SJC to Welcome Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – April 14, 2014 – The Department of Journalism and New Media Studies at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is pleased to welcome three authors to the Brooklyn Campus as part of its public programming series.

On Monday, April 28, Ayana Byrd and co-author Lori Tharps will present the new edition of their work Hair Story at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Lounge. The April 14 event with Greg Grandin will be rescheduled.

The Hair Story event will take place in Tuohy Hall, located on the Brooklyn Campus of St. Joseph’s College, and it is free and open to the public.

Byrd and Tharps will chart the new chapters of their work and cover the rapid changes that have occurred over the past decade regarding the business and culture of black hair, including the impact of the Internet, two of the biggest hair trends (weaves and natural hair), Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair, the proliferation of the Black hair industry, and more. Akiba Solomon, managing editor of Colorlines, will moderate the discussion.

"There's plenty of overlap between history and journalism," says Ted Hamm, chair of the Department of Journalism and New Media Studies at SJC. "These authors illustrate the ways in which historians can tell good stories, as well as how journalists can use the past to inform us about the present."

Grandin will explore the true events behind Herman Melville’s classic story “Benito Cereno,” and in the process, revise our understanding of the ways in which slavery shaped Atlantic cultures from Africa to the Americas. Readers will understand the chain of deception that inspired an anti-slavery ship’s captain to commit acts of horrific violence. Greg Grandin’s six previous books include Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. A professor of history at New York University, Grandin’s other award-winning works include Empire's Workshop, The Last Colonial Massacre and The Blood of Guatemala. He lives in Brooklyn.

Ayana D. Byrd graduated from Barnard College and is the co-editor of Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, as well as magazines including Glamour, Essence and Rolling Stone. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches arts reporting at SJC.

Lori L. Tharps is an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University. A graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she is also the author of the memoir Kinky Gazpacho. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

For any questions regarding these events, or the Journalism and New Media Studies Program at St. Joseph’s College, contact Dr. Ted Hamm at 718.940.5307.

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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