The State of African American and Diaspora Studies- Day 1

Good evening folks! Happy New Year to those of you I haven’t seen or heard from. I just got in from a day long conference on African American Studies and wanted to drop some quick thoughts on what I encountered. ¬†Convening an event centered around where Black scholarship is going is a great way to begin a new year. ¬†Today was the first day of panels, touching on various topics relating to the challenges faced by those in the Diaspora. Amongst the issues tackled were the challenges confronting educators of young people of African descent in the public school system, and solutions to them. I attended an interesting panel on Black identity, and another which emphasized teaching about the life accomplishments of Arturo Schomburg.

While there was a strong historical focus, the sessions I attended did not solely focus on the past. Panelists addressed contemporary issues such as notions of Black masculinity through the lense of the prison system, and the needed pushback on the idea of America being a post-racial society. There were also panelists speaking on the positive influence of hip-hop artists like Lupe Fiasco and Jay Electronica. All in all, it was a good event. I am sure the panel discussions tomorrow will be just as informative.

On Saturday, Tricia Rose and Molefi Asante will be in attendance. To see the full schedule, go here Hope to see you there! Peace!


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