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Black history on TV with NU link

Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. WTTW, Channel 11, will show a film about the Northwestern University professor who started the school’s African Studies department, and whoss research did much to establish the academic field.

Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. WTTW, Channel 11, will show a film about the Northwestern University professor who started the school’s African Studies department, and whoss research did much to establish the academic field.

As the show’s website asks: "Who has the right to define a culture? When a white, Jewish intellectual named Melville Herskovits asserted in the 1940s that black culture was not pathological, but in fact grounded in deep African roots, he gave vital support to the civil rights movement and signaled the rise of identity politics. But what does it mean that his subjects had little or no say in the academic discourse about them?"

Melville Herskovits

The film is part of the Independent Lens series. Since its debut on the NU campus last year, the film has been shown at numerous film festivals and won several awards including the American Historical Association’s John E. O’Conner Film Award and best documentary at the Hollywood Black Film Festival.

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