Viewing cable 05MUSCAT561
Title: AMERICAN CORNERS CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT5612005-04-06 07:50:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 000561 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), 
(IIP/G/NEA) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO KIRC OIIP SCUL MU
SUBJECT: AMERICAN CORNERS CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH 
 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. Embassy Muscat facilitated videoconferences (DVCs) on 
African-American literature at two American Corners to 
commemorate Black History Month.  Dr. Dan T. Carter, a 
professor at the University of South Carolina, spoke on the 
"U.S. Civil Rights Movement," and poet and novelist Natasha 
Tretheway described "Contemporary African-American 
literature."  The programs enlightened young Omani audiences 
about the compelling history of African-Americans and their 
contribution to broader American society and engendered lively 
discussion between the speakers and their audiences.  End 
summary. 
 
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Civil Rights Come to Life 
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¶2. On March 1, 2005, about fifty Omani students attended a 
videoconference on the "U.S. Civil Rights Movement" at the 
American Corner in the Modern College of Business and Science 
in Muscat.  The guest speaker was Dr. Dan T. Carter, a noted 
educational specialist who has received numerous awards in the 
field of African-American studies.  Dr. Carter's vivid 
personal account of growing up in the segregated south and 
observing sit-in and protests helped to make the American 
civil rights struggle come to life for an audience of over 50 
Omani students, many of whom are currently enrolled in 
American history courses. Dr. Carter's presentation was 
followed by a lively question and answer session in which 
students asked pointed questions such as why America continues 
to classify its citizens by race; what can be done to 
eliminate prejudice against blacks in America; and what can 
the government do to help lift blacks out of poverty?  Dr. 
Carter, recognizing the sincerity of the students' questions, 
gave thoughtful, balanced responses to their questions. 
 
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Contemporary Literature, Probing Questions 
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¶3. On March 8, 2005, the American Corner in Salalah, Oman's 
second most important city, organized a videoconference with 
noted author and award-winning poet Natasha Trethewey.  Ms. 
Trethewey began her discussion of Contemporary African 
American literature by reciting some of her own poems, before 
going on to describe contemporary African-American literature 
and how it has changed over time.  A small but engaged 
audience listened attentively to her remarks.  The question 
and answer session became energized when students began to 
consider whether works by hip-hop artists such as "Puff Daddy" 
and "50 Cents" should be considered contemporary African- 
American literature. 
 
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The Corners are Growing Up 
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¶4. These programs were the first attempts by the fledgling 
American Corners to design and implement their own outreach 
activities.  Although the programs were technically and 
organizationally imperfect, they met their goal of bringing an 
understanding of the diversity of American society to Omani 
youth.  The DVCs also enabled the American Corner staff to 
gain confidence in their ability to arrange successful 
activities with minimal Embassy oversight. 
 
BALTIMORE