Ithaca College to Host Speaker on Memory and Wellness

By Dave Maley, October 18, 2019
CSCRE Discussion Series presentation by author and researcher.

The Ithaca College Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (CSCRE) will host a talk by Maria (Osunbimpe) Hamilton Abegunde on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The 6 p.m. presentation in Clark Lounge, Campus Center, is titled “Are You Sure, Sweetheart, That You Want to Be Well?” It is free and open to the public.

Abegunde is the founding director of the Graduate Mentoring Center and a visiting lecturer in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research focuses on embodied memory of the Middle Passage — the ways in which unresolved ancestral emotions shape the lives of descendants.

The title of her talk comes from a line in the 1980 novel “The Salt Eaters,” by Toni Cade Bambara.

“Right now, it is more relevant than ever,” said Abegunde. “How do we get well when we have not named the things that have wounded and continue to wound us? What are the connections between being well and being free? How can Black Studies be a path that helps us acknowledge the struggle of birth and untether us from the struggles that (will) kill us? Most importantly: When or if we get free, how do we stay free?”

Abegunde is a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and excerpts of her work “The Ariran’s Last Life” have been published in Best African American Fiction and The Kenyon Review.

For more information on the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity and its Discussion Series, visit