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Scholar to discuss image of blacks in Western culture

Allison Blakely, George and Joyce Wein Professor of African-American Studies and professor of European and comparative history at Boston University
Photo by Boston University
3:24 p.m., March 3, 2004--Author and educator Allison Blakely will discuss “The Image of Blacks in Western Culture: An Historical Perspective” at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, in 104 Gore Hall, as part of the Black American Studies spring 2004 lecture series. A reception will follow the free public talk.

After a 30-year teaching career at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Blakely has served since 2001 as the George and Joyce Wein Professor of African-American Studies and professor of European and comparative history at Boston University.

Blakely is the author of “Blacks in the Dutch World: The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society” (1994), which incorporates a study of folklore, art, literature and religion to furnish an understanding of the history and formation of racial attitudes and color prejudice during the period of Western expansion and scientific and industrial modernization.

Blakely also is the author of “Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought” (1986), winner of the 1988 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, in Berkeley, Calif.

Chapter-length contributions by Blakely have appeared in several books, including “Facing up to the Past: Perspectives on the Commemoration of Slavery from Africa, the Americas and Europe.”

His interests in comparative history have centered on comparative populism and the historical evolution of color prejudice, and his articles on Russian populism and various aspects of the black diaspora have appeared in many scholarly journals, including Perspectives, New Directions and the Black Scholar.

“This lecture represents a further exploration of the Africian diaspora outside the Americas,” Howard Johnson, acting director of Black American Studies, said. “It also is an attempt on the part of the Black American Studies program to raise awareness of the global dimension of this population movement outside the African continent.”

A former captain in U.S. Army Intelligence, Blakely served in Vietnam during 1967-68 and received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

A Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a National Defense Foreign Language Fellow, Blakely also has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Travel Grant and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

An elected senator-at-large of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Blakely also serves on the editorial board of its journal, The American Scholar.

Blakely, who received a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history from the University of Oregon, Eugene, holds a master’s in Russian history and a doctorate in modern Europe (Russia) from the University of California at Berkeley.

For more information, call 831-2991.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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