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Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

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Exhibition focuses on African-American classicists, Dec. 1-11

A photographic exhibition showcasing the work of 12 African-American scholars in classics will be on display Dec. 1-11 in Firestone Library.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, Michele Ronnick, associate professor of classics at Wayne State University, will deliver a lecture titled "Classica Africana" in connection with the exhibition. The talk will take place in Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture.

Seven years ago, Ronnick began writing footnotes for a biography of William Sanders Scarborough (1852-1926), who was born into slavery, learned to read in secret and later became the first African-American member of the Modern Language Association. During the course of her research, Ronnick discovered 11 other African-American scholars born in the 19th century whose work had been forgotten.

The results of Ronnick's research are on display in the exhibition, "12 Black Classicists," which includes a dozen 30-by-40-inch photographs with accompanying biographies. Funded by the James Loeb Classical Library Foundation at Harvard University, the collection currently is on a national tour of American colleges and universities.

The 11 men and one woman taught Greek and Latin at the college level. Ronnick said their achievements laid the groundwork for the serious study and teaching of classical languages and philology among African Americans.

The exhibition will take place in the African-American studies reading room on the third floor of Firestone Library. A Princeton University identification card is required for admission. The library will be open from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Dec. 1-5 and Dec. 8-11; and from 9 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Dec. 6-7.

The lecture, which will include a slide presentation on the exhibition, is sponsored by the University Center for Human Values , the Program in African-American Studies and the Department of Classics . For more information, contact the University Center for Human Values via e-mail or call (609) 258-4798.

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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