WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 7pm – SPECIAL EVENT
CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR DON BELTON
Co-sponsored by Art Sanctuary, Giovanni’s Room & Moonstone Arts Center
You are invited to join us in remembering Don Belton, who was murdered on December 28, 2009. We invite you to share your stories to celebrate Don’s life. Please bring something to eat or drink to share as well.
Don Belton is the author of a novel, Almost Midnight, and editor of Speak My Name, an anthology exploring the gulf between real and represented black masculinity. Belton’s writings have appeared in literary reviews, literature anthologies, cultural journals, and popular magazines and newspapers. He has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College, Macdowell and Yadoo artists colonies, the Rockefeller Center in Italy, and the Center for Media Studies at Brown University. He has taught literature, fiction and world cinema at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Macalester College and the University of Pennsylvania. He lectured on James Baldwin at the first African American Writers in Europe Conference at the Sorbonne; on black literature and black popular culture in the Ivory Coast of West Africa; and on Robert Mapplethorpe at the University of Sao Paulo, School of Communications and Arts, Brazil. His writing and teaching interests include writers in community and exile, and writing about home.
Love and Death in Indiana By Scott McLemee – January 13, 2010 – Inside Higher Education
I have been reading with sadness and horror about the murder of Don Belton, an assistant professor of English at Indiana University, whose body was found in his apartment in Bloomington on December 28. He had been stabbed repeatedly in the back and sides. A novelist and essayist, Belton had taught creative writing at a number of institutions and was the editor of Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream, a landmark anthology published by Beacon in the mid-1990s. He was also gay, which is not an incidental detail.
Around the time police were getting their bearings on the case, the girlfriend of a young ex-Marine named Michael Griffin contacted police to tell them she thought he was involved in Belton’s death. Griffin was soon taken into custody. According to a detective’s affidavit available online, he said that Belton had sexually assaulted him on Christmas. Two days later, he went to Belton’s apartment to have a “conversation” which turned into a “scuffle,” resulting in the professor’s death.
These words, which sound so mild, sit oddly in the narrative. The affidavit then goes on to say that Griffin stated “that he took a knife, called a ‘Peace Keeper’ that he had purchased prior to going to Iraq while in the Marine Corps, with him….” He also thought to bring a change of clothes. The bloody ones went into a white trash bag. Griffin “then went about and ran several errands,” the report continues, “before he eventually discarded the bloody clothing into a dumpster…. Mr. Griffin then returned home where he stated that he told his girlfriend what he had done.”
For the rest of Scott McLemee’s article see: www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee272
For other information on Don Belton see: justicefordonbelton.com/