The Byron & Christine Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series

2009 Theme:  Ushering in a New Era

Beyond Jubilation:  Where Do We Go From Here?

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Barack Obama’s presidential victory has placed our nation in a historic moment; however, the real work of healing the discords among us has just begun.  Noted historian and scholar Dr. Vincent Harding will lead us in dialogue and discussion around the following questions:  How did we get to this moment?  What exactly is the moment?  How do we move from here toward a more perfect union?

Brother President:  The Meaning of Obama for the Black Male

Saturday, February 21, 2009, 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

In January 2000, the Johnson Lecture Series presented a panel that explored the topic, “The Black Man in America,” which focused on the unique space occupied by Black men in American society.  This session, facilitated by well-known Denver activist and community leader, Brother Jeff Fard, will revisit that issue, as panelists give their insights on how the arrival of an African American president will affect societal perceptions of Black males in general, as well as the way Black males see themselves.

Inheriting the Trade:  Hidden Truths about the Legacy of Slavery

Saturday, March 14, 2009, 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Thomas Norman DeWolf, member of the largest slave-trading family in U. S. history and author of the book, Inheriting the Trade, leads a discussion on the history of slavery in the North.  Showing film clips from Traces of the Trade, the acclaimed documentary by Katrina Browne, another DeWolf family member, Thomas DeWolf’s presentation will explore the complicated impact of the hidden history of the slave trade, how historic traumas of the past continue to reverberate today, and the need for honest dialogue within our nation, a nation, he describes as “desperate and ready for healing.”  Mr. DeWolf’s book will be available for purchase following the presentation.

*There will be a public viewing of the film, Traces of the Trade, on Tuesday,

March 10, at 7:00 P.M., at Park Hill United Methodist Church in the sanctuary.  

A Global Context for Reparations

Saturday, April 18, 2009, 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

How we take responsibility for the history we create is the overriding issue that this session addresses—an issue that extends beyond reparations for slavery.   In a session that deepens issues raised in Thomas DeWolf’s presentation, Dr. Jacqueline McLeod, Associate Professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver and a native of Guyana, South America, facilitates a panel discussion that explores this issue, ranging from Africans demanding reparations for the centuries long slave trade to land grant rights sought by Latino and Native Americans.

The Evolution of Racial Identity Development

Saturday, May 9, 2009, 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. ($10.00 cost for luncheon)

Society is aware that Barack Obama is biracial, yet society also describes him as the first African American president.  Mr. Harold Fields will facilitate a panel that examines the historical context of the various identities of people of African descent in America.  The spectrum ranges from attempts to erase Black consciousness, dual consciousness,  and Afro-centered identity, to biracial individuals and family units.  This culminating lecture is extended to include a luncheon in the Balcony Parlor.

All sessions at Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Boulevard, Denver, CO 80207