SUN. SEPT 11, 3PM | “Part I: The Historical Notes of Jazz” with Maurice Jackson (Associate Professor
Maurice Jackson teaches in the History Department and African American Studies Program and is Affiliated Professor of Music (Jazz). Before coming to academe he worked as a longshoreman, shipyard rigger, construction worker and community organizer. His is author of Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, (1713-1784) Father of Atlantic Abolitionism and co-editor of African-Americans and the Haitian Revolution and Quakers and Their Allies in the Abolitionist Cause, 1754-1808 (2015). Jackson has won many fellowships including at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and the Smithsonian Institution and is at work on Halfway to Freedom: African Americans and the Struggle for Social Progress in Washington, D.C. Author of many articles, he is co-editor of a special issue on Jazz in D.C. in Washington History (April 2014) and his Washington, D.C.: From the Founding of a Slaveholding Capital to a Center of Abolitionism, appeared last year. Jackson wrote the liner notes to the two jazz CD’s by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, Steal Away: Spirituals, Folks Songs and Hymns and Come Sunday.
He has recently lectured in France, Turkey, Italy, Puerto Rico and Qatar. A 2009 inductee into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame, a delegate to the original DC Statehood Constitutional Convention and a former ANC commissioner, he was appointed by the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia as the first chair of the DC Commission on African American Affairs. In the fall of 2015, he will serve as the Special Advisor to Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia on DC Affairs.
Newspaper publisher Denise Rolark-Barnes was born in Washington, D.C. Her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr., was the founder and the editor of the The Washington Informer; her stepmother, Wilhelmina J. Rolark, a politician and activist, served on the Council of the District of Columbia from 1976 to 1984. Rolark-Barnes was interested in writing at a young age and first wrote for the The Washington Informer while she was in middle school. After graduating from Howard University in 1976 with her B.A. degree in communications, Rolark-Barnes enrolled in the Howard University School of Law where she became editor ofThe Barrister, the law schools’ student newspaper. Rolark-Barnes graduated from the Howard University School of Law with her J.D. degree in 1979.
In 1980, Rolark-Barnes joined the staff of The Washington Informer and was assigned as the newspaper’s managing editor. After working with her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, she took over as publisher of The Washington Informer in 1994. Rolark-Barnes also served as the director of The Washington Informer Charities and is the executive producer of “The Washington Informer News,” a bi-weekly television news program. In addition, she is the host of “Let’s Talk,” a public affairs program, and “Reporter’s Roundtable.” Rolark-Barnes has appeared as a guest reporter on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” “Tony Brown’s Journal,” NBC-4’s “Reporter’s Notebook,” and several local radio and television programs.
Rolark-Barnes is the president of the District of Columbia chapter of AARP and is a member of the board of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the United Black Fund, Inc. She is actively involved with the District of Columbia Black Public Relations Society Foundation, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and several other community non-profit organizations. Through The Washington Informer Charities, Rolark-Barns sponsors the annual Washington Informer City-Wide Spelling Bee as well as internships and writing competitions for high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in journalism.