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To explore and promote thorough research and scholarship of African people on the Continent and throughout the Diaspora analytically and critically to benefit the collective consciousness of African people and to contribute to the rich legacy of research and scholarship within the discipline of African American/Africana/Black Studies.


  • Maintain a program for visiting scholars who conduct research, teach courses in their areas of expertise and offer lectures to the university community

  • Establish a research mentoring program for undergraduate and graduate students

  • Establish an endowed chair in African American Studies

  • Build and develop the African American Studies Program into full status department at the University of Houston with both undergraduate and graduate programs

AAS Faculty Publications

  • Black Family and Society 2015

    Race in American Sports

    This volume focuses on the black family in the United States and the social forces and issues that affect it, including education, healthcare, racism, poverty, and politics. It examines the effects of these social forces on individuals as well as families.

    Contributions are varied. “A Biscuit for a Letter” examines education in the antebellum South. “Black Intellectuals on Trial” and “Africans’ Perspectives on Race in the US” both analyze the role of race and racism in America. “Feminization of Poverty and the Black Family” illustrates the double burden of race and gender borne by black women. “It’s Gotta Be Some Drama!” analyzes the televised depiction of black colleges and universities. “African-centered Research Frameworks” studies the importance of cultural awareness in academia. “Work to Be Done” recounts the activism of black women in the Democratic Party.

  • Race in American Sports: Essays (2014)

    Race in American Sports

    These essays critically examine the issue of race in college and professional sports, beginning with the effects of stereotypes on black female college athletes, and the self-handicapping of black male college athletes. Also discussed is the movement of colleges between NCAA designated conferences, and the economic impact and effects on academics for blacks. An essay on baseball focuses on changes in Brooklyn during the Jackie Robinson years, and another essay on how the Leland Giants became a symbol of racial pride. Other essayists discuss the use of American Indian mascots, the Jeremy Lin spectacle surrounding Asians in pro sports, the need to hire more NFL coaches of color, and ideals of black male masculinity in boxing.

  • Charles Hamilton Houston (2012)

    Charles Hamilton Houston

    This study seeks to examine the life and work of Charles Hamilton Houston and the scope of this project will focus on the implementation and organization of the proposed plan in three ways: philosophical ideas, constructive engagement, and lasting contributions of this legal scholar activist. When compiling scholarly articles for this volume, the challenge was examining not just legal precedents of Houston, but his contributions to the study of civic engagement, with emphasis on privilege, racism, disparity, and educational philosophy.

  • The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia (2009)

    The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia (2009)

    James L. Conyers, Jr. co-edited The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia (Greenwood) with Julius E. Thompson and Nancy J. Dawson. The encyclopedia offers more than 100 alphabetically organized entries covering Douglass’s extraordinary journey from childhood in bondage to forceful spokesperson for equality and freedom before, during, and after the Civil War. In addition to biographical details, the book looks at the full breadth of Douglass’s writings and speeches, as well as the events that shaped his intellect and political views. Together, these entries create an enduring portrait of one of the nation’s most iconic figures, a man who went from slavery to invited guest in Abraham Lincoln’s White House, whose commitment to freedom for all led to his participation in the first women’s rights conference at Seneca Falls, and whose profound influence ranged well beyond the borders of the United States.

  • Racial Structure & Radical Politics in the African Diaspora (2009)

    Racial Structure & Radical Politics

    James L. Conyers, Jr. edited the third volume of Africana Studies, the annual series published by Transaction Publishers. This edition of the serial is entitled Racial Structure & Radical Politics in the African Diaspora. Racial structures can be referred to as the study of Africana communities and their formation globally. The essays aggregated in this volume aspire to query, precipitate analysis, and offer a contribution to the forward flow of knowledge, as it pertains to social scientific approaches to describing and evaluating Africana phenomena.

  • Law, Culture & Africana Studies (2008)

    Law Culture and Africana Studies

    Dr. James L. Conyers edited the second volume of Africana Studies, the annual series published by Transaction Publishers. This particular volume, entitled Law, Culture & Africana Studies, reviews the past in order to evaluate the present and move ahead with appropriate policies for the future. The authors focus on issues of affirmative action, legal culture, theories of black culture, and methodologies of scholarly work in Africana studies.

  • Malcolm X: A Historical Reader (2008)

    Malcom X Historical Reader

    Dr. James L. Conyers, Jr. co-edited a work entitled Malcolm X: A Historical Reader (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2008) with Dr. Andrew P. Smallwood, coordinator of African American Studies at Austin Peay State University and former 2004-2005 AAS visiting scholar. The editors assembled an impressive array of contributors whose works reflect their expertise in the fields of history, sociology, social work, religion, literature, labor and management, and Africana studies. These essays fuse social science, humanistic, and professional studies methods as they look at Malcolm X and his contributions in place, space, and time.

AAS Adjunct and Affiliate Faculty Publications

Malachi Crawford, assistant director of  African American Studies, Black Muslims and the Law: Civil Liberties from Elijah Muhammad to Muhammad Ali.  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2015

Richard Mizzelle, assistant professor of history, published Backwater Blues The Mississippi Flood of 1927 in the African American Imagination. Minnesota Press, 2014

Gerald Horne, Moores Professor of History, published Blows Against the Empire:  U.S. Imperialism in Crisis (International Publishers, 2008).

Demetrius Pearson, associate professor of health and human performance, published a series of abstracts and two book chapters:

  • Pearson, D. W. (2008).  Sport in contemporary society.  In K. C. Longest (Ed.),
    Teaching the sociology of sport: ASA resource materials for teaching (5th ed., pp. 79-81).  Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.

  • Pearson, D. W. (2009). “Black in the saddle: The best bull rider you never saw.”  In J. L. Conyers Jr. (Series Ed.), Africana studies: Vol. 3. Racial Structure & Radical Politics in the African Diaspora (pp. 183-196). New Brunswick: Transaction.

Janis F. Hutchinson, professor of anthropology, published several journal articles during this period, including: 

  • Issa, A.M., Tufail, W., Hutchinson, J., Tenorio, J., and Poonam, M.  "Assessing Patient Readiness for the Clinical Adoption of Personalized Medicine.”  Public Health Genomics 12 (2009): 163-69.

  • Hutchinson, Janis Faye and Richard Sharp, "Karma, Reincarnation, and Medicine: Indian Views on Biomedicine.”  Journal of Genomic Medicine, 2 (2008): 107-111.

  • Patterson, Thomas, Hutchinson, Janis Faye, and Alan Goodman, "Minorities in Anthropology: 1973 versus 2008, Progress or Illusion.”  Anthropology News 49, no. 4 (2008): 23.

  • Hutchinson, Janis Faye, "Medical Racism." In: Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Ed. John Hartwell Moore. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, pp292-298., 2008.