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Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories

The 101st Annual Meeting and Conference
October 5-9, 2016: Richmond, Virginia

The year 2016 marks the beginning of a new century for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Our national theme for Black History Month is "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories." One cannot tell the story of America without reflecting on the places where African Americans have made history. The Kingsley Plantation, DuSable’s home site, the numerous stops along the Underground Railroad, Seneca Village, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Frederick Douglass’ home are but a few of the many sites remembered for shaping African American culture and consciousness in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

This year’s conference explores a spatial understanding of history as well as the power of place, be it a single site or particular community, to embody what it meant to be Black during a specific historical period and to evoke memories of past events that continue to resonate today. The history of African Americans has unfolded across the canvas of America, beginning many decades before the arrival of the Mayflower and continuing to the present. From port cities where Africans disembarked from slave ships to cotton fields where their labor enriched America, from battlefields where their descendants fought for freedom to colleges and universities where they have pursued education, from Southern farms and cities to congested metropolises in the North and West, Americans of African descent have imprinted their experiences and perspectives on the land and on the narrative of the American past. Across the country sites of hallowed grounds are remembered on U Street in Washington, DC, Bronzeville in Chicago, 125th Street in Harlem, Beale Street in Memphis, and Sweet Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. They tell the story of the black freedom struggle and the quest for equal citizenship during the American Century.

The National Park Service (NPS) takes responsibility for preserving and teaching about the places that have been central in the making of African American memory, including the home of ASALH’s founder Carter G. Woodson. ASALH joins the National Park Service in celebration of the centennial year of the NPS and in recognition of its preserving the hallowed grounds of African Americans and all Americans.
Deadlines for submission of proposals are as follow: Early Bird submission deadline for individual papers and panel submissions is April 15th. Individual and panel submission deadline is April 30th.

All proposals must be submitted electronically to ASALH through the All Academic online system.

For complete panels that are submitted by April 15, day and time preferences will be given on a first come first served basis. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which can be downloaded here, for submission requirements for the various kinds of sessions.

Audio\Visual: Only panel proposal submitters will receive complimentary audio/visual equipment on a first come first served basis.
Sundiata Cha-Jua ( and Lionel Kimble  ( Co-Chairs of the 101st Academic Program Committee
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