HC’s Liberian organized a short forum for faculty members to discuss with students and teachers their most recent publications and academic work; I thought this was a great way to exhibit a culture of ideas and scholarship on campus; I was pretty excited to discuss a paper of mine entitled The Resurrection, which looks at how hip-hop lyrical culture is synonymous with the teachings of Jesus Christ. And, how the two are drawn together through a “sense” of spiritual reconciliation. Christians contend that the Bible offers hope and understanding to those who are lost. The hip-hop artist contends that his lyrics offer a “sense” of hope and salvation, much like that of Jesus Christ.
This event reminds me of a recent email I received from a former colleague, who asked me how does one go about engaging in such work? I told her that I think it is a matter of what you are most interested in. I have written on a variety of topics related to the teaching of history. I am a teacher; it is what I love. What I write about usually reflects what I am teaching in my classroom. That is my passion. That said, I also have a passion and understanding for black intellectual history. Thus, I have sought to be a part of a greater community of people like me — but smarter. Just ask Phillip Sinitiere who is co-authoring a book with me; he will deny it but it is true.
I am a member of various history related organizations. I read the journals which often stimulates my thinking and thus drives me to want to contribute to ongoing discussion. I have found that sharing my work at conferences allows me a venue to grow in my content while enhancing my skills. Some find such academic work to be silly and nothing more than self promotion. Those folks find themselves isolated from a field of brilliant people. I learn so much from them. And, I hope I add to their knowledge too. In the end, our students are the winners.
Above are a few of my colleagues who are doing some interesting stuff. I believe four of them are in the process or have already published a book. That is pretty impressive seeing their busy lives and heavy teaching load.