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SPEAKERS 

Engaging people, art and design to foster neighborhood transformation.

“Transcultural Black Presence”

DR. CAROLE BOYCE DAVIES [CURATOR], Professor of Africana Studies & English, Cornell University

Dr. Davies is the author of Caribbean Spaces. Escape Routes from Twilight Zones, (University of Illinois Press, 2013) the prize-winning Left of Karl Marx, The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008) and Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject, (Routledge, 1994) which is considered a theoretical base for many studies in the field of black feminist literary theory and the writing of migration. In addition to over a hundred scholarly articles, Dr. Boyce Davies has also published the following critical editions: Ngambika. Studies of Women in African Literature (Africa World Press, 1986); Out of the Kumbla. Caribbean Women and Literature (Africa World Press, 1990); a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing entitled Moving Beyond Boundaries (New York University Press, 1995): International Dimensions of Black Women's Writing (volume 1), and Black Women's Diasporas (volume 2). She is co-editor with Ali Mazrui and Isidore Okpewho of The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (Indiana University Press, 1999) and Decolonizing the Academy. African Diaspora Studies (Africa World Press, 2003). She is general editor of the 3-volume The Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008). She recently published a collection of the writings of Claudia Jones titled Beyond Containment: Claudia Jones: Autobiographical Reflections and Essays (Banbury: Ayebia, 2012). From Trinidad and Tobago, she earned an M.A. in African Studies from Howard and Ph.D. in African Literature, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria on a Commonwealth Scholarship. She has lectured at universities and communities in Africa, China, India, Brazil, thoughout Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the current president of the Caribbean Studies Association. Her next project is on women and political leadership in the African Diaspora.

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in Southeast Washington, D.C., the founding editor of PROUD FLESH, an e-journal, he is the author of THE SEXUAL DEMON OF COLONIAL POWER (2007) as well as HIP-HOP REVOLUTION IN THE FLESH (2009). He is also the co-editor with L.H. Stallings of WORD HUSTLE: CRITICAL ESSAYS AND REFLECTIONS ON THE WORKS OF DONALD GOINES (2011). He’s published essays in periodicals such as -- Présence Africaine, Journal of West Indian Literature, The C.L.R. James Journal, Journal of Pan-African Studies, African Literature Today, Words.Beats.Life, and Black Camera: An International Film Journal. He is currently at work on a book project entitled "THE IMMORTAL GEORGE L. JACKSON" and just recently returned from Jerusalem where he curated an exhibit at the Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoner Movement Affairs entitled "George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine."

 

 

 

 

Dr. Keshia N. Abraham is currently Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Humanities Department, Interim Chair of Social Sciences, tenured Associate Professor of English, Chair of the Black Studies Committee, and conduit for positive change. Dr. Abraham earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Binghamton University working with world-renowned scholars and artists in the field of African Diasporic women’s literatures, cross-cultural feminisms, and popular education. The third generation of her family to attend and an HBCU, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Spelman College. Passionate about international education, her areas of specialization include African and African Diasporic Literatures (specifically Southern African and Caribbean women’s literature), postcolonial literature, and cross-cultural women’s studies. A theatre producer and creative consultant, her work often intersects cultural and literary studies. She remains deeply committed to enhancing international African diasporic knowledge and experiential exchange.

 

 

 

 

A graduate of the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa, Professor Abaka earned his M.A. degree (European History) at the University of Guelph in Canada and a Ph.D in African History at York. While he teaches the general African history survey classes (History of Africa to 1800 and Africa Since 1800), he offers specialized courses on Southern Africa (up to Nelson Mandela), Egypt and the Nile Valley (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia), West Africa Since 1800, and Pan-Africanism. His graduate classes include Africa and the African Diaspora, Slavery and Emancipation, European Expansion in Africa: Colonialism and Imperialism, and African Historiography. Professor Abaka's research interests cover commodities and trade in pre-colonial West Africa, Slavery and Emancipation, and the African diaspora. He has published a number of articles and book chapters on kola (one of the original ingredients for Coca-Cola), the colonial period in African history, and African youth. His book "Kola is God's Gift": Agricultural Production, Export Initiatives and the Kola Industry of Asante and the Gold Coast, c. 1820-1950, is forthcoming in 2005. He is currently working on a number of projects: The Hausa Diaspora in Asante and the Gold Coast 1800-1950, "The Land of Ras Tafari Makonnen": A Socio-Cultural History of Ethiopia,The Gold Coast Forts and Castles as Frontiers of the Euro-African Encounter, and The Return Migration of African-Americans to Africa in the 20th century.

 

 

 

 

DR. AMON SABA SAAKANA, Music and Culture Lecturer and Analyst, Trinidad & Tobago and LondonAmon Saba Saakana was born in Trinidad and migrated to London, UK, at age sixteen.A self-taught journalist he has published widely on music, drama, carnivals, books, features and social issues. His first published book of poetry is Sun Song, 1973; his second, Tones & Colours, 1987 reached No. 5 on the City Limits Alternative Bestsellers; his third, God in the Song of Birds, 2015. He published Jah Music: The Evolution of the Jamaican Popular Song, 1980, currently being extensively revised. His novel Blues Dance was published in 1985 and was sold out in 9 months. His forthcoming book is Ntr Nfr Wa: The Perfect One, Groundings in the Nubio-Kmtan African paradigm, a book on Ancient Egypt in science, technology, art, and philosophy and its influence on both the Arab and European worlds. Saakana has a Ph.D. in Drama/Cultural Studies from University of London. He is a part-time lecturer at the College of Science, Technology & Applied Arts Trinidad & Tobago.

GREG THOMAS, Professor of English, Tufts University, Boston, MA

DR. KESHIA ABRAHAM, PROFESSOR/DEAN FMU

EDMUND ABAKA, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

DR AMON SABA SAAKANA, MUSIC AND CULTURE LECTURER AND ANALYST, T&T  AND LONDON