‘Black Male Images’ in Popular Culture Focus of Crisp Museum’s ‘Historic Tuesday Talk’ Feb. 12


“Art Imitating Life or Life Imitating Art – Black Male Images as Tools of Consumption, Protest or Liberation” will be the focus of the Feb. 12 installment in the “Historic Tuesday Talk” series in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

Dr. C.P. Gause, professor and chair of Southeast’s Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education, will give the presentation at 7 p.m., which is free and open to the public. This event is a part of the Museum’s celebration of Black History Month during February to recognize and highlight the cultures, history and achievements of black Americans.

During this presentation, Gause will provide a brief evolutionary history of black male images in popular culture and how the images have evolved over time. From the representations of black masculinity in hip-hop, film and popular culture, American culture continues to impact the “black male image.” Under American apartheid, the “black male image” was nearly absent in popular culture. Except for the occasional butler, field hand or driver, black males were not the main characters in television or film. The past four decades have yielded an increase in “black male images” in popular culture, although many of these roles were nihilistic. The explosion of hip hop as a global music genre and the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States provided a shift on how “black male images” are packaged and projected by the media, and reified “traditional” heteronormative constructions of being black and male in American culture. At the end of Obama’s eight-year presidency, we have witnessed a backlash and all-out assault on the black male and people of color. This interactive experience will provide critical analyses of several multi-mediated discourses of popular culture and social media. Gause and the audience will use their positionalities as a research tool within the body of the session.

Gause received his doctorate in educational leadership from Miami University, his Master of Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina-Columbia, his Master of Arts in Teaching-elementary education from  Columbia International University and his Bachelor of Science in human resource management from Trinity International University.

Gause is an internationally recognized award-winning author, teacher, scholar and motivational speaker, and a prolific poet. He has published numerous books, articles, book chapters and manuscripts on educational leadership, equity, diversity and inclusive education. His books, “Integration Matters” and “Keeping the Promise,” received the American Educational Studies Association 2007 and 2009 Critics’ Choice Awards. His latest book, “Leadership, Equity, and Social Justice in American Higher Education: A Reader” critiques the current state of American higher education through the lenses of critical theory and critical pedagogy. The contributing authors are a diverse array of scholars and practitioners who are committed to moral and shared leadership, equity and access, and social justice.

In 2009, Gause received the National Faculty Mentor Role Model of the Year Award given by Minority Access Inc., a non-profit firm, with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is also the recipient of the College of Education’s 2016-2017 Professional Growth Award. Gause believes in the transformational power of teaching and learning and is committed to creating engaging dynamic and equitable learning communities, for all, locally and globally.

The “Historic Tuesday Talk” series will take place at 7 p.m. on select Tuesdays in the Crisp Museum through April 16. The talks will consist of short, informational presentations and discussion sessions, and topics include movements, Civil War, World War I, riverboats, railroads, socio-cultural issues, space exploration, regional history, natural resources, fossils, geology and more. For more information, semo.edu/museum/education.html.

Crisp Museum is located inside Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus at 518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, Missouri. For more information, email museum@semo.edu or call (573) 651-2260.