Black history is so vast and complex that a lot of research and study continues today. Researchers will present findings from their individual research papers at the fourth annual Black History Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 7:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3 at Seattle University, 901 12th Ave.
Hosted by the Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation, the nonprofit organization locates, collects, preserves and disseminates historical and genealogical information related to the African American community.
This year's theme is "The Black Experience: Presenting History's Hidden Pages (Previously Avoided, Dismissed, Forgotten, Submerged or Unknown)."
"Black history has been hidden or ignored so we wanted to bring out the fact that there are other things that you might not read in the history books," said Ed Diaz, president of the research organization. "We also want to give people that option to start exploring and looking at their history. We want the general public to be able to attend this and get something out of this. So far it's been very successful."
Held during Black History Month since 2004, the conference — although it started as a northwest endeavor — has become an international event, Diaz said.
The conference is expected to draw more than 200 attendees from across the nation, including participants from other countries such as Brazil, Turkey, England and India.
More than 60 historians, authors, independent scholars and educators will speak at the conference, presenting individual research papers on findings which one would not necessarily find in their history books.
"We're bringing together a wide range of people to share with others their findings on Black research and hope that others will leave the conference more empowered and informed than when they first arrived," Diaz said. "We're excited to bring such dynamic professors and educators together for one day to share, explore and learn about each other's individual research papers. A lot of valuable information will be shared at the conference."
There will be more than 20 sessions on presentations of research papers, panels and workshops, including "The History of Hip-Hop and its Use in the Classroom" and "The Evolution of Black Progressive Politics."
Dr. Violet Malone, professor of adult higher education for the Woodridge College of Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham is the keynote speaker.
Malone will speak on "The Diaspora of the Black Experience: Forgotten, Lost, Misplaced, Unknown!" The focus will be on the scattering of the Black experience across the globe relative to creativity and social justice. Malone challenges us to remember the richness of our heritage and take action to spread that richness to others in the community.
Malone serves as WWU faculty liaison for the community leadership advisory committee for the Woodring Council. In this role she has served a four-year term on the board of directors for the Northwest Jazz Alliance. She provided the leadership for the recent African American Women in Jazz event, which featured Marlena Shaw. Malone has spent most of her career working with adults in some phase of transition. She conducts short courses, workshops and seminars on learning and teaching in adulthood, leadership in community based organizations, voluntary work and changes and transitions.
The honorary conference chair is Dr. Tunde Adeleke, a Nigerian professor of history and director of the African American Studies program at Iowa State University.
For more information, or to see the full conference schedule visit www.aahrp.org.
The conference registration fee costs $60 per person. Registration is available at the Student Center, Room 160 beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Registration must be paid in cash or by check. No credit cards will be accepted.