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Young Men's Day @ City Tech

Updated: Mar 8

Event: Young Men’s Day at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) , Brooklyn, NY

Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Kicks of Choice: Nike 1972 “Dress Code” (Deep Red)

Thoughts captured on December 5, 2023

 

While the book launch was in full swing, I started a new gig as an Associate Professor of African American Studies at New York City College of Technology. It was a relationship that started in 2013, as I was a candidate for a job in the English Department. I didn’t take that job, but stayed in touch with a few colleagues there who I met during the process. Those relationships led to a camaraderie and friendship that is super-valuable to me to this day! After a long journey (including an adjunct role for about three years), I was ecstatic to be offered a full-time position in Spring 2023. So when our department chair asked if I’d be willing to help with coordinating the Young Men’s Day event, I was ready to go.

 

The Young Men’s Day event was the second part of a CUNY BRESI grant awarded to the department chair, Dr. Renata Ferdinand. With the grant, she was able to bring 25 African American male students from a local high school to City Tech in order to give them a sense of what the college experience looks like; this included an early morning discussion, a tour around campus to various departments of interest, lunch and a few addresses by administrators, and then a book talk. For this event, I was in conversation with my new colleague, Prof. Fahiym Abdul-Wasi. Prof. Wasi has a longstanding history in Hip Hop journalism, including serving as Editor in Chief of The Source Magazine in the mid 2000s.  We were able to talk about the importance of Hip Hop, the DJ and how Hip Hop is global popular culture, that emanated from Black communities in New York City. Those young brothers were tapped in and engaged. So it felt great to surprise them with free copies of “K for the Way.” I truly hope the book helps them to see – and even reimagine – how they can really enter and thrive in the academic enterprise, and do so just as they are!

 

Shout out to Dr. Renata Ferdinand, Prof. Fahiym Abdul-Wasi and the whole AFR crew at City Tech. As well, big thanks to Associate Provost Reggie Blake and the Black Male Initiative. It feels good to be in a department at the college my mother got her bachelor’s degree from…a full circle moment, without question!

 

And yeah, we still at it…




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