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Report Index

Director's Statement 

Summary of Research Highlights 

Other Projects and Activities 


Statistical Summary 

Staff/Advisory Board 

Other Participants 




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A. Visiting Researcher 

We have been exploring the idea of inviting researchers from other universities to utilize the Center's resources and to be in residence at UCSB.  Dr. Jacob Olupona, faculty member at UC Davis, was the first to accept the invitation.  He was in residence at the Center from late January to the end of July 1998, and we were able to write a grant proposal together (African Indigenous Religions), among other things.  Having a senior scholar at the Center with whom to exchange ideas and seek advice was extremely beneficial for the Center and the projects we are working on. 

Dr. Jacob Olupona 
Dr. Olupona is a professor of African-American and African Studies at UC Davis.   
Dr. Olupona, a recipient of a 1997 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship Award and a University of California Humanities Research Fellowship, received his doctorate degree in Comparative Religion from Boston University.  A distinguished scholar, Dr. Olupona has received many honors, grants and fellowships.  Among them are a Senior Fellowship, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University; Senior Research Grant, J. Paul Getty Program; Foreign Affairs Book Grant, Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn; National Geographical Society; and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, NYC. 

Dr. Olupona has taught such courses as: African Traditional Religions; Christianity in Africa; African Religions in the Americas; Religion, State and Society in Africa; Comparative History of Religions in West Africa; Islam in Africa and the Americas; Black Religious Experience in the USA; Yoruba Language; Sociology of Religion; Phenomenology of Religion; Method and Theory in the Study of Religion; Anthropology of Religion; Introduction to Islam; and Myth, Symbol and Ritual. 

Dr. Olupona began his visiting appointment here in January 1998 and remained until July.  While here, he worked on his project, "Yoruba Thought and Culture: Insights From Ifa Divination Poetry.”   While in residence here, Dr. Olupona gave two public lectures, one at the Center for Black Studies, “Singing the Lords Song in a New Land,” the other, "The City of Two Hundred and One Gods: Ile-Ife in Time, Space, and the Imagination,” took place in the Religious Studies Department.  Dr. Olupona has since returned to UC Davis where he is currently the chair of the Religious Studies Program and Professor in the African-American and African Studies Program. 

B.  New Scholarly Organization:
The Congress of Santa Barbara

We consider a major achievement the fact that a new Scholarly Organization, The Congress of Santa Barbara, was created as a result of our work here at the Center. The group who met in April 1997 in Santa Barbara has pledged to institutionalize their efforts to further research the religion of Haiti and to disseminate their research findings.  The secretarial site for the Congress of Santa Barbara is the Center for Black Studies at UCSB. 

The Association already has over 60 members and, after the Santa Barbara and New York Conferences, we are now planning for a third meeting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in Dec 1999/Jan 2000.  A second volume will be published to disseminate our research findings. (See Flier and By-Laws for more information on the work of the Congress)

The following Declaration summarizes the goals and objectives of the organization:

"Thirteen Haitian scholars met in April 1997, at UCSB for a colloquium on Haitian Vodou, The Spirit and The Reality: Vodou and Haiti.  At the end of the conference, these scholars decided to institutionalize their efforts through a new association under the name, the Congress of Santa Barbara.  

Imbued by a sense of collective wisdom and aware of the long, difficult and constant struggles and crises undergone by their homeland, the Founders – and others who have joined them – pledged to create a space where scholarship on Vodou can be augmented.  Cognizant of the meaning and the implications of this historic reunion where Haitian scholars seized the initiative, the congress proposes to have an impact on Haitian cultural politics as well as on resulting measures and policies that affect the Republic of Haiti. 

The presence, role, and importance of Vodou in Haitian history, society, and culture are unarguable, and recognizably a part of the national ethos.  The impact of the religion qua spiritual and intellectual disciplines on popular national institutions, human and gender relations, the family, that plastic arts, philosophy and ethics, oral and written literature, language, popular and sacred music, science and technology and the healing arts, is indisputable.  It is the belief of the Congress that Vodou plays, and shall continue to play, a major role in the grand scheme of Haitian development and in the socio-economic, political, and cultural arenas.  Development, when real and successful, always comes from the modernization of ancestral traditions, anchored in the rich cultural expressions of a people.   

The Congress of Santa Barbara invites other Haitian scholars and non-Haitians who subscribe to its goals and objectives to join it in the defense and illustration of this poto-mitan on the Haitian cultural heritage that is such an integral part of the nation’s future."  

 The work of the Congress of the Santa Barbara is part of the larger Indigenous Religion Project that the Center plans to develop.  

C. Conferences Organized 

     1. The Education of African Americans in California, Oct 1997 (see flier)   
Several scholars attended this three-day research focused on California’s classrooms. The presenters were: Michael Young, Claudine Michel, and Sharon Tettegah, UCSB; D. Kamili Anderson, The Journal of Negro Education and Howard University; William G. Tierney, University of Southern California; Pedro Noguera, Jabari Mahiri and Soraya Sablo, UC Berkeley; Robert Cooper, Johns Hopkins University; Michele Foster and Subira Kifano, Claremont Graduate School; Garrett Duncan, Washington University, St. Louis; Hymon Johnson, Antioch University. This Conference was co-sponsored by The Office of Affirmative Action and the Multicultural Center. 

     2. The Spirit and the Reality: Vodou and Haiti Colloquium II, held at
Brooklyn College, CUNY.

The Congress of Santa Barbara, a scholarly association for the study of Haitian Vodou, sponsored a second colloquium about its ongoing research project on Haitian Vodou.  About four hundred scholars from the United States, Haiti, Canada and Europe attended this two-day conference at Brooklyn College, CUNY, New York. 

The presenters were from various important research institutions: Rˇgine Latortue, Marguerite Fernandez-Olmos, Lynda Day, Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, Brooklyn College – CUNY; Gerd¸s Fleurant, Wellesley College; Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin; Karen McCarthy Brown, Drew University; Claudine Michel and Ines Talamentez, UC Santa Barbara; Max Beauvoir, The Temple of Yehwe, Washington, DC; Marc-A Chriostophe, University of the District of Columbia; Anna Wexler, Harvard University; Florence Bellande-Robertson, La Sierra University; Carrol Coates, SUNY-Binghamton; Max Manigat, Professor Emeritus, City College – CUNY; Lois Wilkens, Hunter College; Rˇnald Clˇrismˇ, Ministre Conseiller, Permanent Mission of Haiti to the United Nations, Geneva; Viviane Nicolas, Consultant, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Gage Averill, Wesleyan University and New York University; La‘nnec Hurbon, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris and Universitˇ Quiskeya, Port-au-Prince Haiti; LeGrace Benson, Professor Emerita, Ithaca College; Elizabeth McAlister, Wesleyan University; Guˇrin Montilus, Wayne State University; Nancy Mikelsons, Independent Consultant, Chicago; Marl¸ne Racine-Toussaint, Multicultural Women's Press; William Leslie Balan-Gaubert, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Chicago; Gˇrard Fˇr¸re, Saint Joseph's University; Reginald Crosley, M.D., Baltimore; Henri Frank, Director, Haitian Cultural Center; Frantz Leconte, Kingsborough Community College; Leslie Desmangles, Trinity College. Mama Lola, Manbo and Nicole Thomas-Miller, Manbo assisted with a lecture-demonstration. The conference was co-sponsored by Africana Studies, Brooklyn College, CUNY and the Center for Black Studies at UCSB.

     3. Jazz Symposium, co-sponsored by the Department of Black Studies and the Multicultural Center.
Featured artist was Regents’ Lecturer Fan Shengqi.  Joining Fan were such noted names as: Howard Brahmstedt, Tennessee Technological University (the first Fulbright Scholar to teach music and perform in China); Mary Ann Hurst, former director, Council on International Educational Exchange Program Beijing University and vocalist for Beijing Jazz; Donald Gibbs, Professor and founding chair of the Department of Chinese and Japanese at UC Davis and former director of the UC Education Abroad Study Center, Peking University, Beijing; Earl Stewart, Douglas Daniels, Dolores Hsu, Kathryn Anne Lowry, Sylvia Curtis, Professors, UC Santa Barbara; Stanley Naftaly, President Santa Barbara Jazz Society; Peter Clark, Director of Santa Barbara Jazz Festival;   Jean-Keir DuBois, UCSB student; Esmond Edwards, former producer with Prestige Records; Gene Lees, jazz writer and former editor of Downbeat magazine; John McNally, producer of jazz festivals and former jazz radio host; Frank Frost, Professor Emeritus, History UC Santa Barbara; Frank Frost Jazz Combo; Jon Nathan, Director, UC Santa Barbara Jazz Ensemble. 

D. Colloquia (schedules attached 

The Center began the annual colloquia series with nine scheduled presentations.  All were well received and well attended.  During the winter quarter, we scheduled seven presentations.  However, due to so many other departments competing for the attention of the campus community, attendance began to drop.  Because scheduling and preparation for each presentation was very time consuming, it was decided that we would cancel the spring quarter series and concentrate on other activities.  While we canceled the spring quarter series, we did host a few special presentations during that time.
 In 1997-1998, we invited scholars from a number of different departments whose work was relevant to the Center's agenda.  We plan to continue our cross-disciplinary presentations in 1998-1999, especially with the other Ethnic Studies programs.   

Fall 1997 Colloquia 

Chief (Dr.) Olu Adekanmbi, Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Ogun State Polytechnic University.  Chief Adekanmbi is a visiting researcher from Abeokuta, Nigeria in West Africa.
“Yoruba Culture.” 

Richard Flacks, Sociology Department, UC Santa Barbara: 
 “Thinking About Academic Merit: Some Findings and Proposals.” 

Ines Talamantez, Department of Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara:  
“Daughter of the Apache Sun Clan: Reflections on Indigenous Intelligence.”  

Fred Moten, English Department, UC Santa Barbara: 
“Spooky Actions at a Distance: Butch Morris’ Testament.”   

Giles Gunn, English Department, UC Santa Barbara: 
“Multiculturalism, Alterity, and the Problem of Human Solidarity” 

Avery Gordon, Sociology Department, UC Santa Barbara: 
“Scenes from Las Vegas.” 

Anna Everett, Department of Film Studies, UC Santa Barbara: 
“I Want What Other People Enjoy: Black Film Criticism in the 1930’s." 

Gaye Johnson, University of Minnesota: 
“Oye Como Va (Listen How it Goes): The Social and Musical Links Between Latinidad and Blackness, From Chano Pozo to Carlos Santana.” 

Winter 1998 Colloquia 

Mitch Duneier, Sociology Department, UC Santa Barbara:
“Talking to Women Who Don’t Want to: Poor Black Men and White Women on the Streets of Greenwich Village.”  

France Winddance Twine, Sociology Department, UC Santa Barbara: 
“Mothering Against the Script: The Meaning of Anti-Racist Parenting for British Mothers of African-Descent Children.” 

Maureen Driscoll, Writing Program and  David Wakefield, Graduate School of Education: 
“ UCSB’s ACE Program: Past, Present, and Future.”  

Aaron Jones: Alumni, Former UCSB AS President: 
“Report on a Visit to Haiti: the Current State of Affairs.” 

Jean Pierre-Brax, Independent Filmmaker and Producer: 
“Sweet Mickey for President: Reflections on Haiti’s Political Chaos.”  

Marc-A Christophe, University of the District of Columbia: 
“The Feminine Mystic and the Themes of Exile and Remembrance in ‘Le Pain de L’Exil.’” 

Alycee Lane, English Department, UC Santa Barbara: 
“Drug Capitalism and Women’s Liberation in Black Power Movement Discourse.” 

Jacob Olupona, African-American and African Studies, UC Davis: Professor Olupona, a visiting researcher, is also a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.  
“Singing the Lord’s Song in a New Land: African Churches in the USA.”  

E. Other Activities/Workshops Sponsored 

Presentation: Claudette Werleigh – Former Prime Minister of Haiti: “Grass Roots Women’s Movement in Haiti: Fifteen Years of Political and Economic Organizing.”  Ms. Werleigh also served as Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief of Staff and Minister of Social Affairs.  She is also founder and director of a women’s grass roots organization called Lig Pouvwa Fanm. 

Workshops: Anti-Defamation League/National Day of Race Dialogue:  “Can We Talk?  National Days of Dialogue on Race Relations.”  Nationwide groups of concerned citizens participated in small group dialogues to increase understanding and cooperative action between citizens of different races and ethnic backgrounds within their communities.  The Center for Black Studies organized two workshops at the MCC for the National Day of Race Dialogue (Jan. 14, 1998) with the assistance of facilitators from the Anti-Defamation League and Epca. 

Presentation: Gerald Horne: “Proposition 209 and the Fate of Affirmative Action.”  Dr. Horne is a professor of African and Afro-American Studies, History, and Communications Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  We received funding for this event from Office of Affirmative Action & Division of Student Affairs.  

Presentation at the Women’s Center
(1997/98 Colloquium of UCSB Dissertation Scholars and Fellows)
Sheila Page Edwards: “Longitudinal Assessment of Depression and Treatment in Black Maternal Survivors of Late Fetal and Infant Death.”  Ms. Page Edwards, ABD Fellow in the Center for Black Studies, is completing her dissertation at the University of Oregon where she is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. 

Presentation at the Women’s Center
(1997/98 Colloquium of UCSB Dissertation Scholars and Fellows).
Frederick Knight: “ ‘The Gift of Labor’: West African Contributions to Southern Economic Development, 1750-1850.”  Mr. Knight is a current ABD Fellow in the Center for Black Studies.  He is working on his dissertation while here and will present it to the History Department at UC Riverside where he is a doctoral candidate. 

F. Co-Sponsored Activities

As in the past, the Center has co-sponsored many events with other campus associations/departments and the local community:

Santa Barbara Jewish Federation, Santa Barbara News-Press, Exhibition: “Anne Frank in the World.”  A month-long program consisting of an opening ceremony at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, art exhibits, lectures, films and presentations throughout the city of Santa Barbara and the UC Santa Barbara campus. 

Graduate School of Education, UCSB and Center for Black Studies, Presentation: Michele Foster, “Studying Social Interaction in Educational Settings.”  Dr. Foster is a professor at the Claremont Graduate School in Pomona, California. She is studying race, class and gender and the impact they have on children’s lives and classroom instruction. 

Anti-Defamation Holocaust Education Program, Karpeles Manuscript Museum Auditorium, Conference: “A Look Through the Eyes of an African American,” Leon Bass.  Dr. Bass is a retired Philadelphia high school principal.  He describes the nature of racism and its powerful effect on one man.  He witnessed the unspeakable horrors when his army unit marched into the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The memories of what he saw drove Dr. Bass, as an educator, to commit himself to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to schoolchildren. 

KCSB Radio Station, MultiCultural Center, Presentations/Lectures:
A. Sivanandan.
Third World News Review; Globalization and the Left; Selected readings from When Memory Dies; Presentation of award-winning CD-ROM Project, Homebeats.  Dr. Sivanandan is Director of the Institute of Race Relations in London, England. 

Department of Psychology, UCSB and Center for Black Studies, 
Presentation: Michele Foster, “Race, Gender, and Ethnicity: How they Affect Teacher Development & Student Outcomes.”   Dr. Foster is a professor at the Claremont Graduate School in Pomona, California.  She is studying race, class and gender and the impact they have on children’s lives and classroom instruction. 

The UCSB Women’s Center, Conference: Seventh Annual National Student Conference on Campus Sexual Assault.  Students from around the country visited UCSB to share their educational programs and conduct workshops to examine the links between sexual violence and other forms of oppression.    

American Indian Student Association, Lecture: Chief Joseph Chasing Horse.  Chief Chasing Horse is an ordained Sun Dance Chief and ambassador to the United Nations for the Lakota Sioux Nation.  He is also a direct descendant of the great spiritual leader, Crazy Horse.    

El Congreso, Raza College Day: The Sixth Annual Raza College Day events focused on the importance of higher education for students of Latino descent.  

Ethnomusicology & Anthropology Departments, Workshop: West African Dance Workshop.  Youssouf Koumbassa, formerly of the National Ballet of Guinea, is teacher and choreographer of this workshop.  He has taught West African dancing throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Russia, Bangladesh, India, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.  Karamba Dambakate is the lead drummer. 

MoonSister’s Drum Camp, Workshop: Afia Walking Tree – The African Shekere: Using Percussion to Represent Transcultural Experience.  Ms. Walking Tree has been studying and teaching African Diasporic Drumming and Shekere for more than seven years.     

Dramatic Arts, Lecture: S’thembile West: African Aesthetics in Contemporary US Culture.  Dr. West received her Ph.D. in African-American Studies from Temple University.  Currently, she lectures at many universities throughout the United States.   

George Washington Carver Scholarship Club, Inc., Fundraiser: Dinner & Dance to raise funds for future scholarships to be awarded to local high school graduates and college students. 

Educational Opportunity Program & Education Program for Cultural Awareness, Presentations: Black Culture Week activities: Week-long activities observing and celebrating African American and Black Culture.  Activities included various guest speakers, films, dance, arts & crafts, and food. 

Asian! AS Program Board, Black Student Union, Lecture: Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt.  Mr. Pratt will speak on his recent release from prison where he served a 27-year term for a murder he could not possibly have committed.  While Mr. Pratt is celebrated more as a former member of the Black Panther Party, he also worked jointly with the Republic of New Afrika, the Black Liberation Army, and the Brown Berets, proving his loyalty to all people’s liberation struggles.  Reception to follow. 

Associated Students Program Board, Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Project Crossroads. Presentation/Panel discussion: The Evolution of Rap: Past, Present, and Future. The panel discussion explored the history and culture of rap music. Panelists include Tricia Rose, Professor of Africana Studies at New York University and author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America; hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow; Cheryl Keyes, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at UCLA; Earl Stewart, Assistant Professor of Black Studies at UCSB; Jon Cruz, Associate Professor of Sociology at UCSB; Travis Dixon, UCSB graduate student; and Ndidi Oriji, UCSB undergraduate student. A reception followed with live rap music and a variety of Cajun and Soul foods. 

Brooklyn College – CUNY, Colloquia: The Spirit and the Reality: Vodou and Haiti Colloquium II (see “Conferences” above). 


The Academic work of the Center for Black Studies is well known and highly respected.  The Center’s contribution to the intellectual life and reputation of UCSB has traveled beyond its walls, through the work, the research, and the publications of its Fellows and its faculty associates.  One component of its work that is less well known is the Center’s community outreach.  Below is a brief outline of some of the Center’s intramural and extramural activities, past and present. 

The Center for Black Studies realizes the important role that an institution such as UCSB plays in the surrounding community. The Center therefore recognizes its own role in taking leadership and assuming responsibility.  The Center for Black Studies is the campus component most able to respond to increasingly frequent calls for cooperative endeavors among campus entities, and between town and gown.  The Center has a rich history of exchange with the community, including cooperative projects with the Center for Chicano Studies, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee, and others.  This memo will focus on recent activities.   

The Center was central to the organization of a day of workshops on the MLK Holiday last year, entitled, “It’s Not A Day Off; It’s a Day On.” Faculty members from several disciplines conducted workshops on topical issues.   

The Center played an important supporting role in organizing the Santa Barbara NAACP “Not In Our Town” forums.  The forums addressed incidents of racism that had occurred in Santa Barbara, and explored ways in which the community can come together and meet this threat to the common well being. 

The Center sent a representative to the Outreach Committee’s “Anne Frank in the World” activities, a month long series of events which both commemorated the ordeal of Anne Frank, and examined global racism.  The Center, together with the Santa Barbara NAACP, sponsored two video programs with discussion.  The two programs were: “Not In Our Town,” a video about the response of the people of Billings, Montana to racial incidents; and, “The Shadow of Hate,” a history of bigotry in the U.S.   The Center hosted a reception for Dr. Leon Bass.  Dr. Bass spoke about his experiences as a member of the Black tank battalion that liberated several of the death camps in Germany at the end of WWII.   

The Center was the lead organization applying for a multi-disciplinary “Crossroads” grant to bring Chinese jazz musician, Fan Shengqi to UCSB.  Many departments, campuses and other organizations cooperated to make this three-week series a success.  A second grant was awarded for the purpose of editing the videotapes of the events down to classroom length.   

Last year the Center initiated a meeting with Dos Pueblos high school principal and faculty to explore the possibility of a partnership between the University and the high school in closest proximity to the campus.   

The Center is collaborating closely with the Department of Black Studies to plan their thirtieth anniversary celebration. 

The Outreach Committee of last year’s Anne Frank events has reconstituted itself, and has formed a new committee called “Building Bridges,” whose goal is to continue the momentum, and build on last year’s success.  A calendar of events will be presented in October focusing on the theme of people reaching out to others in a positive way.  The Center’s representative on the Steering Committee has been integral in the formation of these plans. 

The Center is mindful of opportunities to promote cooperative endeavors with a variety of campus and community organizations.  In keeping with this goal, the Center supports a variety of activities such as Black Culture Week, KWANZA, Upward Bound, STEP, Black Graduation, and many others.  In times of crisis, the Center is prepared to step in and play the role of mentor, as happened last year with the shocking and tragic deaths of two former students.  The Center has established a study lounge in their memory.