Lonnie Bunch (pictured above), inaugural director of the NMAAHC, is the 2015 Marion Thompson Wright Lecturer. Dr. Bunch will reflect on his experience launching the museum and on the importance and challenges of presenting the African-American past. The day’s other speakers will explore black history and culture through their experiences leading several other premiere museums and historic sites. Those speakers will be: Robert Stanton, former director of the National Park Service; Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem; and George McDaniel, executive director of the Drayton Hall Plantation historic site in Charleston, South Carolina.
The conference will culminate in two special events beginning at 4 p.m. at the Newark Museum, 49 Washington St. MTW attendees are invited to a reception in the Museum’s Englehard Court which will feature live musical entertainment by The Bradford Hayes Trio. Then, the Institute will mount a special tribute to Dr. Price’s life and work beginning at 5 p.m. in the Museum’s Billy Johnson auditorium. Invited speakers will participate in a moderated discussion about his work and contributions in the fields of public history, African American history, and the public humanities.
All events are free and open to the public.The lecture series was co-founded in 1981 by Dr. Clement Price, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History at Rutgers University, and Giles R. Wright, New Jersey Historical Commission. Over the past 34 years, the conference has drawn thousands of people to Rutgers University-Newark and has attracted some of the nation’s foremost scholars and humanists who are experts in the field of African and African American history and culture. It has become one of the nation's leading scholarly programs specifically devoted to enhancing the historical literacy of an intercultural community.
The annual conference was named for East Orange native Dr. Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneer in African American historiography and race relations in New Jersey, who was the first professionally trained woman historian in the United States.
The Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series is sponsored by the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, and the Federated Department of History, Rutgers University-Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The 2015 conference receives additional support from the New Jersey Historical Commission/Department of State, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Rutgers Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, and the Prudential Foundation.
For additional information about the program, visit the Institute’s website at http://ethnicity.rutgers.edu, or contact the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at 973/353-3891.
Media Contact: Marisa Pierson (973) 353-3896