DAFS Points of Pride

Honors and Awards

The Department of Africana Studies received the 2019 Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity.


Amoaba Gooden, Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award, Kent State University, 2019.


M. L. Temu, Lifetime Achievement Award, Black United Students, Kent State University, 2019.


Mwatabu Okantah, Lifetime Achievement Award, Black Graduate Student Association, Kent State University, 2019.


Asantewa Sunni-Ali, Outstanding Co-Curricular Service Initiative Award for development of the Fulani Institute, Office of Community Engaged Learning, Kent State University, 2019.


Idris Kabir Syed,  Faculty of the Game,  Kent State University, Fall 2018.


Linda Piccirillo-Smith, Advisor of the Year, Black United Students, Kent State University, 2019.


D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson, selected as one of ten university theatre directors from the U.S.A. and Canada to take an ensemble to the Fringe Festival in July 2019. A group of five Pan-African Theatre Ensemble (P.A.T.E.) cast members will participate in the Festival which occurs in Edinburgh, Scotland in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival (I.C.T.F) program. Other universities participating include Florida A&M University, Morehead State University, University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music, and Wayne State University.




Dr. Amoaba Gooden (with Frans Van Baar and Lisa Hanasono), received a grant from the MAC for a project titled Empowering Project: Students, Faculty and Community Promoting Engagement to Effect Change, [$10, 000], 2018. 


Professor Mwatabu Okantah, received the BMe Community Genius Fellowship Grant. The Genius Fellowship grant is given to Black men who have dedicated their lives to making a better future for others and are trusted by their communities because of it, [$10,000], 2019.


Theatrical Performances/Creative Scholarship

Drs. Asantewa Sunni-Ali and Amoaba Gooden along with two Kent State students, Nyla Henderson and Shakeela Gray,  were selected to participate in the Institute of Gender and Development Studies Biennial Conference “Global Feminisms and the Anti-Colonial Project” at the University of the West Indies, Cavehill Campus,  Fall 2018. Nya and Shakeela co-wrote and performed in the theatrical production of  Sisters Outside, With Bridges for Backs, Still Searching for Our Gardens, co-written and directed by Dr. Sunni-Ali.


The Pan-African Theatre Ensemble presented "Digital Masks to Africa - Cheikh Anta Diop: Poem for the Living". The Epic Poem was written by Kent State’s Professor  Mwatabu Okantah and devised/directed by Dr. D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson. The play ran for two nights to a full house, 2019.


The Pan-African Theatre Ensemble performed an experimental production of the 1974 African Caribbean classic, a Jamaican play, "An Echo in the Bone" by Dennis Scott. The production was directed by Dr. D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson in the African Community Theatre. The play ran for one night to a sold-out house, 2018.



Community Engagement

The Center of Pan-African Culture held the Pan-African Festival on April 12-13, 2019. Over 100 people participated in the celebration of African and African diaspora culture. The Festival was organized and  produced by Dr. Asantewa Sunni Ali.


The Center of Pan-African Culture, Fulani Institute of Academic and Arts participants (youth aged 5-17), presented the "Calabash Kids: A Tale from Tanzania", written by Aaron Shepard and directed by Dr. Asantewa  Sunni-Ali. Over 100 people attended the production held December 2018.


The Center of Pan-African Culture, Pre-Kwanza Celebration. Over 150 people participated in a pre-Kwanzaa Celebration held in the Center of Pan-African Culture. The celebration was written and produced by Dr. Asantewa Sunni-Ali, 2018.


Annual Cookout,  the Department held it 46th Annual New Student Reception and Cookout. Approximately 500 students, faculty, staff and community members participated Fall 2018.



Allen, Gooden, Hackett & Mucina, “Walking together: Indigenous and Black Perspectives on

Decolonizing Education,”S'Tenistolw" - Moving forward in Indigenous Higher



Gooden, A. “African Canadian Leadership: Pan-Africanism, Trans-nationality, and Community  Organizing,” African Canadian Leadership: Perspectives on Continuity, Transition and  Transformation. University of Toronto Press: Toronto.


Gooden, A. Interview with Mama Kariamu, The Routledge Companion to African American

Theatre and Performance, in eds. Renee Alexander-Craft, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Kathy A.

Perkins and Sandra L. Richards.


Kumah-Abiwu, Felix. 2019. “Changing Trends in West Africa’s Drug Policy Terrain: A

Theoretical Perspective.” Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 57 (1):52-70.


Kumah-Abiwu, Felix. 2019 “Urban Education and Academic Success: The Case of

Higher Achieving Black Males.” Urban Education 54 (4):1-27.


 Kumah-Abiwu, Felix. 2019. “Media Gatekeeping and Portrayal of Black Men in

America.” The Journal of Men’s Studies. 1-18.


 Kumah-Abiwu, Felix. 2019. “Black Males and Marginality in America’s Urban Centers:

Theorizing Blackness and Media Gatekeepers.” In Marginality in the Urban Center: The Costs and Challenges of Continued Whiteness in the Americas and Beyond, ed. Peary Brug, Zachary Ritter, and Kenneth Roth. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 111-131.