Mark your calendars now for the African American Read-In: Celebrating the Work of Toni Morrison.
African American Studies and English are co-hosting an “African American Read-In” in celebration of Black History Month and Toni Morrison’s 89th birthday. The “Read-In” is an event focused on raising awareness and celebrating the African American literary tradition. Created by the National Council of Teachers of English in 1990, Read Ins are held every year in February across the world. Faculty, staff, students, and the public are invited to join AAST and ENGL to read aloud (often dramatically) from their favorite African American writers. The goal is to spend several hours reading,sharing, and celebrating writers of African descent! Our focus will be on celebrating the work Toni Morrison, who transitioned in August 2019.
This semesters African American Studies Film Festival is “Religion and Resistance on Film”
February 3: Birth of a Nation
February 10: Father’s Kingdom
February 17: Daughters of the Dust
February 24: Malcolm X
These exciting screening will be held in Septima Clark Auditorium (Education Center 118) at 6:00pm and are free and open to the public. A discussion of the films facilitated by a faculty member will follow each screening. Refreshments will be served.
Please support the African American Studies study abroad program to Jamaica this summer! We are trying to make sure that all 11 accepted students will have the money that they need to go. They are all applying for financial aid and scholarships. In addition, we have partnered with the College of Charleston Foundation to organize a GoFundMe campaign for them. They are already using it to raise money from their family and friends, but they could certainly use some additional help sharing the link for their GoFundMe campaign. Please share this link with all of your networks, and ask them to support our students!
African American Studies Student Art Competition
Are you a student artist at the College of Charleston in search of new inspiration and an opportunity to showcase your work? Then the African American Studies Program has just the opportunity for you! Enter your work in the African American Studies Student Art Competition for a chance to win art materials and prominent display in the AAST office suite!
• This competition is open to currently enrolled CofC students only
• Artwork must be an original work of the student
• Entries must be in 2D Fine Art mediums (painting, drawing, printmaking, and/or
• Original art work should be a minimum of 11inches x14 inches and a maximum of
27inx40in in size.
• Entrants can submit up to five works for consideration.
• Artwork should be submitted as a high-resolution image of the original artwork in
.jpg file format.
• Submission formmust accompany each entry
• All entries must address some aspect/theme of the African Diaspora (culture,
people, and/or places) broadly defined.
• Submissions must be received by March 25, 2019
Entries will be evaluated based on originality, interpretation of subject matter/theme,
creative techniques and overall art appearance. A panel of judges comprised of African
American Studies Faculty and Affiliates will evaluate each entry and rank each. The
entries with the highest rankings will receive the first and second place prize.
There will be a prize for first and second place winners. First place will receive $300 in
art supplies via Amazon.com and permanent display in the AAST office suite; Second
place will receive $200 in art supplies and permanent display in the AAST office suite.
Entries may also receive Honorable Mention and the opportunity for permanent display
in the AAST office suite.
Please contact Program Director for More Information:
Office: ECTR 207C
The African American Studies Study Abroad Program began in 2012 with Roneka Matheny. During the Maymester, she took a group of students to the island of Barbados. The following academic year, I was asked to continue the program. Instead of organizing a subsequent trip in the summer of 2013, with the assistance of Mary Battle, I had the pleasure of taking a planning trip to Barbados. Prior to my travels, Mary Battle connected me with Rhoda Green, the Honorary Barbados Consul to South Carolina who resides in Charleston, SC. She provided me with significant information on the history of the connectedness between Charleston and Barbados, along with providing me the names of several individuals to contact and plan to meet while in Barbados. As I embarked to Barbados, I had the privilege of meeting with several stakeholders who were vested in seeing the program continue as it did in 2012. I met with Janet Caroo, Marketing Officer and Regional Student Development at UWI-Cavehill, and Kevin Farmer, Deputy Director of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. This planning session provided us the opportunity to work out details for the study abroad trip (e.g., costs; classroom space; dorm space; tours, etc.). Upon my return to Charleston, Dr. Conseula Francis and I created a planning committee that included the relaunching of the trip for the summer of 2014. During the 2013-2014 academic year, we actively promoted the trip through the Center for International Education, along with emails to the African American Studies minors as well as other students enrolled in our classes.
We billed the program as a bridge to Rhoda Green’s Carolina-Barbados Foundation, by highlighting the social, economic, political, and cultural link between Charleston and Barbados. Barbados has a unique cultural history with the low country. From the plantation life to architecture, there are relics of historic Charleston that owes its existence to Barbados.
Our recruitment efforts resulted in securing ten CofC students for the three-week study abroad trip. The program was organized into two sections. The first week students remained in Charleston, SC exploring the local history of Charleston, and its link to Barbados, by visiting Charlestowne Landing and Magnolia Plantation. Students also had an opportunity to meet with Mrs. Rhoda Green, who provided an in-depth history of the Carolinas-Barbados connection. The remaining two weeks were spent in Barbados where students took 6-credit hours (Comparative Black Identity; Blackface in the Global Imaginary); participated in several island tours exploring the local history (e.g., Barbados Museum of History; Mount Gay Rum Tours; St. Nicholas Abbey; Speighstown; walking tour of historic Bridgetown). Additionally, students were also able to explore the island as a group, void of professor oversight. During this time, students were able to shop, meet and interact with the locals, and connect classroom course information with the physical, tangible world of Barbados.
As an assignment, students were required to make daily posts on a created blog to chronicle their group outings and adventures. The videos below are examples of our experiences on the beautiful island of Barbados.
In the upcoming academic year, Roneka Matheny plans to relaunch the AAST Study Abroad program. She plans to create a broader, more comprehensive program where students would spend two weeks in Charleston, again exploring the cultural and historical links to the Caribbean; two weeks in Barbados; and two weeks in Jamaica. Although course proposals are in the preliminary stages, the two purported courses would focus on the use of music as a form of social protest (e.g., Bob Marley) and on the shared Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade History.