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Press Release for Thursday, March 29, 2012

University of North Florida Presents James Weldon Johnson Symposium

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 


Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 

The University of North Florida presents the James Weldon Johnson Symposium from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 5, and from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the UNF Student Union Auditorium, Building 58W, Room 2704, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the publication of James Weldon Johnson’s “Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.” 


 The symposium will feature student and faculty performances, poetry readings as well as music and dance performances. The keynote speaker will be Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, assistant professor in the UNF Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She will discuss “Black Americans and Colorism in the 21st Century,” while UNF student Erin Mulkey will perform “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a song written by Johnson and is considered to be the Negro national anthem.  


Additionally, there will be faculty and student presentations addressing the life of Johnson as well as his Jacksonville origins and connections. The event will conclude at 4 p.m. Friday, April 6, with a performance by the renowned McIntosh County Shouters, a group that performs the “Southeastern Ring Shout,” which is among the oldest surviving African-American performance traditions on the North American continent. 


This event is sponsored by the UNF College of Arts and Sciences African-American/African Diaspora Studies minor and the UNF Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. For more information about this event, contact Dr. Tru Leverette, UNF assistant professor of English, at (904) 620-1620 or at .