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The 43rd Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series is set for Saturday, February 18 in the Newark Museum of Art

Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience
The 43rd MTW Lecture Series will take place in the Newark Museum of Art

The 43rd Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series will be held on Saturday, February 18th in the Newark Museum of Art. It will also be streamed via FaceBook live & Zoom, produced with Rutgers University TV.

Dr. Jack Tchen, the Director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience and the Center's Associate Director Dr. Lacey Hunter joined WBGO News Director Doug Doyle to talk about the event.

Lacey Jack and Doug.jpg
Doug Doyle/Zoom
Dr. Lacey Hunter and Dr. Jack Tchen of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience speak with WBGO Journal host Doug Doyle about the 43rd Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series. The event is set for Saturday, February 18 in the Newark Museum of Art.

The theme of this year’s MTW is "Beans, Greens, Tomatoes: Food Accessibility and Justice in the Black Diaspora", reflecting on foodways and food cultivation as vital pillars in Black familial and community life, we explore the quest for food justice through resistance to land dispossession, collaborative gardening practice, and culinary traditions that preserve historical memory.

Given Newark's important efforts to address food insecurity and the on-going collaboration of community leaders to create accessible spaces for fresh foods in the city, Dr. Hunter believes this is a timely and especially relevant discussion.

"I think we are all concerned about climate change. increasing houses crisis we see and all of the things we see turning the news on a little bit anxiety-inducing. And so this seems like a nice way to provide an accessible means of having conversations about large ecological, environmental justice issues because food is something that does bring us all together and it's something we all have a relationship to. It seems like this was the right moment to ground this year's theme. It's something everyone has a connection to and memories of, something that help us think about history in a different way."

Tchen has been in charge of the lecture series started by Clement Price and Giles Wright since 2018. He stresses food justice insecurity and accessibility are huge topics, especially for cities like Newark.

"Food is delicious when it's done right. Not all of us are great cooks, but those who we remember fondly often are really great cooks. They hold a lot of the best memories we have from our childhood into adulthood. For me, justice is also something that has to be delicious. Justice, I think we have images of it being a righteous cause which is correct, but also something that could be tough, difficult, we have to sacrifice, those all may be true, but is also has to be delicious. To be delicious doesn't mean you're spending a fortune. I think a lot of the traditions we come out of, mine included in terms of a Chinese background, but also indigenous background, African-American backgrounds, African-indigenous, something that is plentiful backgrounds, what's delicious often comes from very simple ingredients. Something directly out of nature, something that we can all share."

Two of the guest speakers have connections to popular television shows. Legendary "High on the Hog" Jessica Harris says she's looking forward to the event. The popular Netflix series "High on the Hog", hosted by Stephen Satterfield, was based on Jessica Harris' work. Meanwhile, Cajun/Creole cuisine and historian and writer Lolis Eric Elie also excited to give a lecture. Elie wrote the food scene for the hit series "Treme". He is from New Orleans but now lives in Los Angeles. Elie and Harris are longtime friends.

The video interview with Jessica Harris and Lolis Eric Elie can be SEEN here.

You can also SEE the entire conversation with Dr. Jack Techen and Dr. Lacey Hunter here.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 200 awards from organizations like PRNDI, AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.