esch, and Tony Bolden (KU African and African-American Studies professor) for a discussion around Roediger’s latest book, Class, Race, and Marxism.

Roediger’s influential work on working people who have come to identify as white has so illuminated questions of identity that its grounding in Marxism has sometimes been missed. This new volume implicitly and explicitly reminds us that his ideas, and the best studies of whiteness generally come from within the Marxist tradition.

In his historical studies of the intersections of race, settler colonialism, and slavery, in his major chapter (with Elizabeth Esch) on race and the management of labor, in his detailing of the origins of critical studies of whiteness within Marxism, and in his reflections on the history of solidarity, Roediger argues that racial divisions not only tell us about the history of capitalism but also shed light on the logic of capital (from

This event is in partnership with the Langston Hughes Center, the Lawrence Public Library and the Department of African and African-American Studies.

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Diverse Dialogues: I Am Not Your Negro

Join us in the Auditorium on Wednesday, August 2 from 6–8:30PM for this special screening in celebration of James Baldwin’s 93rd birthday.

Following the screening, we will talk about how relevant his work remains with Kevin Willmott, film director, writer, and professor of film and media studies at KU, and Darren Canady, writer and associate professor of English at KU.

This event is free and open to the public. In partnership with the Langston Hughes Center at KU.

Tanner Colby: Some of My Best Friends are Black

On Wednesday, April 19 at 7:30 PM, Tanner Colby and Clarence Lang, Professor of African and African American Studies at KU, will talk about Colby’s book, Some of My Best Friends are Black at Plymouth Congregational Church. They will explore the endemic problems of segregation and racism that still affect our country, “where equality is the law, but actual integration is hard to find.” A book signing will follow Colby’s talk and the Raven Book Store  will sell copies of his book. In partnership with Freedom’s Frontier, Johnson County Library, the Langston Hughes Center at KU, and Plymouth Congregational Church.

Diverse Dialogues presents Fair Housing at 50: Then and Now

How far have we come?
How much further must we go?

Join us Monday, Oct 3 from 7-8:30 PM to celebrate fifty years of legislation designed to allow anyone the opportunity to create a happy, healthy home. We’ll meet in the Library Auditorium.

In July of 1967, the City of Lawrence passed its first Fair Housing Ordinance, one of the first in the nation and nearly a year ahead of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. This enactment was a seminal law designed to address housing discrimination and inequities in the community.

The Lawrence Human Relations Commission and the City of Lawrence will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of passage of this ordinance in 2017 with a series of events.

Speakers: University of Kansas Professor of African and African-American Studies and Director of the Langston Hughes Center at KU Shawn Alexander will be joined by retired Kansas Supreme Court Justice Fred Six along with Betty Bottiger, a Lawrence resident and a regional director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Clarence Lang, University of Kansas Professor and Chair of KU’s Department of African and African-American Studies.

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This Diverse Dialogue event is held in partnership with the Langston Hughes Center, the Lawrence Public Library, the City of Lawrence Human Relations Commission, and the Department of African and African-American Studies.

What Does It Mean to Be American?

Join us Monday, September 19 at 7 PM in the Auditorium for a screening of the film, Welcome to Shelbyville, as part of the new season of Diverse Dialogues on Race and Culture at the library.

“In a year of historic change, one town in the Heartland questions what it means to be an American. With rapidly changing demographics, longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.” Visit for more.

Offered in partnership with the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas. Free and open to the public.

Sponsors of this Event: The Langston Hughes Center, the Lawrence Public Library, Kansas African Studies Center, the Department of African and African-American Studies and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Diverse Dialogues on Race and Culture: Islamophobia

Monday evening, April 25 from 7-8:30 in the Library Auditorium, leading scholars from the University of Kansas will talk about what drives, and what can conquer, the growing trend of hate speech directed toward Muslims.

In partnership with the Langston Hughes Center, the Kansas African Studies Center, and the KU Department of African and African American Studies.

Diverse Dialogues: Ebola—One Nurse’s Story

Joey Scaletta spent two months with Partner’s in Health providing direct care to patients with ebola in Sierra Leone.

Join us Tuesday, Apr 12 from 7-8:30 PM in the Auditorium to hear the very human story behind the headlines and how international health crises affect us all.

This Health Spot program is a partnership with the Langston Hughes Center’s Diverse Dialogues on Race and Culture series and the Center for African Studies.

Mr. Scaletta currently serves as the Director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Healthcare-Associated Infections program. Mr. Scaletta received his Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and holds Bachelor of Science degrees from Towson University and Fort Hays State University. Prior to moving to Kansas in 2008, he served as the Infection Prevention Epidemiologist at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He is the current President of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control Wichita Chapter and has been board certified in Infection Control since 2007.

Mr. Scaletta’s passion for international health first began in Jamaica where he served two years in the United States Peace Corps studying HIV prevalence among ante-natal and STI clinic attendees. As lifelong volunteer, he has participated in medical missions in South America with Hands Across the Americas and has recently returned from West Africa where he provided direct patient care in an Ebola Treatment Unit.

Images courtesy of Joseph Scaletta

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Diverse Dialogues On Race & Culture: The Life of Jimi Hendrix

THU | Mar 10 | 7 PM | Auditorium

“Widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar.

His innovative style of combining fuzz, feedback and controlled distortion created a new musical form.”

Join us for a look into Hendrix’s short, yet influential career. Offered in partnership with KU’s Langston Hughes Center.