Archived News

  • 2018

    Monday, December 3

    Meet-Up Mondays

    From noon to 2 p.m.
    Student Center - Across from Bookstore

    Connect current students with EMU alumni and develop networking skills to build and cultivate long-lasting relationships.

    Contact: Emily Dunn, edunn6@emich.edu 
    LBC Approved

    Wednesday, December 14

    Black Empowerment in the New Detroit: Lessons from History

    From 6 to 8 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 320

    Robert L. Smith is a former Vice President of Education and Exhibitions at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (CHWMAAH). He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Michigan University in 1971 and a Masters in Education from Purdue University in Instructional Technology in 1973. In 2014, Smith, in collaboration with the Curator of the Pompey Museum in Nassau, Bahamas, curated a major exhibition on the history of the Bahamas entitled From Slavery to Independence in the Bahamas.

    Contact: Department of Africology and African American Studies, 734.487.3460 
    Additional Information [PDF]
    LBC Approved

    Tuesday, September 18

    A Memorial Gathering for the Late Dr. Ana Ferreira
    From noon to 2 p.m.

    Student Center - Auditorium

    The EMU Campus Community is cordially invited to a Memorial Gathering for the late Dr. Ana Ferreira, an Associate Professor of Africology and African American Studies. A candle light march will follow the memorial. We will march from the Student Center Auditorium to the MLK plaza.

    Friday, June 22

    EMU approves a Master of Arts program in Africology and African American Studies

    A new academic program that seeks to equip students with resources for understanding the implications of living in a multiracial, democratic and diverse society was approved by the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents today (June 22).

    The Master of Arts in Africology and African American Studiesthe first program of its kind in Michiganis designed to prepare students from any cultural background for professional and academic careers in relevant areas by offering a combination of practical and theoretical training. Read the full story.

    Wednesday, April 4

    50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    From 6 to 9 p.m.
    Halle Library - Auditorium

    You are invited to join us to watch a live Charles H. Wright Museum's program to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the great Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    LBC Approved

    Monday, April 2

    2018 Honors Convocation

    From 1 to 3 p.m.
    McKenny Hall - Guild Hall, Room 300

    The Department of Africology and African American Studies invites you to its 2018 Honors Convocation.

    Tuesday, March 27

    Hear Our Voices: Detroiters Speaking Out Against Racist Displacement, Resegregation, and Gentrification

    From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    McKenny Hall - Room 330

    While much fanfare has been given to the term gentrification by scholars and policy experts, rarely do the people who are immediately affected get a chance to weigh in on a debate that greatly impacts their lives. If we are to have a full and robust discussion on this issue, the voices of those affected must be heard at the forefront.

    Members of Charlevoix Villages Association (CVA), a long-time neighborhood association in Detroit, will be speaking about their struggle to raise the issue of equitable development and educate the public about the dire effects of gentrification. They will talk about why they began a campaign in March of 2017 against gentrification and their experiences and lessons of waging this struggle.

    Contact

    Dr. Ana Monteiro-Ferreira, aferreir@emich.edu
    Cheryl Olverson, 734.487.3460
    LBC Approved

    Wednesday, March 14

    Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon's latest book receives an Honorable Mention.

    Please join us in extending hearty congratulations to Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon, Assistant Professor of Africology and African American Studies, whose latest book, "Istwa Across the Water," has just received an Honorable Mention for the Isis Duarte Book Prize of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).

    Describing "Istwa Across the Water" as an excellent book, the Book Prize Award committee praised "the elegance of its composition and outstanding research." Continuing, the committee wrote as follows:

    "Toni Pressley-Sanon's Istwa across the Water is one of the most interesting, beautifully written and intellectually engaging texts we have read in a long time. It is theoretically complex and innovative in its use of the archive and oral histories. The book is in conversation with the work of Afro-diasporic scholars such as M. Jacqui Alexander and contributes to a larger conversation about the multiple ways in which Afro-religious episteme enters the historical construction of the island.

    Istwa across the Water is a sole authored monograph quite relevant for current trends and discussions both in Haitian studies and World Atlantic studies. This book is inscribed in the wake of a long ethnographic research tradition institutionalized by Jean Price-Mars with So Spoke the Uncle (Ainsi Parla l'Oncle). Istwa Across the Water is majestically written in a quasi-poetic language. The book is the result/combination of an intelligible discussion centered around the concept of 'tidalectics.' (Brathwaite among others), and also of 'Story,' cultural production informed by 'deep consciousness of the connectedness of visible and invisible worlds.' The book is based on rich historical and archival research, and an ethnographic fieldwork conducted both in Haiti and the Republic of Benin."

    Monday, February 5

    Attorney Mark Fancher to Lecture on "Mass Incarceration"

    From 1 to 3 p.m.
    McKenny Hall - Tower Room

    You are cordially invited to an upcoming Black History Month public lecture on Mass Incarceration by Attorney Mark Fancher.

    Mark P. Fancher is the staff attorney for the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU of Michigan. Through his work, he addresses racially disproportionate rates of incarceration, racial discrimination against public school students of color, racial profiling, attacks on the democratic rights of communities of color, and abusive police practices. Previously, Mr. Fancher served as a senior staff attorney for Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice.

    A part-time Lecturer at EMU's Department of Africology and African American Studies, Fancher had previously served as a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan's Law Program (1996 to 1998). He received his Juris Doctorate Law degree from Rutgers University's School of Law in 1983.

    Contact: Cheryl Olverson, 734.487.3460 
    LBC Approved

  • 2017

    Wednesday, October 25

    National Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Post-Apartheid South Africa and Poverty in rural South Africa

    From 3 to 5 p.m.
    McKenny Hall - Tower Room

    Ambassador Mabeta left South Africa in 1975 to study in the U.K and later moved to the U.S.A. where he received political asylum whilst pursuing graduate studies in government at Harvard University. He played a crucial role in mobilizing support for the anti-apartheid and divestiture movements against private/public institutions investing in companies with ties to the South African apartheid government. Upon the unbanning of the liberation movements and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990, he returned to South Africa, taking up a teaching job in politics at the University of Transkei, renamed Walter Sisulu University. In 1999, he was elected to Parliament where he served in committees on Defence, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development. In 2003/2004 Ambassador Mabeta was selected to be a fellow at WCIFA, Harvard University. Between 2004 and 2015, he served as the first resident South African Ambassador Extraordinaire in the Union of Comoros (East Africa) and the Republic of Liberia (West Africa).

    During his tenure in the Union of Comoros he was able to ascertain that South Africa's African Union mandated role for mediating the national reconciliation process was successfully implemented and culminated in the establishment of the constitutional framework for the signing of agreements on shared competencies between the central government and island executives and, most significantly, the holding of successful presidential elections in 2006 and 2010 without challenges to the outcomes by contestants. In Liberia, he set the groundwork for the signing of basic cooperation agreements between the two countries and provided the South African diplomatic team at the U.N. with analysis and updates on the progress of U.N. Military Support Mission in Liberia's post-conflict national reconstruction programme.

    Ambassador Mabeta is married with four children. His family lives in South Africa and the United States.

    LBC Approved

    Saturday, May 6

    Professor Kauna Mufeti Speaks on "Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Namibia

    From 3 to 5 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 352

    You are cordially invited to an upcoming public lecture on "Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Namibia" by Professor Kauna Mufeti.

    Dr. Kauna Mufeti is a visiting professor from Namibia. She is the Associate Dean of the School of Computing at the University of Namibia with direct responsibilities over three computer related departments: computer science, information technology and information systems. Professor Mufeti received her Ph.D. at Rhodes University in South Africa and has research interests in e-learning, telecommunications and indigenous knowledge systems. Dr. Mufeti comes to EMU as a recipient of a Fulbright African Senior Research Scholar Program.

    Contact: Cheryl Olverson, 734.487.3460 
    LBC Approved

    A Reception for Visiting Cultural Exchange Middle School Scholars

    From 3 to 5 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 352

    LBC Approved

    Thursday, March 30

    2017 Honors Convocation

    From 4 to 5:30 p.m.
    Halle Library - Carillon Room

    Please mark your calendar for the 2017 Honors Convocation of the Department of Africology and African American Studies. Light refreshments will be served.

    As usual, the Honors Convocation is an occasion for us to recognize and honor outstanding Majors and Minors in African American Studies, graduating seniors, and distinguished researchers amongst the students, such as Symposium Research paper presenters. There may also be other categories of deserving honorees. Student honorees should feel free to come along with their parents, guardians, children and friends.

    Contact: Cheryl Olverson, 734.487.3460

    Thursday, February 9

    Black History Month Lecture

    From noon to 2 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 310A/B

    In observance of this year's Black History Month, the Department of Africology and African American Studies has sponsored a February 9, 2017 lecture on "Knowing Your Rights When Encountering Police, Immigration; or You Are a Victim of Ethnic intimidation."

    The lecture is scheduled to be presented by Robyn L. McCoy, Esq., a partner with McCoy and Associates, PLLC. McCoy has worked with the Legal Aid Defender's Association and currently works with the Michigan Children's Law Center.

    Ms. McCoy is a member of the Black Women Lawyers of Michigan, the Wolverine Bar Association, the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar, the National Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Bar Association. She is the past President of the Vanzetti Hamilton Bar Association (the African American Bar Association for Washtenaw County) and served as a member of the Board for the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Chapter of the Black Chamber of Commerce.

    Contact: Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, 734.487.3460 
    LBC Approved

  • 2016

    Thursday, October 20

    Kombit: The Cooperative

    From 5 to 7 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 208

    The introduction and discussion is presented by Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon.

    LBC Approved

    Wednesday, April 6

    A South Africa Community Development Field Experience

    Travel Description

    This summer 2016, become a part of a group of 12 students traveling to South Africa through International Student Volunteers with Professor Victor O. Okafor. You will earn 80 hours of volunteer work in South Africa through a community development project where our learning goals are to meet South Africa's needs sustainably, through improvement of community infrastructures and improving access to portable water. Work hard building not only new physical structures, but communities, through income generation, enhancing community identity, and education.

    Be involved in daily discussion and journaling if you choose to join this group for internship credit. For additional information about internship credit options, contact Professor Victor Okafor who, along with a local ISV expert, will accompany you during the first two weeks of the trip, starting from June 24, 2016. Dr. Okafor can be reached by email through vokafor@emich.edu.

    Visit the volunteer projects page to see more details about ISV's volunteer projects in South Africa and to learn more about this incredible opportunity to impact your world! The second two weeks will be an adventure tour, where you will meet up with a different tour leader. You will travel for two weeks learning about sustainable tourism and local issues, and explore various ecosystems.

    Go to the adventure tour page to explore the day by day itinerary of activities like white water rafting, a full day game drive through Kruger National Park, and an elephant encounter.

    The price of the full 4-week program is $4,495, but the first two week volunteer program cost is $2,795.

    How to Apply

    If interested, apply through the ISVolunteers site. You must put Dr. Okafor's group code on the application to travel with his group from Eastern Michigan University. Please put the following code in the first box which asks for the group code: USA-MI-UL010.

    If you have any questions about the application or program, send an email to groups@isvolunteers.org or call 714.779.7392.

    Thursday, March 31

    2016 Honors Convocation

    From 4 to 5:30 p.m.
    Halle Library - Carillon Room

    Monday, February 8

    A Critical Appraisal of Barack Obama's Presidency

    Since 2009, Eastern Michigan University has been running an annual series of expert and non-partisan panel evaluations of Barack Obama's presidency. The final edition of this series will be held in February, 2017. And we intend to launch an edited book on "A Critical Appraisal of Barack Obama's Presidency" during that final edition of the expert panel series.

    Given your expertise, I am hereby extending an invitation to you to develop and submit a chapter to the proposed Critical Appraisal of Barack Obama's Presidency. This project is envisaged as a collection of critical, in-depth and balanced analyses of Barack Obama's two-term presidency.

    Intended to serve as an academic text, this proposed book (through its assemblage of a set of incisive chapters using an assortment of normative, multidisciplinary, qualitative and quantitative epistemological approaches) is designed to tackle a variety of questions pertaining to how, during his 8-year tenure, President Obama discharged his duties as the chief executive officer of what is easily the most complex political bureaucracy in human history against the backdrop of serving as the head of the executive branch of a governmental system that is based on three separate-but-equal branches, namely the presidency (that is, the executive branch), the legislature and the judiciary.

    Notify me about your chosen/preferred topic

    Thus, given your scholarly record, I invite you to submit a chapter to this proposed book on the basis of any of the nineteen themes listed below. For now, please respond to notify me of your acceptance of this invitation, along with the name of the chapter that you will be submitting.

    Themes for proposed book
    • The overall impact of President Barack Obama's presidency
    • National economic trends under Obama's presidency
    • President Obama's handling of national security challenges
    • Health care reform and Obama's presidency
    • National educational reforms and Obama's presidency
    • The impact of President Obama's leadership's on the political ideological direction of US national politics
    • Obama's presidency and the politics of race in America
    • Obama's presidency and the politics of gender in America
    • Obama's presidency and the politics of religion in America
    • Relations between the Executive branch and the US Congress during Obama's presidency
    • The impact of Obama's presidency on the shape of the US Supreme Court
    • The orientation of US foreign policy towards Africa under Obama's presidency
    • The orientation of US foreign policy towards the Middle East under Obama's presidency
    • The orientation of US foreign policy towards China under Obama's presidency
    • The orientation of US foreign policy towards Russia under Obama's presidency
    • US free trade policies and Obama's presidency
    • US climate change policies under Obama's presidency
    • The impact of Obama's presidency on the external world's perception of the United States
    • Did Obama's presidency bring about a socio-political transformation of the United States?
    Specifications for chapter submission

    A chapter submission is expected to consist of a minimum of 21 double-spaced pages of text, exclusive of the bibliography. The Chicago Manual of Style is a required documentation style for each chapter. Please, submit your essay as a Microsoft Word file attachment.

    Due Date

    You have until May 6, 2016 or preferably sooner to submit your completed chapter, along with an abbreviated curriculum vitae, to vokafor@emich.edu as an email attachment. This deadline is critical to my goal of getting this book out and ready for launching at the February 2017 final edition of our annual series of expert and non-partisan evaluation of Barack Obama's presidency.

    Feedback

    Following a blind review, the editor of the proposed book publication, Dr. Victor O. Okafor, will notify you as to whether your chapter is accepted or not accepted for publication.

    Wednesday, February 3

    Assessing Barack Obama's Two-Term Presidency: How Would History Judge It? - Part II

    From noon to 2:30 p.m.
    McKenney Hall - Room 348

    The panelists are Barbara Patrick, David Walton, Brittany O'Neal, Solange Simoes, Mary-Elizabeth Murphy and Eric Brown.

    LBC Approved

  • 2015

    Tuesday, December 29

    Opportunities for Africology and African American Studies education at Eastern Michigan University

    Are you aware that the Department of Africology and African American Studies here at Eastern Michigan University offers several academic programs and General Education courses that are designed to help enrich your learning experience in a way that could better prepare and equip you with knowledge and skills for effective functioning in a world of diverse peoples and cultures?

    Are you aware that we offer a bachelor’s degree program in African American Studies which is open to ALL students, regardless of your country of origin, racial, ethnic, or gender classification? Indeed, our students—that is, students who traffic through our myriad of courses each semester—represent a diverse group of learners who come here to join us in our often exciting critical and systematic exploration of the black experience in its domestic and global contexts. Read the full story.

    Monday, January 19

    Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, et al: Public Perceptions of Justice and the Dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    From 3 to 3:50 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 352

    This lecture is an MLK lecture presented by Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor.

  • 2014

    Friday, December 19

    Dr. Okafor's chapter in a newly-released edited book on Governance, Peace and Security in Africa

    A newly published edited book on Governance, Peace and Security in Africa includes a chapter contribution by Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, Head of EMU's Department of Africology and African American Studies. Dr. Okafor's chapter 17 is entitled, "Development: Definitions, Trends and Controversies – An Interrogation of Key Issues Related to Modern African Political Economy."

    Wednesday, December 17

    Leadership of EMU's Society of Africology Visits Charles H. Wright Museum to Celebrate Graduation of Ms. Kayla Latham

    Leaders of EMU's Society of Africology recently visited and toured Detroit-based Charles H. Wright Museum in order to celebrate the graduation of one of the members of the society, namely Ms. Kayla Latham who is graduating this December, 2014 with a bachelor's degree in African American Studies. Reporting back on that trip, the President, Mr. Rasheed Atwater said that the tour represented a continuation of their quest for understanding the African and African American experience. The visit, he explained, confirmed many of the lessons they received from their professors in EMU's department of Africology and African American Studies about other figures, policies, and procedures that added and hindered the progress of African Americans. At the end of the tour, he added, the Society left with an enhanced understanding of the African American Experience, a high degree of comradery, and a greater motivation to create immediate change in their community, on and off campus.

    The Society of Africology is made up of majors and minors in African American Studies, as well as EMU students who are pursuing AAAS' Undergraduate Certificate in African Studies and its Graduate Certificate in African American Studies.

    Previously known as the Society of African American Studies, the society's name was changed this fall, 2014 semester by its current members to "Society of Africology." Current members means current majors and minors in African American Studies, as well as students of AAAS' Undergraduate Certificate in African Studies and its Graduate Certificate in African American Studies. It will be recalled that effective from winter, 2013, EMU's Department of African American Studies changed its name to Department of Africology and African American Studies (AAAS).

    Wednesday, October 15

    Spotlight on Durrell Jamerson-Barnes, AAS Major

    Durrell Jamerson-Barnes, who double majors in African American Studies and Communication, Media and Theatre Arts at Eastern Michigan University, completed an internship, this past Summer 2014, in the New York Office of Communications and Outreach of the U.S. Department of Education. Visit the Department of Educational Homeroom Blog for more information.

    Monday, October 8

    The Society of Africology and African American Studies (SAAAS) Launches a Community Reading Program in Ypsilanti

    On Monday, October 8th, 2014, the Society of Africology and African American studies (SAAAS) began a community reading program in partnership with the Parkridge Park Community Center and its after school program in Ypsilanti.

    SAAAS' President, Rasheed Atwater reports that members of the society engaged in reading, writing, mentoring, supervising and playing games with the youth. He adds that SAAAS members began reading with the students a number of books they have never seen before, and discussing with them the possibility of going to college, specifically Eastern Michigan University.

    The Society of Africology and African American Studies (SAAAS) is made up of majors and minors in the African American Studies program of EMU's Department of Africology and African American Studies, as well as students of the department's Undergraduate Certificate in African Studies and its Graduate Certificate in African American Studies. For pictures of this inaugural session of SAAAS' community reading program, visit the AAAS Facebook page.

    Wednesday, September 17

    Constitutional Day Speech

    From 5 to 6:30 p.m.
    Halle Library - Auditorium

    Please, prepare to make yourself present at the upcoming "Constitution Day" speech to be given at EMU by none other than Attorney Mark Fancher. Mark Fancher is the staff attorney for the Racial Justice Project of Michigan's ACLU.

    LBC Approved

    Friday, June 27

    Faculty Book Publication News

    A book publication by Dr. Ana Ferreira, assistant professor of African American studies, has just been released. The book, "The Demise of the Inhuman," is published by the State University of New York Press. For more information, download the book publication flyer [PDF]

    Tuesday, March 25

    2014 Honors Convocation

    From 2 to 4 p.m.
    Halle Library - Carillon Room

    The 2014 Honors Convocation of the department of Africology and African American Studies (AAAS) is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. All majors and minors, including graduating seniors, graduate certificate students, and undergraduate symposium presenters, are invited and expected to attend.

    Graduating seniors, graduate certificate students and outstanding majors and minors, as well as undergraduate symposium presenters, will be honored. Feel free to come to the event along with your parents, relatives and friends. Free refreshments will be provided.

    Contact: Cheryl Olverson, Office Manager, 734.487.3460

    Thursday, February 6

    On February 4, 2014, Eastern Michigan University's Department of Africology and African American Studies (AAAS) presented the 6th edition of its annual, non-partisan and expert panel evaluation of Barack Obama's presidency. The panel consisted of Dr. Ravi K Perry, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Mississippi State University; Dr. Sherry Johnson, Assistant Professor of English, Grand Valley State University; Dr. Patrick Pieh, Part-time Lecturer in the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Eastern Michigan University; Dr. Solange Simões, Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Eastern Michigan University; Dr. Barbara Patrick, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Eastern Michigan University; Dr. Betty Brown-Chappell, a retired Professor Social Work, Eastern Michigan University; and Dr. E Cerroni-Long, Professor of Anthropology, Eastern Michigan University. Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, Head of the Department of Africology and African American Studies at EMU, moderated the discussion. Dean Thomas Venner gave welcome remarks, while Dr. Kim Schatzel, EMU's Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, introduced the panelists. The event attracted a good number of students, faculty and staff. Watch more about this lecture.

    Tuesday, February 4

    President Obama's Second Term Agenda: Highlights, Separation of Powers, and Political Gridlock

    From noon to 2 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 310 Lab

    The 2014 edition of the annual expert panel evaluation of Barack Obama's presidency will have the panelists Ravi Perry, E. L. Cerroni-Long, Barbara Patrick, Betty Brown-Chappell, Patrick Pieh, Sherry Johnson and Solange Simoes with Professor Victor Okafor being the moderator.

    LBC Approved

  • 2013

    Monday, November 18

    Why I Chose African American Studies as My Major at Eastern Michigan University with Shohei Isobe

    Shohei Isobe, an international student from Japan, shares with us his reasons for selecting African American Studies as his major at Eastern Michigan University. Mr. Isobe, who holds an overall GPA of 3.87, is currently the president of EMU's Society for African American Studies, a networking organization made up of students who are majoring or minoring in African American Studies. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

    Student Spotlight

    "I am from Japan. When I was a freshman in my Japanese university, I took a couple of classes related to Africa, but unfortunately my university offered no course related to African Americans. I continued to study by myself by reading books about Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, Huey Newton and so forth. When I turned a junior, I passed the examination for a degree-seeking 2-year study abroad at Eastern Michigan University. Then, I took a look at the courses offered here and found the Department of Africology and African American Studies. My first impression was that this department offers various courses relevant to African and African Americans. Then, I looked at the courses more closely and found that I would get to learn about a range of topics, from African civilization to the health issues of African Americans, the effects of urbanization, and the importance of Hip-Hop lyricism. Therefore, I decided to make African American Studies my major at EMU.

    My time here majoring in African American Studies is very precious because I can learn history, culture, and the current situations of African Americans from a different perspective that actually tells the truth. I got to learn about the importance of ancient Egyptian civilization and how those in power have been trying to convince us, falsely, that the ancient Egyptians were of the white race and, therefore, the first civilization belonged to whites. I got to learn about the oral tradition of Africa which survived the middle passage and is now flourishing in the United States in the form of rap. I got to learn in-detail about consequential leaders in African American history, such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. Now, I am really happy that I made the decision of coming to study here, and I would like to teach what I learned here in the future."

    Monday, March 25

    2013 Honors Convocation

    From 2 to 4 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 330

    You are invited to the 23nd annual Honors Convocation of the Department of Africology and African American Studies. This Honors ceremony recognizes:

    • AAS Honors students and McNair scholars
    • AAS Majors and Minors with high GPAs
    • AAS graduating students
    • AAS undergraduate symposium presenters

    Contact: Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, 734.487.3460

    Friday, March 22

    Dr. Melvin Peters presented a paper at the 2013 NCBS annual conference.

    During the 37th annual conference of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from March 13 to 16, 2013, Dr. Melvin Peters, Associate Professor of African American Studies, presented a paper at a roundtable session called "Transformative Afrocentric Education K- Through College: New Perspectives from Teachers and Professors in the Trenches." He presented with Kefentse Kwesi Chike of Wayne State University and Ahmad Rahman of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Entitled "Fearing Afrocentric Curriculum: Stunting Black Children," Dr. Peters' presentation was "based on the educational research of Asa Hilliard, Janice Hale, Paulo Friere, William Watkins, Carter G. Woodson, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o and others connected to my classroom experience past and present." Reporting on his presentation, Peters stated: "I dealt with experiences with public school youth team-teaching in Ypsilanti High School, in the various summer programs that Dr. Perry's grants helped create in the past, and based on my regular AAS/EMU teaching, including the work with the UPrep students the past two years." Congratulations to Dr. Peters!

    Dr. Victor Okafor presented a paper at the 2013 NCBS annual conference.

    During the 37th annual conference of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), which was held at Indianapolis, Indiana from March 13 to 16, 2013, Dr. Victor Okafor, Department Head and Professor of African American Studies, presented a paper on "Black Studies, African American Studies, Africana Studies or Africology? The debate about how to name the discipline revisited." In his presentation, Dr. Okafor reviewed existing literature on nomenclatural debates and discussions within the discipline of Africology/Africana Studies/Black Studies. He also summarized Eastern Michigan University's experience with the issue of naming the discipline, which culminated in a recent name change from the "Department of African American Studies" to the "Department of Africology and African American Studies."

    Dr. Victor Okafor sponsors four undergraduate research symposium presentations.

    During yesterday's March 22, 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium at Eastern Michigan University, Dr. Victor Okafor sponsored four student presentations as follows.

    Kelsey Renee Goodman

    Caught in the System: African Americans and the Prison Industrial Complex

    Overtime, the prison industrial complex has become neo-slavery for the men and women of the African American community. With a disproportional presence in these facilities, Blacks have been unequally affected by the creation of a second-class citizenry via multiple facets, including disenfranchisement, the foster care system, and lack of higher education. The adult populace is not the sole target in these communities of color, as young Black children are also being pushed into the juvenile detention and prison institutions via the "school to prison pipeline" phenomenon. The abundance of Blacks in the prisons has stigmatized the race and made the road to advancement and re-entry difficult. Session C – Room 330 – Number 185

    Shantinique Shante Lowman

    The Betrayal of Equal Rights that Were Deserved

    The ending of slavery, the Reconstruction, and the rights of the freed slavesor "freedmen," as they called them in the 1860sare controversial subjects. The things that we experienced as a country for the freedmen, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction that followed, are among the developments that made the Supreme Court what it is today. It's about the fight for equal rights that African Americans fought for years and yearsthe fight with the government, the fight with the Congress, the fight within the states, the fight during the Civil War, and the fight inside the Supreme Court, etc. These are among the issues to be presented in this book review. Session B – Room 350 – Number 130

    Dr. Melvin Peters sponsors 2 Undergraduate Symposium presentations.

    During yesterday's March 22, 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium at Eastern Michigan University, Dr. Melvin Peters sponsored two student presentations as follows.

    Briana Christa Lynn McKoy

    Black Comedy and the Weight of Misrepresentation: The Exaggeration of Black Life

    The success of black comedy has heavily relied on negative and overly exaggerated stereotypes of its characters that date back to minstrelsy. This exaggeration, which includes circumscribed racist and sexist stereotypes, has made its way from blackface on stage to contemporary entertainers on YouTube. The responsibility of framing blackness has been largely disregarded by the entertainment industry. The purpose of this study is to navigate the historical trajectory of imagistic mistreatments, from yesterday's blackface to today's not so dissimilar black entertainment media. Session C – Room 344 – Number 193

    Shaquetta Morris

    "Bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks": Misogynistic Ideologies of Black Women in Hip-Hop

    Mainstream hip-hop is a product of the contemporary White patriarch institution established in America and reflects the misogynistic ideologies of this institution. This presentation explores the history of the exploitation of Black women in America through mainstream hip-hop music. Research focuses on stereotypes of Black women, the legitimization of sexism by male artists, sexism on the part of female rappers, and the societal effects of hip-hop sexism. Session C – Room 344 – Number 194

    Tuesday, February 19

    Three AAS Majors on the Dean's List for Winter 2013

    Three students who are majoring in African American Studies are amongst the college of Arts and Sciences' students who are on the Dean's list this winter 2013 semester. They are Shohei Isobe, Gabrielle Simone Smith and Lauryn Sharee Tidwell. In order to be recognized on the Dean's list, a student should have an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5. Congratulations to all three AAS majors.

    Graduating AAS Major lands a job as a Reading and Arts Specialist

    Ms. Mikayla Beaudrie, who is scheduled to graduate in April, 2013 with a double major in African American Studies and English, has accepted a job as a reading and arts specialist. She was hired by Camp Ramapo, which is based in Rhinebeck, New York.

    As a Reading and Arts Specialist, Ms. Beaudrie will be assisting in the literary and emotional development of children aged 6-16. She explained that "I anticipate helping children develop age-appropriate social skills through literature and the arts, and language application."

    She added that Camp Ramapo is designed with the needs of children with emotional impairments, many of whom have been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.

    Congratulations to Mikayla!

    Department conducts 5th edition of expert panel evaluation of Barack Obama's presidency

    On February 7, 2013, the department of Africology and African American Studies (AAAS) conducted the 5th edition of its annual expert panel evaluation of Barack Obama's presidency. The event, which took place at the Student Center on the Ypsilanti campus of Eastern Michigan University, featured both a keynote lecture by Dr. Ravi Perry and a follow-up panel discussion. Moderated by Dr. Victor Okafor, the panel discussion was carried out by Drs. Gregg Barak, Robert Perry, Barbara Patrick, Joseph Engwenyu, Ravi Perry and Political Blogger Eric Brown.

    Three EMU students received cash prizes for the essays that they contributed to this year's annual campus-wide student essay competition on Barack Obama's presidency. For 2013, the winners are Alan J. Raupp-Laverty (first prize of $100), Edward Patterson (second prize of $75), and Candace M. Adams (third prize of $50). The awards were presented by Dr. Kim Schatzel, EMU's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, after her welcome remarks. Professor Tom Venner, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also presented welcome remarks.

    In his own welcome remarks, the Department Head of Africology and African American Studies, Dr. Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, informed the audience that effective Winter, 2013, the department changed its name from African American Studies to Africology and African American Studies. Apart from the name change, the department re-structured the course requirements for majoring or minoring in African American Studies. Among the curricular changes is a mandatory internship for majors in African American Studies.

    Visit the first part and the second part of the record of this event and the Facebook page for the pictures.

    Thursday, February 7

    President Barack Obama's Re-Election: Demography, Race Relations and Emerging Political Issue

    From 1 to 4 p.m.
    Student Center - Room 310A/B

    A Black History Month expert panel discussion by Dr. Ravi Perry with Barbara Patrick, Eric Brown, Joseph Engwenyu, Ravi Perry, Gregg Barak and Robert Perry. The winners of a student essay contest on Obama's presidency to be announced.

    Contact: Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor, 734.487.3460
    LBC Approved

    Sunday, January 20

    Student Essay Contest

    Online

    Barack Obama: a Critical Appraisal of the Journey of the first African American President of the United States

    Write a three-page and double-spaced essay on the above title, and submit it to Professor Victor Oguejiofor Okafor (vokafor@emich.edu) as an email attachment.

    Winners of the essay prizes will be announced on February 7, 2013 during the opening session of the expert panel evaluation of Barack Obama's presidency scheduled to take place that day at the Student Center 310A/B from 1 to 4 p.m. The winner of the first prize will be invited to read their essay to the audience.

    Prizes
    • First prize: $100
    • Second prize: $75
    • Third prize: $50
  • 2012

    March 19

    Outstanding faculty member honored

    Professor Robert Perry received an outstanding faculty plaque from the AAS Department Head during the department's Honors Convocation held on March 19, 2012. Presenting the plaque, Dr. Victor Okafor, DH, extolled Dr. Perry's long-standing and unwavering dedication and service to the department of African American Studies. He pointed out that in his service record, Dr. Perry places the interests of the department above his personal needs. Below is a picture of the award presentation. On the left is Dr. Perry, and on the right is Dr. Okafor.

    Salute of Excellence

    The department of African American Studies recognized and honored several AAS majors and minors for their outstanding academic achievements at its Honors Convocation, held at Halle library on Monday, March 19, 2012. Among them were graduating students, including a student who completed requirements for the graduate certificate in AAS. The group picture below includes the honorees. For additional pictures of the event, visit AAS on Facebook.

  • 2011

    October 20

    YouTube's link for the Recent AAS academic presentation On the Causes and Consequences of Racism

    This past October 20, 2011, the department of African American Studies, Eastern Michigan University presented an academic program on the causes and consequences of racism in observance of 2011 as a United Nations-proclaimed "International Year for People of African Descent." Featured speakers: Dr. Joe Feagin, Dr. Melvin Peters, Attorney Mark Fancher, Dr. Liza Cerroni-Long, Dr. Robert Perry, Dr. Ana Ferreira, Dr. Nora Martin and Professor Ronald Woods. President Susan Martin and Dean Thomas Venner provided welcoming remarks, while Dr. Victor Okafor moderated the discussion. Below is the YouTube link for the video record of this event.

    Racism: Causes and Consequences

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