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© 2003
Center for Black Studies
Updated
Annual Report 2003

Director’s Statement

Organizational Chart

Other Projects and Activities

Sponsored Events

Space

Publications

Statistical Summary

Advisory Committee/Staff

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Annual Report 2002

 Annual Report 2001

Annual Report 2000

Annual Report 1999

Other Projects and Activities

Academic Projects
Many of the Center’s sponsored events and activities derive from research and scholarship in Black Studies produced by the Center’s academic personnel (including ABDs, Visiting Scholars, etc.,) and affiliated faculty across disciplines. In addition to the annual fellowship awards administered in support of new work in Black Studies, the Center also supports numerous other campus-based academic projects (not originating from the Center) of relevance and pertinence to African diasporic peoples, the breadth and scope of black history, culture, tradition, religion, and politics. Academic and cultural activities designed to promote and explore issues of blackness, tolerance and other progressive social change initiatives off campus and within the larger Santa Barbara region are also supported by the Center.

  1. Race in Digital Space 2.0 (RDS 2.0), on the Campus of the University of Southern California
    This international conference on race, new digital media and cyberculture convened at the University of Southern California (USC) was a follow-up to the successful initial Race in Digital Space conference held on the campus of MIT in 2001. As one of the founders and organizers of both conferences, Center Director Anna Everett was granted a major funding award to support this conference from Chancellor Yang, Deans Marshall, Woolley and the College of Letters and Science. The Center organized a sizable coterie of UCSB faculty who contributed greatly to the conference’s phenomenal success. UCSB faculty members Dr. Claudine Michel, Dr. Hsiu-Zu Ho, Dr. Judith Green, Dr. Carol Dixon and UCSB Librarian Sylvia Curtis, Dr. Dick Hebdige, Dr. Christina Venegas, and Dr. Anna Everett all participated in various capacities including as organizers, panel participants, panel chairs, workshop leaders, etc. ABD fellows from the Center also participated in the conference as panel chairs, which contributed to their academic and professional development. The Center would like to host the next RDS conference on the campus of UCSB. There are plans to produce an anthology of the conference proceedings. (For more information, see the Websites for both conferences: http://cms.mit.edu/race and http://www.annenberg.edu/race )
  2. Food for Thought Colloquium Series
    To acquaint the UCSB students, faculty, scholars, researchers, staff, and the greater Santa Barbara community with the latest scholarship in Black Studies and related disciplines, the Center hosts an informal colloquium series featuring UCSB academics. The forum is a model of interdisciplinarity that has been well-attended and strongly supported during its first year of operation. Dr. Ingrid Banks (Black Studies faculty) kicked off the series on 12 November 2002 by presenting her new research focus on gender politics in black popular music culture. Her talk, entitled “Video Ho’s Female Rap Artists, and Serena Williams’ Cat Suit: Policing Black Women’s Bodies in the 21st Century” attracted a standing-room only crowd. (See photos on website.

    Dr. Sylvester Ogbechie (History of Art and Architecture faculty) presented the second Food for Thought talk that outlined his research into the little known history of modernism and modernist aesthetics in African Art. Dr. Ogbechie’s presentation, “Aesthetics and Artistic Identity in 20th Century African Art,” was illustrated with rare images of early 20th century African artists and their art.

    In Spring 2003, Dr. Douglas Daniels (History and Black Studies faculty) concluded the series successful launch with his presentation of “A Tale of Two Pages: Oran Page, His Career, and Contrasting Conceptions of Success.” Daniels’s talk highlighted the nearly-forgotten career and impact of talented Jazz musician Oran “Hot Lips” Page, whose clean living and pro-family lifestyle were likely responsible for his near-erasure from popular and scholarly histories of this epoch.
  3. Black History Program: Screening and Panel Discussion of Barbershop
    This program is rooted in the Center’s media literacy and Race and Technology project. To bring an aspect of film criticism and study to the Center’s audience, the highly controversial 2001 film Barbershop was screened for the UCSB family and larger Santa Barbara public. The free screening was accompanied by a panel discussion of the film’s controversy, an open-mic question and answer segment for audience participation, and complimentary dinner. The panel discussion centered around issues of race and representation in Hollywood films and the impact of the Reverend Jesse Jackson and other black leaders’ protests against the film for perpetrating what they considered a tremendous “diss”-service to the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. The discussion also focused on the film’s discourse on reparations for slavery. The panel included UCSB faculty Dr. Christopher Parker (Political Science), Dr. Anna Everett (Film Studies), Anna Brusutti (Film Studies Lecturer), students Tiffany Willoughby Herard (Political Science Graduate student), Khixaan Obioma-sakhu (Law and Society undergraduate) and Sarkis Bedrosian (Film Studies undergraduate), and panel participant and respondent Adjoa Aiyetoro (Center for Black Studies Visiting Scholar). The Barbershop event was very well attended and documented on video tape by UCSB’s instructional resources. The event has aired several times on UCTV. The Center has received positive feedback from the Barbershop event’s television cablecast from individuals who caught the airing. View online through UCTV here (search for "Barbershop").
  4. Inaugural Shirley Kennedy Annual Lecture and New Director Address and Reception
    After the unexpected death of the Center’s long-time Community Affairs and Cultural Coordinator and stalwart supporter, Dr. Shirley Kennedy, the Advisory Committee, Director Everett and Associate Director Michel decided that a fitting honor would be the institution of an Annual Lecture named for her. Incoming Director Anna Everett’s 8 May 2003 public lecture, entitled “Serious Play: Playing with Race in Contemporary Gaming Culture” became the first annual Shirley Kennedy Lecture. The talk was a multimedia presentation that outlined key aspects of her decade-long research into the African diasporic presence in cyberspace and introduced essential research foci for the Center’s new RT Project. Conjoining the Dr. Kennedy memorial and new director’s lecture was appropriate because of Dr. Kennedy’s own work and interest in the “digital divide” issue (See past annual reports). The Annual Dr. Shirley Kennedy Lecture is intended to be a major campus event that invites respected scholars, academics, and activists whose work is compatible with the issues of importance to Dr. Kennedy over the span of her career.
  5. Visiting Scholar Forum
    Visiting scholars, artists, activists and others working in Black Studies and allied fields are welcome to make presentations and share their research, scholarship and creativity at the Center. This forum enables much-needed flexibility in programming and it utilizes the Center’s conference space for opportune academic activities that otherwise might not occur.

    On 31 October 2002 the Center hosted a luncheon reception for UCSB President’s Fellow, Raoul Peck, the former Minister of Haiti, now politically engaged filmmaker. This event facilitated an interview with Mr. Peck that will be published in the Center’s Journal of Haitian Studies (JOHS).

    On 6 November 2002 Helen Quan of the Chicago Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Urban Studies Program, presented “Creative (Urban) Community Responses to the Global Spectres of Savage Developmentalism” at the invitation of Dr. Cedric Robinson.

    And finally, Denise Bacchus, a professor at Santa Barbara City College, shared her research in a talk entitled “An Afro-Mestizo Village in Mexico: Women, Elders and Culture” with the Center audience on 10 April 2003.

    By showcasing these visitors and their projects, the Center fulfills an important element of our public outreach mandate that also provides a receptive and supportive venue for worthwhile activities not originated by the Center.

  6. Indigenous Religion Project—The Spirit and the Reality: Vodou and Haiti KOSANBA
    The creation of the Congress of Santa Barbara (KOSANBA), a Scholarly Association for the Study of Haitian Vodou, resulted from our research efforts to document the significant social, economic and political role played by Vodou in the life of Haitian nationals and in furthering Haiti's rapport with the international community. So far this research has resulted in the preparation of three edited volumes to be published under the auspices of the Center for Black Studies as mentioned in the publications section.

    The fifth conference of KOSANBA took place in June 2003 and was conjointly hosted by the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference was very well attended and welcomed scholars from the United States, the West Indies, Canada, Europe and as far as Japan. Like the previous four conferences, this gathering was a success and further consolidated the work of the research group. This year's conference was further enhanced by a superb exhibit by painter Heza Barjon (HEZA) who showed about twenty or so paintings on the Haitian gods.



    The conference and the exhibit showed once again the strong presence of KOSANBA as a scholarly association for the study of an afro-Creole indigenous religion. The conference participants received strong accolades from the local community, radio and television stations that interviewed members of the association and dedicated two one-hour programs to the research presented at our fifth conference. Audience Magazine and Haitiens Aujourd'hui both gave superb print coverage to the event and the research of KOSANBA [link]. The work of painter Heza Barjon, who has joined KOSANBA, was also highlighted in these publications.

    The research group includes Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, a most distinguished scholar in the area of Haitian, Caribbean and Latin-American politics and culture. Other prominent scholars working with the research group include Karen McCarthy Brown, from Drew University, the leading non-Haitian scholar on Vodou, Professor Laennec Hurbon, a major scholar on Haitian religion and a researcher at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, Professor Leslie Desmangles, the chair of the Religious Studies Department at Trinity College in Connecticut and Professor Gerds Fleurant from Wellesley College. About 15 scholars who constitute the core group of researchers are at work researching different aspects of the religion ranging from rituals and theology to education, politics, economics, gender and sexuality. KOSANBA is making plans for its next conference to be held in Port-au-Prince in 2004, the year which will mark the 200th anniversary of the creation of Haiti, the first Black republic of this world.
  7. Research by Dissertation Fellows

    (Pictured from left, Jermaine Archer, Dr. Anna Everett, Ingrid Thaler, Angie Beatty)
    Jermaine Archer, Ph.D. candidate in History, focusing on 19th century American history, African-Indian relations in 19th century America, and early modern Atlantic world history. His past presentations include “Bitter Tasting Roots and a Lock of Hair: a deeper look at the Slave Narrative,” (New York University, 2000) and “Tossing Coffee Grounds: African Spirituality and Christianity reflected through Slave Narratives.” (UC Riverside, 1999). He has worked as a teaching and research assistant in Riverside, Atlanta, and the Bronx. In 1996-1997, he traveled to Ghana, funded by the Ford Foundation, to research the effects of displacement on Liberian refugees.

    Angie Colette Beatty, Ph.D. candidate in Mass Communication at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her publications are “Cumulative Media Effects” in Encyclopedia of Communication and Information, Vol. 1., Jorge Reina Schement, ed. (New York: Macmillan, 2002) and “Priming ‘bitch’ schemas with violent and gender-oppositional female rap lyrics: A theoretical overview of effects on tolerance for aggression against women.” In African American Research Perspectives (forthcoming). She has participated in many panels and lectures, including “The Wonder Twins—Sex and Bitch-Power Deactivated: Artistic Control and Themes in Female Rap Albums (UCSB, 2000) and “Differential Gender Effects of Exposure to Rap Music on Young African American’s Tolerance for ‘Bitch’ Usage and Aggression Against Women” (Delaware 1999).

    Ingrid R. Thaler, Ph.D. candidate in English and American Studies at Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany. She completed her MA in English and German at the University of Freiburg, Germany. She is co-editor of American Studies in Europe, the Biannual Newsletter of the European Association of American Studies (EAAS), Graz, Austria. She has given presentations internationally including: “Power Structures in a Utopian-Dystopian Future Society: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Traditional Gender Relations in Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn” (Convention of the German Association of American Studies, Dresden, Germany, 2000). Her dissertation is titled “White Genres and Black Traditions. Reworkings of Time in Speculative Fictions by Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Nalo Hopkinson.”

    Undergraduate and graduate students are provided with research opportunities and experiences at the Center as well. Undergraduate student LaTreese Rutherford worked as Visiting Scholar Adjoa Aiyetoro’s research assistant on the UC Office of the President Report on the “Legacy of Slavery: Unequal Exchange” conference.

    Anita Mackey Service Awards
    This year four students were honored for 2002 and 2003 as the recipients of the Anita Mackey Service Award for outstanding service and scholarship. The undergrad recipients were Ochuwa Oghie (2002) and Sunbo Bamigboye (2003). The graduate students were Jamece Brown (2002) and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard (2003)


    Anita Mackey Service Award winners with Directory Anna Everett

    Undergrad Student Recipients

    Ochuwa Oghie: For her extensive community service, and for her outstanding performance as the lead in Ayo’s Journey, presented by the Dramatic Women of Santa Barbara. This original play, which is based on the poem cycle by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, was produced in collaboration with the Dramatic Arts Department at UCSB and debuted at the Center Stage Theater. This play tells the story of a young girl’s journey and her courageous endurance, while celebrating her survival as a captive aboard a slave ship bound for a strange new land.
    Sunbo Bamigboye: For service and achievement as the Internal Vice President of the Associated Students at UCSB. Sunbo was involved as the co-chair of the Black Student Union and Vice Chair of Isla Vista Community Relations Committee and Historian for the Student Commission on Racial Equality. Sunbo Bamigboye graduated with her degree in Sociology this past June.

    Graduate Student Recipients

    Jamece Brown: For her scholarship in History and the Black Studies Departments. Previously Jamece studied African American Religion in the Religious Studies Department at Westmont College. Attending UCSB as a graduate student in History, she is nearing completion of her dissertation, which looks at the works of several southern African American clergy and other ministerial literature. Her work specifically looks at the black ministerial literature between the years 1890-1910. Jamece Brown is an active member of the community and is an accomplished classical pianist as well.
    Tiffany Willoughby-Herard: For her activism and involvement on campus in both Women’s Studies and Black Studies Departments. Tiffany received her PhD in Political Science at UCSB in 2003 with an emphasis on Political Theory and Comparative Politics. Her participation as a panelist for our Black History Month Event, Barbershop, is indicative of her support of the Center’s activities. In 2003, Tiffany Willoughby-Herard was hired as an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Michigan, Flint. She also is the recipient of the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, based in the Ethnic Studies Program at UC San Diego.
  8. Research by Visiting Scholar
    Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, Esq. was the Center’s Visiting Professor and Scholar in Residence through June 2003. Among the projects she carried out for the Center were: researching and writing the “Report to the Office of the President: Legacy of Slavery” document, drafting a anthology proposal to publish the Slavery Conference proceedings, and panelist and respondent on the Black History Month Barbershop event, and teaching a course in the Department of Black Studies on Slavery and Reparations.
    A social justice activist with expertise in program development, litigation, organizational development and community organizing, she focused on Chattel Slavery and teaching a seminar on issues in Reparations. Ms. Aiyetoro is also an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law, American University where she teaches a course on Litigating Reparations for African Americans. She serves as the chief legal consultant to the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) and is co-chair of the Reparations Coordinating Committee. Ms. Aiyetoro is Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP). She is currently Visiting Professor at West Virginia University College of Law, teaching Civil Procedure and a seminar called Race, Racism, and the Law.
  9. Other Activities
    Through the significant involvement of Director Everett, the Center contributed to a new research and outreach initiative to recruit to UCSB African American and other underrepresented students of color sponsored by Dr. John Mohr and UCSB’s Graduate Division. Director Everett co-hosted a faculty-student reception and film screening for visiting black graduate students from Jackson State University (a member of the historically black college consortium—HBCU). Dr. Everett also represented the Center during an important summer project designed to develop a research exchange and collaboration between faculty and students from Howard University ( another HBCU) and UCSB. Dr. Everett represented the Center during her participation in the 2003 Santa Barbara Film Festival. Dr. Everett moderated a panel on black cinema at the festival and discussed the film Baddass Cinema, by black British filmmaker Isaac Julian.

     

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