Spring 2017 Season begins on January 16!

Please join us for our Spring 2017 season opening on January 16!  We've got a full program schedule of art exhibitions, the return of the Writer's Discussion Series, the African Diaspora lecture, and more!  Check out the schedule below and visit our website regularly for updates!

Image credit: Williamson-Tender Breeze,2008, oil on linen, 48x60in

Sonja Haynes Stone Center Spring 2017 Calendar of Events

For more info on events, email stonecenter@unc.edu or call 919-962-9001.

All events are Free and Open to the Public unless otherwise noted.


January 16 at 7 pm, Stone Center

He was a Poem; He was a Song. UNC Martin Luther King Jr Week Commemoration Event

A tribute to the legacy of Dr. King in verse and song, featuring local choirs, including the Hillside High School Choir from Durham, NC. The program will also include poetry and spoken word performances. This event is part of UNC at Chapel Hill’s annual MLK week celebration. This event is FREE and Open to the public. To RSVP to this event please visit: www.stonecenter.unc.edu or call 919-962-9001.


January 26 at 7 pm, Stone Center Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum

Exhibition Opening Reception, featuring an artist talk by Philemona Williamson

La Sombra y el Espiritu V:  The Beautiful Somewhere: The Art of Philemona Williamson

Williamson, a native New Yorker, currently resides and works in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, and has a studio in Bloomfield. Her paintings depict children and adolescents, which come from her imagination and some from her own childhood. Williamson's most popular medium is oil on linen

Her work has been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including the IV Bienal Internacional de Pintura en Cuenca, Ecuador, in 1994. She is represented in numerous private and public collections, including The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina; Hampton University Museum, VA; Sheldon Art Museum, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; Mott-Warsh Art Collection, Flint, MI; and AT&T.

La Sombra y el Espiritu V: The Beautiful Somewhere: The Art of Philemona Williamson will be on display through April 24, 2017.


January 31 at 7 pm Stone Center, Hitchcock Room

*Writer’s Discussion Series and Lecture

 Iris Morales | Through the Eyes of Rebel Women: The Young Lords: 1969-1976

Through the Eyes of Rebel Women: The Young Lords: 1969-1976 is the first book about the experiences of the women members — a "story within a story" told from the inside out. The Young Lords Organization emerged in New York in the late sixties to fight poverty, racial and gender inequality, and the colonial status of Puerto Rico. Women in the Young Lords organized to build a people's movement and fought the “revolution within the revolution,” believing that women’s equality was inseparable from the society’s progress as a whole.

Written and edited by Iris Morales, consists of essays, interviews, and primary source documents. Morales Through the Eyes of Rebel Women chronicles the revolutionary rise of the Young Lords, the contributions of women, and the group’s decline.

Iris Morales is a community activist, attorney, educator, film maker, former executive director of the Union Square Awards. Currently, as the founder of Red Sugarcane Press, Inc., Ms. Morales publishes books about the Puerto Rican and Latin@ Diasporas in the Americas.


February 17 at 7 pm, Stone Center

“Power!”Stokely Carmichael Performance

The Stone Center will present Power! Stokely Carmichael, a play written and performed by actor and playwright Meshaun Labrone and directed by Jennifer Knight.

In June 1966, during the last great march of the Civil Rights Movement, a young activist changed the battle cry from “Freedom Now!” to “Power!” Now, on the 50th Anniversary of this march, witness the rise of Stokely Carmichael, who would become the energizing force of the Black Power Movement. In this blistering one-man show, you will be transported back to the summer of 1966 and encounter multiple characters that Stokely Carmichael encountered during the days of the Civil Rights Movement. The production is tense, funny, heartbreaking, informative, engaging, and non-stop entertaining.


March 5 at 3 pm, UNC Friday Center (100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC)

The Langston Hughes Project Performance

The Friday Center, in collaboration with the Stone Center will present The Langston Hughes Project, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.

Recently voted the "Best Live Performance” for 2016 by the Jazz FM Awards in London, UK. The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, featuring the Ron McCurdy Quartet. Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz is a twelve-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie-woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin “cha cha” and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming -- a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death. By way of videography, this concert performance links the words and music of Hughes’ poetry to topical images of Ask Your Mama's people, places, and events and to the works of the visual artists Langston Hughes admired or collaborated with most closely over the course of his career.

Admission is free, advance registration is requested. Call 919-962-3000, 866-441-3683, or email fridaycenter@unc.edu to register.


March 23 at 7 pm Stone Center, Hitchcock Room

*Writer’s Discussion Series and African Diaspora Lecture

Daniel O. Sayers | A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archeology of Maroons, Indigenous Americans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp (University Press of Florida, 2014)

In the 250 years before the Civil War, the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina was a brutal landscape--2,000 square miles of undeveloped and unforgiving wetlands, peat bogs, impenetrable foliage, and dangerous creatures. It was also a protective refuge for marginalized individuals, including Native Americans, African-American maroons, free African Americans, and outcast Europeans.

In the first thorough archaeological examination of this unique region, Daniel Sayers exposes and unravels the complex social and economic systems developed by these defiant communities that thrived on the periphery. He develops an analytical framework based on the complex interplay between alienation, diasporic exile, uneven geographical development, and modes of production to argue that colonialism and slavery inevitably created sustained critiques of American capitalism.


April 4 at 3:30 pm, Bull’s Head Bookshop (2nd floor UNC Student Bookstore)

Mae Henderson and Charlene Register | The Josephine Baker Critical Reader: Selected Writings on the Entertainer and Activist (Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub, 2017)

Star of stage and screen, cultural ambassador, civil rights, and political activist--Josephine Baker was defined by the various public roles that made her 50-year career an exemplar of postmodern identity. Her legacy continues to influence modern culture more than 40 years after her death. This new collection of essays interprets Baker's life in the context of modernism, feminism, race, gender, and sexuality. The contributors focus on various aspects of her life and career, including her performances and public reception, civil rights efforts, the architecture of her un-built house, and her modern-day "afterlife."

Mae G. Henderson is Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of innumerable articles and essays on African American and feminist literary criticism and theory, pedagogy, theatre, popular culture, travel, Afro-Diaspora, and Black Cultural Studies.

Charlene B. Regester is an associate professor in the department of African & African American Studies and affiliate faculty with the Global Cinema Minor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.


April 10 at 3:30 pm, Bull’s Head Bookshop (2nd floor UNC Student Bookstore)

Cherie Ndaliko | Necessary Noise: Music, Film, and Charitable Imperialism in the East of Congo (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Since 1997, the war in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has taken more than 6 million lives and shapes the daily existence of the nation's residents. While the DRC is often portrayed in international media as an unproductive failed state, the Congolese have turned increasingly to art-making to express their experience to external eyes. Author Chérie Rivers Ndaliko argues that cultural activism and the enthusiasm to produce art exists in Congo as a remedy for the social ills of war and as a way to communicate a positive vision of the country. Ndaliko introduces a memorable cast of artists, activists, and ordinary people from the North-Kivu province, whose artistic and cultural interventions are routinely excluded from global debates that prioritize economics, politics, and development as the basis of policy decision about Congo.

Chérie Rivers Ndaliko is a professor in the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-director of the Yole!Africa cultural center in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.


April 20 at 3:30 pm, Bull’s Head Bookshop (2nd floor UNC Student Bookstore)

Paulette A. Ramsay | Afro-American Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation (UWI Press, 2016)

Paulette Ramsay’s study analyses cultural and literary material produced by Afro-Mexicans on the Costa Chica de Guerrero y Oaxaca, Mexico, to undermine and overturn claims of mestizaje or Mexican homogeneity.

The interdisciplinary research draws on several theoretical constructs: cultural studies, linguistic anthropology, masculinity studies, gender studies, feminist criticisms, and broad postcolonial and postmodernist theories, especially as they relate to issues of belonging, diaspora, cultural identity, gender, marginalization, subjectivity, and nationhood. The author points to the need to bring to an end all attempts at extending the discourse, whether for political or other reasons, that there are no identifiable Afro-descendants in Mexico. The undeniable existence of distinctively black Mexicans and their contributions to Mexican multiculturalism is patently recorded in these pages.

Paulette A. Ramsay is Senior Lecturer in Spanish, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. She is an interdisciplinary academic who has published widely in the areas of Afro-Hispanic literature and culture.