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44th Annual National Council for Black Studies Conference
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Voice of Black Studies Blog
Thursday, April 30 2015

Rage in the City
By Katia Joseph

You want me to voice my rage in silence
Like a good Christian
and crucify me to the cross
like the son of man
Oh, you hypocrite Pharisees
even the son was a thug
Woe to you!
I took my rage to the streets
flipped the tables in temples
stopped the highways 
 burned the city
Boom, boom, boom!
my rage, 
               my frustration
                                           my suffocation
                                                                       my injustice
Can be heard in the big BOOM
I will shake the city until my voice is heard
I will shake the city until I am truly free
I am a man,






You cannot call me thug, unruly

 I am not
you cannot enslave and imprison my mind
I am free,
My freedom came with a price
If you don’t believe me,
 ask Toussaint, Dessalines, King, X, and Evers

All bled in the streets

 to set me free

Listen neo planters!

 21st century massa!

 I will not be suffocated

My voice will be heard

 in the big BOOM

throughout the city

throughout the country

Your justice system creates prisons like plantations

sucking life out of me

Taking away my dream

colonizing my thoughts

A prisoner?


A nigger?


I am not!

Non plus!

I declare it

An agitator?

 I am

 for the cause of my people

their freedom

The city will hear my voice,

hear my cry

and my suffering too.


                my rage

                              my cry

                                         in the city

                                                          for my humanity

                                                                                        for my people

Posted by: AT 03:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 30 2015


39th Annual Conference Award Recipients

Los Angeles, California

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sankore Institutional Award
For Outstanding Institutional Achievement in Africana Studies
University of Miami

Presidential Award
Leslie Alexander (The Ohio State University)

 Anna Julia Cooper & CLR James Award
For Outstanding Scholarly Publication in Africana Studies
Richard D. Benson III (Spelman College)
Author of Fighting for Our Place in the Sun: Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement 1960-1973


Mary McLeod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson Award
For Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Africana Studies
Patricia Reid-Merritt (The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey)


Paul Robeson & Zora Neale Hurston Celebrated Elder Award
For Outstanding Leadership and Service in the Promotion of African Humanity
Munashe Furusa

Student Essay Awards


Undergraduate Students


1st Place

Eli Washington

Furman University

Life is Drag: Gender Performativity and Subaltern Public in RuPaul's Drag Race

Faculty Advisor: Cynthia King


2nd Place

Peace and Love El Henson

University of California, Berkeley

Race, Class and Gender: The Implications of School Disciplinary Systems

on African American Girls and Boys

Faculty Advisor: Nikki Jones & Na'ilah Nasir


3rd Place

Linsey Eldridge

University of Pittsburgh

Rural Prisons, Urban Inmates: Mass Incarceration as Economic Growth Faculty

Advisors: Michael Tillotson


Graduate Students


1st Place

Crystal Webster

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

The Rhetoric of Childhood: Representation of Black Children in Narratives of Enslavement

Faculty Advisor: Manisha Sinha


2nd Place

John Kennedy

Purdue University

“All Clumps of People Turn Out to be Individuals on Close Inspection": Zora Neale Hurston and the Politics of Individualism

Faculty Advisor: Caroline Janney


3rd Place

Olivia Young

University of California

Malleable Flesh: Black Female Artists and the Performative Potential of Visual Distortion

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Leigh Raiford and Dr. Brandi Catanese

Honor Society Inductees

Claire Vilain, Lincoln University

Corissa Perry, Dominican University

Daviel Byrd, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Jan Holston, Bethune-Cookman University

Jonathan Parnell, Dominican University

Justin Thorton, Domincian University

Khyeria Ferguson, Dominican University

Maurice Simon, Purdue University

Quinn Porter, Dominican University

Sierra Jordan, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Tyler Pitts, Purdue University

Udochi Nancy Nwoko, Dominican University

Posted by: AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 20 2015

Peace and Blessings NCBS Family

We warmly welcome you to the new Voice of Black Studies and to our organization!

Over thirty years ago, scholars and teachers in the field of Black Studies came together to develop an organization whose primary purpose was to promote and defend the discipline. That organization, the National Council for Black Studies, remains in the forefront of the discipline today. Central to the workings of the organization is an active Board of Directors that represents the national and international interest of the discipline.

The growth of the discipline can be attributed significantly to the advocacy and action of the hundreds of individuals that served on the NCBS Board members between 1975 and today. I am honored to serve as NCBS president. On behalf of the NCBS, I am pleased to welcome you to our Newsletter and hope that you will help us help you by engaging with us.

A few changes have happened since the last Voice of Black Studies. I am happy to announce and welcome two new board members to our board – Dr. Alfonso Simpson from Western Illinois University and Dr. Bertis English, of Alabama State University. Dr. Bertis English will be leading the effort to publish the International Journal of Africana Studies. A call for Papers will be issued soon so make sure you are checking all the ways we communicate with you.

The National Office is now under the directorship of Ms. Clara Matonhodze. Clara brings with her a wide range of skills that will help NCBS position itself as a strong organization true to its mission to promote academic excellence and social responsibility in the discipline of Africana/Black Studies through the production and dissemination of knowledge, professional development and training, and advocacy for social change and social justice.

As we start planning for our 40th Anniversary Conference, we urge you to assist us by talking about the conference, signing up on time for panels and sessions and submitting all needed materials in a timely manner. As Chair of the Student Committee, I strongly encourage all our Faculty members to encourage students to submit essays for the Student Essay competition, apply for membership to the Honor Society and the Keto Fellows Program.

The purpose of the Tsehloane C. Keto Fellows Program is to provide leadership training to the next generation of young scholars and professionals who will assume positions of responsibility in the field of Africana Studies and in the African Diaspora community.  Participants in the program will be exposed to a variety of settings where they will have the opportunity to observe, participate, examine and exercise leadership skills in a national organization.

We want this to be the best conference yet to showcase all the wonderful research and work that you and your students you do!

Light, Grace, and Balance,

Georgene Bess Montgomery
President, National Council for Black Studies (NCBS)
Clark-Atlanta University
Department of English

Posted by: Georgene Bess Montgomery AT 04:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 20 2015

The National Council of Black Studies 40th Annual Conference is slated for March 2016! Our Local Host Committee is the University of Charlotte, North Carolina. Our heartfelt Thanks goes out to the Committee for we know they will be working hard to make this a success!

Planning is already underway. We need your help to make sure Charlotte is buzzing about the conference so let us know who we need to reach out to. Check back soon for more information about the conference and dates.

Want discounted registration fees?  Make sure you have renewed or signed up for the 2015-2016 membership year!

Posted by: NCBS Staff AT 04:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 20 2015

WE NEED YOU! Very potent seeds were planted in LA as attendees tweeted and shared  experiences about what they were learning. Throughout this year, and as we get ready for Charlotte 2016, we need your help to help us fulfill our Social Media goals. As we have seen over the years, Social Media, when used strategically is a great form of activism. It has helped topple a Government, made Police accountable and brought to light issues that would have otherwise flown under the radar. We want you to help us keep Black Studies alive, well and thriving by engaging in constructive dialogue about social responsibility, cultural grounding and academic excellence within the discipline. Spread the word far and wide and take the following actions:

Like our page on FACEBOOK

Share articles we put on Facebook and mention us!

Follow us on TWITTER and tag us using the hashtag #NCBSONLINE

Share our BLOG

Contribute articles to our NEWSLETTER/BLOG

Contact us and let us know how we can help!

Urge your friends and colleagues to sign up for MEMBERSHIP!

Posted by: AT 03:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 20 2015

I hope you were among the audience members on March 14th in LA who attended a Special Session presentation of Project Unspeakable during the NCBS Annual Conference, or perhaps you were a volunteer reader! In any event, it was a privilege to stage a Documentary Script reading with the NCBS community. we’ve heard some good feedback. We now invite you, as individual members of the NCBS scholarly and activist community, to consider organizing or co-organizing a reading for your local academic community, perhaps in collaboration with your school’s Theater Department and/or the general public.

Project Unspeakable is an empowering, community-building initiative that uses theater to challenge the official silence that for decades has surrounded the “unspeakable” assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. We also aim to shed light on the “unspeakables” of today; school-to-prison pipelines, police brutality, mass surveillance, extreme economic divides and covered-up crimes that have led to or worsened the multiple crises that currently beset our country and the world.

In the broadest sense, Project Unspeakable is an attempt to liberate the truth, so the truth can liberate us. For more information on the organization, please check out our website

As a first step towards possibly organizing a reading of one of the versions of the Documentary Script (varying in length from approximately 45 minutes to 130 minutes), please click HERE to learn more about the scripts and contact us to request a digital copy.

In this 50th Anniversary Year of Malcolm X’s assassination, we especially hope to have readings sponsored by Black Studies associations in colleges and universities across the country, in living rooms and local churches, mosques or theaters, to honor the life and work of Malcolm X. These Memorial readings or theatrical performances can take place now through the spring of 2016. There have been over 30 readings since November, 2013, and Project Unspeakable was honored to perform a few selected scenes from a Theatrical Version of the script (now in development) during the Malcolm X 50th Memorial Anniversary event at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Center in Harlem, NY on Feb. 21st. We hope to see a fully realized theatrical production during 2016!

We hope to hear from you soon. Please do check out the website at and feel free to contact me at I’d be happy to speak with you about any aspects of the work.

Posted by: Ivan Ussach, Outreach Director, Project Unspeakable AT 03:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 20 2015

Our 39th Annual NCBS Reflection

The Preparation:

On the 9th of March ten  Final year students from the faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources majoring in Natural Resources Management, had the privilege of attending the 39th annual National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) conference in Los Angeles which took place from the 11th-14th of March 2015. Our group was made up of two panels the first panel under the theme Africa, Environment and Sustainable Livelihoods presented on the 12th of March from 9:00-10:15am. The panel participants were Soneni Moyo, Innocent N Chitsiku, Mutsa T Msabaeka, Daphne Mutenga and Fadzai M Dube. The second panel presented in the afternoon session under theme Black Studies, the African Experience and Gender and the participants were Rudorwashe V. Zvikaramba, Robina Nambafu, Rutendo R. Marovatsanga, Tinotenda E Maravanyika and Moira Dhliwayo. Both sessions were chaired by Mrs Zanele Furusa who organized the trip and guided the research of students. Our lecturer Ms. Munashe C Kurehwatira presented on the 14th of March under the theme Africa: Continental Experiences.           

The students who participated in the 39th Annual NCBS conference selected and carried out thorough researches in areas which they are passionate about. The research projects done were both desktop and on the ground. The students worked very hard to see the researches through as they were done alongside their studies which include classes and exams. The research took us about six months under the thorough scrutiny of our lecturers Mrs. Furusa, (the Organiser) and Ms Kurehwatira (Assistant Organiser). Despite the pressure from our courses, power-point presentation creation and researches, we managed to come up with fruitful papers. The zeal to carry out our research paper just escalated by day through the tireless efforts and support we received from our organisers and lecturers who worked so diligently to help make our papers a success.

At The Event:

We attended the Luncheon where we experienced and enjoyed the food varieties we were exposed to. We also got the opportunity to meet with students from other Universities and exchanged academic and social ideas. We were amazed by the way people showed interest in knowing more about Africa University and the African Based Science which we shared with them. The student Luncheon celebrated and honored the Winners of the undergraduate essay contest selected from 60 essay submissions. The winning essay proved insightful critical thinking and fine writing. We felt challenged when other students won essay writing awards and wished we had participated too  we hope the future attendees will participate in this competition.

During the Luncheon we had an amazing opportunity to be addressed by the Congresswoman Karen Bass from California on African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) its importance and why NCBS should be part of the support and advocacy campaign for its renewal this year.

We also attended the NCBS Awards Banquet where our Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa won an Paul Robeson and Zora Neal Hurston Celebrated Elder Award for outstanding Leadership and Service award in the promotion of African Humanity, March 11-14 2015. We were blessed to meet, mingle and groove with the real deal people who played a pivotal role in the making of Africana/Black Studies the likes of Maulana Karenga of Califonia State University, Molefi Kete Asante of Temple University, Amilcar Shabazz NCBS Vice President and Chair of the Conference Committee, Georgene Bess Montgomery NCBS President We were honored to be in their presence and we really appreciate their heartfelt welcome.


From left to right: Robinah Nambafu. Mrs. Zanele. Furusa, Ms. Georgene Bess Montgomery (NCBS President), Fadzai Dube, Soneni Moyo, Daphne Mutenga, Mutsa Msabaeka, Ms. Munashe Kurehwatira, and Rutendo Marovatsanga.

Through our organizer, Mrs. Furusa working with The NCBS team, we managed to receive a waiver for our registration fee and we really appreciate it. We would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to the NCBS committee for making the conference a success and choosing a convenient venue Westin Hotel which is near the Airport, Clara Matonhodze for making us feel at home, Adrienne Sedgwick for the smooth arrangements she made for our travel and stay as well as Westin LAX’s workers. We would not have enjoyed NCBS and L.A without you!

The trip was a mind opener, educational and encouraged us to strive for greater academic excellence. We are grateful for the support we received from the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, administration, Vice Chancellor’s and Deputy Vice Chancellor’s offices, the Bursar, Individual Lecturers, our parents and Osborne Furusa and wife who chauffeured and gave us a tour around  in and around LA. Lastly we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Almighty God who made it possible. Our Participation in the 39th Annual NCBS is a testimony of the great work done in and out of the classrooms in trying to uplift African communities, promote African culture and talk about what we have witnessed in the livelihoods of people around us. Thumbs up to you NCBS board for creating a forum for conversations that uplift Africa!

Posted by: Mutsa T. Musabaika & Soneni Moyo AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 20 2015

39th Annual Conference Post-event Summary

The 39TH NCBS conference is the foremost conference on Black Studies for those in Academia. The 3 day conference included presentations by both students and faculty, facilitated community discussions about why black lives matter, a plenary session on diversity in Hollywood and participation in the proceedings of California’s Legislative Black Caucus on the status of Black Studies in California. The fear on many in academia and black studies is once something is approved in California, it’s only a matter of time before it is spread nationwide.

Conference attendees also heard a firsthand account of the impact of California’s controversial Gang Laws that saw the arrest of Harvey Duncan for murders he did not commit. Harvey was present at the closing dinner, and gave a personal account of his run in with this law and its subsequent consequence on his freedom; and the threat is poses to black boys in America. All charges have since been dismissed.

Three African countries were represented at the conference. Zimbabwean based Africa University brought 10 students. A Professor from Cape Town, South Africa was in attendance as well as another Professor from Senegal.

Networking with other Academics was an important aspect of the conference and featured at least three social events that included a New Author’s book signing, a student social, and luncheon.

Posted by: NCBS Staff AT 02:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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National Council for Black Studies, Inc.
Promoting Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility

University of Cincinnati
Department of Africana Studies
3514 French Hall West
Cincinnati, OH 45221

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