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Graduate Research Series Presents: How to be Good & Black

Headshot of Ivan Mosley
Photo courtesy of Ivan Mosley

Join us for the Graduate Research Series with Ivan Mosley speaking about his research journey through Black literature in “How to Be Good & Black: The Legacy of the Black Codes,” on Friday, April 16 at 2 p.m. via Microsoft Teams. The event is free and open to the general public.

“I wanted to write a play that honored all… parts of who I am as a person. The only way I felt I could do that was by connecting the modern Black experience to that in the 1860s,” wrote Mosley in his abstract linking today’s Black experience to the end of slavery in the United States.

“Without the system of slavery, a new system had to be put in place to govern the free Black folk called the Black Codes,” Mosley explained. “I believe the legacy of the Black Codes still pervades in our current consciousness… [and] shapes how we think about Blackness even today.” 

During Mosley’s presentation, he will talk about the circumstances that led up to the establishment of the Black codes, laws “designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as a cheap labor force after slavery,” and how these same laws impact African Americans today.

Mosley’s research stems from University Libraries’ ALICE catalog where he located multiple publications as well as research found through the African American Studies database. He anticipates “using these resources for future research.”

Currently Mosley is working toward a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting and a Master of Arts Administration at Ohio University. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Wake Forest University and is an alumnus of the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive and the Advanced Playwriting Program at the National Theatre Institute. In 2018, his play, “Evelyn & His Brothers,” was selected as a semifinalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

The Graduate Research Series (GRS) is collaboratively hosted by University Libraries, the Graduate Student Senate and the Faculty Senate to support graduate students in their research process and to share their challenges and successes with colleagues in a public presentation.  

For more information, or to request accessibility accommodations, please contact Jen Harvey.