2021 MAYS LECTURE
“Acknowledging the Native Americans who were here when European colonists arrived in this area of America, Molefi Kete Asante explained the consequences when they projected their language, culture and systems of knowledge as superior and universal – all of which still shape American society today. Asante, professor and chair of the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University, sees this influence in several spaces, from cities and streets named for prominent white Europeans to K-12 education emphasizing European historical figures and myths. He also sees the detrimental impact that Eurocentric ideologies regarding race have had in Western culture, and how those perspectives differ from African ideologies.” (Georgia State News Hub post 2021 Mays Lecture article)
Thank your for attending the 35th Annual Mays Lecture!
“That was an excellent lecture. Thank you! Somehow this was my first experience with Dr. Asante’s work, and it was exactly what I needed to hear as I explore paradigms, epistemologies, and methodologies for the purposes of uplifting African descended peoples and consequently humanity. Thank you!”
Robert Graham, Phd, Term Assistant Professor & Coordinator, George Mason University
To download the program for the 2021 Mays Lecture, click here.
2021 MAYS LECTURER
Molefi Kete Asante is Professor and Chair, Department of Africology at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is the co-founder of Afrocentricity International and is President of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies. Asante was a Guest Professor, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and is Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa. He is the Founding and Current Editor, Journal of Black Studies and first director of UCLA’s Center for Afro-American Studies in 1969. Asante, often called the most prolific African American scholar, has published 93 books, among the most recent are The Perilous Center, or When Will the African Center Hold; Radical Insurgencies; The History of Africa, 3rd Edition; The African American People: A Global History; Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation; Revolutionary Pedagogy; African American History: A Journey of Liberation; African Pyramids of Knowledge; Facing South to Africa, and, the memoir, As I Run Toward Africa.
Asante has published more than 500 articles and is considered one of the most quoted living African authors as well as one of the most distinguished thinkers in the African world. He has been recognized as one of the 10 most widely cited African scholars. Asante has been recognized as one of the most influential leaders in education. He has been named a HistoryMaker with an interview in the Library of Congress. In 2019 the National Communication Association named him an NCA Distinguished Scholar, its highest honor, saying that his writings were “spectacular and profound”. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, at the age of 26, and was appointed a full professor at the age of 30 at the State University of New York at Buffalo. At Temple University he created the first Ph.D. Program in African American Studies in 1988. He has directed more than 140 Ph.D. dissertations making him the top producer of doctorates among African American scholars. He is the founder of the theory of Afrocentricity.
Dr. Asante’s 2021 Mays Lecture topic:
“African Epistemologies: A Transition to a Pan World Academy”
ABOUT THE MAYS LECTURE SERIES
ATLANTA—Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University, delivered the 31st annual Benjamin E. Mays Lecture on Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Georgia State University’s Florence Kopleff Recital Hall (15 Gilmer St. SE, Atlanta).
Darling-Hammond gave a presentation entitled, “Achieving Equity and Excellence: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go.”
Darling-Hammond is president of the Learning Policy Institute and has conducted extensive research on issues of educator supply, demand and quality. Among her award-winning publications in this area are “What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future,” “Teaching as the Learning Profession” and “Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and be Able to Do.” She was executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future and director of RAND Corporation’s education program. Darling-Hammond began her career as a public school teacher.
“Most people working in real ways to address equity and justice in public education have been influenced by the scholarship of Linda Darling-Hammond,” said Brian Williams, Crim Center director. “I am excited that she has agreed to share some of her work with the metro-Atlanta community as this year’s Benjamin E. Mays lecturer.”
Benjamin E. Mays was a minister, educator, sociologist, social activist and president of Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1940 to 1967. He also was president of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education and supervised the desegregation of Atlanta’s public schools. The annual Mays Lecture encourages the discussion of issues facing urban educational leaders, honors the memory of Mays and promotes his philosophy of excellence in the education of those typically least well served by the larger society.
Photos from the Lecture
In the spring of 1988, the Benjamin E. Mays Chair of Urban Educational Leadership was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and established in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University.
Its goal was and continues to be the improvement of the quality of educational institutions in urban areas of the country, with special emphasis on the problems faced by the leadership of large city school districts.
The founding holder of the Chair, Dr. Alonzo A. Crim, organization and sponsorship of the annual Benjamin E. Mays Memorial Lecture Series. It began in 1989 with Dr. Charles V. Willie, a social scholar at Harvard University, and has continued to past year’s lecturer, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond.
By continuing to bring nationally prominent educators to Atlanta, each symposium, conference and lecture encourages the discussion of issues facing urban educational leaders.
This program honors the memory of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays and promotes his philosophy of educational excellence for those typically least served by society.
Joyce E. King holds the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair of Teaching, Learning and Leadership at George State University. She is a professor of Educational Policy Studies and is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of African-American Studies.
Her research and scholarship discuss how mainstream American education produces dysconsciousness that resists a critically transformative understanding of race and racialized inequity. Education kindergarten through grade 16 perpetuates a curriculum that alienates peoples of color from seeing themselves as collaborative levels of knowledge and distorts White people’s humanity, as well.
Dr. King’s research notes that kindergarten through 12th-grade textbooks, lesson plans and teacher preparation routinely start the history of Black people in slavery, not in Africa, and teach that Egypt is located in the Middle East or even Asia rather than in Africa!
African American learners are taught they have contributed nothing to the production of knowledge, and that abandonment of all Black cultural identity is key to any success in school.
Her scholarship addresses a transformative role for culture in effective teaching and teacher preparation, Black Studies epistemology and curriculum theorizing, community-mediated research and dysconscious racism, a term she coined. Her scholarship emphasizes cultural well-being as a necessary goal in all successful education, including that of Whites who are miseducated, as well, by a competitive educational system that feeds them racially-constructed knowledge as color-blind education.
Her publications can be found in the Harvard Educational Review, The Journal of Negro Education, The Journal of Black Studies, Womanist Theory and Research, numerous book chapters as well as six books: Teaching Diverse Populations; Black Mothers to Sons: Juxtaposing African American Literature with Social Praxis; Preparing Teachers for Diversity and Black Education: A Transformative Research and Action Agenda for the New Century; Remembering History in Student and Teacher Learning: An African-centered Culturally Informed Praxis; and Dysconscious Racism, Afrocentric Praxis and Education for Human Freedom—Through the Years I Keep on Toiling—The Selected Works of Joyce E. King.
Previously, Dr. King has also served as Provost and Professor of Education at Spelman College, Associate Provost at Medgar Evers College in New York (CUNY), Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Diversity Programs at the University of New Orleans; Director of Teacher Education at Santa Clara University, and Head of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Mills College. Dr. King has international experience teaching, lecturing and providing professional development in Brazil (using Portuguese translations of her publications), Canada, China, England, Jamaica, New Zealand, Mali, Kenya, and Senegal. A recipient of the W.K. Kellogg Fellowship and the American Council on Education Fellowship, she also served on the California State Board of Education Curriculum Commission.
She holds the Ph.D. in the Social Foundations of Education and a B.A. Degree (with Honors), both from Stanford University, and a Certificate in Educational Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. King is the immediate past-President of the American Educational Research Association (2014-2015).
List of Guest Lecturers for The Benjamin E. Mays Memorial Lecture Series — Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence
1989 Charles Willie, Social Scholar, Harvard University
1990 Samuel Cook, President, Dilliard University
1991 Samuel Proctor, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University
1992 Julius S. Scott, President, Paine College
1993 Lerone Bennett Jr., Executive Editor, Ebony Magazine
1994 Maynard H. Jackson, Mayor Emeritus of Atlanta
1995 Lisa Delpit, Benjamin Mays Chair for Urban Educational Leadership, Georgia State University
1996 Barbara Sizemore, Dean, College of Education, DePaul University
1997 Asa G. Hilliard, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education, Georgia State University
1998 Robert Franklin, President, Interdenominational Theological Center
1999 Jackie Jordan-Irvine, Charles Chandler, Professor of Urban Education, Emory University
2000 Vincent Harding, Professor Illif College
2001 Johnetta Cole, President, Spelman College
2002 Beverly Tatum, President, Spelman College
2003 Gloria Ladson Billings, Professor, University of Wisconsin
2004 Joyce King, Benjamin Mays Chair for Urban Education, Georgia State University
2005 Beverly Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools
2006 Ronald Ferguson, Economist, Harvard University
2007 Mark Alexander, Endocrinologist, Kaiser Permanente
2008 Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund
2009 Robert Moses, Founder of the Algebra Project
2010 Ela Gandhi, Durban University of Technology
2011 Vanessa Siddle Walker, Emory University
2012 Adelaide Sanford, Former Vice-Chancellor New York State Board of Regents
2013 Brian Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative
2014 Jeannie Oakes, Professor Emerita, UCLA, AERA President-Elect
2015 Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts Amherst
2017 Noma LeMoine, Chief Editorial Officer, LeMoine and Associates Educational Consulting
2018 Leslie T. Fenwick, Professor Emerita, Howard University
2019 Walter C. Farrell, Jr., University of Colorado-Boulder
2020 Linda Darling-Hammond, Learning Policy Institute
The 2021 Mays Lecture and Fireside Chat will be virtual. You can register for these events by clicking the registration boxes above. Registration is required for both events. The Fireside Chat is for Georgia State University graduate students only.
PREVIOUS MAYS LECTURES
8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
College of Education & Human Development
P.O. Box 3976
Atlanta, GA 30302-3976