Jeffrey Stewart On The Humanities at Howard

I’ve had the pleasure of serving as the Chair of the Humanities Division at Howard for the past two years. I am equally pleased that my term has come to an end. My final task in that role was to bring Jeffrey Stewart, Professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara, to campus. He has written what I predict will be the most important biography of Alain Locke, chair of Howard’s Department of Philosophy for decades, midwife to the Harlem Renaissance, and (as Elroy reminds me) a Sigma man. Stewart’s book, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, is a long-list nominee for the national book award.

This event would not have happened without the support of my colleagues in the Humanities Division, Greg Carr (chair of Afro-American Studies), and Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (where Stewart conducted the bulk of the research for this book and where I worked as an undergraduate). I could not be happier with how this event turned out.

Also, I found another of Stewart’s books on Locke on my bookshelf. When I looked inside, I realized that he signed it. It had to have been when I was a student worker at Moorland-Spingarn. The inscription reads: “July 27, 1998. To Yolonda Wilson— With deepest thanks for your interest in me and my work. Best wishes for your career, Jeffrey C. Stewart.” I shared this with him and the standing-room only crowd that gathered for Stewart’s talk. This was yet another of those “coming full circle” moments at Howard…

Here is a link to Stewart’s talk delivered Monday, September 24, 2018 at 3p.m. in the Browsing Room of Founders Library at Howard University.

Yolonda WilsonComment