Keynote Speaker & Awards

Keynote Speaker and Awards Ceremony 

On April 2nd, the Department of Africana Studies hosted Dr. Mark Anthony Neal. Dr. Neal delivered a Keynote Speech followed by an awards ceremony, honoring important individuals of and associated with the department. 

Keynote Speaker

Mark Anthony Neal is James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of  African & African-American Studies and Professor of English, and the author of the new book Black Ephemera: The Crisis and Challenge of the Musical Archive (NYU, March 2022). Neal is also the author of five books, including What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Public Culture, Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture, the Post-Soul Aesthetic and Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities, and That’s The Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (co-edited with Murray Forman).

Presentation Title: “Hello Stranger”: Fugitive Analogs and Maroon Interiorities in the Black Digital Archive

Presentation Description: Foregrounding the archival work of the Black Audio Film Collective and LA Rebellion, the filmmakers Barry Jenkins and Denzel Washington, playwright August Wilson, and the music of Dinah Washington and Jimmy Scott, this talk will explore the continued reliance and presence of analog archives in the so-called Black Digital Era. These presences, which might be thought of as hauntings, function as fugitive and maroon archives.

Award Ceremony

Faculty Contributions to the Department 

  • Dr. Jack Daniel, Former Vice Provost and Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at Pitt
  • Dr. Curtiss Porter, Chancellor Emeritus, Penn State University
  • Dr. Brenda Berrian, Former Chair & Professor Emerita, Pitt Africana Studies

Community Contributions to the Department/Community Partners 

  • Mr. Fred Logan 
  • Mrs. Rena Amos 
  • Mr. Sala Udin 
  • African American Program at Senator John Heinz History Center, (Sam Black, Director)
  • Pittsburgh Chapter of The Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society (AAHGS) (Marlene Bransom, President) 
  • Edna B. Mackenzie Branch of Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), (Ronald Saunders, President)

Allies to the Department 

  • Global Studies Center 
  • Center for African Studies 
  • Department of History 
  • Center for Bioethics and Health Law 
  • Former Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Mr. Robert Hill

Distinguished Guests

  • Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey 
  • PA State Representative Summer Lee 
  • Former State Representative Jake Wheatley 
  • Councilman Daniel Lavelle 
  • Former President of the Urban League, Esther Bush