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, essay title, 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:  Decembeer 11, 2022

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 will be asked to give a five minute (or less) synopsis of their essay as part of the 2023 NCBS Annual Conference on Friday, March 24, 2023 during the Terry Kershaw Student Luncheon

NCBS Student Essay Committee

2020 Terry Kershaw Student Essay Contest Winners

1st Place Graduate

Robyn Luney
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“Decolonial Transculturation as a Mode of Resistance to the Denial of Black Sentience in Paule Marshall’s Praisesong for the Widow and Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed”

Advisor: Dr. Tara T. Green

2nd Place Graduate

Marcus Smith
Georgia State University

“The Impact of Psychological Reactions and Decentralized Organizational Structure in the Counter-Revolutionary Post-Independence Outcomes for Algerian Women”

Advisor: Dr. Akinyele Umoja

3rd Place Graduate

Chelsea B. Osademe
Kansas State University

“Theorizing the Black Experience: Racial Haunting and Gothic Existence in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric”

Advisor: Dr. Tanya González

1st Place Undergraduate

Kenya Loudd
University of Texas at Arlington

“Intersecting Oppression: Recovering the History of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Colored Youth”

Advisor: Dr. Sarah Rose and Dr. Delaina Price

2nd Place Undergraduate

Erika Hidalgo
Ohio University

“Mirror, Mirror on The Wall I Do Not See Myself at All: The Dark Fantastic and Children’s Media”

Advisor: Dr. Akil Houston

3rd Place Undergraduate

Joy Evans
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

“Food Insecurity and the Clustering of Health Risk Factors among Students of Color”

Advisor: Dr. Juliana Kahrs