Feb. 18-24 , 2000
What's the University for? Series of speakers will address the role of higher education in a changing world
Holt book honored
University to begin drug testing for safety-sensitive positions

New book of personal essays reveals what teachers hope will last a lifetime

Q&A: Karen Van Lengen's challenge as dean
Bush stumps for involvement in politics
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
From the Desk of ... Jill Hartz, Bayly Art Museum director
Hot Links - theangle.com
In Memoriam - Dr. Wayne Stephen Cail
Gates' film gives new view of African history

Henry Louis Gates Jr.Gates' film gives new view of African history

By Rebecca Arrington

If you missed the fall premiere of Henry Louis Gates' "Wonders of the African World," here's your second chance. A public screening and discussion of the documentary film -- which, in the filmmakers' words, invites viewers to "journey from Zanzibar to Timbuktu, the Nile River Valley to Great Zimbabwe, the slave coast of Guinea to the medieval monasteries of Ethiopia in search of the lost wonders of the African world" -- will be held at U.Va.'s Minor Hall Auditorium Feb. 21-23 from 6-9 p.m. Two one-hour segments of the film will be shown nightly, followed by an hour-long discussion led by U.Va. faculty.

On Monday night, "The Black Kingdoms of the Nile" and "The Swahili Coast" will be screened, followed by a discussion with U.Va. history professor John Mason.

Tuesday evening will feature "The Slave Kingdoms" and "The Holy Land," and a talk with U.Va. English professor Teju Olaniyan, a former student of Gates' and co-editor of the electronic journal, West Africa Review, which featured a special issue on the film in January.

On Wednesday night, "The Road to Timbuktu" and "Lost Cities of the South" will be screened, followed by a discussion with U.Va. anthropology professor Adria LaViolette.

Gates says of his work, which was filmed over 12 months in 12 countries, "I wanted to bring this lost African world into the consciousness of the larger public, black and white. It's important to debunk the myths of Africa being this benighted continent civilized only when white people arrived. In fact, Africans had been creators of culture for thousands of years before. These were very intelligent, subtle and sophisticated people, with organized societies and great art."

Gates, who is chair of Afro-American studies at Harvard and director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research, was born in Keyser, W.Va., in 1950. He is the author of numerous books on race and is general editor of the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature.

For more on his documentary, visit the PBS web site at http://www.pbs.org/wonders/

To review scholars' comments about his film, go to: http://www.westafricareview.com/war/vol1.2/index1.2.htm


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