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African and African-American Studies Research Project at UCSD To Honor French Filmmaker, Former Washington, D.C. Mayor May 28

News Release by Jan Jennings

May 11, 2004

The African and African-American Studies Research Project (AAASRP) at the University of California, San Diego, will celebrate its 10th anniversary May 28 with a tribute to a French filmmaker and a former mayor of Washington, D.C., a Youth Forum, a keynote address by an African art historian, and an awards ceremony.

Honored at the event will be French filmmaker Jean Rouch, who devoted a lifetime to documentary filmmaking and anthropological research in West Africa, and Walter E. Washington, a former mayor of Washington, D.C. (1967-1979) and an AAASRP board member. Washington is the father of UCSD sociology professor Bennetta Jules-Rosette, director of the AAASRP.

The tribute will include a screening of the documentary film, Rouch in Reverse by Manthia Diawara, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the main dining room of the UCSD Faculty Club. UCSD literature professor and film studies expert Alain J.-J Cohen will provide commentary.

AAASRP’s annual Youth Forum for high school and middle school students will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Room 6 of the Faculty Club. Sallie Bayless is the Youth Forum director. The event is open to youth participants, their parents, teachers, and invited guests.

African art historian Barbara Blackmun, San Diego Mesa College, will give the keynote address, Instant Antiquities: Art from Benin, following the 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Faculty Club’s main dining room. She will discuss her experience with the artistic communities of West Africa and will analyze the traditional and contemporary markets for art from Benin.

The celebration also will include music by AAASRP’s Elimu band featuring Gene Perry, Allen Phillips, and Fred Thompson; a silent auction of African art, and an awards ceremony for outstanding students, faculty, and administrators in African and African-American studies.

The film screening is free and open to the public. Tickets for the awards banquet are $40 per adult, $320 for a table of eight, and $25 for students. Parking will be reserved at the Faculty Club.

The AAASRP’s mission is to promote research and intellectual understanding of issues that face African-American and African diaspora populations from the perspective of the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The project also sponsors public events that bring together diverse groups of people, both to foster a comparative and interdisciplinary environment and to share information and exchange scholarly ideas.

For further information on AAASRP’s 10th anniversary celebration or on the AAASRP, contact Bennetta Jules-Rosette or Lea Marie Ruiz-Ade at (858) 822-0265, or by e-mail at

Media Contact: Bennetta Jules-Rosette, (858) 822-0265
Jan Jennings, (858) 822-1684



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