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"Black Lives, Freedom Dreams, & Our Collective Racial Future" Featuring Nate Parker

On April 20, 2016, African & African American Studies (AAAS) will host its annual St. Clair Drake Memorial Lecture featuring actor and humanitarian, Nate Parker (of Birth of a Nation, to be released in October 2016). The conversation with Parker, along with Vice Provost Harry Elam and distinguished historians Robin D.G. Kelley and Allyson Hobbs, is entitled “Black Lives, Freedom Dreams, and Our Collective Racial Future.” 
In line with AAAS’s focus on contemporary racial justice movements in the U.S., Parker will discuss Birth of a Nation and its alignment with a history of arts activism. He will also speak to the power of film and theater in reshaping historical narratives, complicating identities and social perceptions, and inciting modern-day movements for social justice.
Nate Parker first received critical attention for his starring role in The Weinstein Company’s The Great Debaters opposite director/actor Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. Following the film, Parker received an honorary doctorate from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas—the school upon which the true story The Great Debaters was based. Working alongside renowned actors and directors, Parker has also starred in George Lucas’ Red Tails, Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer, as well as Arbitrage, The Secret Life of Bees, Pride, Non-Stop, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, About Alex, and Tunnel Rats.
Most recently, Parker played the lead opposite Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Gina Prince Bythewood’s critically-acclaimed Beyond the Lights. While portraying a police officer in Beyond the Lights, Parker directed an original short film entitled #AmeriCAN, critiquing the state of police relations in urban Black communities.
Following his lecture, Parker will be joined on stage by AAAS Director, Professor H. Samy Alim, as well American History Professor Robin D.G. Kelley of the University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford’s own, History Professor Allyson Hobbs and Vice Provost and Theatre and Performance Studies Professor Harry Elam.
The St. Clair Drake Lectures are dedicated to the memory of Professor St. Clair Drake, renowned Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, an early researcher on Black Americans and the founding Director of the Program in African & African American Studies at Stanford University. The lectures began in 2003 as a way to evoke the ethos of St. Clair Drake within the academic community at Stanford. Honored lecturers have included the late Manning Marable, Angela Davis, Harry Belafonte, Charles Ogletree, Jennifer Eberhardt and Valerie Jarrett, among others.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016. 06:30 PM


Cemex Auditorium | Zambrano Hall Knight, 641 Knight Way, Stanford, United States


OpenXChange, African & African American Studies, ASSU Speakers Bureau, Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA)




This lecture and dialogue is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:15pm and the program will begin promptly at 6:30pm.