Presentation: Disrupting Racism Through the Lens of the Arts 

February 8, 2022 | San Diego Community College District

The District Committee for Community, Inclusion, and Diversity will host Dr. Ron McCurdy from the University of Southern California to present "Disrupting Racism Through the Lens of the Arts" from noon to 1:30 p.m., on Friday, February 25, 2022.  Dr. McCurdy is a Professor of Music and the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at USC.

This virtual presentation will be a historical journey illuminating how art has been used to confront racism in America. Dr. McCurdy will share excerpts of musical examples demonstrating the dual purpose of the Negro spiritual and how it was used to "praise" God while revolting against slavery. We examine Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come, Paul Robeson's Ole Man River, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, Childish Gambino's This Is America, and many other artistic examples to demonstrate how the arts helped to define the struggle for freedom and equality among African Americans.

Dr. McCurdy will also present literary excerpts by several writers, including Langston Hughes', I Too Sing America, Gil Scott-Heron's, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Claude McKay's If We Must Die, and several other writers.  He will also include examples of visual artists including images by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence depicting African American life.

The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A with Dr. McCurdy.

If you have questions or would like to request accommodations, please contact Jamila DeCarli at

Register on Zoom here.

Distrupting Racism flyer

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