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Duke University African American Studies Professor Mark Anthony Neal
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Neal to Deliver Black History Month Keynote at Western Illinois University

February 18, 2015

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MACOMB, IL – The keynote address of Western Illinois University's Black History Month celebration will be delivered by Duke University African American Studies Professor Mark Anthony Neal at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

Neal will deliver "From Selma to Ferguson: Black Social Protest from Sit-Ins to Die-Ins – Where Do you Draw the Line Between Ethics and Social Responsibility," in Morgan Hall, 101B. A question and answer session will follow the lecture.

Using a conceptual framework of social movements and the Greensboro sit-ins as a starting point, Neal's talk will historicize the use of "social media" in Black social justice movements and examine examples of how it has been used in contemporary social justice activities. Additionally, the project will look at organizations, like One Hood Media Academy in Pittsburgh, PA, and the Digital Youth Network in Chicago, using digital technology and social media to address communities in crisis.

Neal earned his doctoral degree in American studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1996. He scholarly work includes the fields of African-American, cultural and gender studies, which draws upon modes of inquiry informed by the fields of literary theory, urban sociology, social history, postmodern philosophy, Queer theory and popular culture. Neal's work aims to engage the ideological undercurrents within commercial popular culture, particularly within the context of race, gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity.

"We are pleased to bring this educator and author to the WIU campus. His research is current and relevant to events and reactions occurring in society today," said F. Erik Brooks, professor and chair of the WIU Department of African American Studies and interim director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center.

The lecture is open free to the public. This event is co-sponsored by the WIU Department of African American Studies, the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice-President, the University Theme Committee and the Visiting Lectures Committee.

For more information, contact the WIU Department of African American Studies at (309) 298-1181.

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