African American News and Genealogy

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005


HISTORIC PHOTO EXHIBITION OF BLACK CLASSICAL SCHOLARS OPENS AT VAN PELT-DIETRICH LIBRARY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIAScholar Produces "12 Black Classicists" to Honor African-American Intellectuals Who Made Groundbreaking Achievements in Academia at the End of the Civil War Philadelphia --March, 2005-- A historic exhibition profiling African-American classical scholars who made groundbreaking achievements in education at the end the Civil War will be on display in the Kamin Gallery of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library at the University of Pennsylvania from April 1 to June 30. The exhibition, created by classical scholar Michele Valerie Ronnick of Wayne State University in Detroit, is titled "12 Black Classicists," and focuses on the lives of African-American men and women who taught Greek and Latin at the college or university level and whose academic accomplishments helped pave the way for future generations of African-Americans entering American universities."With them," says Ronnick, "begins the serious study and teaching of philology (the study of language) by African Americans. All who study language and literature in the U.S. today, be it Italian, Swahili, Sanskrit, English or Arabic, trace the origin of their disciplines to the men and women featured in this photo installation." African-American academics featured in the exhibit include William Sanders Scarborough, the first black member of the Modern Language Association and author of a Greek textbook (1881), Lewis Baxter Moore, who earned the first Ph.D. awarded by the University of Pennsylvania to an African-American for his work on the Greek tragedian Sophocles, Wiley Lane, the first black professor of Greek at Howard University and John Wesley Gilbert who was the first black to attend the American School in Athens, Greece. The installation was created by Michele Valerie Ronnick, and funded by the James Loeb Classical Library Foundation at Harvard University. The show comes to the University of Pennsylvania with the support of the Wright Hayre Foundation of Philadelphia.Michele Valerie Ronnick will lecture on "The Origins of Black Classicism" on Thursday April 14, 5:30 p.m. in the Class of '55 Room, second floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. A reception and book signing of Ronnick's book The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: An American Journey from Slavery to Scholarship, 416 pages forward by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. .will follow. William Sanders Scarborough (1852-1926), Courtesy of Rembert E. Stokes Library, Wilberforce University For Immediate Release Date: March 28 , 2005 Contact: Michael Ryan, Director Annenberg Rare Book Room, University of Pennsylvania (215) 898-7552 FAX (215) 573-9079


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