African & African-American Studies News

A look back at the 2021-2022 academic year.

When I was growing up in church, the older people would often start their testimonies with the disclaimer “I ain’t got no sad story to tell!” Like them, we proudly proclaim we ain’t got no sad stories to tell! Our department is comprised of accomplished scholars and thoughtfully yet consciously intentional educators. I often wonder what I did to deserve to work with such good people.  

Dr. John Marah presented to international audiences three times this academic year on his book Pan-African Education: A must for the African Union. This work complements his earlier works on Pan-African education such as Pan-African Education, the last stage of educational developments in Africa (1989) and African People in the Global Village: an introduction to Pan-African Studies (1998). Dr. Marah is a committed Pan-Africanist scholar and adherent to the socio-political philosophy.  He’s committed more than half his life and nearly all his professional life to the College at Brockport with little to no appreciation. Being a man of duty and a warrior scholar he led the Ghana Winter Session trip for 18 consecutive years while chairing the department. Yet he shows no sign of stopping and we’re appreciative of his work and continuing sacrifice.

Hard-working, intelligent, yet approachable, Dr. Michael Boston is also an under-appreciated member of the Brockport Community. Dr. Boston’s latest book Blacks in Niagara Falls: Leaders and Community Development, 1849-1985 is the result of 18 years of archival research and oral history interviews. Dr. Boston brings this thorough approach to his courses which are designed to maximize the students’ critical thinking and writing.  He is also our college senator and assessment coordinator.

Our colleague, Dr. Turner brings his big personality to the classroom in entertaining yet informative ways. This has led to a significant upsurge in our internal recruitment efforts.  This semester he has traveled to archives in Tennesee and the Caribbean while on Drescher Leave and conducted an on-campus study with Rob Dobmeir on African-American student interaction with campus police. We eagerly await the published results of this research.

Our associated faculty Karen Podsiadlly (affectionately known as Ms. P), Dr. Dewayne Nash, and the many others who cross-list their courses with us help us deliver quality instruction to our students. We appreciate you all. Over the past two years, we have increased our cross-listed courses with History, Sociology, Adolescent Education, and Women and Gender Studies. We look forward to potentially cross-listing a course with Anthropology and other departments. Though we know many of our colleagues question our raison d’etre and some even have the audacity to discourage students from choosing an AAS major (yeah we see you and we know), in African and African-American Studies we ain’t got no sad stories to tell.

Back to Brockport Today


Douglas H Thomas:

Posted: May 07, 2022