Amilcar Shabazz Home Page
El Mina

History is a weapon. Studied and interpreted wisely, it can help defend, inspire, protect, and unify. If history is ignored, forgotten, or misconstrued, it can be part of the miseducation of a people that will have a them going to the back door even without being told.  Of all our studies history is so very important not only because it is a vital means to the cognition of and solution to many of the problems that beset us, but because it is the heart and soul of our liberation itself.

From "Lecture at El Mina,"
Ghana, 2004.


Amilcar Shabazz, Professor
W. E. B. Du Bois Department
of Afro-American Studies

330 New Africa House
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-9289 USA
Phone: 413.545.2751
Fax: 413.545.0628

National Council for Black Studies
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We who believe in Freedom cannot rest...

Upcoming honors, lectures, and activities to note:

Chair/commentator of the ASALH Centennial Meeting and Conference 2015 session

Chair of the Conference Committee of the NCBS 2016 Conference with the theme "Forty Years of Black Studies in the Local, National and Global Spaces: Past Accomplishments and New Directions." For the Call for Papers go here.

Selected 2014-2015 honors and activities :

Selected for the 2014-15 class of the American Council on Education Fellows Program, the longest running leadership development program in the United States—focuses on identifying and preparing the next generation of senior leadership for the nation's universities.

6/19 -Elected Vice President of The National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), the leading organization of Black Studies professionals in the world, for 2014-2016. See here for complete election results.

5/29 - Invited Panelist, " Service Learning and Engaged Research in Diverse Communities: Africana Studies and the STRENGTH Model," The 27th Annual National Conference for Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education(NCORE), JW Marriott Indianapolis.

5/3 - Dramatic reading of “Project Unspeakable,” a play about the 1960s assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, MLJ, and RFK, presented at the New England Youth Theatre, 7p.m. I will read the part of Malcolm X.

4/28 - Rev. James Lawson, Jr. gives Distinguished Lecture on Nonviolent Action and Civil Resistance on “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?”Bernie Dallas Room in Goodell, 7p.m.

4/22 - Convening the 44th Earth Dayat UMass Amherst, "Climate Change: Building a Diverse Movement for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.” Moderating Community Panel & Dialogue, Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall. Introducing Keynote Address: Dr. Robert Bullard, Father of Environmental Justice.

4/10 - Invited Panelist in the Afternoon Plenary Sesson on "The Future of Civil Rights" at The 2014 Fair Housing Conference commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 & the 25th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Fair Housing Centerin Springfield, MA. Included Dick Gregory, Prof. Charles Ogletree, Dr. Rodney Hood, and was moderated by Lawrence Watson. See news story here.

2/11/2014 - Channel 22WWLP – Appeared on "Mass Appeal" talking about Springfield's African American History (with Wayne Phaneuf from the Springfield Republican). See

3/8 - The National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) PRESIDENTIAL AWARD winner for exemplary service and outstanding contributions to the field of Black Studies, 38th annual meeting in Miami, FL.

2/ 27, 12:30 pm - Shabazz presents "Civil Rights in America & The Journey toward a More Civil Society, 1964-2014," an African American History Month event, at Greenfield Community College in the Sloan Theater on the GCC campus, Greenfield, MA.

2/21, 7 pm - Shabazz moderates the panel program "El Hajj Malik El Shabazz/Malcolm X and the Unspeakable, " following the staged reading of Project Unspeakable. In the Event Room of the Commonwealth Honors College Building on the UMass Amherst Campus.

2/12, 4 pm - Shabazz moderates the panel program "Growing Up Bond," with the children of Horace Mann Bond: Julian Bond, James Bond, and Jane Bond Moore. The event celebrates the completion of the digitization of the papers of Horace Mann Bond by the Department of Special Collections at the UMass Amherst Libraries. In the Student Union Ballroom on the UMass Amherst Campus.

2/9, 4 pm, Shabazz reads Beaumont to Detroit: 1943 in “Hold Fast to Dreams: The Poetry of Langston Hughes,” a program organized by Steve Tracy of the Du Bois Department of Afro-American studies, Bezanson Recital Hall on the UMass Amherst campus.

Selected 2013 activities :

12/14 - CONVERSATIONS AT PAHMUSA, The Pan African Historical Museum USA, 1500 Main Street/TowerSquare, Springfield, MA.

10/17 - American International College's Griswold Theatre, 1000 State Street Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center
Springfield, MA. Moderator, "Telling Our Stories: Local Residents Recall the Great Migration." AIC event link

10/18 - Panelist at UMass Sesquicentennial International Symposium, Sycamore Hall, Commonwealth Honors College.

10/21 - Shabazz joins Daniel Gordon (Professor of History) in a "A Conversation on Affirmative Action and Diversity at UMass Amherst," Commonwealth Honors College 160. See video at

8/24 - Keynoter, "That Fine Adjustment: Continuing the Du Boisian Mission of Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility," 50th Anniversary Du BoisCommemoration, co-sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site, and other groups,Great Barrington, MA

Discovering Du Bois: The Niagara Movement--is a website project of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as part of its effort to improve use of its extensive collection of the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois located in UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Below are some video clips from the site

  • q1_sm.flv 03:51-Dr.  Amilcar Shabazz on the context and background of W.E.B. Du Bois and the Niagara Movement...

    q4_sm.flv05:03 -Dr. Amilcar Shabazz on the Niagara Movement's Declaration of Principles...

    q3_sm.flv02:36 -Dr. Shabazz on the approach of Du Bois and Niagara Movement member John Hope to education...

    q2_sm.flv03:52 -Dr. Shabazz on the response of Du Bois and the Niagara Movement to Booker T. Washington...


6/22 - 2013 Common Ground Leadership Award recipient, for “leadership, excellence and role model example for generations to come.”MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA.

5/29 - Invited Panelist, "Current Issues in Black Studies," The 26th Annual National Conference for Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), Hilton Riverside New Orleans.

Amherst, MA, March 2013 – At the invitation of the Honorable Pedro Pires, former President of Cape Verde, West Africa, Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, Professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, visited the Amilcar Cabral Foundation in Praia, Cape Verde. Cabral was a leading theoretician and practitioner of anti-colonial revolution during the struggle to liberate Guinea–Bissau and Cape Verde from Portuguese rule. He had a tremendous influence on the Black liberation movement in the U.S. In Praia, Shabazz discussed the effort to preserve, digitize, and share more widely with the world the papers of Amilcar Cabral. He also toured, along with Rob Cox of UMass Amherst's Du Bois Library and Sidonia Ferreira, Director of Enrollment Services at UMass and a Cape Verdean national, the National Archives and the National Library of Cape Verde, and was featured on the "Morning Show,"  on RTCV, the national television station.

  • The National Council for Black Studies' 37th Annual National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, The Westin Indianapolis:

  • DISCOVERING SPRINGFIELD'S AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE: A Conversation at PAHMUSAwith Dr. Amilcar Shabazz of UMASS Amherst; Wayne Phaneuf, Editor-in-Chief of The Republican & Author of "The Struggle for Freedom;" and Joseph Cavalho III, Author of "Black Families in Hampden County, Mass.: 1650-1855." 2/23.
  • Attended the joint conference of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and Mass Association of School Superintendents held Nov. 7-10, 2012, in Hyannis, MA. Participated in plenary sessions with nationally known speakers, current-issue panel discussions, informative exhibits, demonstrations of successful instructional and management initiatives in local districts, and the New Member Orientation session focused on changes to the open meetings, conflict of interest, and public records laws and requirements.
  • Association for the Study of African-American Life & History 97th annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA: Participant, "Are You On Fire?: A Hands-On Workshop for Preparing Submissions to Fire!!! The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies," Fri, Sep 28 - 2-3:50pm, Westin Convention Center Hotel-Westmorland East/ AV Room; and Presenter, "New Digitizing Projects for Black History and Scholarship," 9/29.
  • Faculty mentor for Commonwealth Honors College student London Tatum’s ten-week summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Community Engaged Research entitled “Using African Heritage-Informed Education (AHIE) to Enhance Literacy Development in Underserved Students in Springfield, MA” in collaboration with Springfield’s Pan-African Historical Museum (PAHMUSA).
  • Developed and taught AFROAM 597A-01 “Afro-Caribbean Studies” as a summer study abroad course to Cuba with Prof. Agustin Lao-Montes [see]. Made plenary presentation to the International Colloquium of the 32nd Annual Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba, “Africana Studies in the Americas from Estudios Afrocubanos to Estudios Afrodiasporicos,” July 7, 2012.
  • Invited guest lecturer on W.E.B. Du Bois, in Anthro 577: UMass Amherst Summer Field School in Archaeological Heritage, by Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Bob Paynter.
  • Invited speaker, “On Juneteenth,” a public event sponsored by Justice for Charles and other Western Massachusetts organizations in Springfield, MA, June 23, 2012.
  • Invited Guest Speaker, “Education for Life: The Du Bois Doctorate of African American Studies and Its First Forty Years of Unity and Struggle,” April 12-14, 2012, at Northwestern University’s AFAM Conference A Beautiful Struggle: Transformative Black Studies in Shifting Political Landscapes–A Summit of Doctoral Programs in Evanston, IL. Part of news stories on the conference in Diverse Issues in Higher Education (July 5, 2012), The Daily Northwestern (April 13, 2012), and The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 12, 2012).
  • Invited Panelist, “‘Bodies Acting Together’: Collaborating and Colliding in the Academy,” UMass English Graduate Organization Interdisciplinary Conference Forces at Play: Bodies, Power, and Spaces, March 31, 2012, at UMass Amherst.
  • Presenter, “Developments in the Digital Humanities, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the History of Afro-Latin American Studies,” March 23, 2012, at The 3rd Annual Negritud Conference at the Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico & the Caribbean, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Elected Secretary of the National Council for Black Studies in May of 2012. Attended board meetings of the NCBS and chaired two panel sessions at its annual meeting, March 7-10, 2012, in Atlanta, GA.
  • Presenter, “Melvin Tolson: Radical as Educator,” March 2, at the Texas State Historical Associations 2012 Annual Meeting, at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, TX.
  • Invited Keynoter, “Black Women in American Culture and History,” February 15, 2012, at the Community Charter School of Cambridge, MIT’s Walker Auditorium (MA).
  • Service on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Black Studies; and invited to serve on the board of The Black Scholar (I accepted by email on June 12, 2012). These are the two oldest and most distinguished journals in the interdisciplinary field of Afro-American Studies.
  • Internationalization trip to Colombia with Prof. Agustin Lao-Montes. Made presentations on Afro-American Studies at universities and community-based cultural centers in Bogotá, Buenaventura, and Cali.
  • Presenter, “Du Bois and the Strengthening of Trans-Atlantic Connections: Digital Discoveries in the Afro-German Experience,” August 19-21, 2011—The Black German Cultural Society, First Annual Convention held from at the German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington, DC.
  • Consultant, “The Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968,” prepared curriculum. Used at my July 26-28, session at Smith College with area schoolteachers in the final session of the Let Freedom Ring Summer Program of the Collaborative for Educational Services, created with support from a U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History grant. Donated stipend to Du Bois Department scholarship fund.
  • Service on Faculty Senate as a Senator, At-Large Member of the Rules Committee, and Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic Oversight. Member of the General Education Council and the Davis Integrative Experience Task Force. Developed department’s Du Bois Senior Seminar (AFROAM 494DI-01)—named exemplary by General Education Council.
  • Member, Search Committee for Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance, 2012 (appointed by Provost James Staros); Member, College of Humanities & Fine Arts Chair Search for Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, 2011.
  • Steering Committee for the W.E.B. Du Bois Center and the Center for Heritage & Society.
  • Service within the Five College Consortium: Member, Faculty Advisory Council (2011); Five College African Studies Council and program faculty member; part of a consortial effort to become the host site of the African Studies Association (one of two finalists).
  • Member, Amherst School Committee and Vice-Chair, Amherst Regional School Committee (MA), elected to a 3-year term on April 3, 2012, and an ex officio Town Meeting Member—the legislative body of the Town of Amherst.
  • Member, Northwestern District Attorney’s Citizen Advisory Board (MA)


Elected to membership in the Texas Institute of Letters and formally introduced at the TIL's annual meeting in Texas, April 17-18, 2009.

Photo below: Jena 6 National Walk-Out Day Rally, Amherst Commons, 10/1/07. [by Caitlin Coughlan]

Links to news stories: - May 1, 2008

Shabazz addresses 14th Annual Mass. Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference

USA Today
- March 13, 2008
Supporters rally for Mass. student By Mark Pratt, Associated Press Writer

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education - September 20, 2007
On The Move: Professional Appointments

In the Loop
(online informational site for faculty & staff at UMass Amherst), MA - July 6, 2007
Shabazz named new chair of Afro-American Studies

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