“Savage Portrayals: Images of Black Men in the Mainstream Media”

Feb 28 2013 7:00 pm

Dr. Natalie Byfield draws on a rich background in journalism, community education, and scholarly research in her writing and teaching on media and social justice. A professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. John’s University in New York, she focuses on how both the powerful and those with less influence use language to shape their worlds.

In her talk, Byfield will discuss the negative media representations that have been a growing problem in the lives of black males, with a focus on the racialized representations in the press coverage of the sexual assault of the Central Park jogger and the subsequent wrongful conviction of five black and Latino teens. Her forthcoming book, Race, Media & the Central Park Jogger Story to be published by Temple University Press, examines the politics of race, gender, and class that played out in the news reports about that high-profile case, which Byfield covered when she was a reporter at the New York Daily News. She also appears in “The Central Park Five,” Ken Burns’ new documentary on the case. In her presentation, Byfield will examine the cultural impact of the case, drawing a line from Central Park to the Trayvon Martin case today.

Byfield has been awarded fellowships by Columbia University, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the American Sociological Association, and the National Science Foundation. Her journalistic work has appeared in Time Magazine, The American Lawyer, New York Law Journal, and New York Woman.

The event is free and open to the public, with donations accepted to benefit 5604 Manor, a progressive community center.

The event is sponsored by St. James’ Episcopal Church; St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church; and the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

For more information, contact Robert Jensen at (512) 471-1990 or rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.edu.

Location: St. James’ Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Road, Austin, TX, 78721

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