What can history teach us about the current moment? Saturday, September 12, Weeksville Weekends returns with “Community As Classroom.” Join us as we discuss the impact of COVID-19, examine the history of racialized inequity in the public health system in the U.S, and bear witness to the work of documenting the current pandemic in our communities.
As we’ve watched COVID-19 disproportionately affecting African Americans, the disease has revealed the ugly truth about health inequality in the U.S. To learn more about this history and the present moment, Weeksville Heritage Center is excited to welcome back Harriet A. Washington, a medical ethicist and author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present and Dr. Samuel Kelton Roberts, Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), Associate Professor of History & Sociomedical Sciences, and Cluster leader of “Bearing Witness: The Covid-19 & Inequality History Documentation Project,” for a conversation with Weeksville’s Oral History Project Manager, Obden Mondésir.
As the pandemic in the U.S. continues to reveal health inequities in the African American community, how do we document our experiences to discover new modes of thinking about public health and our relationship to society? Tune in from 12:30 to 3 p.m. for this virtual teach-in and participate in the Q&A following the discussion.
Harriet A. Washington has delivered more than 200 invited lectures/Grand Rounds, mostly to universities and schools of medicine, including John Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health, Columbia University, Stanford Law School, the University of Chicago, Vassar College, The Mayo Clinic, ETH Zürich Zentrum, Universität zu Lübeck Geschichte, Theorie, Ethik der Medizin, the XVIth European Conference on Computational Biology in Vienna, Austria and the Brocher Institüt of Hermance and Geneva.
Samuel Kelton Roberts, PhD, is Associate Professor of History, Sociomedical Sciences, and African-American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. At Columbia, he also leads the Research Cluster on the Historical Study of Race, Inequality, and Health, and co-directs the Lehman Center for American History. Roberts is a former director of Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS). He writes, teaches, and lectures widely on African-American social history, medical and public health history, harm reduction and drug policy, and criminal justice, policing, and social policy.
Dr. Roberts is the author of the widely acclaimed Infectious Fear: Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation, and is currently writing a book tentatively titled To Enter a Society Which Doesn’t Want Them”: Race, Recovery, and America’s Misadventures in Drug Policy, a project covering the history of addiction treatment, harm reduction, and political inclusion from the 1950s to the 1990s.
In 2018, Dr. Roberts launched the podcast series People Doing Interesting Stuff (PDIS) (available on iTunes and other podcasting platforms) in which he speaks with people working in public health and social justice, especially harm reduction, HIV/AIDS work, reproductive justice, and criminal justice reform. He is also the co-host of the podcast series, Black Lives: In the Era of COVID-19.
He tweets from @SamuelKRoberts.
Obden Mondesir is an Outreach Archivist and Adjunct Lecturer at Queens College, City University of New York, and an Oral Historian working at the Weeksville Heritage Center, a multidisciplinary house museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century Free Black community in Weeksville,Brooklyn, New York.
At Queens College, he’s recently worked on developing an OER based curriculum in archival theory and practice at the Graduate School and Library and Information Studies.
He also collects interviews on the SEEK program. The SEEK program which stands for “Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge” and was legislated into being in 1966, as a vehicle to integrate CUNY’s senior colleges and provide comprehensive academic support to assist capable students who otherwise might not be able to attend college.
At the Weeksville Heritage Center, he developed public programming and he has conducted and presented on several community-based oral history projects that have focused on education, Black joy, and Black-owned restaurants in Central Brooklyn.
Obden has a dual M.A. in Library Science and History from Queens College and is the recipient of a West African Research Center Library Fellowship and the Citi Center for Culture + Queens Library Fellowship.
Community as Classroom: Bearing Witness to COVID-19 and Examining the History of Public Health and the Impact of Infectious Diseases on the Black Community in the United States Virtual Teach-In Saturday, September 12, 2020, 12:30PM-3PM
Opening Remarks: 12:30PM-12:35PM Zenzelé Cooper, Weeksville Heritage Center Program Manager gives opening remarks and welcomes the community back to Weeksville Weekends.
VICE TV presents “A Day in Weeksville: Brooklyn’s Historic, Free Black Town”: 12:35PM-12:45PM In this edition of Black Trademarked Photo Editing Software History, VICELAND’s Messiah Rhodes finds out why a town in the middle of Brooklyn, founded in 1838 by fugitive slaves and freed Black people escaping racial violence, almost disappeared from history.
Virtual Teach-In Intro: 12:45PM-12:50PM Obden Mondésir, Weeksville Heritage Center Oral History Project Manager & Moderator, introduces the format of the program Community as Classroom: Bearing Witness to COVID-19 and Examining the History of Public Health and the Impact of Infectious Diseases on the Black Community in the United States, our invited speakers Harriet A. Washington and Dr. Samuel Roberts.
Community as Classroom: Bearing Witness to COVID-19 and Examining the History of Public Health and the Impact of Infectious Diseases on the Black Community in the United States: 1-2PM; Q&A 2PM-3PM Obden Mondésir, Weeksville Heritage Center Oral History Project Manager moderates a discussion between Harriet A. Washington and Dr. Samuel Roberts. The discussion will include the impact of COVID-19, examining the history of racialized inequity in the public health system in the U.S, and the work of documenting this current pandemic in our communities. Invited speakers will take questions and discuss comments from the community in the second part of the program.
(Saturday) 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm