February 20: Newark-lore: A Conversation with Saladin Newark

"Newark-lore: A Conversation with Saladin Newark" is an interview-styled discussion centered around the unique storytelling techniques that he employs when grappling with a host of experiences and challenges.

About Saladin Stafford:

saladinSaladin Stafford's artistic influences reflect a spectrum that encompasses his experiences as a Newark, New Jersey native. From performing as a sought after lyricist to later writing and directing short films – Saladin represents the composite artist who thrives on elements of diversity.

Saladin aims to use film as a means to educate urban youth about conflict and resolution. He is currently in the process of editing the final scenes of his latest film, “A Peace Of The Action”. In addition to advocating alternate means to anti-social behaviors among youth, Saladin’s art serves to combat modern society's superficial influences. “There's a lot of nonsense that people are being exposed to, it's disturbing,” he notes. As a father he believes it is incumbent that his films incorporate lessons on authentic and balanced lifestyles across class, race, religion, and gender.

A performer in venues such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Saladin has also entertained audiences at the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts in Brooklyn and other locations in the Northeast. Some of his roles include The Wiz in the off-off Broadway show “What IT IZ: The Spoken Wordical” and Arkim in the movie “Zoo”.

Nominated Best Actor in the Newark International Film Festival.

About Melissa Cooper (Interviewer):
Melissa L. Cooper is a writer, historian and professor. She is the author of the groundbreaking historical study, Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). Making Gullah has captured the attention of general reading audiences, students and scholars. Cooper’s book was reviewed in The New Yorker (May 29, 2017), and was featured in Upscale Magazine (June 2017) and the Atlanta Journal Constitution (August 2017). Making Gullah continues to attract popular audiences. Cooper delivered a lecture on the book at the 2017 Decatur Book Festival—one of the largest independent book festivals in the United States. Dr. Cooper has been featured on several podcasts and radio shows where she’s talked about Making Gullah and American history—a list that will soon include NPR’s “Two Way Street.” Interest in Cooper’s historical research reaches beyond academic communities in the United States. She has presented her research findings to audiences of international scholars at conferences in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Liverpool, U.K., Toronto, Canada and Malaga, Spain. Cooper is also the author of “Selling Voodoo In Migration Metropolises” in Race and Retail (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, with Documents–Instructor's Resource Manual (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2012). Cooper has authored several blog posts, and she has written an op-ed for NBC News.

Dr. Cooper’s teaching experience spans nearly two decades. She is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, and has been a member of the faculty at the University of South Carolina and Columbia University.


This FREE event is presented by the Federated Department of History and cosponsored by the Department of African American and African Studies, the Program in Women's and Gender Studies, the Program in American Studies, and the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience.