Dark Islands: Race, Migration, and Confinement and Film Screening of Ellis

Willowbrook State School on Staten Island was an institution for mentally ill children and those with developmental disabilities in operation between 1947 and 1987. It is nationally recognized as a tragic symbol of the inhumane and unethical treatment of people with disabilities. A disproportionate number of its residents were of Puerto Rican and African-American descent, comprising the largest minority population of any such institution in New York state at the time. This presentation focuses on how and why this fact was neglected in the historical narrative. Jorge Matos Valldejuli, assistant professor and reference librarian at Hostos Community College-CUNY, is working on a project on the history of race at the Willowbrook State School and its aftermath.

 Following the lecture there will be screening of Ellis, the short documentary written by Eric Roth, directed by artist JR and narrated by Robert De Niro. The short film takes us back to the early years of Ellis Island through the experience of one immigrant. It is set in the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex, and uses JR’s art installations to narrate the forgotten story of immigrants arriving in New York City.


Presented by the Latin American and Caribbean Students Program (LACS) and African Studies Program


Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 5:55 p.m.

Location: Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library


This event is free, but advance registration is required. Please RVSP using the RSVP for this Event link.


For more information, please contact the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at 516-463-4521.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017





Cultural Center Theater - Leo A. Guthart
Guthart Cultural Center Theater
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549


Hofstra Cultural Center

Phone: 516-463-4521
Website: Click to Visit

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