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DUNWOODY, Ga.—Noted historian and author Dr. Jeffrey Ogbar will keynote the annual Mario A.J. Bennekin Black History Symposium to be hosted by Georgia State University’s Perimeter College Feb. 21-25, 2022.
“Musical Genealogies: African American Musical Innovation and Commentary, from Freedom Songs to Hip-Hop” is the title of Ogbar’s talk which is scheduled for Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. in the Dunwoody Campus auditorium.
“We are incredibly excited about this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Jeffrey Ogbar, professor of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music at the University of Connecticut,” said Dr. Karen Wheel-Carter, associate dean … and planning committee co-chair.
“Dr. Ogbar has a brilliant way of connecting the past, the present and the future of African American culture through music.”
Ogbar’s presentation is part of the week-long Bennekin Symposium which, this year, is themed “A Black History Movement: Knowing the Past Opens the Door to the Future” and will explore the intersections of African American art, education and politics.
The symposium is named for Mario Bennekin, a beloved history professor at Perimeter who taught for 20 years before passing in 2019 when he chaired the History and Political Science department. Bennekin also was instrumental in bringing the African-American Studies curriculum to Perimeter.
Dr. Kimberly Bennekin, is a math professor at Perimeter and a co-chair of the event named to honor her late husband.
“Our symposium speaker, Dr. Ogbar, and Mario shared a profound interest in history as students at Morehouse College,” Bennekin said.
“Later, they would both share this passion through careers as history professors.
“Dr. Ogbar’s knowledge as a historian and director for the center for popular music will be of interest to many and help our students better understand the historical and cultural impact of music in the 21st century.”
Additional symposium speakers will be announced over the next few weeks and posted to the event webpage. The Mario A.J. Bennekin Symposium will be open to the public.