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Artist and Author damali ayo Will Tackle Touchy Subject of Race Relations Feb. 20

For release: February 11, 2014
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

damali ayo
damali ayo

Celebrated artist, storyteller and author damali ayo will explore how racism has shaped her community, the nation and her own artistic voice in a Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities lecture at the University of Memphis. She will present “Race-girl: How an Artist Tackled a Touchy Subject and How It Tackled Her” Thursday, Feb. 20, in the University Center Theatre. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Zach Curlin garage across from the University Center.

Ayo is the author of How to Rent a Negro, an unflinching satire about race relations, and Obamistan! Land Without Racism: Your Guide to the New America. She has written for such publications as Harpers, Village Voice, Redbook and the Chicago Tribune. Ayo is a frequent guest on public radio who has appeared on television programs ranging from Book TV to The O’Reilly Factor. Her artistic pieces have appeared in a variety of exhibits, including “RACE: Are We So Different?,” which currently is on display at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

Her appearance is being co-presented by the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change and is part of a community-wide series of lectures throughout Memphis in conjunction with the Pink Palace’s exhibit.

The lecture also is sponsored by the African and African-American Studies Program, the Center for Research on Women and University Public Service Funds.

For more information on this event or the Marcus Orr Center, visit

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