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CLICK ON THE BANNER TO THE RIGHT TO GO TO THE NEW WEBSITE COMMEMORATING AFRICAN AMERICAN MILESTONES AT VANDY >>>>>>>>>>>>>

next at the BCC…

Wednesday, September 9th

11:30 AM
BCC Auditorium (Click here for full flyer)

BCC/OACS Book Event: I Write What I Like: Selected Writings by Steve Biko
A selection of Biko’s writings from 1969, when he became the president of the South African Students’ Organization, to 1972, when he was prohibited from publishing.  Free books for the first 20 attendees.

7:30PM
Sarratt Cinema
International Lens Screening and Discussion – Cry Freedom

South African Journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death of his friend and anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko.  Book and film discussions will be led by Frank Dobson, Assistant Dean and Director of The BCC and Clive Mentzel, Director of the Office of Active Citizenship and Service

Co-sponsored with the Office of Active Citizenship and Service

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Artist Exhibit by Omari Booker

This current exhibit is on display from August 28-September 30, Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM

Why do I Smile?  The Universal Unconcealed Weapon
The idea for this series began with the realization of the impurity of my smile.  While I often smile due to pure joy, I found that there are a plethora of reasons that the corners of my mouth curl North.My smile is a survival instinct, comparable to ducking when I hear a loud noise.  A smile often comes over my face when I am happy to see you, but the same smile is shown because i’m keenly aware of the fear my presence elicits.

I have found my smile to be a weapon.  It is unconcealed, and has become an instinct of survival as much as joy.  A smile is often the only weapon that can fight fire.  A gun will always be met with a bigger gun eventually, but a smile has a way of disarming opposition at least for a moment.

The smile that people of color are expected to wear as a survival tactic in this country drives home the reality that we are in large part visitors and not home in America-even for Native Americans who have the only legitimate claim to the land.  The smile that I learned to wear is a smile that makes other Americans comfortable with the fact that I am here.  It also feeds the illusion that regardless of the discrimination and brutality that people of color undergo, we are happy and lucky to be here.  Still, I smile, and will continue to… because the instinct to smile out of pure joy is also essential for survival.