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Liberation Film Series presents a Tribute to Frantz Fanon: His Continuing Relevance

Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 4 PM

Speakers: Dr. William (Bill) Strickland, Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie, and Dr. Lewis R. Gordon

Film Excerpt: Rediscovering Fanon (Produced by Rico Speight)

Q&A, Book Signing: What Fanon Said by Dr. Lewis R. Gordon

The Liberation Film Series is FREE and open to the public.

“Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it in relative opacity.”

“Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.” 

“The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In the sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.”  

“… for ourselves and for humanity, comrades, we must turn over a new leaf, we must work out new concepts, and try to set afoot a new man.

― Frantz FanonThe Wretched of the Earth

About Dr. William (Bill) Strickland

Dr. William Strickland is Professor Emeritus, Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is also the Director of the Du Bois Papers Collection and taught the celebrated course, The Writings of Frantz Fanon. Professor Strickland is a founding member of the independent black think tank, the Institute of the Black World, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Strickland was a consultant to both series of the prize-winning documentary on the civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize, and the senior consultant on the PBS documentary, Malcolm X: Make It Plain.  He also wrote the companion book.  Most recently, Professor Strickland was a consultant on the Louis Massiah film W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices.

Dr. William Strickland stated, “Karl Marx is the foremost critic of capitalism, Frantz Fanon is the foremost critic of colonialism, and Malcolm X is the foremost critic of American racism.”  

About Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie

Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie is a recent former Director of African American and African Studies (AAAS) in the College of Arts and Letters and Professor of International Relations and African Affairs at James Madison College of Public Affairs (JMC) at Michigan State University (MSU). She has written and published extensively on topics in African American, African Diaspora, and African studies (AAAS) and as Director, she built AAAS into a leading national program that each year recruits a strong cohort of students into its graduate studies Ph.D. and MA degrees and undergraduate studies minor programs.  She is the author, co-author, and editor of five books including two forthcoming ones in which she continues to develop her innovative Pan-Africanist interests and her concern with the history of Black studies: The African Union’s Africa: New Pan African Initiatives in Global Governance with Keith Gottschalk (MSU Press, 2014) and Malcolm X’s Michigan Worldview: An Exemplar for Contemporary Black Studies with Curtis Stokes (MSU Press, 2015). She is an ardent intellectual thinker on topics that reveal the implications of Franz Fanon’s scholarships on Pan Africanism and the liberation of Africa.

After earning a Ph.D. in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in 1999, Dr. Edozie’s first book, People, Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement against Military Despotism in Nigeria, 1989 – 1999, was published by Africa World Press in 2002. Dr. Edozie subsequently taught international relations, comparative politics, and African politics courses at a number of universities including the University of Delaware and Columbia University. She has received several awards and fellowships including the National Council of Black Studies’ for a “Liberation Film Series with Charles Wright Museum of African American History” and the MSU Creative Excellence and Inclusion Award.

Dr. Edozie enjoys her multiple teaching, research, and administrative roles at MSU.  She is a tireless teacher and scholar and a dedicated and conscientious program director. She considers herself a Pan-Africanist and appreciates the fact that her work within AAAS and JMC is interdisciplinary and that she is able to work with other scholars in a variety of fields.  “Another reason I wanted to come to MSU was because the African Studies Center was here and is nationally renowned.  I saw opportunities to work collaboratively with the ASC.”

Describing herself as a critical thinker and a Pan-Africanist, Dr. Edozie spends her free time (outside of raising her children) reconnecting with dance and music.  “I’m fascinated by African dance because I grew up with that.  Now, it has evolved into the African American Diaspora and those are some of the connections that I’m excited about.”

As a woman in academia, Dr. Edozie has had to overcome some obstacles and although strides have been made in terms of women in the field, Dr. Edozie gives aspiring female scholars some advice: “Whatever passion you have that motivates you to be in this field – hold onto it.  You will be opposed, sidetracked, belittled and marginalized, but stay with it.  How do you stay with it?  You need to learn how to negotiate – as much as possible, try to weave through and navigate through the opposition and marginalization, the contestations.”

About Dr. Lewis Ricardo Gordon

Lewis Ricardo Gordon—a graduate of Yale University and the Lehman Scholars Program of the City University of New Yorkis Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, with affiliations in Asian and Asian American Studies, Caribbean and Latino/a Studies, and Judaic Studies, at UCONN-Storrs in the United States; Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Government, the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica; European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France; Writer-in-Residence at Birkbeck School of Law at the University of London; and Chairman of the Anna Julia Cooper, Frantz Fanon, Nicolás Guillén, and Claudia Jones awards committees of the Caribbean Philosophical Association.  He was also Nelson Mandela Visiting Professor of Politics and International Studies at the university currently known as Rhodes in South Africa (2014 and 2015).

Dr. Gordon is the author of many influential books such as Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanities Press, 1995; Humanity Books, 1999), Fanon and the Crisis of European Man (Routledge, 1995), Her Majesty’s Other Children (Rowman & Littelfield, 1997), which won the Gustavus Meyer Award for Human Rights in North America, Existentia Africana (Routledge, 2000), Disciplinary Decadence (Paradigm/Routledge, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008), and, with Jane Anna Gordon, Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age (Paradigm/Routledge, 2009), anthologies such as Fanon: A Critical Reader (Blackwell’s, 1996), Existence in Black (Routledge, 1997), A Companion to African-American Studies (Blackwell’s, 2006), which was a Net Library Book of the Month in February 2007, and Not Only the Master’s Tools (Paradigm, 2006). He has published more than 200 articles, many of which have been translated into several languages, and utilized in interviews and essays for a variety of public forums, including, on which he serves on the Board of Directors. 

Dr. Gordon’s most recent book is What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham UP; Wits UP; Hurst, 2015). Translations in Portuguese and Swedish are forthcoming. He is completing a series of monographs in French, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.  His work is the subject of articles, essays, dissertations, anthologies, and monographs globally.  He also co-edits the book series, Global Critical Caribbean Thought: A musician, he currently plays blues with his colleagues at UCONN, jazz with fellow musicians in the Hartford area, and alternative funk rock with his son in their band Three Generations. His website is:, and he can be reached via twitter at:

About Rico Speight - Film Maker: Rediscovering Fanon

Rico Speight is an independent producer, director and writer and educator. His credits include documentaries, narratives, television productions, web productions and live theatre.

Speight earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and a Master of Arts degree in film and television from Emerson College. He was selected for a Revson Fellowship in 1999 for post-graduate work at Columbia University where he studied theatrical directing with veteran actor/director Peter Miner at Columbia’s Graduate Film School. Speight is a lecturer in film production at Sarah Lawrence College.  Rico is community coordinator of the New York African Film Festival.  He is also a freelance studio director for CUNY Television and NYU-TV in New York City.

His theater directing credits include the live multi-genre production of Aimé Césaire’s A Season in the Congo presented by LaMaMa Off-Broadway Theatre in 2013 and presented at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row in 2010.  He also directed and produced  “Defiant” (starring David Adams and Jeffrey White), a stage adaptation of the film, The Defiant Ones, written by Nathan E. Douglas with screenplay adaptation by Harold J. Smith.

His award-winning documentaries include, The People United, focused on racial conflict in 1980’s Boston, and Who's Gonna Take the Weight?, on African American and black South African youth in the wake of the fall of Apartheid, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.  In 2007, Speight released a follow-up production titled, "Where Are They Now?" a sequel to "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?"   The sequel documentary was broadcasted nationally in South Africa on South African Broadcasting Corporation TV.

In 2003, Speight traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to shoot a short documentary called "New Generation," which chronicled recent developments in the Congo, from the period when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power in 2003 until the Congo’s first democratic elections in four decades held in 2006.

Speight’s narrative film credits include Choices, his original narrative short starring Samuel L. Jackson, and Defiant, an adapted narrative short based on the classic The Defiant Ones.

In 1990 and again in 1993, Speight was awarded artist fellowships by the New York Foundation for the Arts, in film and video respectively. In 1998, he was honored by the Black Filmmaker's Hall of Fame for his original short narrative entitled Deft Changes.


All films and discussions are free and open to the public, and take place in the Museum's General Motors Theater.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 East Warren Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201
The Wright Museum™