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Africana Studies Program

Events & Conferences



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Poem on yellow backgroud and patterned border

Poem on blue background with patterned backgroud

Academic Excellence AwardAfrican American Woman in graduation cap and gown

Women's History Month EventsSanibonani Open Mic Night for Poets, Writers, and Musicians. Sign up in-person for the Open Mic 6 - 6:30pm. Celebrate Women's History Month and your original work! At the Ellipse Gallery on March 23 from 6 to 9 pm.

 List of BHM events

Sankofa Film Festival Dates for Feburary

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Ph.D. Lecture

Mardi Gras Amazing Race Event

Sanibonani Open Mic Night in February

/Sawubona/ noun
Zulu greeting that translates to “I see you.” More than words of politeness, sawubona carries the importance of recognizing the worth and dignity of each person. It says, “I see the whole of you – your experiences, your passions, your pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future. You are valuable to me.” Sanibonani is the plural form of  "Sawubona."

Celebrating 50+ Years of Black Studies with California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D.

Certificate of Appreciation for Dr. Weber

Program for Dr. Weber Lecture

* This program was established by the late English professor, Dr. James E. Walton, and Dr. Malik Simba.  Myrdal‘s great 1944 work entitled An American Dilemma described the gap between American ideals of “life, liberty, and justice for all” and the reality of oppressed communities of racial minorities. However, King’s dream was to achieve, in struggle, a beloved community where all individuals would be judged by the “content of their character.” Visiting lecturers give keynote addresses critically assessing Myrdal’s Dilemma versus King’s Dream. *

* This program was established in 2002 by Dr. Malik Simba.  Each year a distinguished scholar of Africana Studies is brought to campus to give a keynote address. Past topics have included “Black Lives Matter;” “Black Philosophy and Philosophers”; “Black Women’s Literature”; “We Have Come This Far by Faith: Liberation Theology and Destiny in the African American Religious Experience”; “W.E.B. DuBois: Souls of Black Folk and the American Experience”; and “Beyond the White Shadow: The Black Athlete, Racism, and the American Experience.” *

* Event Flyers:
2011: Symposium flyer- We have Come this Far by Faith 
2014: 8th symposium flyer- Black Women's Literary Expressions: Aesthetic Writings, Political Writings, and Autobiographical Writings 
2015: 9th symposium flyer- Black Lives Matter: Willie Horton and the American Dilemma  |  9th symposium photo of faculty and staff attendees
2016: 10th symposium flyer- Study and Struggle in Africana Studies: Past, Present, and Future
2017: 11th symposium flyer- 2016 Presidential Election Make America White Again
2019: 13th symposium flyer- Black Christology and the Quest for Authenticity: A philosphical Appraisal
2020: 14th symposium flyer- The Coronavirus and the Virus of Racism: Race, Class and GenderAsset aws-socialsciences aais campus resources cannot be shown in WYSIWYG.




* The Black Popular Culture Lecture Series and Online Research Archive emphasizes the impact people of African descent have had on both popular culture in American and American culture overall, encompassing Hip-Hop, rhythm and blues, the blues, jazz, dance, instrumentation, film, television, graphic novels, and much, much more.  With the support of the College of Social Sciences' grant support as seed money, the Archive serves as an archive for oral interviews, original recordings, a means for publishing on pop culture topics, and holding invited lecture series on various topics. *



The African American Recognition Ceremony conducted annually for graduating African American Students carries with it a proud heritage spanning more than 20 years. The first event, hosted in 1984, set the tone for this prestigious event that is attended by over 1,800 each year. This “rite of passage” has become a powerful celebration of achievements by African American students and their families. It also serves as an inspirational tool for students still laboring toward fulfilling their degree requirements. Often the Recognition Ceremony Committee is approached by continuing and potential students who share their excitement about one day being included in this celebration.

This annual event is hosted by the Fresno State Cross Cultural and Gender Center. The Annual African American Recognition Ceremony takes place in May each year. Contact John Hunt at (559) 278-4435 or email for more information. 

***To register for this years Recognition Ceremony go to

Alhaji Papa Susso

More photos on the Photo Gallery page

As part of the 2003 Black History Month Cerebrations at Fresno State, The Ethnic Studies Program co-sponsored (with the University Lecture Series) an electrifying performance of Alhaji Papa Susso and his Manding Music and Dance Society at the Satellite Student Union on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003. The group was in Fresno for three days during which time it conducted workshops and lectures in classes at Fresno State, Fresno City College, Garfield Elementary School, Clovis, Lincoln Elementary School, Fresno, Selma Elementary, Selma. The group was also the special guest at the Poetry Jam, Coffee House and Pub, Fresno State.

Papa Susso hails from a long line of Griots (traditional oral historians) and has been playing the Kora since he was five years old. The Kora was invented by the "Susso" family of the Mandinka ethnic group. It is a 21-stringed harp-lute unique to the western- most part of Africa and is meant to be played only by the Jali (professional musicians, praise singers and oral historians), who were traditionally attached to the royal courts. Their duties included recounting ethnic history and genealogy, composing commemorative songs and performing at important social events. It is with the help of the "Susso" family that Alex Hailey was successful in tracing his family's ROOTS to The Gambia.

After obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in business administration, and holding several civil government positions as a senior Accountant, Papa formed his own cultural organization: The Manding Music and Dance Limited, a school dedicated to keeping African culture alive.

Papa Susso has performed for several heads of state and governments and the United Nations Organization. He was appointed Chief Kora Player of The Gambia national Cultural Troup. He has also performed with several symphony orchestras and is a premier performer in the "American Classic African Portraits" by Hannibal Peterson. In 1991 he was appointed Regent’s Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 note icon Listen to Papa Susso's Music

Click here to download Real One Player

Traditional Kora Music from Gambia
Kelepha Ba 
Jawra Ya 
Hydera Sirifo 

A Gathering of Elders: Al-Haji Papa Susso
Steal Away 
Tabara (with Bishop Patrick & Rev. Michelle Lawyer) 
Kunkuba (with Bishop Patrick & Rev. Michelle Lawyer) 
Kaira (with Bishop Patrick & Rev. Michelle Lawyer) 
Mamya (with Bishop Patrick & Rev. Michelle Lawyer) 
Amazing Grace

In an effort to attract and recruit African American students to California State University, Fresno, the School of Education and Human Development Education Equity Committee has been hosting the Annual African American Future Teacher Fair. This event is coordinated by the Office of University Outreach Services. The focus of the conference is to:

  • interact with educational administrators and school counselors;
  • encourage participants to begin the process of setting educational goals;
  • allow students to explore how an education provides tools for the future; provide exposure to California State University, Fresno; and
  • encourage students to pursue careers in education

The planning committee invites area high school teachers and counselors to identify and bring aspiring young people to participate in the program at no cost. Students have the opportunity to meet Fresno State students and staff during the day, which gives them a chance to ask questions and explore their educational goals. This conference was held on Tuesday, March 18, 2003.


* This program was established by Dr. Malik Simba with the support of the Africana Studies Program’s faculty to sponsor an annual art gallery display which corresponds to the program’s required “outcomes assessment” diagnostics.  Students are required to view artwork from the Malik and Ceroasetta Simba Private Collection and write essays explaining which artworks correspond to specific, required curriculum outcomes.  *

2013: Black Agitprop Opening Poster
2015: Black Agitprop Flyer (2015)
2018: Black Agitprop Flyer (2018)

~Please see photo galleries below. 



  • ART pieces
    Three Art Pieces
  • Gallery hall
    Gallery Wall
  • four art pieces
    Art Gallery Wall
  • Art wall 5 pictures
    Art Gallery Wall 2
  • art wall 4 images
    Art Gallery Wall 3
  • agitprop 2018
    Black Agitprop 2018

  • Ceroasetta and Gloria
    Ceroasetta Simba and Gloria Major
  • Dr. Schettler & Reese
    Dr. Meta Schettler and Dr. DeAnna Reese
  • Dr. F,S,S,&R
    Dr. Fu, Dr. Simba, Dr. Schettler, and Dr. Reese
  • Packing up end of day
  • attendees
    Black Agitprop Attendees
  • Dr. F&S
    Dr. Fu and Dr. Simba
  • Dr. Simba & Provost Zelezny
    Dr. Simba with Provost Zelezny
  • simba, parker, and hogue
    Dr. Malik Simba, Savander Parker, and Kendell Hogue

  • Dr. K and O
    Dr. Jean Kennedy and Dr. Oputa
  • students
    2011 Agitprop Students
  • Jackson, Simba, Johnson
    Alstelma T. Jackson, Ceroasetta Simba, and Diane Johnson
  • guest attendees
  • Dr. H and I
    Dr. Herrera and Dr. Aparecida-Lopez
  • students
    Student with Dr. Small and Dr. Schettler
  • Dr. W and C
    Dr. Walton and Dr. Cheek
  • Thomas Russell
    Thomas Russell by Art Wall
  • green and ellis
    Mr. Homer Green, Jr. and Dr. Thomas-Whit Ellis

Campus Resources: