The Terry Kershaw Student Essay Contest is named in the honor of the late Dr. Terry Kershaw.
Terry Kershaw, the former Head of the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati, was a NCBS Board Member (2001-2015), Vice President of NCBS (2010-2012) and editor of NCBS’ International Journal of Africana Studies (2002-2011).


  1.  Essays should focus on ANY aspects of the Africana experience, i.e. art, education, history, literature, politics, psychology, social issues, and policy issues.
  2. The essay must:
  • Be typed and submitted in Microsoft Word (do not convert your document to a PDF)
  • Not extend more than twenty-five (25) pages in length, inclusive of reference and bibliography pages.
  • Be double-spaced with one inch page margins utilizing Calibri font, 12pt
  • Contain page header to include the title of essay, centered, and a bold capital G or U (representing Graduate or Undergraduate) left justified
  • Contain page footer with page number 1 of XX
  • Utilize document sources with either MLA or the APA style guide.
  1. Include a separate cover sheet is a must.   Cover sheet must include: your name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, name of the college you attend, your class status (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student) and name of faculty advisor.
  2. DO NOT type your name on ANY of the pages. Reviewers must NOT have any identifying clues from your paper.
    DO NOT reveal your college/university affiliation anywhere in the document
  3. Submit your essay electronically to:

Submission deadline is Friday, February 12, 2021

A note to our student submitters:

Thank you for submitting your essay for consideration.

We deeply appreciate the time and effort in preparing the essay. All essays are considered through a blind process. If your essay is not selected as a winner, please do not be discouraged, you can submit again the following the year. Essays that do not win are not an indication of poor quality as we receive stellar essays, but just a reflection of the competitive nature of the program. We would like to provide feedback to all submitted essays, but due to the sheer volume of essays received, this is not possible.

Winners of the competition are strongly encouraged to attend the NCBS conference to participate in the celebratory luncheon.  Conference registration will be waived for the winners attending the conference.

NCBS Student Essay Committee

2019 Terry Kershaw Student Essay Contest Winners

1st Place Graduate

Ebony L. Perro
Clark Atlanta University

“Home is Where the Hate Is(n’t): Navigating Black Girl Rage in Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give”

Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Sears

2nd Place Graduate

El-Ra Adair Radney
Michigan State University

“Tunnel Vision: Countering Black Deficit Talk in the Barbershop and Urban Sociology”

Advisor: Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie

3rd Place Graduate

Taylor D. Duckett
San Francisco State University

“Epistemological Distortion as a Means of Oppression”

Advisor: Dr. Donela Wright

1st Place Undergraduate

Justine Veras
State University of New York at New Paltz

“Transgenerational Trauma and Afro-Latinx Women”

Advisor: Dr. Cruz Caridad Bueno

2nd Place Undergraduate

Brooke Ward
Howard University

“Baldwin on Art and Protest” Moving the
Black Artisan Towards Life”

Advisor: Dr. Mario Beatty

3rd Place Undergraduate

David J. Simon
Howard University

“Across & Beyond The Halifax River: Dr. Howard Thurman, The Religion of Jesus, and The Disinherited”

Advisor: Dr. Mario Beatty

2019 Winners Pictured left to right:  David J. Simon, Taylor D. Duckett, El-Ra Adair Radney, Ebony L. Perro