Woodson Lectue Series Focuses on African Diaspora

The Understanding of African, Caribbean, and African American History will be the theme for the Woodson Lecture Series Feb. 28, sponsored by the Carol Spain Center on Race Studies & Spiritual Action.

The series will focus on unifying and strengthening the African Diaspora through a solid knowledge of history, according to a new release from the center, which is housed on the campus of Abilene Christian University. The lecture, which is free to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, in Room 101 of the Halbert Walling Research Center at ACU. It also will be livestreamed. Click here to register.

Guest speakers will be Dr. Kwame Essien, assistant professor of history and Africana studies at Lehigh University, and Dr. Theodore Francis, assistant professor of history at Huston-Tillotson University.

“These scholars will help us understand how miseducation and misinformation contributed greatly to the disunity that continues to be the greatest hindrance to progress throughout the African Diaspora,” a news release says.

Essien’s interdisciplinary research focuses on comparative histories of slavery, reverse migrations, race and cultures in Africa and the African Diaspora/Atlantic world. He is the co-author of Culture and Customs of Sudan (2009), co-editor of Pan-Africanism and the Politics of African Citizenship and Identity (2014), and has published other works.                    

Essien’s new book, Brazilian-African Diaspora in Ghana: The Tabom, Slavery, Dissonance of Memory, Identity and Locating Home (Michigan State University Press, 2016) is the first academic book that examines the untold story of freed slaves from Brazil who resettled in Gã (Accra), Ghana from the early 1820s.

Kwame Essien

Francis teaches courses on U.S. history, African American history, and Caribbean history. He is a graduate of Warwick Academy Bermuda, Morehouse College in Georgia and the University of Chicago. His doctoral dissertation, “Fantasy Island: Race, Colonial Politics and the Desegregation of Tourism in the British Colony of Bermuda 1881-1961,”charts the role of Black tourism, African American tourists as well as popular protests in the process of desegregation in Bermuda in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His primary research and writing interests include: the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and Americas; historical and contemporary issues of tourism; anti-colonial movements in the Caribbean; Atlantic World slavery, resistance and post-emancipation societies.

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