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Oyibo Afoaku
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Grace Jackson-Brown
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Fred Lee Hord
Association for Black Culture Centers

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2004

National conference of Association for Black Culture Centers to be at IU Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- One of the nation's largest gatherings of scholars in African and African diaspora studies will be held Nov. 4-7 at Indiana University Bloomington.

IU Bloomington is hosting the annual national conference of the Association for Black Culture Centers for the first time. It will attract about 500 scholars, administrators and students from university black culture centers for academic workshops and cultural presentations. ABCC's membership includes more than 200 centers across the United States, West Africa and the Caribbean.

Appropriately, the event will be held in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, which has become a major hub of activity since its dedication in January 2002, and the Indiana Memorial Union. The theme for the event is "Black Culture Centers and the Politics of Identity in the New Millennium."

Keynote presenters will include Molefi Asante, author and founder of the African American Studies Department at Temple University, which was the first program to offer a Ph.D. in African American studies; and Delores Aldridge, the Grace Towns Hamilton professor of sociology and African American studies at Emory University.

Aldridge will speak at the grand opening reception on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Neal-Marshall Center. The workshops will begin on Nov. 5 and conclude on Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.

Many presentations will focus on African American identity and self-image, Afrocentric education, and African world views and values. Sessions will include "Living in Between: Afro-Latinos in the United States," "Acquiring Empowerment and Self-Identity Through African-American History," "Hip-Hop and Political Activism" and "Black Contemporary Issues in Higher Education."

The performance ensemble, The Spoken Word, will give a presentation, "To Be Young, Black and Gifted with Rap," on Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the IMU's Whittenberger Auditorium. Maurice Henderson of the Alternative Learning Institute's Center for Race Media and Culture will join Spoken Word artists Gregory Corbin and Shanikra Hankins in leading the presentation.

An "old-school style" stepping competition will follow on Nov. 5 at 8:30 p.m. in the IMU's Alumni Hall. It will feature teams from National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities. On Nov. 6 at 8 p.m., conference participants will be encouraged to attend the African American Arts Institute's "Potpourri of the Arts in the African American Tradition" at the IU Auditorium.

A unique Africana exhibit will be on display at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center throughout the conference.

Registrations are still being accepted. The cost will be $250 for professionals and $125 for students. Registration can be done online at or by calling 800-933-9330.