Critical Conversations | "Quitting America"

Monday Jun 15th, 2020

critical convo blog

Please join us for our next installment of Critical Conversations.

The group will read and discuss "Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land" written by Randall Robinson. Complimentary copies of the book are available. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in reading and attending our virtual discussions. This is in collaboration with Edinboro University and the Northwestern Pennsylvania Artist Association.

Our meeting times are as follows:

  • June 23 at 4:30 PM (Zoom) | Part One: Chapters 1-8
  • July 21 at 4:30 PM (Zoom) | Part Two: Chapters 9-13
  • August 18 at 4:30 PM (Zoom) | Part Three: Chapters 14-22

About "Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land":

"Randall Robinson is quitting America, and this book charts his journey from the most powerful nation on earth to the tiny tropical island where his wife was born. His search for a more peaceful and hospitable place grew out of the disappointment and increasing sense of abandonment he felt in the land of his own birth—an America that has sapped the creative energies of his race and "transfigured humanity."

From within a culture as different from America as black is from white, Robinson is able to share why he needs to escape the racism he has fought all his life. Yet America is never far from his mind. The current state of political and socioeconomic affairs and why our leadership falls short of our expectations continue to inform his writing."

About Critical Conversations:

Our first installment of Critical Conversations included reading and discussing reading Aruna D’Souza’s book “Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts.” We provided 20 complimentary copies of the book to our community and the discussions were well received.

Below, Leslie Sotomayor provided a debrief of her experience moderating Critical Conversations:

"Critical Conversations around the book Whitewalling facilitated a much needed safer space for expressing and listening in our Erie community. In the current U.S. climate and the city of Erie, it is apparent to me that safer spaces and re-imagining of what museum and gallery spaces could be are necessary. We, as a community, have an opportunity now for social change in how we rebuild the art scene in Erie. I believe that the Erie community is more committed than ever to increase effort for greater equity, diversity and inclusion by embracing a more assertive anti-racist agenda in the art world. This is the time to look at the voices represented in all Erie art circles and critically evaluate actions; words and statements are not enough. Art empowers us to interconnect through diversified ways of thinking and creating meaning for our humanity and communities. How can we reimagine the arts towards social change?"

Erie Arts & Culture

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