Africana Studies Newsletter, Issue Three: February 2005

Humanity was born in Africa. All people, ultimately, are African.

"I thought this was too profound for its font size." - Laura Kennedy, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa 
Photo taken at the Apartheid Museum 


Passing the Torch

Student Accolades

Faculty Notes

Africana Studies Courses for Fall 2005


 Passing the Torch

picture of Shirley (Anita Saint Hill) ChisholmShirley (Anita Saint Hill) Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives. She died on January 1, 2005 at the age of 80. Her parents came to the United States from the island of Barbados. Shirley was born in Brooklyn in 1924, but as a young girl, she was raised on her grandmother's farm in Barbados. Chisholm earned her BA degree from Brooklyn College and her MA from Columbia University in elementary education.

Her early career centered on education including stints as a nursery school teacher, day care center director, and children's welfare advocate. In the midst of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Chisholm's career path turned to public service in the political arena. In 1964, she was elected to the New York State Assembly. Chisholm served for four years before she made history in 1968 when she became the first African American woman elected to Congress. Her campaign slogan "Unbought and Unbossed" was also the title of one of her autobiographies and clearly indicated whose interest she would serve if elected.

During her tenure in Congress, Chisholm served on the Education, Labor, and Veteran Affairs committees. She retired in 1982 after 14 years of service on behalf of the poor, women, migrant farm workers, children, Haitian refugees and Native Americans. In 1983, Chisholm efforts to implement a national holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King became a reality. Since 1968, Chisholm co-sponsored a bill every session with Congressman John Conyers to make this happen. Chisholm is remembered not only for her work in the US Congress, but also for her bid, albeit unsuccessful, for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. Chisholm once said her campaign was "a catalyst for change." Her tenacity and dedication to the voiceless in American society will not be forgotten.

picture of Dr. Carrie L. DunsonAt Central, Dr. Carrie L. Dunson, associate professor in Criminal Justice, epitomizes the persona of the late Shirley Chisholm. Like Chisholm, Dr. Dunson's professional career and scholarly interests have focused on women and minority issues in criminal justice. When Dr. Dunson leaves Central this year she will make history as the first African American female professor to retire joining Dr. Cortez Bradley, the first African American male professor, to retire from CMSU since it desegregated in 1954.

Dr. Dunson has been a student, administrator, and faculty member during her 31-year relationship with our campus. After earning her BS degree in Psychology from Lincoln University, Dr. Dunson earned an MA in Criminal Justice and an Education Specialist degree at CMSU. In 1974, she was appointed as a graduate assistant in the criminal justice department. Dr. Dunson then completed her doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Missouri- Kansas City in 1992. Her professional career at Central began when she was appointed Instructor in Criminal Justice. During the 1970s, the Association of Black Collegiates (ABC) protested for greater minority representation in the curriculum and on the faculty. In 1978, Dr. Dunson was named the official university Affirmative Action Officer. A post she held for 10 years.

However, the Affirmative Action Office was not established without controversy. Dr. Duane Sterling had served in the post on a part-time basis. Under the leadership of Alvin Brooks, the first African American to serve on the Board of Regents the position was finally expanded to full-time. In 1981 article, Dunson wrote "affirmative action seeks to correct exclusionary practices and tries to provide opportunities for all qualified candidates regardless of race or sex."

Since leaving the administration and becoming a full time faculty member, Dr. Dunson has taught courses on Corrections and Juvenile Justice among many others. She also taught, Women in Prison: A Worldwide Perspective of Triple Jeopardy, Race, Class, and Gender at the Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies in Spring 2003. Dr. Dunson has served as a faculty advisor for many student organizations including the Sisters Of Ujima and has been co-advisor of Central's American Criminal Justice Association Lamda Alpha Epsilon (LAE) since 1996.

 

picture of Dr. Dunson



In her professional career, Dr. Dunson has served as State Commissioner for Human Rights. She was Arbitrator for the Greater Kansas City Better Business Bureau. Dr. Dunson also worked in the Washington, D.C. Police Department and the juvenile justice system in Jefferson City. In 2001, she was the project evaluator for KC Futures 150. The goals of that project included "the reduction of violence, gang, and drug use tendencies in high risk and adjudicated youth by adding arts programming to youth serving agencies including detention centers, alternative school and other community organizations serving metro area youth." At Central, Dr. Dunson has been a member of the Kansas City Task Force Advisory Board and the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

Shirley Chisholm once remarked "service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on the earth." Because of her tenacious spirit and unyielding determination for civil rights, equal opportunity, and equality for all, the Africana Studies Program cordially invites you to a reception to honor Dr. Carrie L. Dunson with their inaugural Shirley Chisholm Leadership Award for her dedication and service to Central Missouri State University for 31 years on Thursday, April 28 th from 5-7pm in Union 237. This event is co-sponsored with the Department of Criminal Justice, the Office of the Campus Advocate, the Office of Community Engagement, the Women Studies Program, the Africana Studies Club, the Association of Black Collegiates, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Sisters of Ujima. Please RSVP by calling 543-8726 or emailing dgillis@cmsu1.cmsu.edu.

Back to top.


 Student Accolades

Jessie Adolph, a senior English major and Africana Studies minor, is the recipient of the Outstanding Africana Studies Minor Award. He is also a recipient of a Thurgood Marshall fellowship to begin his MA studies in English at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the fall. The award will add $5000 to his first year of study with his total award worth over $10,000. Jessie will also serve as a graduate teaching assistant in Mizzou's writing lab. Jessie and his lovely wife Jamie (nursing major) also welcomed twin boys into the family. Evan Michael (5 pounds 7oz) and Alexander Jordan (6 pounds, 9 oz) were born on April 15 th at Western Missouri Medical Center in Warrensburg. They join siblings Jessie and Alyssa. Please join us at the departmental awards ceremony on April 26 th at 1:30 pm in Martin 128 when we honor Jessie and all of our outstanding students in History, Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Women's Studies.

Ashley Murchison, a senior public relations major, worked with the Africana Studies Program this academic year through her McNair research internship: An Analysis of the 18th & Vine Redevelopment Project. Ashley presented her paper, "Revitalizing the Vine: Pat Jordan and Kansas City's History 18th & Vine District" at the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association in Chicago on November 19th, 2004. Dr. Delia Gillis served as Ashley's Research Mentor and Cheryl Riley, professor of library services, served as the library mentor on Ashley's project. Ashley completed the requirements for her BS degree in only three years and will graduate cum laude. She has been selected for Who's Who recognition. This honor has been bestowed upon only 32 of the approximately 1640 graduating seniors. She is the President of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the Communications Director for the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Ashley is also the recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Writing Award and was named an Outstanding Central Leader at the 17th Annual Leadership Awards ceremony. Ashley plans to pursue her MA degree in Public Affairs at Georgia College and State University in Macon. She is married to Air Force Sergeant LaDarryl Murchison currently on assignment in the Middle East.

Back to top.


 Faculty Notes

M. Jenise Comer, Department of Sociology & Social Work, was named Advisor of the Year at Central's 17th Annual Leadership Awards. Comer is the advisor to the campus chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Inc. Founded in 1908 at Howard University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college women in this country. Governor Blunt has reappointed Ms. Comer to the State Committee for Social Workers, the social work licensing agency; she was elected to chair the committee on April 19, 2005.

Delia C. Gillis, Department of History & Anthropology and Africana Studies Coordinator has received a contract to publish 50 years of Brown v. Board of Education in the Midwest: African Americans at Central Missouri State University, 1954-2004 with the Edwin Mellen Press. Arcadia Publishing also awarded her a book contract for Kansas City, a photographic history of the African American community to be published in the press's Black America Series.

Yvonne J. Johnson, Department of History & Anthropology and Women's Studies Coordinator, published an online article on "Zora Neale Hurston" in the Literary Encyclopedia that can be accessed at www.litencyc.com, an entry on the "Congress of Racial Equality" in "The Fifties in America" published by Salem Press, and a revision of the Instructor's Manual to accompany "Created Equal," Second Edition, Vol. II, from Longman/Pearson Press.

C. Dianne Mack, Department of Music, presented two workshops (Reflections of Music in Multicultural Books for Children and Singing Games and Chants of the African Diaspora) at the Chicago Conference of the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music (NASPAAM).

Regina Tenney, Department of Sociology & Social Work has been promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure effective August 2005. She is also the recipient of a 2005 Strong Woman Award for continuous service and dedication in the community and on the campus from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Omicron Iota Chapter.

Back to top.


 Africana Studies Courses for Fall 2005

Africana Studies Minor & Individualized Major: Courses for Fall 2005

AE 1450 sec. 01
Stephen Ciafullo

Valuing Differences

TR 9:30

AE 1450 sec. 02
Stephen Ciafullo

Valuing Differences
TR 11:00
AE 1450 sec. 03
Stephen Ciafullo
Valuing Differences
MW 10:00
AE 1450 sec. 04
Stephen Ciafullo
Valuing Differences
MW 12:00
AE 1450 sec. 05
Stephen Ciafullo
Valuing Differences
TR 9:30
AE 1450 sec. 06
Stephen Ciafullo
Valuing Differences
TR 11:00
AE 1450 sec. 07
Stephen Ciafullo
Valuing Differences
MW 10:00
AE 1450 sec. 08
Stephen Ciafullo
Valuing Differences
MW 12:00

Engl 4680 sec. 01
Bryan Carter

African American Literature
MWF 12:00
Hist 2410 sec. 01
Delia Gillis
Introduction to Africana Studies (new team-taught course meets general ed. requirement for Cultural Interactions)
MWF 1:00

Hist 4473 sec.01
Delia Gillis

History of South Africa
MW 3:00-4:15
Rel 2410 sec. 01
Albion Mends
Exploring Rel. of Africa, Caribbean T night 6:00
Soc 1830 sec. 01
not assigned
Social Problems
TR 9:30
Soc 3825 sec.01
not assigned
Race & Ethnic Relations
MWF 11:00

Soc 3825 sec. 02
not assigned

Race & Ethnic Relations
MWF 12:00
WS 2000 sec. 01
Carol Benton
Race, Class & Gender
TR 2:00
WS 2000 sec. 02
Renee Betz
Race, Class & Gender
W 3:00-5:00 pm
WS 2000 sec. 03
Carol Benton
Race, Class & Gender
TR 11:00
WS 2000 sec. 04
Yvonne Johnson
Race, Class & Gender
MWF 11:00
WS 2000 sec. 05
Susan Morgan
Race, Class & Gender
TR 11:00
WS 2000 sec. 06
Cheryl Riley
Race, Class & Gender
T 5:00-8:00 pm

Africana Studies explores the essential part played by peoples of African descent in constructing human civilization by analyzing contributions in the disciplines of art, music, history, literature, political science, sociology, psychology and other discipline. Our mission is to develop scholars who will teach, research, and understand the experiences of people of African descent throughout the world. The program will produce discerning scholars who can inspire social and political change in the contemporary world. Students will discover a rich variety of experiences in the program which is interdisciplinary, multicultural and community oriented. We invite you to participate in our public programs, Africana Studies Club or become a faculty affiliate. We promise you a rich and rewarding Intellectual experience. For more information, please view our website at http://www.cmsu.edu/history/africanastudies.

Back to top.