Start a Riot! A Conversation with Cesarae Lavada Abdul-Ghani and Judy Juanita

Start a Riot! A Conversation with Cesarae Lavada Abdul-Ghani and Judy Juanita

Join us for a conversation with Casarae Lavada Abdul-Ghani, author of Start a Riot! Civil Unrest in Black Arts Movement Drama, Fiction, and Poetry, and Judy Juanita, American Book Award winner and former editor of the Black Panther Party Newspaper. 

About the book:

Start a Riot! Civil Unrest in Black Arts Movement Drama, Fiction, and Poetry analyzes riot iconography and its usefulness as a political strategy of protestation. Through a mixed-methods approach of literary close-reading, historical, and sociological analysis, Casarae Lavada Abdul-Ghani considers how BAM artist-writers like Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Ben Caldwell, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, and Henry Dumas challenge misconceptions regarding Black protest through experimental explorations in their writings. Representations of riots became more pronounced in the 1960s as pivotal leaders shaping Black consciousness, such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., were assassinated. BAM artist-writers sought to override the public's interpretation in their literary exposés that a riot’s disjointed and disorderly methods led to more chaos than reparative justice. 

About the speakers:

Casarae Abdul-Ghani, assistant professor of English at Temple, is a New Jersey resident with roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her BA in English from Johnson C. Smith University and her MA and PhD also in English from Purdue University. Other works by Abdul-Ghani can be found in peer-reviewed journals Black Camera: An International Film Journal, Midwest Quarterly, and Modern Language Studies. Abdul-Ghani’s other interests include the Digital Humanities where she recently completed a faculty fellowship with the Lender Center for Social Justice exploring viral social media hashtags and its impact on reparative justice initiatives. Her teaching responsibilities and research interests include African American Literature and Cultural Studies with a particular focus on the Black Arts Movement, Black Women Writers, and popular culture. 

Judy Juanita is an award-winning author, poet, public speaker and podcaster. Born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, Juanita joined the nation’s first Black Student Union at San Francisco State and subsequently the Black Panther Party (BPP). She edited the BPP newspaper and worked in the Free Breakfast for Children program while finishing her BA at SF State. Five days after graduating, she became the youngest professor of the nation’s first black studies program. Her poetry and fiction have been published widely. A former Poet-in-the-Schools in New Jersey, Judy Juanita currently teaches at Laney College in Oakland. 

This program is presented in partnership with the Temple University English Department and the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora at Penn State Special Collections Library. 

Our programs are geared toward a general audience and are open to all, including Temple students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, and friends. Registration is encouraged.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023
5:00pm - 6:30pm
Center for Anti-Racism, Mazur Hall, Room 821

Registration is required. There are 97 seats available.