The Oberlin Review

Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, top, is the director of Sunset Baby.

“Sunset Baby” Captivates Oberlin Audiences

September 28, 2018

A group of Oberlin students and faculty traveled to the Dobama Theatre in Cleveland to see the premiere of Sunset Baby Friday, Sept. 7. The play, which will continue to run through this weekend, was directed by Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95. Emeka worked alongside College juniors Miyah Byers and Jaris Owens, along with other Oberlin affiliates. Sunset Baby follows the story of Nina, a fiercely independent woman who is caught in a moment of contention...

Author Kiese Laymon, OC ’98, returned to Oberlin Monday afternoon to give a reading from
his new book Heavy: An American Memoir.

Oberlin Alum Explores Family, Food, Humanity in Memoir

September 15, 2017

In his new book Heavy: An American Memoir, Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, OC ’98, discusses his “family’s relationship to food, sexual violence, and weight.” Heavy explores Laymon’s interpretation of the lessons he learned as a child from his mother and grandmother, and the role of language as a powerful protective force for Black folks in white spaces. Last Monday, Oberlin was fortunate enough to host Professor Laymon for a ...

Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95,
directed a performance of excerpts from The Glass Menagerie in Cleveland
Monday night.

On The Record with Professor Justin Emeka

February 24, 2017

Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95, discovered acting at a young age, but racially restrictive casting drove him more toward directing. He graduated with a master’s degree in directing from the University of Washington School of Drama in 2005 and has been extensively involved in staging works of classical theater productions with Black casts for many years. Emeka hosted an event called “Re-imagining Classical American Theater” at the Playhouse Square...

Personal Facebook Posts Not Grounds for Dismissal

Justin Emeka, OC ’95 and Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies

April 1, 2016

As an Oberlin alumnus, and now an Oberlin professor who was recently granted tenure, much of my identity has been forged in the heated exchange of ideas that exist at Oberlin College. In my first year as a student, I remember meeting Brother Jed, a white conservative Christian from a nearby community who would come to campus occasionally and stand outside Peters Hall and shout some of the most racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic Christian doctrine I had ever heard. I was even more surprised to find some of my classmates agree with some of his points. Many of us spent hours going toe to toe, challenging him and each other intellectually and sharpening our ability to articulate our own perspectives. Brother Jed e...

Feature Photo: Wedding Band

Feature Photo: Wedding Band

October 9, 2015

In Alice Childress’ Wedding Band, set in 1918 during World War I, College sophomore Chandler Browne plays Julia Augustine, a Black woman who has recently moved to a South Carolinian neighborhood with Herman, her white, German significant other, played by College junior Shane Lonergan. Their landlady, Fanny, played by College junior Tiffany Ames, looks on, while Julia’s new neighbors Lula and Mattie, played by College sophomores Deja Alexander and Daniella Pruitt, respectively, discuss her interracial...

Assistant Professor of Theater Justin Emeka, OC ’95, interviews Avery Brooks, OC ’70, in Finney Chapel Saturday night. Brooks treated the audience to soulful music on the piano and a monologue from 'Othello,' and, at his request, the convocation concluded with two student performances.

Brooks, OC ’70, Returns to Oberlin

February 28, 2014

Actor Avery Brooks, OC ’70, came onstage at Finney Chapel in an all-white suit, took a seat at the piano, and treated the audience to a dramatic performance of “Throw it Away” by jazz singer and songwriter Abbey Lincoln — an unorthodox beginning to an unorthodox convocation. However, the event was thoroughly consistent with the interpretation of the word “convocation” as “a celebration”; Brooks’s convocation, though unusual, was foremost a celebration of art and community.   Currently,...

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