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By Sarah Geegan

The S.T. Roach Community Conversations series, "Rebuilding the Block," will conclude its seven-month sequence on Father's Day weekend by honoring outstanding men in the community.

The Sankofa Awards, honoring African-American men who have demonstrated excellence in the categories of service, social and environmental justice, scholarship, philanthropy, creativity and entrepreneurship, will provide a symbolic end to the series that began in December 2011. Consisting of monthly public forums led by UK experts at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, the series focused on



By Sarah Geegan

Jakobi Williams, professor in the UK Department of History and in the African American and Africana Studies Program, will present the next lecture in the "Rebuilding the Block," S.T. Roach Community Conversation series, at 11 a.m., on Saturday, April 14, at the Lyric Theatre.

The "Rebuilding the Block" series is a seven-month sequence of public lectures, led by UK experts and focused around the theme of African-American males. Held at the Lyric Theatre in east Lexington, the conversations are broken into sub-themes, each presenting relevant issues in a particular expert's field



By Sarah Geegan

Frank X Walker, professor in the UK Department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program, will read and discuss his poetry at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 9, at Midway College's Anne Hart Raymond Center. The event is sponsored by Chapter F, a local chapter of the International organization, P.E.O.

A local poet, professor and playwright, Walker provides "an eclectic, powerful mixture of liberating style, profound insight and unwavering organic connection to the intellectual, political and cultural struggles of people," said Ricky Jones, professor at the University of Louisville's Department of Pan-African Studies.

Walker’s work captures the profound feelings of love and loss; he



By Sarah Geegan

Students in professor Randolph Hollingsworth's research seminar expanded the boundaries of a typical history class as they examined the complexities and influences of Kentucky civil rights era women. By participating in digital dialogues, contributing to online databases and engaging in community service, the students experienced history by thinking outside the book.

"We don't have many scholarly books covering the wide-ranging history of women in Kentucky," Hollingsworth said. "One thing that we've found is that women are simply absent in many historical records. Sometimes it's a willful absence, and people choose not to include them. But then other times, it's just neglect."

The course aimed to begin filling this historical void. Students served as history-detectives, acquiring





By Sarah Geegan

The African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky will present the 18th annual Black Women's Conference March 22-24.

The conference, titled, "Learning the Ropes: Black Girlhood, Identity and the Power of Play," will center specifically on the lives and expressions of African-American girls. Incorporating expert speakers, performances, panels and activities both on campus and in the community, the conference will reveal the significance of play in the lives of African-American girls.

Melynda Price, professor in the UK College of Law




by Sarah Geegan

The African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky is partnering with the Lyric Theatre to provide a series of community lectures. Engaging the community and strengthening UK's relations with East Lexington, the lectures aim to "rebuild the block." 

The Rebuilding the Block, S.T. Roach Community Conversation series is a seven-month sequence of public lectures, led by UK experts and focused around the theme of African-American males. The conversations are broken into sub-themes, each presenting relevant issues in a particular expert's field that relate to black men.

Frank X Walker



By Sarah Geegan

Three experts in the areas of gender, sexuality and politics of identity will share insight with UK students in professor Vershawn Young's classes this spring.

Young, of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Department of English, will incorporate the speaker series including Daniel BlackLisa Moore and Sharon Bridgforth into his ENG 480 and GWS 595 classes. These courses focus on gender and race in documentary film through the work of late film maker Marlon Riggs. Riggs' work addressed representations of African Americans in the


By Gail Hurston

University of Kentucky Diversity Education & Community Building (DE&CB) students with the assistance of faculty and staff members have organized a full month of activities for the 2012 Black History Month Collaborative.

“As Black History Month chair for the first time,” said UK student Brittany Clayborne, “I'd like to say that I'm honored to be hosting such a position within the Black Student Union. I'm learning every day, and enjoyed it because of the hardworking students and faculty around me that have done all they could to make this a strong month. I'm excited for these programs because not only am I helping others learn more about their heritage, I'm learning about myself. I feel like everyone on campus should be eager to participate as a result of the time and effort



By Whitney Hale

Leave your stereotypes of Appalachia at the door as the University of Kentucky Department of Art challenges preconceived notions of the region through an evening of poetry and music at "StereoType: Unexpected Appalachian Stories."

The reading, featuring poets Theo Edmonds, Paulette Hansel, Hope Johnson, Dale Marie Prenatt, Eric Scott Sutherland and Frank X Walker, will begin 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Tuska Center for Contemporary Art. The event is free and open to the public.

Through a focus on social justice issues as well as multiple themes of family, race, gender, sexuality, identity and place, "StereoType" will challenge the stereotypical notions of a homogeneous


On Sunday, December 4, English professor and Director of the African American and Africana Studies Program Frank X Walker spoke with hosts Lezell Lowe, Andrea James, and Dr. Sonja Fiest-Price of Groovin 1580AM Lexington. Professor Walker spoke about the Lyric Theater series, "S.T. Roach Community Conversations: Rebuilding the Block". The series is committed to celebrating black male leadership and excellence. Listen to the full interview below.





By Kathy Johnson

The University of Kentucky Appalachian CenterAppalachian Studies and the Graduate Appalachian Research Community are making a call for papers for the 2012 UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase. The topic of the work must be related to Appalachia, original, and produced in the last three years. 

The deadline for submitting an abstract of work online is midnight Dec. 15. The submission can be made by going to the GARC tab on and clicking on the "Abstract


By Erin Holaday Ziegler

University of Kentucky creative writing Professor  Nikky Finney has won the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry for her recent work, “Head Off & Split.”  Finney attended the award ceremony last night in New York City, where she accepted the highly prestigious honor.

“Head Off & Split” was published by Northwestern University Press in February of this year, and Finney has been touring with the book since late winter.

The National Book Award website says the poems in Finney's "Head Off & Split" "sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African-American life: from Civil Rights matriarch Rosa Parks, to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning, to a terrified woman abandoned on a


By Whitney Hale


The University of Kentucky Special Collections Library invites the public to an exhibition and symposium celebrating the opening of the papers of Appalachian author Harriette Simpson Arnow. The event will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Great Hall, of the Margaret I. King Building. The exhibition of work will run through February 2012.

Harriette Arnow’s papers at UK Libraries provide a broad look at a writer’s life and work.  Included are materials that document her writing process, from first-draft manuscripts on dime store tablets, through various iterations and drafts, to printer page proofs. Also included are correspondence with family, editors, publishers and literary agents. Researchers will find mail from readers, photographs,



By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences will host a trailblazing American diplomat next week to continue the college's Year of China initiative.

Former U.S. Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch will speak on “Leadership and Education in a Globalizing World: China’s Challenge” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building on UK's campus.

Bloch’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the "Passport to China: Global Issues & Local Understanding" course taught by UK sociology Professor Keiko Tanaka.

Ambassador Bloch, the first Asian-American ambassador in American history, has had a broad career in U.S. government service. She is currently president of the U.S.-China Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working


By Erin Holaday Ziegler, Andrew Jarrells

Lexington's Isaac Murphy Bicycle Club grew out of writer and avid cycler Frank X Walker's vision. The English professor and director of UK's African American and Africana Studies Program wanted to link inner city children to Lexington's Legacy Trail by providing them with bicycles and the equipment needed to enjoy a bike ride.

Furthermore, Walker wanted young participants to have access to mentors; mentors would provide training, education and diet guidance to Lexington's youth.

The bicycle club is named for Isaac Murphy, who grew up on the East End of Lexington, was a three-time Kentucky Derby winner and the