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The Center for the Study of the New South in UNC Charlotte’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences promotes discourse and dialogue on a rich and diverse constellation of topics and ideas relating to the New South.  Known as the period of regional history from the end of the Civil War to the modern era, the New South offers a bold tapestry of history, culture, social movements, and political issues ripe for reflection and study.

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Events for 2013 - 14

UNC Charlotte Center for the Study of the New South and Harvey B. Gantt Center Offer Community Conversations on Why the Black American Male Still Matters

The relevance of the American black male in the 21st century offers the impetus for a yearlong series of candid community conversations, beginning with a focus on families on Thursday, May 22 at 6 p.m. at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.

The Gantt Center and the UNC Charlotte Center for the Study of the New South are presenting the free series, titled “Real Talk: A Community Conversation – The Black American Male and Why He Still Matters in the 21st Century.” The Question Bridge: Black Males transmedia art project, hosted by the Gantt Center, serves as a foundation for the sessions.

“Together, we will explore the unique challenges faced by the black American male – a man who, in many cases, still searches for his authentic self in a society within which he continues to be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented,” said Jeffrey Leak, director of the Center for the Study of the New South at UNC Charlotte. “We welcome all members of the community to join us for what is sure to be opportunities for thoughtful, respectful dialogue.”

Radio and television host Bea Thompson of Power 98 WPEG-FM and V101.9 WBAV-FM will moderate the first panel discussion, which is titled “Family Matters: What Does the Future Hold for the Black Male and his Family?” Panelists will include:

  • Jeffrey B. Leak, Director, Center for the Study of the New South, UNC Charlotte.
  • Chance Lewis, Urban Education Collaborative Director, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor, Endowed Chair of Urban Education, UNC Charlotte.
  • Reggie Singleton, Director, The Males Place.

Each event will feature a collection of content experts from academia, the community and the non-profit world. The dates and topics for the subsequent events, all of which are from 6 to 8 p.m., are:

  • Thursday August 21, 2014, Where is the Black Male? The Invisible Man on High School and College Campuses
  • Thursday, November 20, 2014, Color, Culture and Cash: Realities and Fallacies of Employment and Economic Equity
  • Monday, January 19, 2015, Heart and Soul: What the Health of the Black American Male Means to the Entire Community
  • Thursday April 23, 2015, Gone ‘Til November: Why the Judicial System Fails the Black American Male
  • Thursday May 21, 2015, I Am a Man! Black, Male and Gay

RSVPs for the first discussion are requested before May 19 to ralbert2@uncc.edu or 704-687-0085. The Gantt Center is located at Levine Center for the Arts, 551 South Tryon Street, Charlotte. Parking is available in nearby parking decks.

To join the conversation via social media during and following the gatherings, use #whydoesHEstillmatter?

The Question Bridge: Black Males project considers a series of thought-provoking questions that guide a transmedia discussion of perceived obstacles confronted by black males in the United States. The exhibition provides unfiltered insight into the perspectives of African American males across varying geographic, economic, generational, educational, and social divides. Originating in 1996, this project sought to utilize new media to incite meaningful discourse regarding San Diego’s African American community.

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Contact Us


Dr.Jeffrey B. Leak, Director
Ctr. for the Study of the New South
Fretwell 280D
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223
Phone: 704-687-2708
jleak@uncc.edu