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Black Studies

Afrikan Martial Arts

Laurence Pommells ('11); Sid Lemelle

The purpose of this project is to further the scholarship on martial arts and sciences originating from the West and Central Regions of Afrika. For the West and Central Afrikan Martial Arts serves as a cultural anchor for which rules of etiquettes, social conduct, community building, and prestige are derived. Blended with the local cosmology of the area, Afrikan Martial arts connect Afrikans with their ancestors. Through a syncretic mixing of religious practice, dance, and warfare Afrikan Martial Arts has survived the middle passage, slavery, and exists in Northern Hemisphere. Known by names such as Capoiera, Egbe Ogun, Knocking and Kicking, or Kicking a Wrap, Afrikans martial arts has remained a visually obscure but present tool by which Afrikans has used for resistance, community building, and conflict resolution.
Funding provided by: Pomona College National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Dr. John Henrik Clarke

Denyse Walls ('11); Sid Lemelle

Professor John Henrik Clarke was one of the leading intellectuals within academia in the 1960s. His contributions to field of World History and Africana Studies are far too numerous to count. Through his writings, lectures, and ongoing pursuit on knowledge he has paved the way for Africana Studies and Ethnic Studies departments through out the nation. Unfortunately, the voices of Professor Clarke and other pioneers of Africana Studies are slowly becoming forgotten. In attempt to preserve their stories, I have conducted a series of interviews with intellectuals who played a significant roles in Professor Clarke’s life. In particular, I have documented the life of his last wife, Sybil Williams Clarke. Through my interviews and readings of his work, I was able to closely examine the life of Professor John Henrik Clarke.
Funding provided by: Pomona College National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Research at Pomona