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The Africana Studies Program

East Tennessee State University


News from Africana Studies

Africana Studies
October 16, 2020

Final Days to View the Black Diaspora Exhibition

October 16-17 are the last two days to view the Black Diaspora exhibition at Tipton Gallery. The exhibit will be available to visit today and tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. The New Latinx South exhibitions at Slocumb Galleries are also available to view on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Africana Studies
October 14, 2020

LCRC Sponsored Event with Dr. Paulo Dutra

Tomorrow at 5pm Dr. Paulo Dutra, from University of New Mexico, will talk with us about his research on Machado de Assis focusing on issues of race and identity in Brazil. Machado is Brazil's most celebrated writer. He was the founder and first president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. During about the first 100 years his scholars accused him of being silent in matters of race and slavery. Dr. Dutra's research focus on unveiling Machado's mixed race and showing how the author approaches race in an ambiguous way very similar to Toni Morrison does in her short story The Recitatif. This event will occur via Zoom, and you can participate via this link.

Africana Studies
October 14, 2020

Tennessee begins early voting today. Africana Studies strongly encourages all eligible and registered voters to vote. Every election carries consequences, both good and bad, which has a profound impact on our country. Make your voice heard. Be strong and courageous!

Mr. T saying "I pity the fool who doesn't vote."

Africana Studies
October 7, 2020

Dr. Carter kicks off Southern Festival of Books by introducing Ann Patchett and Yaa Gyasi.

Africana Studies
September 28, 2020

All undergraduate please consider applying to The University of Memphis’s graduate program in African American History. Dr. Carter is a graduate of The University of Memphis and will be happy to answer any questions you might have about their program.

Africana Studies
September 28, 2020

Statement concerning “Patriotic Education”

The president announced on September 17, 2020, he is creating a “1776 commission” to put patriotism back into schools and American history. The president announced this because he is upset over increasing recognition of systemic racism, protests targeting police brutality, The New York Times’ 1619 project, and demands for justice emanating from across the nation. A reckoning on issues of race is clearly underway.

Africana Studies finds this cynical attempt to manipulate American history for political purposes abhorrent and repugnant. Central to the American experience is the role of Africans and African Americans in the development and evolution of, first, colonial America, and later, the United States of America. These enslaved and oppressed people were key to the economic, civic, political, and cultural development of the nation. The 1619 project demonstrates the myriad ways in which race has affected the country.

History is best taught by those men and women who actually know it best, who are credentialed with undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, Political Science, African American Studies, and other relevant fields. Scholars use evidence, facts, and interpretation brought on by those facts to explore and explain major and minor issues such as conflict, power, freedom, democracy, and slavery. Teaching American history is not about being of service to a particular political party, individual, interest or to further overly rosy views of our past. Our past is so fascinating precisely because it is so rich, so complex, so sad, so triumphal. We do a real disservice to our past and our present when we hide and/or ignore aspects of who we are to serve a political interest. We imperil the future by not telling the truth. Most of all, however, we fail to prepare our most precious national resource, our children.

Africana Studies
September 26, 2020

"What is the Future of Black Appalachia?" by Oliver Whang for the New York Times.

Africana Studies
September 25, 2020

Economic Inequality has real consequences for African Americans as well as the nation. Citi has just published a report detailing how America suffers from discrimination, exclusion, and the lack of opportunity. Please take time to read about this importance issue. You can view the report here.

Africana Studies
September 21, 2020

Statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died on Friday, September 18, 2020, at the age of 87. Justice Ginsberg served on the high court for twenty-seven years. President Bill Clinton nominated her in 1993. Following her confirmation by the U.S. Senate, she took her seat in August 1993. Prior to her appointment to the high court, she was nominated and confirmed as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. President Jimmy Carter nominated her. Justice Ginsberg served as a law professor and directed the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. She also argued before the high court.

Justice Ginsberg was a ferocious defender of the law, civil rights, and women’s rights. Her legal opinions demonstrated a strong, disciplined, and agile mind. Her dissents in numerous cases took her colleagues to task for not only faulty legal reasoning but failure to defend the constitutional rights of vulnerable people. During her time as an attorney, judge, and Supreme Court Justice, Ginsberg became an inspiration to millions of Americans.

At this time of national crisis we have lost a voice for the voiceless, a voice for the powerless, a voice of decency and respect. The Africana Studies program mourns the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Further, we send our condolences to her daughter, son, grandchildren and family. We asked that political leaders, on both sides of the aisle, bring down the temperature of our national discourse, and follow the quiet, dignified leadership of the late justice.

Africana Studies
September 15, 2020

Africana Studies on Social Media

Africana Studies is proud to announce that we are now live on Facebook and Twitter. Please click on the Facebook and Twitter buttons at the bottom of the page. As always: please like and follow us.

Africana Studies
September 14, 2020

Vehicular Assault in Johnson City

Over the weekend a man who was protesting in support of Black Lives Matters was seriously injured when a person driving an SUV allegedly intentionally hit him in downtown Johnson City. Africana Studies, in the strongest possible terms, condemns this senseless attack.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim. We encourage love and compassion toward every human being. Hate is never okay!

Africana Studies
September 11, 2020

On September 3, 2020, Lynn Govette, curator and ETSU alumna, along with Marie T. Cochran, co-curator of the Black Diaspora: Reclaiming Experience, Memory and Place, along with members of the Slocumb Galleries staff, were harassed by individuals associated with white supremacist groups. These individuals also placed racially divisive flyers throughout the ETSU campus.

Africana Studies is disturbed and disappointed by the hate-filled actions of these individuals. We stand in solidarity with our wonderful colleagues in the Department of Art & Design. Hate and division have no place in a civilized society. Africana Studies strongly supports the exhibits and events, curated and promoted, by our colleagues. We reject any actions, ideology, or philosophy which demeans, dehumanizes, or otherwise belittles anyone because of race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender.

Africana Studies
September 11, 2020

Hispanic Heritage month flyer


Africana Studies
September 10, 2020

Dessert with the Experts

Interim Director Dr. Carter spoke with alumni and others on Tuesday night. His talk was about the importance of Africana Studies in the 21st century. You can view the Zoom recording here.


Africana Studies
September 9, 2020

Racial, Gender-biased Algorithms in Documentary Spotlight

The Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University will virtually screen all three of its fall independent films in the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers series.

“With live events on hold at the university until sometime in 2021, we are so grateful that the Southern Circuit is working with its venues to keep making new independent films accessible during the pandemic,” says Anita DeAngelis, director of the Martin School, which has hosted the indie series for more than a decade.

The 2020-2021 circuit opens with Sundance selection “Coded Bias,” which will take online viewers “to the front lines of the digital revolution,” on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. A recording of the program also will stream on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. A pre-recorded Q&A with the film’s producer and director, Shalini Kantayya, will follow the online screenings.

To view the trailer and register for, or “pre-order,” the free virtual screening of “Coded Bias,” visit

An official selection at Sundance, SXSW, SF Film Festival, Hot Docs and Human Rights Watch Film Festival, this 2020 documentary film delves into the human biases in artificial intelligence by its largely white male creators and the issues and inequities that can ensue involving civil rights, hiring practices and criminal justice.

Weaving personal stories, graphic elements and lyricism, “Coded Bias” spotlights MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini’s discovery that facial recognition does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and faces of women. The film focuses on the work of three female mathematicians and data scientists – Buolamwini, Deborah Raji and Timnit Gebru – who research the implications of racial and gender bias in the cutting-edge technologies of artificial intelligence, or AI, and machine learning.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the film, visit For more information on the event, call the Martin School of the Arts at 423-439-8587 or visit

Coded Bias Poster


Africana Studies
September 3, 2020

Dessert with the Experts

“The Importance of Africana Studies in a Rapidly Changing World” is the topic to be addressed in “Dessert with the Experts,” a virtual alumni event sponsored by East Tennessee State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

During this event, faculty experts from throughout the College of Arts and Sciences will share their knowledge over dessert with alumni of the college and other participants. For a fun twist, the experts will provide their favorite dessert recipes for participants to make ahead of time and enjoy during the event, or to try later.

Over a helping of his favorite dessert, strawberry ice cream, Dr. Daryl Carter will discuss the importance of African Americans, equality and inclusion. “Africana Studies sits at the academic forefront of ETSU's efforts to educate students, faculty, staff and the community about the importance of diversity in the 21st century,” he said.

Carter, who is serving as interim director of ETSU’s Africana Studies Program, is a professor in the university’s Department of History. He earned his B.S. in political science and M.A. in history from ETSU and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Memphis, and joined the university faculty in 2008. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Brother Bill: President Clinton and the Politics of Race and Class.

Participants may join the Sept. 8 “Dessert with the Experts” using Zoom meeting ID 978 6930 5559 and passcode 878613.

“Dessert with the Experts” will continue to be held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month through at least November. It is hosted by the ETSU College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Office.

For more information, contact Denise Asbury at  or 423-439-1189 or Michael Webb at  or 423-439-5775.


Africana Studies
September 3, 2020

The Africana Studies program is proud to support Hispanic Heritage Month. Please attend the events listed below.

September 15th, 5pm – Salsa & Salsas: dancing lesson with BJ Goliday; Cooking lesson with Brazilian Chef Felipe Pimentel focusing on traditional and Latinx inspired salsas.

September 30th, 2pm – Zumba con Paella: Chef Trinidad Vicente will teach us how to prepare a paella, and while we wait for it to be ready Sandra Germain-Talford will teach a Zumba class.

October 15th, 5pm – Guest Speaker: “Machado de Assis, the Warlock of Cosme-Velho: Race and Identity in Brazil” – On this event we will host Dr. Paulo Dutra, Assistant Professor of Portuguese at University of New Mexico. His book Abliterações is a semifinalist of the prestigious literary prize Oceanos. He has a live podcast on youtube every Tuesday. This talk will be co-sponsored by the Africana Studies program.

October 30th, 6pm – Día de los Muertos (Day of the dead) exhibition at Tipton Galleries with Vanessa Gonzalez and Nick Peña.

For more info, or questions: email or call (423) 439-8342.


Africana Studies
August 28, 2020

Interim Director Dr. Daryl A. Carter spoke before the Tennessee State Museum’s “Lunch and Learn” event on August 26, 2020, about black women and suffrage.


Africana Studies
August 27, 2020

Events in Kenosha, Wisconsin

The shooting of Jacob Blake at the hands of police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this past weekend, once again demonstrate the need for greater understanding and reform. Every suspect has constitutional rights. Among those rights is the right to face trial and a jury of one’s peers. It is not acceptable for law enforcement officers to be judge, jury, and executioner. While there are times when officers must use deadly force ideally, it should be rare. For African American men and boys there are too many of these encounters with law enforcement. It needs to stop! Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere.

The Africana Studies program stands in solidarity with peaceful protesters in Wisconsin. We support all those who challenge injustice and inequity through creative and non-violent ways. Every person in this country has the right and expectation to be treated fairly and respectfully by the human instruments of governmental power. Further, we encourage all Americans to exercise points of pressure on those in power, such as peaceful protesting, civic engagement, educational outreach, and, most importantly, voting in local, state, and federal elections for candidates committed to making the United States a safer, more just place.


Africana Studies
August 27, 2020

Poster of upcoming art events

Africana Studies
August 19, 2020

Celebrating Women & The Vote

Africana Studies proudly celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. This landmark event should remind all Americans of the importance of the vote. Citizenship was limited when the nation was founded in the late 18th century. Most people were excluded from political power. As time progressed women’s rights were almost entirely focused on white women. But African American women were active and crucial players in the fight for equality. As we celebrate women gaining the right to vote let us also remember women such as Ida B. Wells, Anna J. Cooper, Mary-Ann Shadd Cary, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Mary Church Terrell, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin, among many others, who fought for the right to vote.

The 2020 election is only seventy-five days away. Africana Studies strongly encourages all Americans to register to vote and to cast a ballot in November. Do not let the sacrifices of all those brave and courageous women go to waste.


Africana Studies
August 13, 2020

An Exciting First

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, has been tapped as the vice presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. She is the first woman of color to serve on a presidential ticket. Her mother was from India and her father is from Jamaica. The Africana Studies program celebrates the nominee for her accomplishment.

Further, Africana Studies promotes inclusion of all peoples in politics. ETSU students, faculty, and staff, should engage in the political process. All should engage the political parties that represent them best. Moreover, it is vitally important that the two major parties embrace and reach out to underrepresented groups and people. The most direct ways to get involved are to register to vote, inform yourself about the issues, and to cast a ballot in November. Here are some key dates for the State of Tennessee.

Voter Registration Deadline

Monday, October 5, 2020

Early Voting

Wednesday, October 14-Thursday, October 29, 2020

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Election Day

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

*More information can be found at

*Also, please look at this important ETSU website:


Africana Studies
August 10, 2020

Africana Studies is proud to announce its new partnership with Slocumb Galleries and the Department of Art & Design, as co-sponsor for the 'Black Diaspora: From Africa to Appalachia to Affrilachia - Reclaiming History, Memory, and Place' exhibitions curated by Marie T. Cochran and Lyn Govette.

We encourage everyone to make time to view the exhibitions and attend or watch Zoomcast of the events listed below. Here is the list of events:

Black Diaspora: Reclaiming History, Memory, and Place
August 18 to September 11 at Slocumb Galleries and August 27 to October 9, Tipton Gallery


ArtQuests' with Viola Spells and Jason Flack
August 19, Wednesday, 3pm, at Slocumb Galleries, Virtual via Zoom and Facebook Live


Black Diaspora Panel: Conversations on Race, Education, and Social Justice in Appalachia
September 3, Thursday, 6 pm, Langston Centre and Virtual Zoom & Facebook Live 

Moderator: Mr. Adam Dickson, Director/Langston Centre 


Dr. Keith Johnson, Vice President, ETSU Office of Equity & Inclusion

Viola Spells, Affrilachian Artists Project

Dr. William Turner, Appalachian Scholar Frank X, Walker, Founder, Affrilachian Poet    

Marie T. Cochran, Founder, Affrilachian Artists Project 

'Red Summer in Knoxville' and 'Expulsion in Erwin' film showing and Q&A with William Isom II, Black in Appalachia 
September 9, Wednesday, 7pm, Virtual Zoom & Facebook Live


Performance by Grammy-nominated musician AmythystKiah
October 2, Friday, 6 pm, Virtual Zoom & Facebook Live

Community Engagement & Youth Mentorship by Jason Flack and Viola Spells
​Carver Recreation Center, ETSU Quest for Success, Langston Centre STEAM
Afterschool Program and other regional youth centers

*Events may be viewed via ETSU Slocumb Galleries’ Facebook Live or Zoom on schedule:


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