Dear FIT Community,
This year the national theme for Black History Month is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity (see full description below). In addition to the events that we have planned throughout the month, we are seeking proposals on that theme from within our own community that can be virtually presented during the last week of February.
Proposals may range from panel discussions, exhibitions of art, literature and poetry, interviews, research material and white papers – any medium that will allow us as a college community to come together to discuss, better understand, remember and celebrate the black family, its history and the impact that history has had on our culture and society.
Please use the following form link that you may fill out and submit by February 8 with an outline for your proposal including a detailed description, list of participants and any technology resources or assistance you may need in order to virtually present your submission. If your proposal is a recorded video, panel discussion or interview, please keep the length to 45-60 minutes in total. We will announce the selected submissions by February 11 so that any materials, tapings, and background work that needs to be done to bring your proposal to fruition can commence immediately. Any questions can be directed to the email: [email protected].
Thank you and we look forward to receiving your proposals.
Joyce F. Brown
Fashion Institute of Technology
2021 theme: The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity
The black family has been a topic of study in many disciplines—history, literature, the visual arts and film studies, sociology, anthropology, and social policy. Its representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time. The black family knows no single location, since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches testify to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents. Not only are individual black families diasporic, but Africa and the diaspora itself have been long portrayed as the black family at large. While the role of the black family has been described by some as a microcosm of the entire race, its complexity as the “foundation” of African American life and history can be seen in numerous debates over how to represent its meaning and typicality from a historical perspective—as slave or free, as patriarchal or matriarchal/matrifocal, as single-headed or dual-headed household, as extended or nuclear, as fictive kin or blood lineage, as legal or common law, and as black or interracial, etc. Variation appears, as well, in discussions on the nature and impact of parenting, childhood, marriage, gender norms, sexuality, and incarceration. The family offers a rich tapestry of images for exploring the African American past and present.