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Conference to Examine ‘The Black Scholar and the State of Black America’

Conference to Examine ‘The Black Scholar and the State of Black America’


      An upcoming conference at Michigan State University will bring together scholars, professionals, community leaders and graduate students in wide-ranging discussions related to the role of Black scholars and Black studies programs on American campuses and to the current state of Black America.

      “The Black Scholar and the State of Black America,” sponsored by the MSU African American and African Studies Program and the Sankofa Black Studies Graduate Association, will be held April 6-8 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. A complete conference schedule and registration information is available online at

      Dr. Gloria Smith, director of the African American and African Studies Program at MSU, said speakers and audience members will discuss methodology and best practices in Black studies programs, exchange views on the programs and the future of the discipline, and explore the issue of Black studies’ commitment to the African-American community as set forth in the original vision of the Black studies movement.

      “Merging best practices and methodologies in the African-American and African studies discipline will enhance partnerships between academia and the community,” Smith said. “Diverging perspectives will enrich the challenges and opportunities for collaboration in developing awareness, knowledge and skills for addressing issues related to Black studies programs.”

      Panel discussions will address Black activist scholarship in the digital age; psychological disorder in juvenile offenders; the training paradigm of Black studies programs; achievement testing of American children; the state of Black religion and the Black church in America; community, university and professional sports teams; African- American literature; global perspectives on Africa and the diaspora; the cultural uses of hip-hop music, movies and books; Black Power-era activism and scholarship; Africana studies; MSU doctoral research in the Black community; research on Black communities and scholarly collaboration; Black scholars, Black America and the media; and religious practices in the African diaspora.

      Conference speakers include Dr. Tony Martin, professor of Africana studies at Wellesley College; Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College; and Dr. Abdul Alkalimat, professor of sociology and Africana studies and director of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Toledo.

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