As teachers, we are constantly looking for teaching methods that are socially relevant and pedagogically meaningful. This two-pronged goal to be cool and educational doesn’t always present itself easily. The ever-cool and ever-educational Socrates, however, may offer some helpful direction. In the Book 7 of the Republic, he insists, “Don’t beat your students upside the head with their lessons but use their downtime so that you can more clearly see what they are naturally inclined to do.” His point? Begin with fun.

Mari Crabtree is an Assistant Professor in African American Studies here at the College of Charleston who is using Americans’ love of entertainment for several important ends. One is to inform students of opportunities in African American Studies. A second is to entice them to think critically about movies, both their magic and their messages.

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Mari about her ongoing film festival called “Afrofuturism on Film.” If you get a chance to attend the two remaining events on February 18th and February 25th you’re in for a real treat.

 

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