On November 1, 2018, the UF African American Studies Program will honor the late civil rights pioneer Virgil Hawkins from 2pm-3:30pm in the Chamber Room of the Reitz Union. Attorney Harley Hermann and members of Mr. Hawkins family will discuss his life’s work as an activist. As a result of Mr. Hawkins’ 1949 class-action lawsuit, the University of Florida eventually desegregated in 1958. We hope you can join us for this informative dialogue.
On Thursday September 27, 2018 at 6pm in the Reitz Union Second Floor Auditorium (686 Museum Road), the African American Studies Program will commemorate sixty years of desegregation. In 1958, George Starke became the first black student at UF. We are inviting a panel of alumni to discuss their experiences as minority students here.
The panelists include:
Mrs. Evelyn Mickle who was the first black graduate of the UF School of Nursing.
Attorney Funmi Olorunnipa who was a student activist and also was enrolled here in the years immediately following the One Florida executive order.
Ms. Joselin Padron-Rasines who was the first Latina president of student government in 2015.
Dr. Mark Villegas who was instrumental in seeking an Asian American Studies certificate.
Dr. Manoucheka Celeste, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Gender, Women’s Studies, and Sexualities Research, recently won the Diamond Anniversary Book Award from the National Communication Association for her book, Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the African Diaspora: Travelling Blackness (Routledge 2017). This Award is given to “the most outstanding scholarly book published during the previous two years.” For more information, see https://www.natcom.org/awards/2018-nca-award-winners. This book also won the 2017 National Communication Association Outstanding Book Award from the African American Communication & Culture Division and the Black Caucus. Congratulations Dr. Celeste!
The UF African American Studies Program congratulates its Director, Dr. Sharon Austin, for her promotion to full professor. She has also received a University of Florida Term Professorship. Dr. Austin has been a UF employee since 2001 and teaches courses in African American Studies and Political Science. Please join us in congratulating her.
Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston will join the African American Studies faculty this fall. She received a doctorate in African Diaspora History/Public History from Howard University. This fall, Dr. Preston will teach two sections of Key Issues of Black Atlantic Thought and Mary McLeod Bethune: Black Women and Social Activism. Welcome to the Gator nation Dr. Preston!
The African American Studies Program congratulates the students who have graduated during the 2017-18 academic year. Go Gators!
December 2017 Graduates with the Major
Mary Park, African American Studies and Political Science
Mayleen Sanchez, African American Studies and Political Science
Erin Smith, African American Studies and Political Science
Simone Westbrook, African American Studies and Sociology (Winner of the Student-Athlete Award)
May 2018 Graduates with the Major
Cori Coffee, African American Studies and English
Tazianna Elysee, African American Studies and English
Khyra Keely, African American Studies and Political Science
Isabella Muncan, African American Studies and Political Science (Winner of the Director’s Award for Highest AFA Grade Point Average)
Julian Reeves (Male Winner of the Jonathan E. Riley Role Model Award)
Courtney Ricketts, African American Studies and Health Education (Winner of the Dr. Barbara McDade-Gordon Community Service Award)
Wayne Selogy, African American Studies and Political Science (Winner of the Dr. Faye V. Harrison Best Honor’s Thesis Award)
Nicole Williams (Female Winner of the Jonathan E. Riley Role Model Award)
Nicole Yapp, African American Studies, International Studies, and Political Science (Winner of the Samuel P. Stafford Double Major Award)
May 2018 Graduates with the Minor
Natasha Joseph (Winner of the African American Studies Minor Student Award)
Fredlaine St. Jean
On Friday April 20th, Nkwanda Joh, the Director of the Cultural Arts Coaliton, Inc. presented Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn with the Andrew Mickle Service Award for teaching history. She received this award at the opening reception for the Annual Fifth Avenue Arts Festival. Dr. Hilliard-Nunn is a Senior Lecturer in the UF African American Studies Program. We congratulate her on a job well done.
Dr. Sharon Austin, Director of the African American Studies Program and Associate Professor of Political Science, recently published her third book. The State University of New York at Albany Press published The Caribbeanization of Black Politics: Race, Group Consciousness, and Political Participation in America in February 2018. The book examines the political participation and social relationships among African Americans, Cape Verdeans, Haitians, and West Indians in Boston, Chicago, Miami, and New York City. In each of these cities, the population of Caribbean immigrants has grown over the last few decades in cities where African Americans have struggled to gain political power historically. Dr. Austin’s research assesses whether the growth of these “black ethnic” populations will enhance or hamper efforts for African American political growth. Her former student, Nathan A. Murray, developed and painted the cover for the book. For examples of his work, see http://www.nathanamurray.com/.
On February 7, 2018, Dr. Sharon Austin published an article entitled, “Black Americans Most Left Behind by Progress since Dr. King’s Death” in The Conversation. Established in 2011, the Conversation allows academicians, researchers, and others to publish online articles that provoke discussions about certain topics. Approximately, 20,000 individuals viewed this article which can be found at https://theconversation.com/black-americans-mostly-left-behind-by-progress-since-dr-kings-death-89956.
On December 16, 2017, Dr. Austin also published “Black Voters Won Alabama for the Dems. Here’s What They Need in Return” for the Conversation. Over 14,000 individuals viewed this article which can be found at https://theconversation.com/black-voters-won-alabama-for-the-dems-heres-what-they-need-in-return-89138.