Africana Studies

Understanding civic engagement

In the latest episode of Penn Today’s ‘Understand This …’ podcast series, Herman Beavers of the School of Arts & Sciences and Glenn Bryan of the Office of Government and Community Affairs discuss civic engagement—and jazz.

Brandon Baker

National myths and monuments

Season two, episode four, of the OMNIA podcast “In These Times” features three faculty discussing the movement to reexamine monuments and the history and myths they symbolize, and how the public should think about the artworks in public squares.

The world according to Walter Palmer

The educator, organizer, and alumnus discusses his six decades of activism, growing up in the Black Bottom, studying and teaching at Penn, his work at CHOP, the student strike of 1967, the Vietnam War, Frank Rizzo, Donald Trump, school choice, gun violence, the Chauvin trial, and why he thinks racism should be declared a national public health crisis.

Greg Johnson

In These Times: Black lives and the call for justice

The first two episodes of the Omnia podcast’s second season discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and the lasting impact of slavery and colonialism on the laws and policies that have governed Black lives throughout history.

Media Contact

In the News

The Washington Post

COVID-19 makes us face the hazy line between ‘elective’ and ‘essential’ medicine

Nitin Ahuja of the Perelman School of Medicine wrote an op-ed about medical procedures delayed due to the pandemic. On a spectrum of cosmetic to urgent treatments, “most of medicine sits in the middle, asking us to balance potential health benefits against potential costs,” he said.


ABC News

'We feel your pain': Local experts respond to unrest in Minnesota

Mary Frances Berry of the School of Arts & Sciences commented on the public response to the police killing of George Floyd. "What we are seeing is the latest incident of the perpetuation of white supremacy in this country, and it's there and everywhere for everybody to see. We should not be so angry at the people being angry because they have a reason to be angry,” she said.


The New York Times

Where does affirmative action leave Asian-Americans?

Two studies led by Camille Z. Charles of the School of Arts and Sciences found an overrepresentation of black immigrant students at “highly selective” colleges and universities, compared to black American descendants of enslaved people. “I think there are American blacks whose families have suffered generationally who are being squeezed out,” she said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Toni Morrison, renowned writer, Nobel laureate and Princeton University professor, dies at 88

Herman Beavers of the School of Arts and Sciences memorializes the late Toni Morrison. “She taught us how not to be guided by the white gaze. She made it okay for us to really think about how we see the world and really be central in it,” Beavers said. “She showed us that we didn’t need white people to explain what our lives meant or even acknowledge it. We could do it ourselves.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

What you need to know about reparations after the first congressional hearing convened on the topic in more than a decade

Mary Frances Berry of the School of Arts and Sciences said the contemporary descendants of the enslaved Africans who demanded, but did not receive, pensions at the turn of the 20th century should be compensated today. “We have a group of people who we can identify, the descendants of those who argued for reparations, who sent stuff to Congress while they were being under surveillance and whose leaders were put in prison.”


The Independent

Civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry visits Stark County

Mary Frances Berry of the School of Arts and Sciences paid a visit to Kent State University’s Stark campus and other schools in the area in honor of Black History Month. She urged students aspiring to change society to keep up the good fight. “Movements do work,” she said. “The answer to every social problem, every injustice, every grievance is to organize.”