Perceptions & Complicity in Beauty & Race


23rd Annual Arturo A. Schomburg Symposium

Saturday, February 23, 2019/ 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

This year’s symposium focuses on the social perceptions and construction of beauty and how these influence our understanding, acceptance, and emotional responses to race.

Since 1997, The Annual Arturo A. Schomburg Symposium explores different aspects of the complex relationship of the African diaspora to Latin American culture. With presentations by distinguished scholars, this event offers the opportunity to deepen knowledge and understanding, foster dialogue, and educate audiences and speakers alike

Registration Information

Deadline for advance registration/Fecha límite para registrarse por adelantado: Wednesday, February 20th by 5 PM /miércoles 20 de febrero, 5 pm.

Tickets Prices

Admission includes: Continental breakfast and lunch/admisión  incluye desayuno ligero y almuerzo.

Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble’s

Wemilere: Parade of the Orishas

Free/RSVP – February 16 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


9:30-9:50 AM РContinental Breakfast/ Caf̩ y Bizcochitos


9:50-10:00 AM – Welcome & Introductions

10:00-10:45 AM – BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER? EXAMINING THE ROLES OF RACE AND COLORISM IN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONTEXTS Gauging intragroup colorism is a bit more varied and complex than the overwhelming majority of this research has portrayed. Dr. Camille D. Burge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Villanova University.

10:45-11:30 AM – RACE, THE BLACK NATION(S), AND THE GENDERING OF THE BLACK AESTHETIC IN THE DIASPORA Dr. Jordan notes in his research how the 1959 film Black Orpheus transnationalized and created a symbolic image of black feminine beauty throughout the African Diaspora. Dr. Joseph F. Jordan is Director of the Stone Center for Black Culture & History & Adjunct Associate Professor, African/African American & Diaspora Studies at UNC, Chapel Hill.

11:30-12:15 AM – RISE OF THE ANCESTRAS: ENSLAVED WOMEN WHO REBEL INSIDE AN AFRO-PUERTO RICAN NARRATIVE Through examples of freed or runaway (cimarronas) black enslaved women that became teachers, washerwomen, midwives, and other workers, and famous figures such as Agripina La Negra de Ponce, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro reveals how Black women played a role in constructing their own identities for the next generation. Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro is currently completing her PhD in Caribbean and Puerto Rican Literature.

12:15 AM-12:45 PM – PLENARY Q & A

12:45-2:00 PM – Catered Lunch

*Lunchtime Roundtable: IMPLICATIONS ON SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE Up to six Continuing Education Units are available to LSW’s in partnership with the Department of Social Work at La Salle University. **When you register please indicate if you are applying for Social Work CEU’s. Led by Elena Marie DiLapi, MSW, Rosemary A. Barbara PhD, MSS, and Veronica Medina, MSW, ACSW, LSW, CCM;

2:00 – 2:45 PM – THE IMPACT OF AFRO-LATIN0 MOVEMENTS IN THE ANDEAN REGION OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES Looking at how the Afro-Latino movement in the US has impacted the aesthetic and political paradigms of Afro-descendants in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Mónica Carrillo holds an M.F.A. in Performance Media & Interactive Arts, a B.A. in Journalism, a post-degree in Political Journalism/Cultural Analysis, and a certification in International Law & Human Rights who has led over 25 human rights projects.

3:00 – 4:45 PM – PANEL: BEAUTY, A TROUBLING PARADIGM Moderator, organizing committee member Alba Seda Morales. Panelist:

Rina Banerjee – Bengali-American artist who does work that investigates the splintered experiences of identity, tradition, and culture prevalent in diasporic communities. Her exhibition, Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World is currently on view at PAFA.

Vashti Dubois – Executive Director and founder of Philadelphia’s The Colored Girls Museum, which focuses on celebrating the achievements and perspectives of the Ordinary Extraordinary Colored Girl.

Jos̩ A. Esquea РDirector/Independent producer in New York City since 2001.

Laura Om – A successful entrepreneur and hair stylist specializing in curly hair.

Jodi Throckmorton – Curator of Contemporary Art at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). Her curatorial focus has been on highlighting underrepresented perspectives in contemporary art.

Kukuli Velarde – Peruvian painter and sculptor based in Philadelphia. In her show at Taller, The Complicit Eye, she presents a body of work that dissects the construction and consumption of beauty in Western culture, exposing the connections between beauty and violence.

Currently on view.4:45 PM – Closing Remarks