Greetings from ASALH President W. Marvin Dulaney

Plan to Attend the 107th ASALH Annual Meeting in Montgomery, Alabama Exploring the 2022 Theme “Black Health and Wellness”

Dear ASALH Supporter:

This letter is to thank you for continuing to support ASALH through participating in our festivals and conferences and to personally invite you to attend our 107th Annual Conference and Meeting. Our shared learning experiences are the foundation of achieving our mission. Our theme, “Black Health and Wellness” provides multiple ways to explore, learn, and share both historical and modern perspectives on the fight to achieve health equity and well-being while grappling with intersecting inequalities intentionally baked into America’s systems and structures since 1619.

This year we will gather in Montgomery, Alabama, the home of many key events in the struggle for equality, voting rights, and our quest for America’s promise, the right to self-determination and the pursuit of happiness. The Conference dates are September 29 – October 1, 2022. We also have planned tours of historic sites including Selma on the day before the conference begins, and on Sunday, we will have a tour of Tuskegee.

Our conference will address what some historians and health care professionals call the “social and economic determinants” of health and wellness. Our program will show the interconnectedness of a number of historical, social, and economic factors on black health and wellness.

ASALH will bring together historians, practitioners, authors, organizers, musicians, and community and national leaders across many disciplines.

Our presenters will thoroughly explore and provide thoughtful insight to enhance our capability to address black health and wellness. Our program will include well over 100 sessions and workshops. We will explore our theme through a focused lens on each of the three days. A few of the sessions are highlighted below to show the range of topics and speakers participating in our sessions.

Thursday, September 29, 2022, is Social Justice Day.

The luncheon speaker will be Bryan Stevenson, the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, and addressing abuse of the incarcerated and mentally ill adults. Bryan Stevenson led the creation of two highly acclaimed cultural sites: the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

Thursday will also feature the first Conference Plenary Session at 4:00 p.m. Recent Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient and Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray will highlight the session which will consist of a discussion of his life and the book, Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court, by authors Orville Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, former ASALH President, and esteemed professor, will serve as the moderator for this Plenary Session. Other panelists for this Plenary Session will include Hilary Nicole Green, University of Alabama; Robert L. Harris, Jr., Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University; and Franita Tolson, University of Southern California Law School.

On this first day of the conference, there will also be a Conference Roundtable that addresses recent and contemporary issues in American education and jurisprudence. The Roundtable will be on Southern State Legislation 2022: The Panic Over Critical Race Theory and the Future of Academic Freedom.

Alabama State University professor, Darren E. Moten, will chair this session, and he will be joined by a panel of top scholars from Florida, Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama — four states that have sought to limit the teaching of African American history by falsely equating it with “critical race theory.”

Presenters will be Robert Cassanello, University of Central Florida; Hilary Nicole Green, University of Alabama; Cheryl, “Chaka” Mango, Virginia State University; and Cassie S. Turnipseed, Jackson State University.

Friday, September 30, 2022 is National Park Service and Preservation Day.

Eboni Preston Goddard, Associate Regional Director for the Southeast of the National Parks Conservation Association, will serve as the moderator for a Plenary Session on Alabama Black Belt National Heritage Area: Healing Through History & Culture. Racial inequalities wrought by slavery and King Cotton adversely impacted the Black Belt well into the 20th century. Political, economic, and social disfranchisement, Jim Crow, lynching, and other forms of racial violence were a de facto part of life for most African Americans.

Presenters: Dr. Tina Naremore Jones, Vice President, Division of Economic & Workforce Development at the University of West Alabama; Josephine Bolling McCall, Director, Elmore Bolling Foundation; Phillip Howard, Program Manager, The Conservation Fund; and Joshua Jenkins, Civil Rights Fellow, National Parks Conservation Association.

Another highlight of the second day of the Conference will be a live-streamed session entitled Remembering the Roots of Funk: An Oral History with Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, and Scot Brown. This session will address how our culture and music have been and continue to be an integral part of our health, wellness, and lived experiences. The presenters will share their efforts as creators and scholars in the evolution of funk music. The presenters are Fred Wesley, an American trombonist who worked with James Brown in the 1960s and 1970s, and Parliament-Funkadelic in the second half of the 1970s. 

Maceo Parker, an American funk and soul jazz saxophonist, is best known for his work with James Brown in the 1960s, Parliament-Funkadelic in the 1970s, and Prince in the 2000s.

Scot Brown is a leading scholar and author of African American history, popular culture, and music. He teaches African American Studies and History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Saturday, October 1, 2022 is the Day for the History of Black Women and Health.

Ameenah Shakir of Florida A&M University will moderate a Plenary Session focusing on the relationship between race, gender, and medicine while emphasizing the health disparities Black women have faced in American and global history. The session features several of the field’s leading historians, writers, practitioners, preservationists, and thought leaders on the topic of Black women and health.

Participants include: Deirdre Cooper Owens, Historian, Author, and Public Speaker; Stephanie Y. Evans, Georgia State University; Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Immediate Past National President of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation; and Michelle Browder, Artist, The Mothers of Gynecology.

So please come join us in Alabama to participate in our exploration of Black Health and Wellness, past, present, and future. I look forward to you joining us again this year. Registration is open. Here is the link:

Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney President