Leroy Davis

Associate Professor of History and African American Studies

Biography

Leroy Davis, (B.A., Howard University, 1976; M.A., 1978; Ph.D., Kent State University, 1990); 20th Century African American and American history, 20th Century African Diaspora.

I am especially interested in cross-cultural experiences of African descendant peoples throughout the African Diaspora, which is the focus of my current research project tentatively entitled “Without Apology: The Life of Mariamne Samad, 20th Century Black Nationalist in Harlem and Jamaica.” The work is a working-class life history or biography of Harlem-born Mariamne Samad, a 90 year-old black cultural nationalist whose parents were followers of Marcus Garvey. Samad’s life experiences include family connections in Sierra Leone in West Africa, Georgetown, Guyana (her father’s birthplace) in South America, and Kingston, Jamaica (where she still resides) in the Caribbean. I am especially interested in immigrant and emigrant identities as they adjust to realities in different geographical spaces with both similar and different definitions of race. I am also interested in how issues of class, gender, complexion and religion (she is Muslim) also complicate interactions between nationals and expatriates in different black transnational societies.

Recent African American Studies courses include the following: African American History to and from 1865; Garvey and Garveyism; Black Transnational Leadership; 20th Century Black Nationalism; Transnational Black Experience on Film; Black Power in Africa and the African Diaspora.

Books include co-editor, African Experience in Community Development: The Continuing Struggle in Africa and the Americas, Vols. I, II (revised edition 1993); author of A Clashing of the Soul: John Hope and the Dilemma of African American Leadership and Black Education in the Early 20th Century (1998), which won the Lillian Smith Book award.