Thursday, February 7, 2008

African-American Poet Dudley Randall Remembered at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The life and accomplishments of a pioneering African-American poet and publisher will be explored in "Dudley Randall and Broadside Press: A Legacy of African-American Poetry and Institution Building" at Washington College's Hynson Lounge on Wednesday, February 20, at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture by Gloria House, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities and Director of the African and African-American Studies Program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, is being presented by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

The son of a minister and a teacher, Dudley Randall was born in Washington, D.C., in 1914. He developed his lifelong passion for poetry at an early age. After serving in the military during World War II, Randall attended Wayne State University, earning a B.A. in English; he subsequently earned his master's degree from the University of Michigan.

While pursuing his career as a librarian, Randall also produced a prodigious amount of verse. One of his most famous poems, "The Ballad of Birmingham," was written in response to the infamous 1963 bombing of a Baptist church in which four girls were killed.

Randall established the Broadside Press in 1965, and numerous topical poetry collections followed throughout the turbulent '60s and '70s. In 1981 Mayor Coleman Young officially declared Randall the Poet Laureate of the City of Detroit. Randall passed away in 2000.

Gloria House is an ideal individual to present a summation of Randall's life and works; she herself has served for three decades as a Board Member of Broadside Press. In addition to her professorial duties at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dr. House is the author of is the author of several books of poetry, including Blood River and Rainrituals, as well as a book of commentary on environmental issues, Tower and Dungeon: A Study of Place and Power in America.

The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Hynson Lounge is located in Hodson Hall. Admission to "Dudley Randall and Broadside Press: A Legacy of African-American Poetry and Institution Building" is free and open to the public.

February 7, 2008

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