Black Samson Goes to Hollywood
at Payton Geneva
Geneva Room, Payton Hall
Is Cleopatra Black? Is Jesus Black? Is Samson Black? And what is at stake in these questions of historical and literary representation? Based on their forthcoming book Black Samson: The Untold Story of an American Icon (Oxford University Press), biblical scholars Nyasha Junior and Jeremy Schipper analyze visual representations of Samson as a Black man in American media. They trace the use of Black Samson imagery in political cartoons, paintings, comic books, graphic novels, television, and film from the mid-nineteenth century to today.
Dr. Nyasha Junior’s research and teaching focus on the intersections of religion, race, and gender; her public scholarship has appeared in The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Religion and Politics, and other media outlets. Dr. Jeremy Schipper has published in a number of leading journals and has received a number of honors for his research, including most recently the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for his research on Denmark Vesey’s Bible. Junior and Schipper teach in the Department of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia.