National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) is a student established organization dedicated to the advancement of the field of Africana/African American/Black Studies. It is a not-for-profit organization established in 1975. The National Council for Black Studies was founded and first housed at the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte by the UNC Charlotte Black Student Union.
Within the context of the Civil Rights Movement, a growing recognition of the need for the study of African-American world experience spurred student movements on several campuses for inclusive educations. The Black Studies movement (1968–1969) and the Black University concept (late-1960s) helped create more African and African diaspora-centered courses on various campuses. In April 1968, a national conference for Black teachers took place.
Bertha Maxwell Roddey spearheaded NCBS in 1975 as part of this larger movement for African American studies. However, before its inception, Maxwell Roddey's pioneering work at UNC Charlotte included a Black Studies program that served as the inspiration and backdrop for the NCBS's structure, philosophy, and aims, in addition to the meetings and conferences that Dr. Maxwell Roddey organized.
Maxwell Roddey realized the need for Black Studies education at UNC Charlotte, and although not originally a program that conferred an undergraduate or graduate degree, the Black Studies program at UNC Charlotte was integral to the creation of NCBS. Dr. Maxwell Roddey was the first black teacher at UNC Charlotte and also a co-founder of the Afro-American Cultural Center in North Carolina, now the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She was also the president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority from 1992 to 1996.
The Black Studies program at UNC Charlotte was conceptualized to address the "academic, intellectual, social, and economic life of the Black student." This was realized through a series of phases, which were levels of academic courses through which students would complete; they are as follows:
- Phase I: Who Am I?
- Phase II: Why Am I Here?
- Phase III: Where Did I Come From?
- Phase IV: Where Do I Go From Here?
Each phase included community service projects and the higher levels or phases also included research projects while the lower levels or phases were intro-level or survey classes concerning African American history and other disciplines. The Black Studies committee envisioned the program to both benefit the community and work in tandem with the entire university through an interdisciplinary approach.
Several organizations were affiliated with the Black Studies program including: the Black Student Union, Black Gospel Choir, Basketball, Student Government, and various Black and historical Black sororities and fraternities.
Early History of NCBS
The initial philosophy of the Council was that "Education should engender both academic excellence and social responsibility." The NCBS desired to expand and strengthen academic units and community programs concerned with African American studies. It originally operated as an organization for Black Studies professionals with the aim of developing the field as a respected academic discipline.
Mission & Philosophy
Members of NCBS are committed to the proliferation of the field of Africana Studies. Their work has promoted and retained K-12, community college, and university curricula inclusive to the experience and contributions of African diaspora peoples and other marginalized peoples. NCBS actively:
- Facilitates, through consultation and other services, the recruitment of Black Scholars for all levels of teaching and research in universities and colleges;
- Assists in the creation and implementation of multicultural education programs and materials for K-12 schools and higher education institutions;
- Promotes scholarly African-centered research on all aspects of the African World experience;
- Increases and improves informational resources on Pan-African life and culture to be made available to the general public;
- Provides professional advice to policymakers in education, government and community development;
- Maintains international linkages among Africana Studies scholars; and
- Works for the empowerment of African People.
NCBS also has a community grant available for members to apply for. The funding has helped new leaders and scholars bring African Studies to various communities.
NCBS is currently housed at The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, with its previous base in Atlanta, Georgia.
- "NCBS Online - About NCBS". ncbsonline.org. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "Terms & Questions | 1968: A Global Year of Student Driven Change". www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- Asante, Molefi Kete; Mazama, Ama (2005). Encyclopedia of Black Studies. SAGE. ISBN 9780761927624.
- "Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, PhD - SC African American". SC African American. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - About Delta Sigma Theta". 2007-10-28. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- Black Studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Black Studies Brochure (Charlotte, North Carolina: UNC Charlotte, 1975-1976). Currently housed in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- "NCBS Online - About NCBS". www.ncbsonline.org. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "Bill Text - ACR-71 Africana studies programs". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "The Official Kwanzaa Web Site - Kwanzaa African American Celebration of Family, Community and Culture by Maulana Karenga". www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org. Archived from the original on 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
- "NCBS Online - NCBS Civic & Community Education & Engagement Grants Program". www.ncbsonline.org. Retrieved 2017-08-05.