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UDC Law Partners with UDC CAS for Big Read of Chocolate City

Thursday, February 22, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Looney
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WASHINGTON – On Feb. 15, UDC College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and UDC Law hosted a discussion of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital. Authors Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove led conversation about the book’s themes in front of a crowd of more than 300 guests before taking questions from the audience and signing copies of the book.

Chris Myers Asch
Chris Myers Asch
George Derek Musgrove
George Derek Musgrove

CAS Dean April Massey and UDC Law Dean Shelley Broderick spoke as well, with Dean Massey helping to bring a positive end note to the difficult dialogue generated by the book. She acknowledged that such conversations can be “uncomfortable” but reminded the audience that “meaningful open dialogue” on these topics is necessary to foster understanding and promote change. She added, “People from D.C. are very protective of their community.”

Copies of Chocolate City available for purchase at the event by the UDC Bookstore sold out before the end of the event.

About the book:Monumental in scope and vividly detailed, Chocolate City tells the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in our nation’s capital. Emblematic of the ongoing tensions between America’s expansive democratic promises and its enduring racial realities, Washington often has served as a national battleground for contentious issues, including slavery, segregation, civil rights, the drug war, and gentrification. But D.C. is more than just a seat of government, and authors Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove also highlight the city’s rich history of local activism as Washingtonians of all races have struggled to make their voices heard in an undemocratic city where residents lack full political rights.

Tracing D.C.’s massive transformations—from a sparsely inhabited plantation society into a diverse metropolis, from a center of the slave trade to the nation’s first black-majority city, from ‘Chocolate City’ to ‘Latte City’—Asch and Musgrove offer an engaging narrative peppered with unforgettable characters, a history of deep racial division but also one of hope, resilience, and interracial cooperation.”

About The Big Read: The Big Read Lecture Series is composed of a greater effort to create opportunities for extracurricular student engagement around issues tied to academic outcomes. Through lectures, films, and conversations, the “Big Read” is envisioned as a way to continue the liberal arts tradition and enhance the cultural fabric of the university and surrounding community. By presenting notable speakers and performances from the arts and humanities, the series offers learning opportunities for students and allows the university to showcase its programs and facilities. Additionally, it allows for the fostering of relationships with the university and general public. The Big Read Lecture Series is funded through the College of Arts and Sciences. The committee is made up of faculty, staff and student members.

Asch, Dean Massey, Dean Broderick, Musgrove
Left to right: Asch, Dean Massey, Dean Broderick, Musgrove


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