Lectures | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

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Sunday, February 4, 2018 | 3:00 PM

On the 20th anniversary of Beverly Daniel Tatum’s 1997 book on the complexity of race relations—Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?—this landmark publication remains poignant and relevant in our current social climate.

Please join us as we explore these topics in a conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College and Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. A Q&A and book signing follows the talk. Book available for purchase at the Museum Gift Store.

Free admission with online reservation. 

2:30 pm: Doors open
3 pm: Discussion followed by Q&A & Book Signing
4:30 pm: Program concludes



Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education.  Her thirteen years as the president of Spelman College (2002-2015) were marked by innovation and growth and her visionary leadership was recognized in 2013 with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award.  The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”and Other Conversations About Race (now in a new 2017 20th anniversary edition) and Can We Talk About Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation (2007), Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topic of racial identity development, the impact of race in the classroom, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership.  In 2005 Dr. Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field.   A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. 

A civic leader in the Atlanta community, Dr. Tatum is engaged in educational initiatives designed to expand educational opportunity for underserved students and their families, as well as to connect communities across lines of difference.  Locally she serves on the governing boards of the Westside Future Fund, Achieve Atlanta, and the Woodruff Arts Center, as well as the Georgia Power Board of Directors.   Her national service includes her membership on the boards of Teach for America, Smith College, the Educational Testing Service, and TIAA Charitable.

She holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.  Over the course of her career, she has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Westfield State University, and Mount Holyoke College. Prior to her 2002 appointment as president of Spelman, she served as dean and acting president at Mount Holyoke College.  In Spring 2017 she was the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University.




The art of marking skin with ink spans cultures, continents, and has evolved over time. We find ourselves with a mysterious fascination for both ancient and modern tattoo practices. Spend your Thursday evenings at NHMLA as we explore stories of identity and culture, from historical to contemporary, and the imprint of the art of tattoo.


November 30, 2017 - Black and Gray: California's Homegrown Style
March 29, 2018 - Returning to Grandmother's Beauty: The Indigenous Women's Journey of Tattoo
April 12, 2018: Women's Ink: A Discussion by and about Women Tattooists 


6 pm Doors open
7 pm Discussion
8 pm Explore Tattoo
9 pm Evening Concludes


Exhibition + Lecture: Members $10, Nonmembers: $12

Members can also enjoy a free Pop-Up Members Lounge throughout the evening. 



Ticket price includes admission to TATTOO, the exhibition that explores more than 5,000 years of history, culture, and art connected to ink through specially commissioned, tattooed silicone forms; hand-drawn art; videos of tattoo ceremonies; interviews with luminary practitioners; and the technology and tools of the trade—all while also spotlighting the vibrant tattoo scene in L.A. 



November 30, 2017 ǀ Black & Gray: California's Homegrown Style with Jack Rudy, Freddy Negrete,  Franco Vescovi and Carlos Torres moderated by Josh Chesler
Join four legendary black and gray tattoo artists for an honest discussion about how the colorless style became synonymous with Los Angeles. Listen to the stories of the artists who have been there since the beginning, as they talk about tattooing’s evolution from street corners to fine art galleries and museums.




Josh Chesler

Josh Chesler used to play baseball for some pretty cool teams, but now he just writes about awesome stuff like tattoos, music, MMA and sneakers. He enjoys injuring himself by skateboarding, training for fights, and playing musical instruments in his off time.



Jack Rudy

As Charlie Cartwright's apprentice and employee in the 1970s, Jack Rudy was arguably the very first artist to commit himself to the black and gray style in a professional tattoo setting. Still the owner of Good Time Charlie's Tattooland to this day, Rudy's work and legacy in both black and gray tattooing as well as lettering is every bit as timeless as it is historic.



Freddy Negrete

Often considered the godfather of black and gray tattoos, Freddy Negrete is widely regarded as the man most responsible for bringing the colorless style out of California prisons and into shops in the 1970s. A former Chicano gangster who turned his hard times into beautiful artwork, Negrete is now a legendary tattoo artist working out of Shamrock Social Club in West Hollywood.



Franco Vescovi

The owner of Vatican Studios and Bishop Rotary Tattoo Machines in Orange County, Franco Vescovi is a lifelong black and gray artist who grew up admiring and imitating the style's founders and originators. These days, Vescovi's art can also be found on the skin, walls, and album covers of musicians like Blink-182 and Pink.



Carlos Torres

At the forefront of the artists turning black and gray tattooing into fine art, Carlos Torres is as much a renowned painter as he is a masterful tattoo artist. After growing up in the streets of Los Angeles with dreams of traveling the world, the owner of the Long Beach studio, The Raven and the Wolves, both paints and tattoos for high-end clients who fly around the globe to get a piece of his signature artwork.


March 29, 2018 ǀ Returning to Grandmother’s Beauty: Indigenous Women’s Journey of Tattoo with L. Frank Manriquez, Lena Bommelyn, Sage LaPena, Heidi Lucero, moderated by Loren Bommelyn
The Clime in California has been enriched by the emboldened indigenous women and their journey returning to facial tattoos of their grandmothers. These women face American society in stride with their faces and bodies enhanced with traditional tattoos rooted in the dreamtime traditions of their ancestors. They expose their struggles and challenges faced in achieving their walk in contemporary society as full native women.


Check back again for tickets. 


April 12, 2018 ǀ Women’s Ink: A Discussion by and about Women Tattooists with Margot Mifflin, Kari Barba, and ROXX moderated by Cara Santa Maria  
Two celebrated artists and a historian discuss the challenges women have faced in breaking into a traditionally male profession, and the ways women’s ink has revolutionized tattoo art.

Check back again for tickets.