Over the past several years, the University of Virginia has witnessed a significant dip in African American undergraduate enrollment. Thanks in large part to a coalition of committed students, faculty, and administrators, African Americans constituted 12% of the undergraduate population at UVA in 1990. Today, that percentage stands at 6.5%. Two students–Lauren Colemen (AAS and English double major) and Elizabeth Webb (recent grad from the Department of Art) recently put together a short video in which they reflect on the current issue of race and the politics of enrollment.
Kevin Everson and Claudrena Harold will be screening their short film, “Sugarcoated Arsenic” in the South Lawn Auditorium (Nau Hall 101) on March 7th at 5:30 p.m. . “Sugarcoated Arsenic” is a cinematic exploration of African American intellectual, social, and political life at the University of Virginia during the 1970s. Starring Erin Stewart as Vivian Verdell Gordon (the director of UVA’s Black Studies program between 1975 and 1980), the film tells the story of African American students and faculty who through their public and private gestures created a vibrant community built on intellectual exchange, self-critique, and human warmth.