The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ African American Studies (AAS) program, in partnership with the 41st National Council for Black Studies Conference (held March 8-12), experienced record-breaking attendance when over 500 Black Studies professionals and scholars from a variety of disciplines convened at the Hilton Houston-Post Oak to hear lectures, talks and to participate in workshops and learn from leading Black Studies professionals from around the world.
Internationally known Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, lectured on topics related to classical African ethics of ancient Egypt.
On Friday evening, AAS and Dr. Karenga, creator of Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated throughout the world, held a community event at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Houston's third ward. The event received press coverage from the Houston Defender newspaper.
Dr. Gerald Horne, John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies, was granted the Ida B. Wells and Cheik Anta Diop Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Leadership in Africana Studies and Dr. James Conyers, Director, African American Studies Program received the Mary McCleod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson Award, for Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Africana Studies.
Dr. Antonio Tillis, the dean of CLASS along with Drs. Nicolás Kanellos, Billy Hawkins, Drew Brown, and Brittany Slatton presented papers at the conference. Also, AAS students presented a panel and DaVonte Lyons, won the 3rd place prize in the Undergraduate Student Essay competition.
AAS received the NCBS Sankore Award. The award is presented annually and recognizes outstanding African American Studies programs across the country for contributions to the field of Africana Studies. This was the second time AAS received the distinguished award.
-Toni Mooney Smith