Dr. Russell L. Adams
Dr. Russell L. Adams is a political sociologist with a long time interest in interdisciplinary instruction, curriculum
development, community diversity and intergroup relations. The holder of the B.A. has published numerous
articles on the emergence of Afro-American Studies as an academic field utilizing various disciplines, the role of
philosophy and the function of epistemology in constructing and defining social reality. He is the author of the
widely used publication Great Negroes: Past and Present. Dr. Adams is engaged in editing a series of essays
focusing on the antebellum black community and black participation in the American Civil War. Dr. Adams has
served as Chair, Department of Afro American Studies Howard University, Washington, DC, and as a curriculum
consultant to colleges and public school systems in different parts of the country. He is a manuscript reviewer
for academic journals and textbook publishers. Frequently quoted by the mass media, he has lectured
throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Israel and South Africa. Dr. Adams is under contract
with the African American Civil War Memorial Foundation [Dr. Frank Smith, Director, website: http://www.
afroamcivilwar.org/ phone: 202-667-2667] as their content specialist for their docent training program to
handle the Foundation's year's Sesquecentennial Observance of the U.S. Civil War entitled "Civil War to Civil
Rights: The Glorious March to Liberty."
Derrick P. Alridge, University of Virginia
History of African American Education
African American History and Textbooks
Hip Hop, History, and Pedagogy
Derrick P. Alridge is Professor in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. His research interests
include the history of African American education, African American social and educational thought, and the civil
rights movement. He has published The Educational Thought of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Intellectual History,
Message in the Music: Hip Hop, History, and Pedagogy (an edited volume with James B. Stewart and V.P.
Franklin), and numerous articles in the fields of education, history, and African American Studies.
Felix Armfield, Buffalo State University/SUNY
Dr. Felix Armfield is Associate Professor of History at Buffalo State College in the Department of History and
Social Studies Education. He also was a member of the faculty of Western Illinois University from 1995 to
2000. Most recently, he published the book Black Life in West Central Illinois (2001), and is presently working
on a biography of Eugene Kinckle Jones, a black social work pioneer in the early twentieth century and the first
Executive Secretary of the National Urban League, 1916-1940.
Deidre Hill Butler, Union College
Dr. Deidre Hill Butler came to Union College from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts where she earned
her Ph.D. Dr. Butler's research interest includes the social geography of race, class and gender in African
American social institutions in New England, the role of African American women in contemporary step-families.
She has received recognition for her scholarship from the New York African-American Institute and the
Massachusetts Historical League. Dr. Butler has severed on the Program Committee for the Association of Black
Sociologists and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and is a member of the
American Sociological Association. She is an active member of the Black Women Health Project, a national black
women’s grassroots health initiative. Dr. Butler contributed an essay to the 2003 ASALH Black History Kit, Souls
of Black Folk: Centennial Reflections.
William Jelani Cobb, Spelman College
William Jelani Cobb, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History at Spelman College. He specializes in post-Civil War
African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. He served as a
delegate and historian for the 5th Congressional District at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He is a
recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations. Dr. Cobb is also the author of To The Break of
Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic (NYU Press 2007) which was a finalist for the National Award for
Arts Writing. He was educated at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Rutgers University where he
received his doctorate in American History under the supervision of Dr. David Levering Lewis in May 2003.
Dr. Cobb has two forthcoming books: In Our Lifetimes: Barack Obama and the New Black America and a
scholarly monograph titled Antidote to Revolution: African American Anticommunism and the Struggle for Civil
Rights, 1931-1957. His articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Essence, Vibe, Emerge, The
Progressive, The Washington City Paper, ONE Magazine, Ebony and TheRoot.com. He has contributed to a
number of anthologies including In Defense of Mumia, Testimony, Mending the World and Beats, Rhymes and
Life. He has also been a featured commentator on National Public Radio, CNN, Al-Jazeera, CBS News and a
number of other national broadcast outlets.
Solomon W.F. Comissiong, SCMB Educational Consulting
Solomon W.F. Comissiong is the President and co-founder of SCMB Educational Consulting. SCMB Educational
Consulting espouses to the use of mediums, such as Hip Hop Culture, to educate poorly motivated students.
Comissiong’s company facilitates workshops on topics regarding academic retention, reluctant-student-
motivation, and enabling enthusiasm for learning. He is a skilled and passionate orator who engages his
audiences as he demonstrates, within the content of his presentations. His style and commitment has won
him popularity among fellow educators and a wide range of student populations.
Mr. Comissiong uses Hip Hop to engage audiences in everything from Black History to Social Issues to the
Importance of Civic Engagement. Mr. Comissiong is an educator at the University of Maryland College Park
(UMD) where he teaches two 400-level courses based around Hip Hop Culture and social issues. He also holds
the position of Assistant Director at the Nyumburu Cultural Center at UMD.
C.R. Gibbs, Washington, DC
Mr. C.R. Gibbs, historian of the African Diaspora, author and humanities scholar, is the author/co-author of six
books and a frequent national and international lecturer on an array of historical information. He has appeared
several times on the History Channel, French and Belgian television, and researched, wrote and narrated
"Sketches in Color," a 13-part companion series to the acclaimed PBS series, "The Civil War" for WHUT-TV, the
Howard University television station. The Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Community Museum features Mr.
Gibbs among its scholars at the museum’s Online Academy. He is also a Washington, DC Humanities Council
Scholar. In 1989, he founded the African History and Culture Lecture Series whose scholars continue to provide
presentations at libraries, churches, and other locations in the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD area. In 1997, he
led 26 people on a study tour across the African continent. He was awarded the 2008 Award for Excellence in
Historic Preservation in Public Education, given annually by the Mayor of Washington, DC. In 2009, the
Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust honored Mr. Gibbs for his more than three decades of articles,
exhibits, and presentations on the military heritage of Africans and African Americans.
Debra Newman Ham, Morgan State University
Dr. Debra Newman Ham is a Professor of History at Morgan State University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D.
from Howard University, and her Masters from Boston University. Dr. Ham served as the Specialist in Afro-
American History and Culture in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, and from 1972 to 1986 as an
archivist and Black History Specialist at the National Archives. Dr. Ham worked as the guest curator of a major
Library of Congress exhibit entitled "African American Odyssey: Quest for Full Citizenship," and as the editor of
the exhibit catalog of the same name (1998).
She is the senior author and editor of The African-American Mosaic: A Guide to Black History Resources in the
Library of Congress (1993) and the author of Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives
(1984). She also has written a number of book chapters and articles including: "Resource Guide," Columbia
University Guide to African American History since 1939 (2006), and “Government Documents," in the Harvard
Guide to African-American History (2001) to name a few. She has been a member of ASALH for over thirty-
Ida E. Jones, Howard University
Dr. Ida E. Jones is a native of Cambridge Massachusetts, and currently the senior manuscript librarian in the
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. She is a graduate of Howard University with a BA in Journalism 1992, and
a Ph.D. 2001. Her field of study centers around African American religion and historic records preservation, and
her research examines the role of the church within African American culture and the American political
economy. She has worked with a number of churches to preserve their records and promote understanding of
their historical importance in American urban history. Dr. Jones is an adjunct faculty member in the Department
of History at Howard University, and currently serves as co-editor of the Black History Bulletin (formally the
Negro History Bulletin).
Benjamin R. Justesen, Author and Editor
Dr. Benjamin Justesen is an adjunct professor of world history at Heritage Bible College, Dunn, N.C. He is also the author of three books and a number of journal articles dealing with African-American political history in the post-Reconstruction era. His first book, George Henry White: An Even Chance in the Race of Life (LSU Press, 2001, reprinted 2012), was a scholarly biography of the first African American congressman of the 20th century, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in biography.
Justesen is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies (arts and sciences/U.S. history) from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the history of the National Afro-American Council, the first major U.S. civil rights organization and a precursor of the NAACP. His other books include Broken Brotherhood: The Rise and Fall of the National Afro-American Council (SIU Press, 2008), and In His Own Words: The Writings, Speeches, and Letters of George Henry White (iUniverse.com, 2004).
In 2012, Dr. Justesen wrote the script for the documentary film George Henry White: American Phoenix. He is also the author of more than a dozen biographical sketches in the National African American Biography project (2008), along with biographical sketches of 19th-century African-American legislators for the North Carolina History Project. A resident of Alexandria, Virginia, where he works as an editor, he has been a print journalist, businessman, teacher, and nonprofit director, as well as a U.S. diplomat, serving in Jamaica, Denmark, Suriname, Singapore, and Latvia; his languages were Danish and Russian.
His journal articles include “The Class of ‘83: Black Watershed in the North Carolina General Assembly.” N.C. Historical Review (July 2009); “African American Postmasters in North Carolina, 1874–1909,” N. C. Postal Historian (Spring 2006); “Black Tip, White Iceberg: Black Postmasters and the Rise of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1897–1901,” N.C. Historical Review (April 2005); “George Henry White: The End of An Era” (Washington History, Winter 2003-2004); and “George Henry White, Josephus Daniels, and the Showdown over Disfranchisement, 1900, ” N.C. Historical Review (January 2000). In addition, his article, “African-American Consuls Abroad, 1897–1909,” appeared in the Foreign Service Journal in 2004.
Eileen Kugler passionately champions the unique benefits that diversity brings schools and communities. She
challenges audiences to break through society’s “myth-perceptions” about race and culture, empowering them
to go beyond celebrating to advocating for diversity. Eileen’s award-winning book, "Debunking the Middle-
Class Myth: Why diverse schools are good for all kids," is inspiring honest dialogue in boardrooms, classrooms,
and living rooms. Her commentaries appear in publications from USA Today and The Washington Post to
Educational Leadership and The National School Boards Journal. Eileen’s commitment was motivated by the
inspired education of her own white middle-class children at one of the most diverse schools in the nation, with
students from wide-ranging cultures and economic backgrounds, hailing from nearly 90 nations. Blending her
professional expertise as a communications expert with her volunteer commitment, Eileen worked
collaboratively with administrators, faculty, parents, students and community members to rebuild the school’s
crumbling community support and turn it into a vibrant focal point of its multicultural community. Eileen was
named Education Advocate of the Year by the American Association of University Women-Virginia. Today Eileen
speaks to audiences from Anchorage to Atlanta, Chicago to Seattle, and consults with school districts and
throughout the country.
A sociologist who spent two years at the Smithsonian surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of
American history only to find an embarrassing blend of bland optimism, blind nationalism, and plain
misinformation, weighing in at an average of 888 pages and almost five pounds. A best-selling author who
wrote Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across
America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. A researcher who discovered that many, and in many states most
communities were "Sundown Towns" that kept out blacks (and sometimes other groups) for decades. (Some
still do.) An educator who attended Carleton College, holds the Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and
taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. "He has led workshops for in-service
teachers and pre-service ed. students from New England to California."
Lopez Matthews, Jr.
Dr. Lopez Matthews, Jr. [email: firstname.lastname@example.org ] is an Archives Technician in the Holdings Maintenance
Division at the U.S. National Archives (NARA). He is also an Adjunct Professor at Coppin State where he
teaches courses covering U.S., African American and World History. Born in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Matthews earned
his B.A. in history from Coppin State University in 2004, a Masters degree in Public History in 2006 and his Ph.D
in U.S. History from Howard University in 2009. He taught courses at Howard University covering African
American Women in U.S. History, and Museum and Archives. He has also worked as a historian for the Black
History Program of the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission.
Dr. Matthews was a paid intern at: the Maryland State Archives; the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at
Howard University; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; and the Humanities
Council of Washington, DC. He has volunteered for several National Park Service venues: The Carter G.
Woodson Home National Historic Site (NHS) and The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS, in Washington,
DC; Hampton Mansion NHS and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, MD. He also
served: as historian for the Delta Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; on the Lectures & Colloquia
Committee in the History Department at Howard University.
Dr. Matthews now volunteers for various organizations within the Maryland/ Washington, DC area: Executive
Council Member for ASALH; board member of BLEWS: the Black-Jewish Forum of Baltimore. MD; Outreach
Committee chair for the National Archives Assembly; and Secretary of the Afro-American History Society at
NARA. Since 2005, he has researched, designed and produced the annual Black History Month Student
Learning Resources CD-ROM, published by ASALH. He is also a member of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society.
Dr. Rodney Orr has been a missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ for 32 years, 17 of which have been
spent overseas in Zimbabwe, Scotland and Kenya. He holds a Ph.D. in African American Missions History from
the University of Edinburgh, (UK). In this research, he studied the reconnection between African Americans
and East Africans that the call to missions gave to 15 African Americans and Jamaicans from 1900 to 1926. He
has a Masters of Theology in New Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary and his BSc is from Purdue
University in Industrial Management. After graduating from Purdue he worked in management engineering for
five years in the U.S. Air Force before joining Campus Crusade for Christ fulltime. He went to Washington, DC to
work in the inner city training churches in evangelism and discipling men for 4 years before going to Dallas
Theological Seminary. Following his graduation from seminary, he taught systematic theology in a seminary in
Nairobi, Kenya for three years and then proceeded to University of Edinburgh, Scotland to do his Ph.D. After
graduating in 1998, he moved to Harare, Zimbabwe where for 10 years he helped to start a graduate school of
leadership called Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA). His personal vision is “to build people by
opening their eyes to truth”. This includes biblical truth and the truth about AA missions history. Dr. Orr now
works with Campus Crusade for Christ at Yale University, sharing the gospel with graduate students and faculty.
He delivers talks on the themes below:
“Motivation for missionary work among African Americans as an impulse for reconnection with Africa.”
This talk is based on Dr. Orr’s Ph.D. dissertation and his years of experience as a missionary in Africa.
“Building leaders of integrity who will impact the African American community and the world for Christ.”
This talk is based on Dr. Orr’s biblical knowledge and other readings, his experience in building a school
of leadership in Zimbabwe and his experience in the African American community.
Kim Pearson, The College of New Jersey
Kim Pearson is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Interactive Multimedia and chair of the African-American
Studies Department at The College of New Jersey . Her articles have appeared in print and online venues
ranging from Black Enterprise to Blogher.com. and Her research on computing diversity and civic engagement
has garnered support from Microsoft and the National Science Foundation.
In 2000, Pearson was named New Jersey ’s CASE Professor of the Year by
the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Pearson holds an AB in Politics from Princeton University and an MA in
journalism from New York University . She is a member of the ASALH Advisory Board as well as the
DigitalJournalism Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Tammy Sanders-Henderson, University of Maryland - College Park
Dr. Tammy Sanders-Henderson is a lecturer in the African American Studies Department at the University of
Maryland at College Park and doctoral candidate in the American Studies Department. She was a summer
Fellow and took part in Holding Up Both Ends of the Sky: Engendering Africana Studies, A Summer Institute on
Critical Theory, Black Womyn Scholarship and Africana Studies (2002) in the Africana Studies Department at
Cornell University, where she engaged in intense study of constructions of African American motherhood. Dr.
Sanders-Henderson is now the Academic Program Coordinator for the Association for the Study of African
American Life and History. Her scholarly work centers on 19th and 20th century “Black Feminist Thought” in
the areas of womanhood and motherhood. More specifically, she offers to a critical lens to her examination of
the intersections of social, political, and economic in relation to issues of human reproduction and female
Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University
Dr. Daryl Michael Scott is Professor of History at Howard University. He received his Ph.D. in History from
Stanford University. Dr. Scott is a historian who specializes in America since the Civil War. In particular, he
studies African Americans, Southerners (whites in the American South), race relations, and intellectual history.
He received the James A. Rawley Prize of the Organization of American Historians for the best work on race
relations history in the United States (1998).
Selected publications include: Editor, The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson, The ASALH Press,
2005; Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Black Psyche, 1880-1996, Chapel Hill, University of
North Carolina Press, 1997; “Postwar Pluralism, Brown v Board of Education and the Origins of Multiculturalism,"
Journal of American History, June 2004; "The Politics of Pathology," Journal of Policy History 8 (Winter 1996).
Dr. Scott edited Carter G. Woodson's Appeal, Washington, DC, The ASALH Press, 2008.
Daryl Michael Scott was elected in 2013 to serve a three year term as National President of ASALH.
Arwin D. Smallwood, Ph.D., University of Memphis
Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood is an Associate Professor of Colonial American History at the University of Memphis. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Political Science and history from North Carolina Central University and his Ph.D. in history from The Ohio State University. His research focuses on mapping African-American, Native-American, and Early American history. It also examines the creolization, or merging, of the three cultures during the colonial period particularly in eastern North Carolina. He primarily writes about the lives of the inhabitants of Indian Woods, North Carolina in Bertie County over its 400 years of recorded history, and how their lives shaped and were shaped by their surrounding landscape. His work documents the long history of the region and explains the intertwined histories of the groups he studies through maps he designs and illustrations and photos he mines from archives, special collections, and private collections.
Barbara Spencer Dunn, Kiamsha Youth Empowerment Organization
First Director of Membership Services, ASALH
Barbara Spencer Dunn is the Executive Director of Kiamsha Youth Empowerment Organization and the first
person in the history of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History to be employed as
Director of Membership Services (July 1, 2004 – January 18, 2008). Mrs. Dunn is a graduate of Bowie State
University and recipient of several community service awards for her extensive work in communities around the
country. Mrs. Dunn’s presentations educate people of all cultures, blends generational divides, enlightens
youth, reengages the church community, and cause intellectuals to re-focus their thinking in a way that
reflects Dr. Woodson’s goals in his seminal work, “The Mis-Education of the Negro.” Mrs. Dunn recruited and
engaged a group of professionals to create a work study guide to provide a document that will not only
engage educators and intellectuals, but will also engage high school youth and families around the world in the
reading of “The Mis-Education of the Negro in 2008 marking the 75th Anniversary of this very important work
by Dr. Woodson.
James B. Stewart
James B. Stewart was elected as President of ASALH in 2009 to serve a 3-year term. He is a Professor Emeritus
at Penn State University and was previously a Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, African and
African American Studies, and Management and Organization. Prior to that time he held the positions of Vice
Provost for Educational Equity and Director of the Black Studies Program Dr. Stewart has a Ph.D. in Economics
from the University of Notre Dame (1976); an M.A. in Economics (1971); and a B.S. in Mathematics (1969). He
has authored, co-authored, or edited 11 books and over seventy journal articles and over seventy book
chapters. Dr. Stewart has also served as editor of The Review of Black Political Economy. His books include
African Americans and Post-Industrial Labor Markets (1997); African Americans in the U.S. Economy (2005);
Introduction to African American Studies, Transdisciplinary Approaches and Implications (2007); and a collection
of essays about Africana Studies entitled, Flight In Search of Vision (2004). His past leadership experiences
include Presidencies of the National Economic Association and the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS)
(1997-2001). Dr. Stewart has received awards from many organizations including NCBS, the African American
Studies and Research Center (Purdue University), and the ANKH Scientific Institute.
Dr. William Sturkey, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Dr. William Sturkey is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of History at the
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He holds an M.A. in African American Studies from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in African American History from Ohio State University.
He has written numerous articles on the black freedom struggle in Mississippi and is currently
working on two related book projects.
Dr. Sturkey’s first book, scheduled for publication in March of 2014, is an edited collection of essays,
poems, articles, and testimonials written by the young black students who attended the Mississippi
Freedom Schools during the famous 1964 Freedom Summer civil rights campaign. Assembled from archives
across the country and released on Freedom Summer’s 50th Anniversary, this forthcoming volume will
provide an unprecedented view of the responses of Freedom School students to their schools and offer
unique ways to think about the role of children and education in the Civil Rights Movement. His second
book project, currently in progress, examines the impact of modernization on race in the Jim Crow South.
Dr. Sturkey is an engaging and energetic speaker who is available to speak about all aspects of the
Civil Rights Movement and the post-Emancipation Mississippi freedom struggle, but particularly
specializes in the Freedom Summer of 1964 and the Mississippi Freedom Schools. Several other intriguing
"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Black Life in the American 1950s",
"Nuts & Bolts: How the Movement Worked to Create Federal Legislation",
"From Ida B. Wells to Emmett Till: The Iconic Mound Bayou in the Black Imagination and at the Crux of a Movement" and
"In the Shadows of Modern America: Black American Life During the Second Industrial Revolution & the Dawn of Jim Crow".
Ben Vinson, Johns Hopkins University
Ben Vinson, III, is Professor of Latin American History and Director of the Center for Africana Studiesat Johns
Hopkins University. He is a specialist on issues of race in Latin America, particularly Mexico. Although trained as a
colonial Latin Americanist, his research interests and publications includecontemporary African-American/Afro-
Latino relations, 20th century African-American/Mexican relations, the history of transnationalism, and the
African Diaspora. His major publications include: Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial
Mexico (Stanford University Press, 2001), and Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in
Mexico (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004), to name a few. He has also published in newspapers such as the Raleigh
News & Observer, the New York Post, El Aguila del Hudson Valley, the Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA) and the
San Diego Union Tribune. Professor Vinson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1998 and his A.B.
from Dartmouth College in 1992. Click here to download complete bio.
Sheila S. Walker
Sheila S. Walker, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and filmmaker, is Executive Director of Afrodiaspora, Inc., a non-
profit organization that is developing documentaries and educational materials about the global African Diaspora.
She has done fieldwork, lectured, consulted, and participated in cultural events in much of Africa and the
African Diaspora. Her most recent works are the documentary film, Slave Routes: A Global Vision, for the
UNESCO Slave Route Project, and an edited book, Conocimiento desde adentro: Los afrosudamericanos hablan
de sus pueblos y sus historias/Afro-South Americans Speak of their People and their Stories, featuring articles by
Afrodescendants from all of the Spanish-speaking countries of South America. She also edited the volume,
African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of the Americas and produced the documentary,
Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora. Dr. Walker was Director of the Center for African
and African American Studies, the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor in the College of Liberal Arts,
and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. She also was the William and Camille Cosby
Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the African Diaspora
and the World Program at Spelman College [website: www.afrodiaspora.net email: email@example.com ].
Lillian S. Williams, University of Buffalo
Dr. Lillian S. Williams is Chair and Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University at Buffalo, the
State University of New York. Until recently, Dr. Williams was Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the
University at Albany where she also was director of the Institute for Research on Women. She is author of
Strangers in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African American Community, Buffalo, New York, 1900-
1940. Her current research has been on African American women and the club movement and she is
completing a book on Blacks in Green: African Americans in the Girl Scout Movement.
Yohuru Williams, Fairfield University
Dr. Williams is Associate Professor of History at Fairfield University and the Chief Historian at the Jackie Robinson
Foundation in New York City . He is the author of Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and Black
Panthers in New Haven (Blackwell, 2006) and Teaching U.S. History Beyond the Textbook (Corwin, 2008). He
is the editor of A Constant Struggle: African-American History from 1865 to the Present, Documents and Essays
(Kendall Hunt, 2002), and the co-editor of In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a
Revolutionary Movement ( Duke University , 2006), and Liberated Territory: Toward a Local History of the Black
Panther Party ( Duke University , 2009). He also served as general editor for the Association for the Study of
African American Life and History's 2002 and 2003 Black History Month publications, The Color Line Revisited
(Tapestry Press, 2002) and The Souls of Black Folks: Centennial Reflections (Africa World Press, 2003). Dr.
Williams also served as an adviser on the popular civil rights reader Putting the Movement Back into Teaching
Dr. Williams' scholarly articles have appeared in The Black Scholar, The Journal of Black Studies, The
Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, Delaware History, Pennsylvania History, and the Black
Zachery Williams, Ithaca College
Dr. Zachery Williams is an Assistant Professor of African New World Studies at Ithaca College, and is a minister
with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Ithaca, New York. Dr. Williams received his Ph. D. in history
from Bowling Green University. He has worked in the areas of “Black Masculinist Thought” and “Africana Policy
Studies,” and is currently completing a book In Search of the Talented Tenth: Howard University Intellectuals
and the Dilemmas of Race in Academia, 1926-1970.
A’Lelia Bundles currently is at work on her third book, Joy Goddess of Harlem: The Life and Times of A’Lelia
Walker, a biography of her great-grandmother. Her biography, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of
Madam C. J. Walker [Scribner] was named a New York Times Notable Book and received the Letitia Woods
Brown Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians.
A former ABC News executive and Emmy award winning producer, Bundles is president of the Madam Walker/A’
Lelia Walker Family Archives and serves on the boards of the Foundation for the National Archives, the
Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe and the Madam Walker Theatre Center. She is a Columbia University trustee.
An engaging speaker and MC, Bundles brings warmth, humor and a strong grasp of history and current events
to her presentations about Madam Walker, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, hair, beauty, the Harlem
Renaissance, media and journalism. She has spoken throughout the U. S. and Europe at conferences, libraries,
book festivals and educational institutions including Harvard University, Spelman College, the National Archives,
the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution. She has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, PBS, BBC,
NPR and C-Span Book TV. Her articles have been published in the New York Times Book Review, O (The Oprah
Magazine), Parade, Essence and Fortune Small Business.
Bundles was graduated from Harvard College and Radcliffe College and received a masters degree from the
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a member of Phi Beta
Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber
Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber is an assistant professor of history at the University of the District of Columbia, where
she coordinates the History Program and directs the Oral History Project at the University of the District of
Columbia (OHP@UDC). Sandra received both her doctorate in United States History and her MA in Public
History from Howard University. She teaches courses in United States History, African American History,
Women of the Diaspora and Public and Oral History. Her scholarship in disability history focuses on researching,
documenting, and interpreting the history of the African American deaf community. Dr. Jowers is establishing
herself as an expert in this area through her research on the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia case, Miller v. DC Board of Education, a pre-Brown v. Board of Education case that changed the
educational policy for African American deaf school age children in the District of Columbia
She established the Fannie Lou Hamer/Ella Baker Lecture Series within the History Program to provide a forum
for students and faculty to address issues relating to women of color in a global capacity. This student-driven
series provides opportunities for emerging scholars to discuss and present their research. Dr. Jowers-Barber is a
member of the American Historical Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and
History, the Public History Council, the Association of Black Women Historians and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
Her chapter “The Struggle to Educate Black Deaf School Children in Washington, DC” in A Fair Chance in the
Race of Life: Gallaudet University’s Role in Deaf History explores the struggle of African American deaf school
age children for an education in the District of Columbia. This anthology, published by Gallaudet University Press,
celebrates 150 years of deaf education in Washington, D.C. “Educating Washington’s Black Deaf Children in the
Nineteenth Century”, Dr. Jowers’ chapter in Emerging Scholars Shifting Paradigms: Black Women’s Scholarship,
documents the struggle to establishment a school for the deaf in the nation’s capitol. Her article, “Teaching
the African Diaspora: Using History to Connect People” for the internet publication VidaAfrolatina.com explores
how teaching in an international classroom provides opportunities for students to experience the informative
exchanges that can and should take place between different cultures in an academic arena. Her chapter, “The
African-American Family: Giving the Gift of Roots and Wings” is included in the publication Family Affair: African
American Identity in the 21st Century. Her biographical entry on the “The National Black Deaf Advocates” is
found in the Encyclopedia of American Disability. She is currently preparing her dissertation, “The End of the
Educational Exile of Washington, D.C. Deaf African American Schoolchildren” for publication.
Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Ph. D. is University Professor Emerita at Morgan State University, where she served as
Coordinator of the Graduate Programs in History, and taught courses in African American women's history. A co-
founder, and the first National Director, of the Association of Black Women Historians, she has published over
40 articles and seven books, most of which are about African American or African Diaspora Women. Among
the books are, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850 to 1920, Women in Africa and the
African Diaspora: A Reader, and Black Women’s History at the Intersection of Knowledge and Power: ABWH’s
Twentieth Anniversary Anthology. The recipient of numerous honors, in 2008 Terborg-Penn was awarded The
Association for the Study of African American Life and History's, Carter G. Woodson Scholar's Medallion, and in
2010 The Southern History Association’s John Blassingame Prize for Distinguished Scholarship and Mentorship in
African American History. Her current research is for a book focusing on the connections between African
Diaspora women from the Dutch colonial world and the United States since the twentieth century. In October
2011 Terborg-Penn published an article in the journal, in Black Women Gender and Families. The title is,
"Migration and Trans Racial/National Identity Re-Formation: Becoming African Diaspora Women."
Rita C. Ricks
Rita Ricks is unlike any other speaker on the speaking circuit, because she coaches as she
speaks. Her wisdom, wit, energy and encouragement are the catalysts which inspire her audiences to renew
the person within. Rita’s dynamic presentations are custom made for each audience and, wherever possible,
she moves through the audience to personally connect with individuals. She shares her life’s experiences. She
uplifts her audiences with a motivating power that awakens all who hear her. She speaks to your spirit.
Michelle Duster is a writer, speaker, personal historian and project manager. She has created and supported
several projects that preserve and promote the legacy of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, civil
rights activist and suffragist. In addition to compiling and writing two books, Ida From Abroad (2010) and Ida In
Her Own Words (2008), Michelle manages a scholarship fund for students at Rust College and provides support
for a museum in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She is co-chair of the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee
which has commissioned the creation of a monument in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. She is on the
Board of Directors of the National Public Housing Museum and the Chicago Area Women’s History Council and is
an advisory board member of the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation. A native Chicagoan, Michelle earned
her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College, an M.A. in Communications from The New School and
completed graduate level study in film and video production at Columbia College in Chicago.
Gina Paige is the Founder and President of African Ancestry, Inc., a pioneering company with a mission to
transform the way that people view themselves and Africa. African Ancestry uses DNA to cross the treacherous
waters of the Middle Passage in order to trace the ancestry of African-Americans to a country and ethnic group
found in Africa today. You may have seen the company's important work on the PBS series, "African-American
Lives." Through her leadership of African Ancestry, Ms. Paige has fueled her passion for reconnecting African-
Americans to their heritage. Her powerful "reveals," workshops and keynote speeches at academic institutions,
on television shows (including, "My Black is Beautiful," "Conversations with Felicia" and various local news
outlets) and special events have touched thousands of individuals and has changed countless lives. Ms. Paige
has shared the historical relevance of genetic ancestry tracing with corporations and nonprofit organizations
alike. She is a dynamic, accessible speaker who easily translates scientific data into relevant social, political and
Karsonya (Kaye) Wise Whitehead, Ph.D.
Dr. Whitehead is assistant professor of communication and African and African American
studies in the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland; a motivational
speaker; a Master Teacher in African American History; a curriculum writer and lesson plan
developer; an awardwinning former Baltimore City middle school teacher; and, a threetime
New York Emmynominated documentary filmmaker. In February 2013, Whitehead was one
of four experts selected nationwide to present at President Obama’s first White House and
Black History Month Panel and was one of several feminist scholars selected to present at the
100th Anniversary Harriet Tubman Symposium at the University of Albany. She has received
various fellowships and grants to support her work including a 2012 Gilder Lehrman Fellowship
in American History and a 2010 NEH Summer Stipend
She was recently selected as one of the top 25 women professors in Maryland by Online
Schools Maryland; and she received the 2013 Loyola University Maryland’s Faculty Award for
Excellence in Engaged Scholarship (presented to only one faculty member per year). Whitehead
has also received the 2006 Gilder Lehrman Preserve America Maryland History Teacher of
the Year Award (sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the
Maryland State Department of Education); was one of fifty alumni to receive the Distinguished
Black Alumni Award from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (2005); and, was a winner of
both the Langston Hughes, David Diop, Etheridge Knight Poetry Award (1999, 2000) and the
Zora Neale Hurston Creative Writing Award (1998) from the Gwendolyn Brooks Creative
Writing Center at the University of Chicago.
Click here to read her complete biography.
Zachery Williams, The University of Akron
Dr. Zachery Williams is an Associate Professor of African American History at The University of Akron. Currently,
he is the Executive Director of The Africana Cultures and Policy Studies Institute, a research/policy think tank
that examines the linkages among Africana cultures and policy development. Dr. Williams is the author of In
Search of the Talented Tenth: Howard University Intellectuals and the Dilemmas of Race in Academia, 1926-
1970 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2009) and editor of Africana Cultures and Policy Studies:
Scholarship and the Transformation of Public Policy. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). He also published
articles in the Journal of American Studies of Turkey, the Journal of African American Men, and the Journal of
Pan African Studies. Dr. Zachary affiliations: The Black Public Intellectuals, Past and Present (Including Black
Religious Intellectuals), African American Policy History/Africana Cultures and Policy Studies, Black Men’s
Studies and African American Religious History/Black Theology