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The Voice of Black StudiesSubmit an article in our electronic newsletter
NCBS to Convene in Miami in 2014: We Choose the Fight for Social Justice!
The slogan of the National Council for Blacks Studies (NCBS) consist of scholars, students, staff, and community activists who embody the slogan “Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility” and practice the Black scholar activist model that links scholarship with social change.
As an organization dedicated to the scholar-activist model, we cannot ignore the pain of Trayvon Martin’s family or our people’s calls for action. The murder of Trayvon Martin has ripped the mask off the myth of a “post racial America.” It has exposed the hypocrisy of America’s herrenvolk or whites only “democracy.” Trayvon Martin’s unpunished murder makes it clear that we are in a new historical moment. How should we as scholar activists respond to the murder of this promising adolescent?
In this new period, Black people have been plunged into the depths of a new nadir, a new low point. Over the last few decades, neoconservatives have systematically worked to marginalize Blacks from the labor force, nullify hard won civil rights protections, and stereotypically depict Black males as criminals, thus, providing the rationale for mass racialized incarceration. Their success is now evident. In June, Black unemployment stood at 13.7 percent, more than double that of whites and a third greater than Latino/as 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Shockingly, at 12.9 percent, Black women’s unemployment rate is the highest in four years, since June 2009. Three weeks before the Zimmerman verdict, the United States Supreme Court declared Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. This is a particularly dangerous development because the provision had protected voting rights by requiring designated jurisdictions to get changes in their voting laws preapproved by the Justice Department. Meanwhile the stereotype of the Black male as a “criminal predator” pervades popular culture and serves. This erroneous image is used to justify discriminatory policies like “stop and frisk,” the so-called “drug war,” and now murder through “Stand Your Ground” legislation.
As Curtis Mayfield sang nearly twenty years ago, in “New World Order,” “The hunt is on and brother you’re the prey.” Open season on Black people, especially young African American males, is occurring within a specific historical context--the darkening of America.
The U.S. is witnessing a resurgence in white supremacy spurred by the long recession and the specter of whites becoming a minority. The explosion of conceal and carry gun laws began in the same moment, the late 1980s, in which anti-black terrorism escalated to such an extent that Congress was compelled to pass the Hate Crimes and Statistics Act of 1990. According to The Hate Crime Victimization, 2003-2011 report, between 2007 and 2011, Americans committed an average of about 260, 000 hate crimes a year. During the latter period, racial bias constituted 54 percent of all hate crimes. Revealingly, whites’ percentage as offenders, committers of hate crimes, grew from 37 to 53 percent, from the 2003-06 to 2007-11 period. That is, since the “Great Recession” and President Obama’s election whites percentage as hate crime offenders increased by 16 percentage points! A decade later, during the 2000 Presidential election the state of Florida illegally branded thousands of Blacks felons in order to suppress the Black vote. Denying Blacks and Latino/a who previously served time for felony convictions the right to vote is central to the strategy of pushing us out of the polity. In the wake of President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory, Republicans enacted voter ID laws, eliminated same day voting, Sunday voting, and initiated other new “colorblind” laws to suppress the Black and Latino/a vote. By the time of President Obama’s second inauguration, 67 million guns had been purchased, a 400 percent increase over the previous seven years. “Stand Your Ground” laws follow a similar pattern. After Florida passed the first “Stand Your Ground” legislation in 2005, 25 other states quickly followed suit. The paranoia of the Republican Party, National Rifle Association, Heritage Foundation, Federalist Society, and the American Legislative Exchange Council is reflected in the emergence and explosive growth of the Tea Party which is stimulating a revanchist movement to “Take Back Our Country.” The privatization of the instruments of violence, the mass arming of the U.S. white population, signals the existence of a War on Black America.
In the new nadir of a resurgence of white supremacy, how should African American intellectual activists respond? Should we move our upcoming conference from Miami, as many of our membership and community are demanding? Our initial reaction was to relocate the conference. To break the contract we signed prior to the Zimmerman trial would incur financial costs that would exceed our capacity to sustain the organization. Consequently, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), NCBS has decided to go to Florida. To not honor our financial agreements would destabilize NCBS and the other organizations that are needed now, more than ever. We view our choices—boycott Florida or promote struggle within it--through the lens of the colonization debate of the early 19th century—fight or flight? Like our fellow organizations, we have decided to fight! We are going to Miami, Florida, March 5-8, 2014. We will deploy our talents and resources while in Florida to support the progressive work of Black Floridians. In solidarity, we urge progressive community organizations throughout the state to partner with local Black/Africana Studies units and apply for an NCBS Civic & Community Education & Engagement grant (http://www.ncbsonline.org/community_service).
This new moment, the new nadir demands that we Black/Africana Studies scholar activists renew our commitment to NCBS’s founding slogan, “Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility.” We cannot say what the situation in Florida will be like seven months from now. However, we can promise that we will open the conference to the Martin Family, local activists, and that we will support local progressive initiatives. We urge our members and supporters to inform their Senators that they oppose the NRA-backed concealed carry bills, S. 2188 and S. 2213, which permit individuals to carry concealed weapons across state lines. Please sign Change of Color’s petitions to repeal Stand Your Ground legislation (http://act.colorofchange.org/ sign/shootfirst/?source=coc_website) and eliminate corporate funding for ALEC (http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/alec). Please organize to pressure your local elected officials to enact the National Association for Colored People’s “Trayvon’s Law” (https://s3.amazonaws.com/naacp.3cdn.net/6af94d1753728a09c1_dcm6baott.pdf). And we urge our members and supporters to organize to enact the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s preliminary demands (http://mxgm.org/proposed-next-steps-for-the-national-justice-for-trayvon-martin-movement).
At our 2014 conference, it is our intent to educate Florida and the country on the history of racial terrorism in the United States. We will constructively engage the intra-racial gun violence that yearly kills hundreds of Black youth. Our conference theme will focus on racial terrorism, Black resistance and efforts to build strong communities in across the African Diaspora, during every time period. We will feature the experiences of Afro-Florida with panels and individual talks that examine Afro-Floridians’ unique role in these processes. We plan to emphasize work that explores this new moment and which offer new strategies of resistance, affirmation, and renewal.
We urge those interested in scholar activism and a society truly interested in social justice to join us in Miami!
Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, President
The National Council for Black Studies
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Click on the link to register for the conference.
Please click on the above link to see sponsorship opportunities.
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The University of Notre Dame | Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
The Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Program seeks scholars who will contribute to the intellectual vibrancy, cultural competency, and research excellence of The University of Notre Dame. Fellows selected will engage in a comprehensive research, teaching, and mentoring experience. Promising candidates in any discipline who meet one or more of the following criteria are eligible to apply:
1. Scholars whose research focuses on Gender, First Nations/Native American, African/Africana/African-American, Asian/Asian American, Ethnic, Latino/a or Latin American Studies
2. Scholars whose experience, teaching and/or research promise to enhance cultural competency and diversity within the American educational landscape or who are interested in exploring the implications of such work for liberal education in the Catholic tradition
3. Scholars with a track record of involvement in initiatives aimed at promoting diversity in higher education through teaching or research
4. Scholars in any discipline from one of the populations underrepresented historically in American higher education (e.g., Women, Native American, African American, Asian American, or Latino/a)
In addition to their research, Fellows will teach one course each semester during their tenure. The first will be in the area of their specialization. The second will be a core undergraduate offering for the department serving as their home. Fellows will also be part of mentoring initiatives developed and sponsored by their host department, the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars and the Office of the Provost. These will be geared toward long-term professional development and the evaluation of each fellow for possible appointment to a teaching-and-research position at the University.
These postdoctoral appointments are for a one-year term and are renewable for a second year. They will carry a starting annual salary of $50,000. Health insurance and $5,000 for relocation/research expenses will also be part of the fellowship package. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree by August 2014 or have received the terminal degree in their discipline within the past five years. Applicants must have legal authorization to work in the United States.
Applicants are invited to apply online at http://diversity.Nd.Edu/moreau-postdocs Materials to be submitted include:  a cover letter detailing the applicant’s specific qualifications for the fellowship; the primary field of expertise; a description of how she/he will contribute to broadening the perspective and intellectual diversity of the university;  the names of up to two departments at Notre Dame to which the application should be forwarded for consideration;  a proposed plan for research to be undertaken during the tenure of the fellowship, not to exceed five pages; and  a curriculum vitae. Applicants will be asked for the names of three scholars who can provide references. For those having received their terminal degree within the last year, one reference letter must be from the dissertation advisor.
The application cycle is currently open. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2013 and will continue until all Fellows have been selected.
“The University of Notre Dame is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer with strong institutional and academic commitments to racial, cultural, and gender diversity. Women, minorities, and those attracted to a university with a Catholic identity are encouraged to apply. Information about Notre Dame, including our mission statement, is available at http://www.nd.edu.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
University of Notre Dame • Notre Dame, IN 46556-5602
New Perspectives on Violence and Revolution in the African Diaspora:
A Workshop for Junior Faculty, Post-Doctoral Fellows, and
Advanced Graduate Students, Sponsored by the
George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center
April 4–5, 2014: The Pennsylvania State University (University Park Campus)
The past several years have seen an explosion of exciting new perspectives on the subjects of race, gender, transnationalism, revolution, spiritual and religious practices, modernity, and colonialism. All of these themes have provided launching points for discussions and research about the lives and cultures of African descended peoples in the Diaspora. Some of the best new work on these topics is being done by advanced graduate students and scholars in the early stages of their careers. To highlight and encourage this work by these emerging scholars, the Richards Civil War Era Center at The Pennsylvania State University, in conjunction with the Africana Research Center, invites proposals from early career scholars within three years of having received their PhD and advanced graduate students who are writing their dissertations for the second annual emerging scholars workshop. Taking place April 4–5, 2014, at Penn State, the workshop will provide a forum for innovative young scholars to discuss new projects on the breadth and impact of the African Diaspora with faculty and graduate students from the Departments of History, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, English, and African and African American Studies.
Workshop papers should be no more than ten pages in length and pertain to works-in-progress rather than dissertation projects or book manuscripts nearing completion. Submissions will be pre-circulated to registered attendees and Penn State faculty, including select scholars chosen to provide detailed commentary on the papers. Presenters will therefore have the benefit, not only of expert faculty feedback, but informed audience commentary and questions – extending from the immediate context of their papers to broader conversations around the issues of violence and revolution in the diaspora. Presenters can and should assume that commenters and audience members will have a basic level of familiarity and comfort with theoretical and historical literature on various aspects of the African diaspora.
Potential Paper Topics Include:
- Africa, empire, and the Atlantic World: imagining unconventional Atlantic (and hemispheric) narratives.
- Black politics and white allies: the long freedom struggle of African descended peoples and its complex links to white political and social organizations.
- Masculinity, femininity, and gender performativity: what are the gendered politics of revolution, challenges to the common perception of revolutionaries as male, gendered representations of violence or revolution.
- Sex, slavery, and intimate relations: the gendered and sexualized nature of resistance, gendered and/or sexual violence.
- Resistance and Revolutions: the causes, processes, and impacts of struggle.
- Labor, bodies, and objects: scholarship on race and gender and the extraction of labor from diasporic bodies.
Interested parties should submit a complete CV and a proposal of no more than 500 words to Antwain K. Hunter (email@example.com) or Susan Cooke Weeber (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Nov. 30, 2013. Travel funding is available, courtesy of the Richards Civil War Era Center. Questions or inquiries should be directed to Dr. Matthew Isham, Managing Director of the Richards Center at email@example.com
This publication is available in alternative media on request.
The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, genetic information, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status and retaliation due to the reporting of discrimination or harassment. Discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Tel 814-865-4700/V, 814-863-0471/TTY.
Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please consult the Richards Center at (814) 863-0151 in advance of your participation or visit. U.Ed. LBA 14-73
Fellow Colleagues of the NATIONAL COUNCIL for BLACK STUDIES,
Our organization extends an invitation to you to participate in the Louisiana Reconstruction Conference to be held February 7-8, 2014 in New Orleans, LA.
Our Abstract Submission Deadline for the Louisiana Reconstruction Conference has been extended to Friday, October 4, 2013. We are seeking presenters particularly for the session topic - Education. You are encouraged to either submit an abstract or share this communication with some who maybe very interested.
We thank you for your support!
Leon A. Waters
Louisiana Public History Forum (LPHF)
1132 Arabella Street
New Orleans, LA. 70115
S. C. A. A. S. I.
Southern Conference On African American Studies, Inc.
Call For Papers
S. C. A. A. S. I. Convention - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
February 6, 7, 8, 2014
The Aftermath of the Brown Decision:
60 Years Later
Proposal Deadline–October 15, 2013
proposal considered in disciplines such as
History, Literature, Political Science, Music, Art, Counseling, Sociology, Education, etc.
MEMBERSHIP IS REQUIRED for program consideration!
Completed paper must be received on or by December 25, 2013!
Complete Sessions, as well as individual papers are considered!
Send proposal to
Dr. Howard Jones [Exec. Sec.] P. O. Box 330163 Houston, TX 77233-0163
Not just paper presenters are needed, but please indicate what other role(s) you would like to play at the Convention!
Preside over a session. . .
Serve as a Discussant at a session (please indicate your field of endeavor). . .
Serve as a Judge for Student Quiz Bowl. . .
Serve as a Judge for Student Essay Contest. . .
Serve as a Judge for Student Poetry Contest. . .
Serve as a Host/Hostess at Reception or Registration table. . .
Help conduct University/City tour. . .
Be a vendor. . .
Serve on a PANEL discussing an issue (you mut organize the same). . .
PLEASE SEND CONTACT INFORMATION. . .