The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Annual Conference is an occasion to explore the history and culture of people of African descent. The conference assembles more than 1,000 educators, students, community leaders, business professionals, and others who share an interest in learning about the contributions of African Americans to this nation and the world.
For over a century, the ASALH annual conference has featured a rich program, which now includes scholarly sessions, professional workshops, plenaries, a film festival and other presentations that analyze and illuminate a critical theme in the Black experience. The 2019 conference is being held October 2–6, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Convention Center in North Charleston (5055 International Blvd.). Attendees from across America and beyond will participate in more than 200 sessions, featuring ASALH members who are prominent figures in Black cultural studies, as well as students from many disciplines.
Conference sessions will explore this year’s theme Black Migrations, and the many aspects of Black life, history, and culture. Featured sessions include “Martha Jones’ Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America” featuring Mary Frances Berry (University of Pennsylvania), Martha S. Jones (Johns Hopkins University), Christopher Bonner (University of Maryland), and Christopher Cameron (University of North Carolina at Charlotte) and “Migration Matters: Black Women and the Shifting Politics of Race, Space, and Place” featuring Devin Fergus (University of Missouri), Ingrid Banks (University of California, Santa Barbara), Shennette Garrett-Scott (University of Mississippi), Treva Lindsey (The Ohio State University) and Terrance Wooten (University of California, Santa Barbara).
Another conference highlight is a Friday luncheon panel entitled, Bible Study (The Story of the Mother Emanuel AME Church Massacre in Charleston, SC) featuring a discussion of the June 17, 2015 murders of nine church members with Councilman William Dudley Gregorie, moderator, who lost a family member, Susie J. Jackson; Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor, Mother Emanuel AME Church; Polly Sheppard, one of the adult survivors; Rev. Dr. Brenda Nelson, ministerial staff 2015-2019, who lost a best friend, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor; and Melvin Graham, brother of Cynthia Graham Hurd.