Schomburg Center Director Khalil Gibran Muhammad to Headline City Tech’s Nov. 7 Celebration of Black Solidarity Day

Brooklyn, NY — Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will speak on “Historical Literacy in the 21st Century: Arturo Alfonso Schomburg’s Legacy — Then and Now” at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), Atrium Amphitheater, 300 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn, on Monday, November 7, 2011, 11:30 a.m. The public is invited to this free event, part of the College’s celebration of Black Solidarity Day, which this year has the theme “Empowering Black America: Continuing the Legacy of Arturo Schomburg.” Additional information: Hazel Gibbs, Department of African American Studies, at 718.260.5205 or


A former professor of African-American history at Indiana University, Dr. Muhammad was selected in late 2010 to take over the helm of the historic Schomburg Center, currently celebrating its 85th year. He will share his vision for the Schomburg as well as explain its valuable research holdings to the City Tech community in his talk.

“Arturo Schomburg was a Puerto Rican born archivist. He was inspired to start collecting the works of Black writers after he was told by white teachers that people of African descent had made no significant contributions to the society,” says Marta Effinger-Crichlow, chairperson of City Tech’s Department of African American Studies.

As an academic, Dr. Muhammad is at the forefront of scholarship on the enduring link between race and crime that has shaped and limited opportunities for African Americans. He is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, published recently by Harvard University Press. A great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad, he has deep roots in Black history and in Harlem. His father is the noted Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer Ozier Muhammad.

Dr. Muhammad, a native of Chicago’s South Side, is now working on his second book, Disappearing Acts: The End of White Criminality in the Age of Jim Crow, which traces the historical roots of the changing demographics of crime and punishment so evident today. He has been an associate editor of The Journal of American History, and was recently appointed to the editorial board of Transition Magazine, published by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.

Dr. Muhammad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Economics in 1993. After working at Deloitte & Touche LLP, he received his PhD in American History from Rutgers University in 2004, specializing in 20th-century U.S. and African American history. He spent two years as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit criminal justice reform agency in New York City, before joining the faculty of Indiana University.

Black Solidarity Day also will include a performance by the New York City College of Technology choir prior to Dr. Muhammad’s talk and a presentation by Black theatre students afterwards.

According to Dr. Effinger-Crichlow, City Tech’s annual Black Solidarity Day event is “an opportunity to remind City Tech student voters about the rights of citizenship and to vote on Election Day.”

Black Solidarity Day at City Tech is sponsored by the College’s Department of African American Studies, Office of Student Life and Development, Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs, Black Male Initiative, Coalition of Black Faculty and Staff, Black Students’ Union, Black Women’s Networking Committee and the City Tech Foundation.

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York State. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the College enrolls more than 16,000 students in 62 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs.