Faculty at Martin Luther King, Jr Luncheon

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Full Time Faculty

Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers, Ph.D.

Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor 

Areas of specialization: Role of African women in African civilizations, Black female and male embodiment

Adisa A. Alkebulan

Adisa A. Alkebulan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department Chair and Academic Advisor

Areas of specialization: Pan-African Linguistics, African & African American history

Sureshi M. Jayawardene

Sureshi M. Jayawardene, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Areas of specialization: Africana geographies and epistemologies, diaspora, memory, expressive cultures, spirituality

Charles Toombs

Charles Toombs, Ph.D.

Professor

Areas of specialization: Africana literature, American literature, Black Queer Studies, Class and Urban Studies

 


Part Time Faculty

Ajani Brown

Ajani Brown, M.F.A.

Lecturer

Areas of specialization: AfroFuturism and Social Justice/Political themes in fiction & comics, African diaspora

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Tamara Carson, M.A.

Lecturer 

LaShae Collins

LaShae Collins, M.A.

Lecturer 

Delores Fisher

Delores Fisher, M.A.

Lecturer 

Areas of specialization: African American music history in U. S. socio-cultural history

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Theresa Ford, Ph.D.

Lecturer 

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Starla Lewis, M.A.

Lecturer 

Anta Merritt

Anta Merritt, Ph.D.

Lecturer 

Areas of specialization: African Diaspora social and cultural systems, religious/spiritual systems.

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Mychal Odom, Ph.D.

Lecturer 

Bonnie Reddick

Bonnie Reddick, Ph.D.

Lecturer 

Areas of specialization: Freshman writing and literature

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Lanique Ruffin, Ph.D.

Lecturer 

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Marcus Taylor, M.A.

Lecturer 

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Ebony Tyree, M.A.

Lecturer 

 


Staff

Kaia Brown, M.Ed

Administrative Coordinator

 


Emeritus Faculty

Shirley Weber

Shirley Weber, Ph.D. 

Dr. Shirley Weber is a Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies. She was a member of the department since its inception in 1972 until 2010. Educated in the public schools of Los Angeles, she has a BA, MA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in the area of speech communications. Dr. Weber is recognized nationally and internationally for her ground breaking work to establish the discipline of Africana Studies. Dr. Weber is currently a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 79th district.

 

In Memoriam: Francis Njubi Nesbitt

Dr. NesbittWith a deep sense of sadness and loss, we write to report on the death of one of our own, Francis Njubi Nesbitt, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, who passed away suddenly on May 31 at the age of 56.

A native Kenyan, Professor Nesbitt received a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, an M.A. in international peace studies from University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in African American studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Before joining us in the College of Arts and Letters in 2000, he worked as a reporter and editor for the Daily Nation in Nairobi, as well as a reporter for papers in Seattle and Springfield, Massachusetts. His first book, Race for Sanctions: African Americans against Apartheid, 1946–1994, was published by Indiana University Press in 2004. This study was described by the late American anthropologist and United States Ambassador Elliott P. Skinner as “an important contribution to the political history of this period [and] a must for those interested in the influence of the great pan-Africanists.” In 2012, he published Politics of African Diasporas with Lambert Academic Publishing. In addition to these monographs, he wrote articles and book chapters published in a number of journals and scholarly volumes.

For Africana studies, Professor Nesbitt taught courses such as Intermediate Expository Writing and Research Fundamentals, Black Political Participation in America, Political Economy of the African Diaspora, and Modern Civil Rights Movement.

As a scholar, Professor Nesbitt was passionate about the subject of civil rights and the struggle against apartheid. One of his goals was to hold a symposium titled “Coming to Terms with Apartheid: Resistance, Legacy” at San Diego State University. He also had plans to establish a center for the study of civil rights within the College of Arts and Letters. He was an enthusiastic blogger and public intellectual, and his public-facing work appeared in a number of fora.

Professor Nesbitt is survived by his wife of seven years, Teresa Nesbitt. She remembers him with great love as “a good, kind man” and “a gentle soul.” She requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to any society or organization dedicated to eradicating disease. Professor Nesbitt’s ashes will be scattered at sea; there is no memorial service planned.