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Oct 25, 2012

DelVal presents a forum on ‘Black Identity in the Films of Spike Lee’

Dr. Wilbert Turner Jr.

Above: Dr. Wilbert Turner Jr.

It is time for Delaware Valley College’s biannual Multicultural Forum, which will be hosted by the Liberal Arts Department and Students for Diversity, a campus club.  The forum will be open to the public, and will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Mandell 114.  The College’s Dr. Wilbert Turner Jr. will be speaking. 

“The lecture will highlight some themes related to black identity in Spike Lee’s films,” said Assistant Professor of English Dr. Turner. “It’s an opportunity to open dialogue about a concept within the African American community, which has come to grips with defining itself.”

Dr. Turner grew up watching Lee’s films and said that they address relevant topics.

“I look at his films as running parallel to my growth, ‘School Daze’ came out when I was in high school,” said Dr. Turner. “’Do The Right Thing’ was a very important film in Brooklyn, when it came out in 1989. There were a lot of racially-charged incidents going on, which ‘Do the Right Thing’ sort of calls attention to. A lot of the themes that Spike Lee deals with, I’ve encountered in my life. They tap into African American culture.”

Students for Diversity has been showing some of Lee’s films in the Centennial Hall Movie Theater, as a way to lead up to the forum.  “School Daze” will be shown tonight, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m., and “Bamboozled” will be shown Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m.

The forum’s topic for discussion will be “(Re)defining Blackness: Black Identity in the Films of Spike Lee.”  Dr. Turner will discuss Lee’s films and how they relate to Black identity.

Dr. Turner in his third year at Delaware Valley College.  After receiving his B.A. in English & Textual Studies from Syracuse University, he went on to receive his PhD in English from University at Albany.  Dr. Turner specializes in African American Literature and Film Adaptation.  Similar to Spike Lee, he was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.