The annual Kent Lecture was established by the Organization
of Black Students at the University of Chicago in 1984, and was named after the late
Dr. George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African-American
professors at the University of Chicago, and its first African-American
professor of English.
The prestigious honor was “designed to serve as a platform
for community exposure to African-American luminaries” and since its inception, speakers
who have given the lecture are names you would expect, such as Cornel West,
Michael Eric Dyson, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Michelle Alexander.
This year, the OBS pulled off a real coup and got, for the first time, a film director. Not only just a film director, but the
director of “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed,” Ryan Coogler himself, to give this year’s
According to OBS, Coogler will be discussing “blackness in
mixed forms of media, specifically film, the importance of representation, and
why stories such as these are so important to tell.” After his opening remarks, there will be a moderated Q& A with Coogler (no doubt there are going to
be a lot of audience questions about the Oscars and “Black Panther”).
The event will take place at Mandel Hall at the
University of Chicago campus (1175 E. 57th); starting at 7PM and yes it’s free
and open to the public. But get there early to secure a seat because they will likely be