American Studies Alumnus Benji de la Piedra invited speaker on African American journalist Herbert Denton Jr.
Benji De La Piedra (CC, American Studies, 2014) gave a public lecture at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies on the life of Herbert Denton Jr., a pioneering African American journalist at the Washington Post.
As a senior Benji wrote a thesis on Ralph Ellison which he expanded upon in Columbia's Oral History MA Program. His MA thesis, titled "That Something Else”:Botkin, Portelli and Ellison on Democratic Pluralism and the Dialogical Encounter studied the works of oral history writers B.A. Botkin, Alessandro Portelli, and Ralph Ellison. As both an undergraduate and graduate student Benji worked with the Freedom & Citizenship program run by American Studies, as both a Teaching Assistant to high school students and later as a graduate coordinator. He once referred to the Center for American Studies as his "true home on Columbia's campus."
Benji now lives in Little Rock where he is working on the oral history of both Herbert Denton Jr. and his father, Herbert Denton Sr., who was a lifelong public educator in Little Rock. A full video of Benji's talk can be found below or on the facebook page of the Central Arkansas Library System-Butler Center