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March 7, 8: Black History Month speakers visit campus

FREDERICK, Md.—Two experts in Black politics will speak at Hood College next week to close out the College’s Black History Month events.

Elmer Dixon, a founder of a Black Panther Party chapter, and Lester Spence, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and Africana studies at The Johns Hopkins University, will gives their talks March 7 and 8, respectively.

Dixon will give his talk, “The Legacy of the Black Panther Party,” on March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons. He will talk about his personal experiences as a founding member of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party, and he will explore the many ways the party’s programs and philosophy remain relevant today.

In 1968, Dixon and his brother, Aaron, co-founded the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party. Dixon served as the chapter’s field marshal and as the breakfast program coordinator. He maintained the chapter until 1976 and many of its programs well into the 1980s. Today, he works as a diversity consultant, providing training and consultation in the areas of multi-cultural communication, team building and conflict management.

For more information on Dixon’s talk, contact Aaron Angello at or 301-696-3211.

Spence will give his talk, “Mo(u)rning in America,” on March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Marx Center followed by a book signing. He will grapple with the profound impact of the 2016 elections on American Democracy and the persistent entrenched racial inequality that existed before and continues after the election of Donald Trump.

His research spans a variety of topics from American political institutions, urban politics, race, and Black political empowerment to the role of media, hip hop, and inequality in Black communities. His books, “Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip Hop and Black Politics” and “Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics” are described by critics as analytically profound.

His talk is co-sponsored by the African American Studies program and the Department of Political Science and is supported by the Office of the Provost. For more information on Spence’s talk, contact Hoda Zaki at or 301-696-3697.