The National Council for Black Studies: Leading since 1975

National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the field of Africana/African American/Black Studies. It is a not-for-profit organization established in 1975.[1] The National Council for Black Studies was founded and first housed at the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) by the UNC Charlotte Black Student Union. The following are the presidents of the Council over its history:

2018-present Amilcar Shabazz, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
2014-2018      Georgene Bess Montgomery, Clark Atlanta University
2010-2014      Sundiata Cha-Jua, University of Illinois
2006-2010      Charles Jones, Georgia State/University of Cincinnati 
1998-2002      James B. Stewart, Pennsylvania State University
1994-1998      Bill Little, California State Univ., Dominguez Hills [deceased]
1992-1994      Charles HenryUniversity of California, Berkeley
1988-1992      Selase WilliamsCalifornia State Univ., Dominguez Hills
1984 – 1988    Delores P. AldridgeEmory University 
1982-1984      Carlene Young, San Jose State University 
1980-1982      William E. Nelson, Jr., The Ohio State University [deceased]
1978-1980     William KingUniversity of Colorado 
1976-1978     Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte

A Brief History of the NCBS
Within the context of the Civil Rights Movement, a growing recognition of the need for the study of African-American world experience spurred student movements on several campuses for a more inclusive educational experience. The Black Studies movement (1968-1969) and the Black University concept (late 1960s) helped create more African & African diaspora-centered courses on various campuses. In April 1968, a national conference for Black teachers took place.[2]

Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey spearheaded NCBS in 1975 as part of this larger movement for African American studies.[3] However, before its inception, Dr. Maxwell Roddey’s pioneering work at UNC Charlotte included a Black Studies program[4] that served as the inspiration and backdrop for the NCBS’s structure, philosophy, and aims, in addition to the meetings and conferences that Dr. Maxwell Roddey organized.

Dr. Maxwell Roddey’s Pioneering Efforts at UNC Charlotte
Dr. Maxwell Roddey realized the need for Black Studies education at UNC Charlotte, and although not originally a program that conferred an undergraduate or graduate degree, the Black Studies program at UNC Charlotte was integral to the creation of NCBS. Dr. Maxwell Roddey was the first black teacher at UNC Charlotte and also a co-founder of the Afro-American Cultural Center in North Carolina, now the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She was also the president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority from 1992-1996.[5]

The Black Studies program at UNC Charlotte was conceptualized to address the “academic, intellectual, social, and economic life of the Black student.” This was realized through a series of phases, which were levels of academic courses through which students would complete; they are as follows:[6]

  • Phase I: Who Am I?
  • Phase II: Why Am I Here?
  • Phase III: Where Did I Come From?
  • Phase IV: Where Do I Go From Here?

Each phase included community service projects and the higher levels or phases also included research projects while the lower levels or phases were intro-level or survey classes concerning African American history and other disciplines. The Black Studies committee envisioned the program to both benefit the community and work in tandem with the entire university through an interdisciplinary approach.[6]

Several organizations were affiliated with the Black Studies program including: the Black Student Union, Black Gospel Choir, Basketball, Student Government, and various Black and historical Black sororities and fraternities.[6]

Early History of NCBS
The initial philosophy of the Council was that “Education should engender both academic excellence and social responsibility.”[7] The NCBS desired to expand and strengthen academic units and community programs concerned with African American studies. It originally operated as an organization for Black Studies professionals with the aim of developing the field as a respected academic discipline.

Mission & Philosophy
Members of NCBS are committed to the development of the discipline of Africana Studies. Their work has promoted and retained K-12, community college, and university curricula inclusive to the experience and contributions of African diaspora peoples and other marginalized peoples. NCBS actively:[7]

  • Facilitates, through consultation and other services, the recruitment of scholars of African descent for all levels of teaching and research in universities and colleges;
  • Assists in the creation and implementation of multicultural education programs and materials for K-12 schools and higher education institutions;
  • Promotes scholarly African-centered research on all aspects of the African World experience;
  • Increases and improves informational resources on Pan-African life and culture to be made available to the general public;
  • Provides professional advice to policymakers in education, government and community development;
  • Maintains international linkages among Africana Studies scholars; and
  • Works for the empowerment of African People.

Current Efforts
The California Bill ACR-71 Africana studies programs, led to success with the efforts of former NCBS member and president Dr. Shirley Weber, is a testament to the continuing need for the African studies academic disciplines’ support by state legislatures.[8]

Current NCBS board member and department chair of the Africana Studies program at California State University at Long Beach, Dr. Maulana Karenga is the founder of the Pan-African holiday Kwanzaa.[9]

NCBS also has a community grant available for members to apply for. The funding has helped new leaders and scholars bring Africana Studies to various communities.[10]

NCBS is currently housed at The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, with its previous base in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] It holds an annual conference in various cities across the country that features important plenary sessions, hundreds of paper presentations, a Student Luncheon and Du Bois Awards ceremony. The current President, Amilcar Shabazz is completing a book, The World of Africana Studies, that explores the growth of the discipline globally through organizations and initiatives like The Japan Black Studies Association, The International Symposium on Ethnic Literature in China, the Collegium for African American Research in Europe, and various projects in Latin America and on the African continent.


  1. “NCBS Online – About NCBS”. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  2. “Terms & Questions | 1968: A Global Year of Student Driven Change”. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  3. Asante, Molefi Kete; Mazama, Ama (2005). Encyclopedia of Black Studies. SAGE. ISBN 9780761927624.
  4. “Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, PhD – SC African American”. SC African American. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  5. “Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – About Delta Sigma Theta”. 2007-10-28. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  6. Black Studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Black Studies Brochure (Charlotte, North Carolina: UNC Charlotte, 1975-1976). Currently housed in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  7. “NCBS Online – About NCBS”. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  8. “Bill Text – ACR-71 Africana studies programs”. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  9. “The Official Kwanzaa Web Site – Kwanzaa African American Celebration of Family, Community and Culture by Maulana Karenga”. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  10. “NCBS Online – NCBS Civic & Community Education & Engagement Grants Program”. Retrieved 2017-08-05.

External links

Collabo Beatworx

Amilcar Shabazz II is the founder of Collabo Beatworx, a dynamic form of arts practice that encourages cultural democracy by engaging with people and communities to make exceptional art, especially music, film, video, and public art like murals & sculpture. 

Amilcar began this work as a member of the Youth Action Coalition, studying at Hampshire College with metal artist Kamil Peters. He also studied with Wendy Ewald when she was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a visiting artist-in-residence at Amherst College. Ewald taught the class “Collaborative Art: The Practice and Theory of Working with Communities” at Amherst College in 2005, and brought in well-known collaborative artists to create art with Amilcar and other Five College students and the Amherst community. He has also studied at Greenfield Community College and the University of Massachusetts in media and Africana Studies.

For his Music go to

Early samples of his creation of new,
multiversal soundscapes include

Video projects and channels include:



Also, Amilcar Shabazz II is a producer at Amherst Media and has credits as an editor, camera operator, and director on numerous programs, including:

Juneteenth in the Valley

Difficult Dialogues

Africana Studies Today [links forthcoming]

Collaborative visual and public art projects that Amilcar led or contributed to include:

  • Inside Amherst Regional High School (YAC, 2009)

  • On the lawn outside the Jones Library of Amherst, MA (2011)

  • On the Amherst Coffee Building near Amherst Cinema (YAC, 2012)

The Accra Appeal for Worldwide DeNuclearization

<< “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” the lawyer, Lisa Page, wrote to Strzok. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded. >>

The DOJ, Department of Justice, through an Inspector General’s report, throws shade today on the operations of the FBI under Comey especially, and in the form of wannabee Deep State officers in the bureau itself. Consider the irony of a Russian-tainted operator in the form of an octarian (octogenarian)–W.E.B. Du Bois the anti-nuclear peace activist being arrested, put in cuffs by police officers, and prosecuted by DOJ attorneys over six decades ago.
The DOJ filed charges against Du Bois, who briefly chaired the Peace Information Center, on February 9, 1951Together with Elizabeth Moos, Kyrle Elkin, and clerical worker, Sylvia Soloff, Du Bois the radical intellectual faced the case U.S. v. Peace Information Center, et al. wherein the Deep State alleged Du Bois and his comrades had acted as agents of the World Peace Council, and thus for the Soviet Union itself. Du Bois and his partner Shirley Graham give their account  of the episode in the book–

In battle for peace [excerpt], ca. 1952

 Ironic bridges…

There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? RFK/JFK/GBShaw

Anti-communism, anti-red, anti-Russia, against the Asians, Walls Up against the Mexicans and LatinX herman@s, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot the black African n-words, no, no, no, negation after negation.

The only response is to act with nia, with the purpose we repurpose as The Accra Appeal: 

“We demand the outlawing of atomic weapons as instruments of intimidation and mass murder of peoples. We demand strict international control to enforce this measure.

“We believe that any government which first uses atomic weapons against any other country whatsoever will be committing a crime against humanity and should be dealt with as a war criminal.

“We call on all men and women of good will throughout the world to sign this appeal.”

From where the bones of Du Bois commingle within African earth, we challenge and create the space for peace. The bare existence of nuclear weapons and potential military use is unacceptable to the future of humanity.

“Let all be one and one vast will Cry: Stop, Halt, Hold!” WEBD



On Bill H.1789 in the 190th (Current) General Court of Massachusetts

With my partner, Demetria Shabazz, I have co-founded and worked to develop cultural and historical museums and research centers in cities as large as Houston, TX, and as rural as Hale County, Alabama. My work as an Africana Public Historian has found deep source material and practice here in Western Massachusetts since our arrival in 2007. It is part of my research, teaching and service duties at the University of Massachusetts that I engage in such work. Below I’d like to comment on the bill currently in the state legislature, H.1789. I hope it is generative of thought and actions consistent with the historic reparations of our people. 


International Decade for People of African Descent

As a member of the National Council of Black Studies International Committee, I invite you to participate in a special session at #NCBS2018. It is Panel #105, that takes place Sat., March 17, 8:00 to 9:15am, at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta Mezzanine. Discuss with a gender diverse, intergenerational and international group of leading scholars some of the major political questions of the day that face all of us in Africana Studies on a global level.

A New Black International? Contemporary Black Radicalism across the Americas

The current global crisis that includes not only economic malaise but also a rise in political authoritarianism and increased policing by states had widened social and racial inequalities and hence racial and sexual violence. A deepening world crisis of neoliberal capitalism and the rise of a new right in national, regional and global contexts, imply reconfigurations of racial projects that involved the emergence of overtly violent racist ideologies and practices as dramatically exemplified by ultra-conservative, racist regimes such as Trump in the U.S. and Temer in Brazil wherein it is clear that Black Lives are devalued and disposable. In Colombia, at the same time that the national government declared itself a champion of anti-racist policies, paramilitaries constantly murder Black activists, thus further jeopardizing an already failing peace process. In this world-historical context there has been an emergence of Black movements across the Americas that are convened with the slogan that Black Lives Matter. These movements tend to articulate an intersectional critique of racial capitalism in terms of the entanglements of class, gender, sexual, and racial oppressions that corresponds to anti-racist politics aiming for systemic change and liberation. This panel will present and analyze this new wave and webs of Black radicalism in the Americas, situating it in larger historical landscapes of radical Pan-Africanism, Black Marxism, and Afro-feminism. The presentations will address this problematic from particular movements and locations, analyzing the patterning of transnational/translocal networks of Black radical activism in order to map their practices, projects and perspectives.

Amilcar Shabazz, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Afro-American Studies.


  1. Jesus Chucho Garcia. Venezuelan Consul to New Orleans (Afro-Venezuelan)
  2. Juliana Goes. University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Afro-Brazilian)
  3. Agustín Laó-Montes. University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Afro-Puerto Rican)

John Bracey, Jr. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Afro-American Studies.
Charisse Burden-Stelly, Carleton College.


The Bolivarian Process and Afro-Venezuelan Revolutionary Politics
Jesus Chucho Garcia.

Since the first electoral triumph of Hugo Chavez Frías in 1998 Venezuela began a process baptized as a Bolivarian Revolution that championed changes in the political, economic and cultural landscape of Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. This presentation will expose a panoramic view of the importance of Afro-Venezuelan activism both demanding and designing the Bolivarian revolution´s positions and policies against racism and for racial justice in Venezuela, and also in providing leadership for the organization of Black Left networks across the Americas, linking and organizing Black radicals in the U.S. and throhghout Latin America and the Caribbean. It will also analyze the leading role of Afro-Venezuelans in developing a politics of solidarity with the African continent.

“Geração Tombamento”: reflections about the political strategies of the Black Brazilian youth
Juliana Goes.

In the past years, colorful hair, clothes and lipsticks have become common among the Brazilian Black youth. They have used the aesthetics as a form of political resistance and created spaces of empowerment and articulation of the young black people. However, this way of making politics has suffered several critiques, especially related to the hyper-individualization of the black struggle. In addition, this political strategy has been appropriated by the capitalist system. Considering this, the paper consists of an analysis of the “Geração Tombamento” through the lens of the black radicalism and reflections about its potentialities and challenges. Furthermore, this analysis will relate to two major paradigms faced by Brazilian black movements: how to overcome the whitening ideology and the struggle between emancipation vs. inclusion. Then, the final goal of the paper is to promote the debate and improvement of contemporary political strategies in the black movements.

Black Lives Matter from Ferguson to Buenaventura: An Africana Renaissance
Agustín Laó-Montes

This presentation will discuss the emergence of a new wave of Black antisystemic movements in the Americas by looking into two key loci of activism: the Black Lives Matter Movement in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Civic Strike in the city of Buenaventura, Colombia. The analysis will focus on two dimensions: on the one hand, the rise of a neoliberal racial necropolitics in both cities; and, on the other hand, the rise of a new common sense wherein claim for racial justice are make in terms of an intersectional politics of liberation that clealy link racial, gender, sexual, and class opressions from local to global scales, thus constuting a new wave of Pan-African radicalism wherein there is a renaissance of a now queered Black feminism and marxism.



Afrodescendants International Fora and Conferences

The issue of racial discrimination has been discussed at different international fora and conferences, in particular the following:

1978, First World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, Geneva

1983, Second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, Geneva

2000, Experts Seminar, Santiago, Chile, October 25 to 27, 2000

2000, Regional Conference of the Americas (Proposal of Santiago). Preparatory meeting for the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Santiago, Chile, December 5 to 7, 2000.

2001, NGO Forum of the Americas for Diversity and Pluralism

2001, Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

2002, Latin America-Caribbean Regional Seminar of Experts on implementation of the Durban Programme of Action

2002, Declaration of La Ceiba

2003, Regional Workshop for the Adoption and Implementation of Affirmative-Action Policies for People of African Descent in Latin America and the Caribbean

2004, Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (E/CN.4/2004/L.2)

2004, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

2005, Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

2005, Pre Santiago +5

2008, Report of the Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean Preparatory to the Durban Review Conference (Brasilia, 17–19 June 2008)

2009, Declaration of the Second Inter-American Forum of Afro-descendants

2009, Final document of the Durban Review Conference.

2011, First World Summit of Afro-descendants held August 18-21,  in La Ceiba, on the occasion of the International Year for People of African Descent, which brought together more than 1,400 people from 44 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, producing the La Ceiba Declaration and Plan of Action.

2014, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Distr.: General, 13 March, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with concluding observations on the combined initial & 2nd to 5th periodic reports of Honduras *