President of SHU Black Student Union on the Meaning of Kwanzaa

Guest blog post by Thanelie Bien-Aime, a senior biology major and president of the Black Student Union (BSU)

I didn’t grow up celebrating Kwanzaa and my first real experience with it was through BSU. Coming into college, I experienced a new sense of Black pride. Through Africana classes and organizations like the Black Student Union, I embraced the connectedness of Pan-Africanism and learned more about black culture, social justice, activism, and community service. Each year, the BSU would host a program to teach and celebrate Kwanzaa, and there would always be community members who had personal stories of the Holiday to share. For example Ghana Hylton, who works within Student Services at SHU, has assisted BSU for the past 2 years to facilitate engaging and informative content. Our main goal is not only to teach the history of the holiday but for people, especially those of African descent, to understand why it is relevant to them.

Kwanzaa’s 7 principles are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). All of these principles are significant to my various roles; health advocate, performing artist, student leader, community member, and the list goes on. Kwanzaa empowers my identity and emphasizes my connection to the world. You might not celebrate Kwanzaa with all of the traditional customs or symbols but celebrating can be as simple as allowing the principles to positively change you, your relationships, and your work. Like many holidays, it’s a time that emphasizes reflection, giving, family, community, and culture.
I would suggest taking a look at BSU’s Instagram page @setonhallbsu. We have uploaded Ghana’s Kwanzaa 101 video and our saved IG Live program from earlier this month. We’ll also continue sharing some more Kwanzaa content.

Kwanzaa will begin on Saturday, December 26, 2020 and end on Friday, January 1, 2021. 

For Africana Studies databases, books, and resources, please visit the SHU Libraries Africana Studies Research Guide.

50 Years Later, Msgr. Fahy’s Inaugural Address Foreshadows Issues of Today

Guest Blog Post By Angela Kariotis Kotsonis

 

Portrait of Msgr Fahy with books and a basketball hoop
Portrait of Monsignor Fahy by John Canfield, untitled publication by the Seton Hall Office of Public Relations, 1976, held the Priest Vertical Files of the Archdiocese of Newark, Box 24

I learned about Monsignor Fahy in the spring semester of 2018. It was at an intergenerational panel discussion at the Walsh Library of former Seton Hall student-activist leaders. The event was organized by the Concerned 44, an activated student group. The panel discussion was a teach-in about the history of protest on Seton Hall’s campus and discussion about the progress of the then student movement. You can follow the Concerned 44 on Instagram. If it weren’t for this panel discussion I would not have learned about President Fahy and I’d still be pronouncing Fahy Hall wrong. As an alumna, I can’t help but be angry that it took this long. I became more interested and invited colleagues into the journey of getting to know Fahy.

Alan Delozier, University Archivist, did the work to uncover the Fahy Inaugural address which is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. The CORE has integrated the speech as a required reading for the Journey of Transformations course. And this article intends to showcase a digital

Newspaper Clipping of Msgr Fahy with Black Studies faculty
Monsignor Fahy with the leadership of the Black Studies Program, Newark Star Ledger, April 21, 1975

communal reading of the text as an activist performance practice. The point of the project is to position the text and its ethos as a cultural imprint on our collective memory. To me, Fahy is a white anti-racist abolitionist ancestor who risked and used his power to benefit others. Social justice is a term we’re hearing a lot. What is it? How do you define it? What does it look like? Everyone will have a different answer. I define it as: righting a wrong. If it doesn’t right a wrong, it is not justice. Not only did Fahy leverage his power to right a wrong with some of the most impactful undertakings of Seton Hall’s history but he acknowledged the problem. Often, we rush to solutions without first doing the self interrogation to name the problem. He used this moment, his inaugural address, when everyone was listening and we’re still listening 50 years later. 

The video, this collective recitation, brings many voices together for one message. Faculty and students, separate, but together. It carves a lineage. There are protests now as there were 50 years ago. In the streets and on our campus. 

Greg Iannarella offers insight into what moved him to gravitate toward one of the most unwavering parts of Fahy’s speech, “This section always felt really powerful to me. The description, the intentional language, invoking real scenes and real communities, conjuring the people! It’s a moment where he turns the gaze outward and challenges the audience to see what is relevant.”

Participants were encouraged to think about their location as a backdrop. These choices offer additional meaning and subtext. Virtual performance lets us become our own set designers. Brooke Duffy presented her portion outside of a new school. “It is a public elementary school in Teaneck that was recently renamed for Theodora Smiley Lacey, a civil rights activist, ‘living legend.’ The NorthJersey.com website describes, ‘it was because of her efforts that Teaneck became the first city in the United States to voluntarily integrate its public schools.’”

Program of Monsignor Fahy's Inaugural Address
Program of Monsignor Fahy’s Inaugural Address, October 14, 1970, from the Priest Vertical Files held by the Archdiocese of Newark, Box 24.

This isn’t the last we’ll hear of Fahy’s address. Jon Radwan describes a new participatory oral history project designed to ensure access, inclusion, and equity in its research process to document and preserve the entirety of this part of the University’s history. “We are confident that the Inaugural Address is only the beginning of learning about Msgr. Fahy’s social justice leadership. Our recent proposal to the New Jersey Council for the Humanities seeks funding for a large scale oral history project. We plan to contact alumni, faculty, and administrators who worked closely with Fahy to record their stories about SHU’s collaboration with Newark activists to launch the Black Studies Center.” To support this project please contact Angela Kariotis and Jon Radwan.

Centering historical figures creates their own mythology. Retrospectives are not without their limitations. But there are so few white allies to look up to for this work. Allies must dig deep, activating themselves, stepping into their consciousness. We can extend the Fahy legacy and course correct. Like 50 years ago, it is a transformative yet fragile time. We must have the will to meet it. 

Get to Know the Library Staff! Jacquelyn Deppe

Jacquelyn Deppe is a Special Collections Assistant here at Walsh Library. She works in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center and is a jack of all trades. She works on numerous projects including helping people with their genealogy research, copy-cataloging rare books and publications, processing collections, and does the bulk of the library’s design and social media work, in addition to anything else that comes up!

How long have you been working at the library?

As a full-time employee, I’ve been working in the Archives and Special Collections Center since 2018 (2 years) but technically, I’ve been here since 2014 (6 years) when I started out as a Student Worker.

 

What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed? 

I don’t remember and to be honest, I haven’t picked up a book to read leisurely since I started my Masters of Information program at Rutgers University. Hopefully, that’ll change once I’m finished in January 2021 (fingers crossed and knock on wood) but we’ll see, I have plans to pursue a second Masters from Seton Hall University.

 

What is the best way to rest / decompress? 

Either trail running or going for long difficult hikes up mountains and/or through the woods next to streams, brooks, rivers and/or lakes and ponds that are rather lightly travelled. I have not seen a bear yet even though I have apparently walked right by them. However, I can spot other critters including little bitty lizards munching on crickets!

 

What is something most people don’t know about you? 

I work downstairs.

 

Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

Both! I can wake up a 4am and/or stay up to and well past midnight.

 

What’s one ingredient you put in everything? 

I have a very limited diet due to various food sensitivities (gluten, soy, etc.) but one ingredient I put on almost everything is cheese (even though I’m lactose intolerant)!

Get to Know the Library Staff! Priscilla Tejada

Priscilla Tejada is a Circulation Clerk and has been working at Seton Hall for 17 years. She is one of the first people you see when you walk into Walsh Library’s second floor at the main desk. She first started working in Government Documents and Periodicals and then moved to the Circulation / Access Services department. Priscilla is a key member of the library team and helps to keep many of the physical library operations running. In addition to checking out books, reserves, and other library materials to students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni, she works with the other Access Services staff to answer questions about the library, and helps to supervise library student workers. 

We want to thank Priscilla for her hard work and share a little bit of information about her so you can get to know her better. Make sure to say “hello” the next time you visit or call the library circulation desk!

  1. What is a book that everyone should read? The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. With so much going on in our daily lives and in the world we forget to be present with what is around us (using our 5 senses). For me, I am always thinking of the future, which is not a bad thing, but sometimes when I think of the future it tends to be worrisome. Being present and enjoying all the great things that are happening now is what we should appreciate. Like the old saying goes, “Stop and smell the roses.”
  2. What are you watching these days? Designated Survivor on Netflix.
  3. Print book or eBook? Nothing like a good ol’ physical book, turning the pages, the smell of the book. And print books don’t hurt my eyes as much as an eBooks.
  4. What is the best way to rest / decompress? Working out at the gym would be my way to decompress, I call it my ZEN! I get in a zone and all my worries are either “laid to rest” for the time being or I can get my thoughts together to better serve me. Its like a two for one. I am working out for a physical purpose, but I am also helping my mental well-being. Also, listening to music.
  5. What is your favorite spot on campus? The Green, especially if you like to people-watch.
  6. Do you have a good take-out or delivery spot you’d recommend? Master Pizza (they have 4 locations, we use the West Orange location). They have a variety of options and they also have a daily specials menu.
  7. What advice would you give to your 20-year old self? Not to stay in comfort zones for too long. Taking chances and having new experiences is what life is about even if it ends up being something we don’t like.
  8. What is your favorite app? I don’t think I have a favorite app but here are some apps I may visit daily: Amazon, Medium, Influenster, Co-Star, Pinterest , Instagram and Youtube.
  9. What is a skill you are working on mastering? Passing the NJ Real Estate Exam.
  10. What is something most people don’t know about you? I feel that rice is overrated even though I grew up eating rice and beans.
  11. What’s one ingredient you put in everything? Pepper.
  12. What person living or dead would you like to have dinner with? My abuelita Alba (grandmother passed away two years ago).

The Hispanic Identity of Filipinos: A Short History

This is a student guest blog post in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and Filipino American Heritage month.

Author: Mark Francis Mabalatan ’21, Management and Political Science Major, 3+2 Master of Public Administration Program

333 years is quite a long time. For Filipinos, the 333 years the Philippines were subjugated to Spanish colonization were rife with conflict, both militarily and in identity. Like several other civilizations that first met Spanish conquistadors at their shores in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Philippines had unique, highly structured societies prior to European contact. These conflicts were exemplified by the story of The Battle of Mactan, where Ferdinand Magellan (Guillermo 261) was famously defeated by native datu (ruler) Lapu-Lapu (Guillermo 240), in my own ancestral province of Cebu (Guillermo 100). While the Battle of Mactan is a legend every Filipino is familiar with, the subsequent centuries gave way to a tidal wave of Spanish settlement, economic practices, and cultural rifts.

The first Spaniards in Cebu were 2,100 settler-soldiers from New Spain (Mexico), and the Philippines was administered as a Viceroyalty of New Spain until the end of Spanish rule in 1898. In that time, Spanish settlers changed almost every aspect of life on the islands. They changed our names. They changed our languages. They changed our religions. The effects of Spanish colonization were wide-ranging and emphatic, remaining to this day. So, is the Philippines a Hispanic country? Quite clearly, yes. But in the contemporary Hispanic consciousness, it is not understood as such – as if there was something that erased those 333 years of history.

As it turns out, the subsequent 48 years of American colonization is quite the eraser. The United States undertook an expedited process of undoing the Hispanization of the Philippines to make way for its Americanization of the islands. Despite this, the fact remains that the cultural DNA of the Philippines is Hispanic, making many aspects of the Filipino experience Hispanic and the experience itself Hispanic. The father of modern Philippines, José Rizal, wrote all his foundational works in Spanish. We tell time in Spanish. 80% of Filipinos are Catholic. The holiday known in the Philippines as Undas is a carbon copy of Dia de Muertos in Mexico and other Latino countries. Cebuano, also known as Bisaya and the native language of my family, contains thousands of Spanish words. However, the beauty of our culture is not derived from our colonization, but how we rose out of it. Distinctly Filipino music and dance styles such as Cariñosa, featuring dancers in brightly colored, flowing dresses called Maria Claras, bears a striking resemblance to jarabe tapatío of Mexico. Traditional Hispanic family values, including respect for elders, close family ties, and pride of the home country, are powerfully evident in many Filipino families.

Every year, October 1st to 15th serves as a metaphor for Hispanic identity of Filipinos. During this time span, there is a two-week eclipse of Hispanic Heritage Month, which lasts from September 15th to October 15th, and Filipino-American Heritage Month, which lasts the entire month of October— Hispanic, but not completely. History defines the present and the future, an axiom especially significant to ethnic groups. So what does Filipino history say about the country’s Hispanic identity? As Filipino-American sociologist Anthony Christian Ocampo, author of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipinos Break the Rule of Race, plainly states, “You can’t just forget the three-and-a-half century Spanish influence in the Philippines.”

See below for to learn more about the Hispanic identity of the Philippines, Filipinos, and Filipino-Americans:

Books

Bulosan, Carlos. America Is in the Heart: A Personal History. Vol. 2014 edition, University of Washington Press, 2014. EBSCOhost, https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=e700xna&AN=1052322&site=ehost-live

Francia, Luis. A History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos. Overlook Press, 2014. https://setonhall.on.worldcat.org/oclc/878963486 Request through ILL or Suggest for Purchase!

Guillermo, Artemio R. Historical Dictionary of the Philippines. Vol. 3rd ed, Scarecrow Press, 2012. EBSCOhost, https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=e089mna&AN=413501&site=ehost-live&custid=s8475574&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_100

Ocampo, Anthony Christian. The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race. Stanford University Press, 2016. EBSCOhost, https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=sso&db=e000bna&AN=1115879&site=ehost-live

Rizal, José. El Filibusterismo: Continuacion Del Noli Me Tangere. Boekdrukkerij F. Meyer-Van Loo, 1896. Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30903

Rizal José. Noli Me Tangere. Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20228

Articles

Videos

Latinx Law Students Commemorate Centennial of 19th Amendment with Heritage Month Panel Event 

In the spirit of the “Mi Voz” initiative developed by the Unanue Institute, the Seton Hall University Hispanic Heritage Committee, and the Seton Hall Archives, we seek to spend this month creating connections, exploring resources, celebrating voices, and opening doors. We are pleased to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with the first of a series of student guest blog posts written by members of  the Seton Hall Latin American, Latina/o/x, and Hispanic community.

The Seton Hall Latin American Law Student Association (LALSA)’s 5th Annual Sangria Social will occur Monday, Sept. 21st 4-6pm via Zoom.  Register to attend.

In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month and in commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s, LALSA invites current students, alumni, friends, faculty, and allies to Women of Color in Political Movements: Celebrating an Under-Recognized Power 100 Years Later. Join us as we learn from and engage with our distinguished panelists for a discussion about the impact that women of color have made in political movements, the history behind Equal Rights Amendment, and the future of gender equality in politics and beyond. 

We are humbled by the opportunity to learn from the following panelists:  

  1. Professor Michael Coenen — Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law, and U.S. Constitutional Law Scholar  
  2. Professor Cathleen D. Cahill — Associate Professor of History at Penn State University 
  3. Kerlyn Espinal — New Jersey Department of Education – Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Cultural and Historic Commissions  
  4. Amelia Adams — Chair of 21 in ‘21 and New York Equity Advocates Advisory Board Member 
  5. Maria Del Cid-Kosso — Director of Legislative Services, Office of the Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health 
  6. Assemblywoman Maritza Davila — New York State Assembly District 53 

Register for the event at this to receive program details and login information. 

Who We Are:  

The Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) at Seton Hall University School of Law is a non-profit organization committed to the following goals: Fostering individual achievements; Providing necessary services to the law school community; Addressing legal issues of the minority community. 

Our mission is to educate the law school community on the benefits of diversity and create awareness of the challenges that Latino communities currently face.

LALSA achieves its goals by providing academic, professional and social support for all students by recognizing the achievements of Latino students and alumni, so that lessons may be learned, mentorship relationships created, and friendships established among the current LALSA members. 

Suggested Readings:  

One of our distinguished panelists, Dr. Cathleen D. Cahill, is an author and Professor of History at Penn State University. Her newest publication, Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement, will be published in November. LALSA is recommending this book for purchase by the SHU Libraries.

If you would like to make your own Latinx/Hispanic Heritage book suggestions this month, you can do so by filling out the Latinx Book Survey.  

If you’re interested in learning more, we have also collected the following amazing recommendations from our panelists: 

The following are titles SHU Libraries does not yet own. You can Suggest a Latinx Book Purchase or Request a Copy through Interlibrary Loan.

TV Show
One Day At A Time (Available on Netflix) not available for purchase by libraries due to licensing restrictions

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th. For more information about the Seton Hall University Hispanic Heritage Month events and participants, visit the homepage.

Caribbean American Heritage Month

Happy Caribbean American Heritage Month! To learn more about Caribbean culture, life, and history, we partnered with SHU’s West Indian Student Organization (WISO) and compiled a list of reading recommendations. Below is a list recommended by Ijah Penn, the treasurer of SHU WISO. To see more reading recommendations, you can go on Instagram and follow #caribbeanreads, and you can get involved in SHU WISO or learn more about their organization by following their Instagram: shu_wiso

Additionally, Chelsea Barrett, Business Librarian and Africana Studies liaison, compiled a new Research Guide on Caribbean Studies. Please check it out and provide feedback!

1. Land of Love and Drowning (2014)- The author Tiphanie Yanique represents St. Thomas and the U.S Virgin Islands. The story is a book of twisted and dark family secrets that plague the Bradshaw women over 60 years in the early 90’s in the U.S Virgin Islands. The novel is available as a print book in the library.

2. Elizabeth Nunez is a Trinidadian author who writes about internal cultural and societal struggles and the complex identities of her characters reflect the turmoil of these challenges. Two of Nunez’s works listed below can be found in the SHU library catalog as ebooks: Even in Paradise (2016),  and Not Everyday Use (2014).

3. The Dragon Can’t Dance (1986) by Earl Lovelace is a novel that discusses the difficulty of postcolonial Trinidad. The story is told through one man’s preparations of an elaborate dragon costume for Carnival as he attempts to shed the struggles of his life after Emancipation.  This book can be found in print in the library.

5. A Brief History of the Seven Killing (2014) is written by Marlon James, who represents Jamaica. The novel is a suspense-filled fictional story about Jamaica’s history and the political climate of the 1960’s through the 80’s. This book can be found in print in the library.

6. Esmeralda Santiago is a prominent Puerto Rican author in the United States. She writes memoirs that encapsulate her own assimilation into this American culture and way of life, which allow others with similar experiences to relate and feel represented. Her writing showcases themes of self-discovery, immigration, working-class immigrant experience and biculturalism.

Below are just a few samples of her writing and contributions:

Esmeralda Santiago. “El Hombre Que Yo Amo.” Ploughshares, vol. 26, no. 2/3, 2000, p. 146. EBSCOhost. Link to Read Full Text.

Video: “Esmeralda Santiago discusses her novel When I Was Puerto Rican.”

More selections from Santiago’s writing are also available to read in this print book, Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings — An Anthology

 

#BlackBirdersWeek In Review

May 31-June 5, was the first ever #BlackBirdersWeek, a social media education campaign devised by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, and co-founded by Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, Sheridan Alford, Danielle Belleny, Chelsea Connor, and Tykee James.

Announced on May 29th, the goal of the campaign was to bring awareness to the Black hobbyists, naturalists, scientists, who enjoy birding. It also sought to highlight the challenges and dangers that Black people face when participating in outdoor activities. The event was inspired by Christian Cooper, science writer, comics writer, and a Black bird watcher, who was involved in a racially charged incident in Central Park on May 25, 2020. Read more.

Some hashtags you can still look up to find great accounts, images, facts, and resources

#BlackBirdersWeek
#BlackInNature
#BlackWomenWhoBird
#BlackAFinSTEM

Some Black birders of note to follow on social media

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman
Danielle Belleny
Chelsea Connor
Tykee James
J. Drew Lanham
Jason Ward   (Watch his Birds of North America series on Youtube) 

Articles by Black Birders

Black Birders Week (Inside Higher Ed)
Nine New Revelations for the Black American Bird Watcher (Vanity Fair) Birding While Black (LitHub)

Bird watching ebooks in our library catalog

Some prominent bird organizations that endorsed #BlackBirdersWeek
National Audubon Society
American Birding Association
American Bird Conservancy

Anti-Racist Readings

As members of an academic community, we strive to continually better ourselves and the world through learning and education. These books, recommended by academics and experts all around the world like Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, may help you challenge your own internalized biases and understand the pervasiveness of racism in history that colors society to this day.

Read the University’s Statement Regarding Unrest Across the Nation.

Anti-Racism Readings in eBooks from the Library Collections

Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Dorothy Roberts

How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman

The Autobiography of Malcolm-X

We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America

Black and Blue : the Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism

The Construction of Whiteness: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Race Formation and The Meaning of a White Identity

White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness by Ruth Frankenberg

“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Uniting #SetonHall2020 and Beyond: Personal Narratives of COVID-19

The University Libraries partnered with Professor Angela Kariotis-Kotsonis in CommArts to develop the Personal Narratives of COVID-19 Oral History project this semester.

We continue to seek your stories of what this time has been like for you with the goal of staying connected as a community. Now that we have begun to receive submissions, we’d like to feature some from those in the 2020 graduating class and encourage more to submit their stories! Capture a 1-3 minute reflection of your experience during this time, and your narrative will become part of Seton Hall history.

Submit your narrative to the project.

Together Again: Select Personal Narratives from the Class of 2020