Smile Politely

Award-winning artist and author John Jennings will be giving a lecture on April 20th

A headshot of John Jennings, a bald, Black man. He looks into the camera. He is wearing a black shirt and gray blazer.
Krannert Art Museum

John Jennings, University of Illinois grad and former University of Illinois Professor, will be giving a lecture at the Krannert Art Museum on Thursday, April 20th as the last lecturer in the Black on Black on Black on Black lecture series. Jennings’ talk will explore the West African concept of “sankofa,” a word which means “go back and get” in the Twi language of Ghana. He will discuss how his pedagogy, critical making practice, and community-focused organizing have been centered through the lens of sankofa.

Jennings is currently a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. He is the co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of the Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art (2016). Jennings, in collaboration with Damian Duffy, has also adapted Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Parable of the Sower into graphic novels.

Together with Duffy, Jennings previously created the 2008 Krannert Art Museum exhibition Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics. He is also the co-founder and organizer of The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem, MLK NorCal’s Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco, and SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at The Ohio State University.

John Jennings
Krannert Art Museum, Room 62
Th Apr 20th, 5:30 p.m.

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