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  April 2016
Summer Term 

Architecture of Life

Spring Speaker Series 

Faculty Profile: Charles Henry

Faculty News

Community Events

Lunch Bunch

Susan Hoffman

Business and Operations Manager
Lisa Hardy

Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Monahan

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator
Eric Anthony

Curriculum Coordinator
Matt Shears

Research Program Associate
Cheryl Brewster

Classroom Coordinator, Lafayette
Jason Gant

Summer Registration Opens Monday, April 4

Registration for our Summer term opens this coming Monday. We will offer seven courses:

Pete Elman:  50 Years of Country-Rock

Course descriptions will be available online Monday morning. You can register online or by phone at 510.642.9934 starting at 9:00 a.m. Monday.

"Architecture of Life" course starts Thursday, April 7

Most of our Spring courses have already started, but it's not too late to enroll in our course at the new Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive. Pierluigi Serraino and Philippa Kelly will give insight into the museum's inaugural exhibit.

Spring Speaker Series

All lectures in our Spring Speaker Series are held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley. 

Wednesday, April 6
Neo-Conservativism in Black Leadership
Charles Henry,  Professor Emeritus of African American Studies at UC Berkeley

Wednesday, April 13
Voting Rights and Voter Suppression in 2016
Robert Smith, Professor of Political Science at SFSU
More Information

Wednesday, April 20
Protest Politics: Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter
Waldo Martin, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of American History and Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley

Wednesday, April 27
The Republican Civil War and the Election of 2016
Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Right-Wing Studies at UC Berkeley

Admission is $10 for the general public, free for OLLI @Berkeley members as well as Cal students, faculty and staff.

Faculty Profile: Charles Henry
by Jennifer Monahan, OLLI Staff

Charles Henry
Charles Henry is Professor Emeritus of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. Former president of the National Council for Black Studies, Henry is the author/editor of nine books and more than 80 articles and reviews on Black politics, public policy, and human rights, including The Obama Phenomenon: Toward a Multiracial Democracy (2011) and Long Overdue: The Politics of Racial Reparations (2007). Henry was chair of the board of directors of Amnesty International U.S.A. and has also served with the National Council on the Humanities as well as the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State. His upcoming talk and Summer course are his first with OLLI @Berkeley.

On April 6 you'll be giving a talk on "Neo-Conservatism in Black Leadership" as part of our speaker series. What do you see as the factors behind candidacies like Ben Carson's and Herman Cain's? How does this trend fit in both with the "Obama phenomenon" and with the increasingly ugly discourse around otherness in American politics?
There have always been Blacks in the Republican Party; you see this during the Civil Rights era, for instance. But the rise of Blacks in the right wing of the Republican party is a newer phenomenon. Until quite recently, Black conservatives in public office were more likely to have been appointed rather than elected (e.g. Condoleezza Rice), but now we see conservative Black Republicans running for elected office. I first started writing about this issue in 2012 with Herman Cain's campaign: I was surprised that he had enough support to lead in the polls for a while. At around the same time, you also start seeing the election of people like Allen West in Florida and Mia Love in Utah.
And with the current election we had Ben Carson running for the Republican nomination; I just finished a piece on his candidacy as well.
These [Black conservative Republican] candidates have attracted very little black support overall. They have some white support, but given the Republican party's track record on race, their message just doesn't resonate with many Black voters. Carson's candidacy even cost him some credibility within the Black community, where he was previously a role model as a neurosurgeon. Carson also couldn't compete on the same terms as Donald Trump: how would a Black man look lashing out at Megyn Kelly, for instance? Outbursts just aren't Carson's style, for one thing, but it's also undeniable that a Black man couldn't act the way Donald Trump acts and get away with it.  

Tell us about your current projects.
After retiring in 2012 I started a book about the evolution of Black studies; I'm just about to send it to the publisher. This book is semi-autobiographical: it describes how I went from being a student demanding a department of African-American studies to a professor teaching in one. As an academic, it's new territory for me to include myself in the narrative, but it's also interesting to go back and relive that period.

This summer, you'll be teaching an OLLI course about the political philosophy of Martin Luther King. Can you tell us more about the structure of the course?
This course draws on material that I developed for an online course in that it makes use of several interviews I conducted.
One of them is with Hardy Frye, who's an emeritus professor of African American Studies here at Berkeley. He grew up in Tuskegee, he traveled to Montgomery [during the bus boycotts], he was a field coordinator for the SNCC for eight years, and he knew Dr. King. His interview talks about King's charismatic influence on young activists.
The second is with Kusum Singh, professor emerita at Saint Mary's, who met both Gandhi and Dr. King and compares the two of them.
And the third interview is with Michael Nagler, professor emeritus of Classics at Cal and the author of "Is There No Other Way" on the relevance of King's philosophy of nonviolence in today's world.
In addition to discussing these interviews, we'll look at King's biography and have ample opportunities for discussion.
This course was initially inspired by a student of mine. He was a former Black Panther who spent 13 years underground because of a murder rap. When he went back to school, he asked me to teach a course on King's political philosophy, which he found more relevant than that of the Black Panthers. So I taught this course at Cal a number of times, and since I retired in 2012 I've also offered it a few times through Berkeley Summer Sessions.  

What are you looking forward to in teaching this course with OLLI?
I'm looking forward to the students. I always enjoy meeting people from this age group; they have such interesting connections. I wouldn't be surprised if there was someone who knew Dr. King. Until I started teaching this course I didn't know that his secretary lived in the Bay Area. I wasn't able to convince her to come in and speak to the class... but her husband came in and spoke, and he was Dr. King's lawyer.

Faculty News

Michael Thaler 's story as a young child who survived the Holocaust is the first essay in a recently published  book,  Heroic Children: Untold Stories of the Unconquerable.

M. Steven Fish is the co-author of a recent op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that aid programs designed to encourage the rule of law in unstable countries can actually be counterproductive. 

Community Events

Open Engagement Pre-conference | CROSS-SECTOR
April 28 and 29, 2016
at The Magnes Collection
Whether we are imagining the role of the arts in social change, whether we are imagining new structures for sustaining the arts, artists and organizations increasingly tout the importance of the "cross-sector" partnership. 
This symposium brings together artists, scholars, curators, industry leaders, community organizers, and cultural administrators to mine the goals, pragmatics, and puzzles of "cross-sector" exchange. 
Presented as part of the 2016 Open Engagement conference, and by Arts Research Center and Arts + Design Initiative, in partnership with American Cultures, UC Berkeley and Imagining America.

Lunch Bunch

The Butcher's Son
1941 University Avenue, between Bonita and MLK Way

Here is something completely different, located near the OLLI classrooms -- a Vegan Deli. This brand-new place has just opened, and it caters to those of you who want to have a plant-based diet, or for others who just want to eat healthier and leave less of a carbon footprint. They offer hearty sandwiches, pastries, and desserts. It is open from early morning to mid-afternoon, so you can pick up something for lunch before class if you wish. It certainly is worth a try.

Lucille Poskanzer
April 2016