Black Studies Series Provides Perspective on Sports and Media

Series: “Discovering the Intersection of Race, Gender and Sports in American Culture”

The Black Studies Program series at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is focusing on a topic that has recently dominated the news.

Given the relentless news coverage of the NFL domestic violence allegations, the Oct. 13 – Oct. 16 series – “Discovering the Intersection of Race, Gender and Sports Life in American Culture” – is a timely topic.

The four-night series will feature experts who can provide clarity for persons affected by American media visual culture or those wishing to better understand that culture. Media visual culture includes those representations presented in such saturations, that they become a stereotypical form for persons or groups.

Since 2010, the Black Studies Program has offered an annual open house to educate students, faculty and community members about the program, and this year they chose to expand the open house to provide an opportunity to educate and engage more people in the community.

“This year, we decided to expand our one-night event into a four-night series of events to give a greater population the opportunity to discover the value and options within the Black Studies Program,” said Prof. Adrienne Walker Hoard, MFA and Ph.D., director of the UMKC Black Studies Program. “We chose the topic in July, and wanted to give the African American experts a chance to add clarity, terminology and a perspective to the media presentations regarding this topic.”

Black Studies partnered with the UMKC Libraries and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to expand their outreach. Ultimately, the goal is to inform the audience about Black Studies as a discipline, which can provide a perspective on current events.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be free parking in the School of Education parking lot for the evenings of Oct. 13-16. Patrons are to enter on the Holmes Street side and park in the faculty/staff designated areas.

The program details are below:

Monday, Oct. 13

Glenn North, spoken word artist

6 p.m. reception; 7-8 p.m. presentation

UMKC Black Studies Program building, 5305 Holmes St.

Tuesday, Oct. 14

Carla Wilson, UMKC athletic director; and Kenneth D. Ferguson, associate professor, School of Law

“Dialogue between Experts” in the fields of athletics and sports law

6 p.m. reception, UMKC Black Studies Program building, 5305 Holmes St.

7:30 p.m. presentation, UMKC School of Education, Room 115, 615 E. 52nd St.

Wednesday, Oct. 15

Dr. Ray Doswell, vice president, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

6 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. presentation

UMKC Black Studies Program building, 5305 Holmes St.

Thursday, Oct. 16

Dr. James L. Conyers, author and professor

“Race in American Sports Essays”

6 p.m. reception; 6:30 presentation

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.

Conyers’ presentation at the NLBM is considered the launch of his current book, “Race in American Sports: Essays,” which was released in June of this year.

Jay Byland, assistant director of Facility Operations and Membership Relations at Swinney Recreation Center and an adjunct professor at UMKC’s School of Education, will serve as moderator for the Conyers’ presentation.

“Even though our focus on this topic began in July, every newscast currently presents some aspect of this topic from the media perspective. American populations are so impacted by the media visual culture, and perhaps unaware of the major role it plays in helping one to take a perspective on issues,” said Hoard. “We seek to share a historical perspective and to uncouple the sensational and the good news about this theme. Also, it’s important to suggest further readings on this theme, as well as allow our audience to hear experts from several areas of the sports field discuss sports life for both secondary and college athletes and their families.”


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