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The Layers of A Black Man
By Niele Anderson Contributing Writer @nieleluv Facebook: Niele Anderson
Published November 30, 2016

Cal State Northridge students examine and present the activism, triumphs and challenges of black men.

Dr. Cedric Hackett featured with a few of his research students. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Cedric Hackett featured with a few of his research students. (Courtesy Photo)

CSUN recently held its 8th Bi- Annual Men of Color Enquiry and Student Research Poster Session. The study is the brain child of Dr. Cedric Hackett.

Hackett, assistant professor, director of Dubois-Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement sponsored the event under his class “The Black Male in Contemporary Times”. It was co-sponsored by Africana Studies Department College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University Student union and Associated Students.  The topics were chosen from course content which derived from the books Black Men Emerging by Dr. Joseph White and Black Male Tyrone Howard from UCLA.

Facing generational captivity, discrimination, racism and fear, the African American male has always had challenges, oppression and the push to overcome. The CSUN African American Studies department showcased the challenges by sharing the layers and levels of being a black man in America with thought out collectives that provided great insight to these topics.

The session exhibited a series of poster thesis that tackled the many complex issues. Students partnered together and conducted research of subject matters that included African American Male entrepreneurship, the role of hip hop, police brutality, male masculinity, the black male’s role in family and fatherhood, male athletes and social justice, mass incarceration and the prison industry, education and self-identity.

Participants had the opportunity to go around view poster exhibits and ask student researchers questions about their presentations. Dr. Hackett shared many of the students expressed interest in graduate school and this project would provide a perfect intro to the process.

The feature speaker for the afternoon which happen to be a part of the of the hip hop presentations was self-proclaimed “undisputed God father of West Coast Hip Hop Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams. Williams gave a very entertaining presentation of the history of west coast hip hop beginning from the World Class Wreckin Crew leading all the way up to present west coast hip hop rappers including Kendrick Lamar. He discussed hip- hop/gangsta rap’s impact on the community and the role it still plays. It should be noted “Lonso” persona was featured in the movie blockbuster Straight Out of Compton and Lifetime Movie Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge, and Michel’le.

Participants listen to student researchers as they make their presentations.

Participants listen to student researchers as they make their presentations.

Hackett shared, “the goal of this cultural enrichment activity is to provide co-curricular experiences in the classroom that reflect the course content and to share with campus community. Black men have experienced many challenges leading to issues of self-identity related gender role conflicts and negative images in society. It is imperative that we think about how to disrupt the negative outcomes experienced by men within the black community.” For more information about CSUN Department of Africana Studies visit http://www.csun.edu/social-behavioral-sciences/africana-studies. To contact Dr. Cedric Hackett cedric.hackett@csun.edu.

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