Posted: 2/17/22

TAMIU Black History Month Observation Presents Virtual Lecture, 'Driving While Black' Feb. 24


Dr. Gretchen Sullvian Sorin
Dr. Gretchen Sullivan Sorin  

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) will continue its observation of Black History Month with a Diverse Cultures, Diverse Humanities virtual lecture on the African American road to Civil Rights Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Director and Distinguished Service Professor at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a training program for museum curators, educators, and directors that is part of the State University of New York College at Oneonta, will present her lecture titled, "Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights."

The virtual lecture is free and open to the public. To register, visit: https://go.tamiu.edu/diversity-sorin

Dr. Sullivan Sorin is also a Fellow of the New York Academy of historians. She holds a B.A. degree from Rutgers University in American Studies, an M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a Ph.D. from the University at Albany in American History.

For the past 20 years Sorin has worked to broaden representation in the museum field for underrepresented groups.

She is the recipient of the Katherine Coffey Award from the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, the Thurgood Marshall Unity Award from the Oneonta NAACP, the Philip Jones National Ephemera Society Fellowship Research Award, the State University of New York Chancellor’s Research Award, and the Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Activities. In 2006 she was named to the rank of Distinguished Service professor.

She writes and lectures frequently on museum practice, diversity and inclusion, and African American history. Her books include Touring Historic Harlem, Four Walks in Northern Manhattan with architectural historian Andrew Dolkart, In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art, and Case Studies in Cultural Entrepreneurship: How to Create Relevant and Sustainable Institutions.

She is the author of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights published by W. W. Norton/Liveright in 2020. Sullivan Sorin is also co-writer and senior historian working with Steeplechase Films and filmmaker Ric Burns on a documentary film, Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility that aired nationwide on PBS.

The Diverse Cultures, Diverse Humanities Series, funded by a Humanities Texas Grant, is a seven-part virtual speaker series sponsored by Humanities Texas and hosted by TAMIU. It aims to provide a space for ongoing conversation about  issues connected to diversity and inclusion by inviting top humanists and creative writers to share their experiences and expertise with the community.

Upcoming Black History Month events also include the following: 

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - STC 230 | Social Justice Leadership Series presents an in-person panel discussion, "Black Experiences at TAMIU." TAMIU faculty and students will share their experiences. Guest panelists include Dr. Peter Haruna, professor and director of Public Administration,  Dr. Varaidzo Zvobgo, assistant professor of Public Administration, Simileoluwa Odunuga, TAMIU student, and other student leaders. Open to TAMIU community members.

Tuesday, March 22, 7 p.m. - Virtual event. Free and open to the public | The Diverse Cultures, Diverse Humanities Series will present a Virtual Lecture with Dr. Neal Lester on "Straight Talk about the Nword." Dr. Lester is Foundation Professor of English and Founding Director of the multiple award-winning Project Humanities initiative at Arizona State University. With expertise in African American literature and culture, Dr. Lester has authored or edited seven books and myriad essays and chapters on topics ranging from the race and gender politics of hair, Black masculinities, and African American folklore, to Toni Morrison’s children’s books. In addition to his publications on ntozake shange, Alice Walker, Sapphire, and Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Lester has done pioneering work on the Nword, having created and taught the first college course on the Nword in the United States. To register, visit: https://www.tamiu.edu/coas/lla/diversity-series/lester.shtml

TAMIU's Black History Month events are presented in collaboration with TAMIU's Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (TIDE), TAMIU Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement, and the Diverse Cultures, Diverse Humanities Series.

For more information, please contact TAMIU's Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.