Spokane NAACP President Kiantha Duncan to welcome WEB DuBois great-grandson in “Descendants” speech for Northwest African American Museum talk series


For a few years, the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle hosted a series of conversations with descendants of legendary Black Americans to broaden the region’s knowledge of African American history.

On Sunday, the program will feature Spokane NAACP Chapter President Kiantha Duncan in conversation with Arthur McFarlane II, great-grandson of WEB DuBois. The program will be broadcast for free at 3 p.m.

DuBois, one of the founders of the NAACP in 1909, was not just a civil rights activist. He was an author, writer and historian of African American history and culture. He died on August 27, 1963, the day before Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream Speech” during the March on Washington DC.

LaNesha DeBardelaben, president of the Seattle Museum, said she chose Duncan for her work inside and outside the NAACP. Duncan hosts “Conversations with Kiantha,” a communications platform that has produced live chats with The Black Lens, the black-owned newspaper in Spokane.

“We are looking for a moderator who is a thought leader and able to inspire and shape activism through their example,” said DeBardelaben, who has headed the museum since 2017. “We felt he was there there was no other moderator who could engage with the descendants of such national luminaries like Kiantha Duncan.

The Seattle Museum launched “The Descendants” as a quarterly program in 2019 to “educate viewers about black history by engaging in conversation with luminaries in black history.” Duncan called her role in the honor event and thinks it is a “eye-opening and interesting” opportunity to learn how early civil rights activists knew the struggle for equality would be an ongoing struggle centuries later. .

“(Activists of the 1800s) knew these systems would always be unfair and still wouldn’t provide the same opportunities for people of color,” Duncan said. “They knew then that he wasn’t going to be ready now. We all bake this cake and it’s very slow baking. I certainly don’t hope that the work I’m doing in 2021 is still just a seed planted from something problematic 200 years from now. “

She will also host a “Descendants” conversation with Tina Wyatt, Harriet Tubman’s great-niece, on October 17th.

McFarlane lives in Colorado, where he works as a population health analyst at the Colorado Children’s Hospital. Prior to that, he spent 25 years with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Sunday’s event will feature representatives from the Northwestern chapters of the NAACP, as well as a performance by Walter Hobbs, a ballet dancer who will perform a dance from “Lift Every Voice & Sing,” a song commonly considered to be. the black national anthem.

DeBardelaben said the program could also benefit from some national visibility.

“We have been contacted by C-SPAN to see if they can release it nationally,” DeBardelaben said. “Officials will review the series to determine if it fits into C-SPAN’s fall programming lineup.”

Duncan hopes the virtual event will help historical entities in Spokane such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture elevate diverse narratives. Washingtonians fill out diversity, equity, and inclusion surveys for educational programs and experiences like the Descendants series.

“I think it sets a precedent for doing these kinds of partnerships (in Spokane),” Duncan said. “It creates an opportunity to do that and to bring more culturally diverse programming to the museums here and I would love to be a part of that.”

{%% note} {/ %% note} Those interested in viewing the virtual discussion can register for the streaming event at www.naamnw.org.


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