UNC Charlotte, Gantt Center to offer Conversations on the Black American Male

Monday, April 28, 2014

CHARLOTTE – April 28, 2014 - The relevance of the American black male in the 21st century is the impetus for a yearlong series of community conversations that begins with a focus on families. It is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, May 22, at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.

The Gantt Center and UNC Charlotte’s Center for the Study of the New South are presenting the free series “Real Talk: A Community Conversation – The Black American Male and Why He Still Matters in the 21st Century.” The “Question Bridge: Black Males” trans-media art project, hosted by the Gantt Center, serves as a foundation for the sessions.

“Together, we will explore the unique challenges faced by the black American male – a man who, in many cases, still searches for his authentic self in a society within which he continues to be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented,” said Jeffrey Leak, director of the Center for the Study of the New South at UNC Charlotte. “We welcome all members of the community to join us for what is sure to be opportunities for thoughtful, respectful dialogue.”

Radio and television host Bea Thompson will moderate the first panel discussion, “Family Matters: What Does the Future Hold for the Black Male and his Family?” Panelists will include Jeffrey Leak, director, Center for the Study of the New South; Chance Lewis, Urban Education Collaborative director and the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Urban Education; and Reggie Singleton, Director, the Males Place.

Each event in the series will feature a collection of content experts from academia, the community and the nonprofit world. The dates and topics for the subsequent events, all of which are from 6 to 8 p.m., are:

  • Thursday, Aug. 21 - Where is the Black Male? The Invisible Man on High School and College Campuses
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 - Color, Culture and Cash: Realities and Fallacies of Employment and Economic Equity
  • Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 - Heart and Soul: What the Health of the Black American Male Means to the Entire Community
  • Thursday April 23, 2015 - Gone ‘Til November: Why the Judicial System Fails the Black American Male
  • Thursday May 21, 2015 - I Am a Man! Black, Male and Gay

RSVPs for the first discussion are requested before May 19; email Renee Albert  ralbert2@uncc.edu) or call 704-687-0085. The Gantt Center is located at Levine Center for the Arts, 551 S.Tryon Street. Parking is available in nearby parking decks.

To join the conversation via social media during and following the gatherings, use #whydoesHEstillmatter?

The Question Bridge: Black Males project considers a series of thought-provoking questions that guide a trans-media discussion of perceived obstacles confronted by black males in the United States. The exhibition provides unfiltered insight into the perspectives of African American males across varying geographic, economic, generational, educational and social divides. Originating in 1996, this project sought to utilize new media to incite meaningful discourse regarding San Diego’s African American community.


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences contact:  Lynn Roberson, 704-687-0082, LynnRoberson@uncc.edu

Media relations contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu


Center for the Study of the New South and Gantt Center to offer yearlong series of conversations