Adjunct Professor Ernest Owens will use his book as a guide to instruct the course
(CHEYNEY, PA – August 10, 2023) – Award-winning journalist Ernest Owens will return to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania as an adjunct professor, where he will teach two sections of Introduction to College and use his own book, “The Case for Cancel Culture,” as the main text for the academic year.
Owens incorporates his professional and personal experiences in his book and provides a fresh, progressive lens in favor of cancel culture as a tool for activism and change. He wants students to walk away from the exploration not despising cancel culture but embracing it as a form of democratic expression.
“I use examples from politics, pop culture and my own personal experiences. I want students to reflect on and learn the long history of canceling,” said Owens. “I analyzed how the left and right uniquely equip it as part of their political toolkits; how intersections of society wield it for justice; and ultimately how it levels the playing field for the everyday person’s voice to matter.”
While instructing his course last fall, Owens was paying close attention to what the students were debating and discussing in class. The topic of cancel culture came up multiple times.
“It was ironic because I was in the final stages of publishing my book on the subject. I was encouraged to pitch my book to the university’s leadership as something that could be very insightful to the students and the campus,” said Owens.
Social sciences associate professor Dr. Hazel Spears noticed a level of engagement with the students who were part of Owens’s first year orientation course. When she learned he was about to publish his first book, she and other faculty immediately requested a copy and read it.
“We were blown away with the quality of writing, the relevance to Black lives today, and the tour through history, politics, and the art of media manipulation,” said Spears. “We all agreed, this was a book our students could find both engaging and useful.”
Dr. Spears noted the need for transformation of the classroom experience and discourse on campus. She believes that “The Case for Cancel Culture” and the plethora of activities, workshops, and lectures centering the book, will bring the exact kind of intellectual excitement we want on our campus for students.
“Ernest can address these central issues directly from an informed, lived perspective. He does so incisively and analytically,” said Spears.
Owens is the CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. He is the political writer-at-large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He hosts the hit podcast “Ernestly Speaking!” As an openly Black, gay journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture.
About Cheyney – Founded in 1837, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is the nation’s oldest historically Black institution of higher education. Building on this legacy, the vision for Cheyney is to become the premier model for academic excellence, character development, and social responsibility among not only Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but in all of American higher education. The campus is located on 275 acres straddling Delaware and Chester Counties. Read more at www.cheyney.edu.