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Experts Advisory: Black History Month and Martin Luther King Jr. Experts from the University at Albany

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 17, 2008) -- History of the American Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy, issues affecting people of African descent and black literature and poetry are among the topics covered by UAlbany's faculty experts.
  • THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT of the 1950s and 1960s was one of the most pivotal timeframes in American history, marked by boycotts and sit-ins, riots, marches and other efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination. Africana Studies Lecturer Maurice Thornton offers insight on the Civil Rights movement, including the contributions of such leaders as Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Medgar Evers. He also conducts research and teaches courses on the African American family.
  • BLACK HISTORY MONTH symbolizes the discussions of culture and race across the country and celebrates black heritage. Africana Studies and History Professor Allen Ballard offers insight into black history, as well as the Civil War and Soviet history. Ballard has published two nonfiction books, including The Education of Black People (1973).
  • AFRICAN PSYCHOLOGY, including issues affecting people of African heritage, enslavement and colonial experiences of people of African descent, HIV/AIDS, transracial adoption and the social and psychological development of black children are among the areas of expertise of Marcia Sutherland, chairwoman of UAlbany's Africana Studies Department. Sutherland is author of Black Authenticity: A Psychology for Liberating People of African Descent (1997).
  • BLACK WRITERS and poets have contributed spirited and important works to the American literary landscape, including early narratives depicting slavery to modern works on the lingering effects of slavery and racism. Africana Studies and English Professor Leonard Slade Jr. discusses the contributions of black authors to literature and poetry. His research interests include George Moses Horton, the first black poet of the South, as well as 19th century American literature and author Herman Melville. Slade is the editor of Black Essays (1995), a collection of short pieces by African American critics and scholars.

Visit UAlbany's extensive, searchable roster of faculty experts.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 56 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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