November 19, 2012
Table of Contents:
British Library acquires the archive of Caribbean British poet and writer, James Berry
FIU Eric Williams Lecture Celebrates Jamaica/Trinidad and Tobago's 50th Anniversary of Independence


The Department of Africana Studies at the University of South Florida welcomes applications for the position of Instructor beginning in August 2013. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Minimum qualifications include a Master's degree in any of the Social Sciences or Humanities with prior college teaching experience, though a Ph.D. is preferred and ABDs will be considered. The successful candidate will be expected to teach various courses relating to the discipline of Africana Studies, especially the "Introduction to the Black Experience" course, which is part of the USF General Education program. Scholars who can teach additional courses relating to current issues of race, racism and/or human rights within the United States and/or the broader African Diaspora are especially encouraged to apply.  

Minimum Qualifications (Education & Experience):

Master's degree in any of the disciplines in the Social Sciences or Humanities. Prior college teaching experience.  

Preferred Qualifications (Education & Experience):

-Ph.D. in any of the disciplines in the Social Sciences or Humanities.
-Online teaching experience.
-Ability to teach courses relating to current issues of race, racism and/or human rights within the United States and/or the broader African Diaspora.  

Special Skills/Licenses/Training/Certifications Necessary:


Position Number:


Posting Number:


Application Deadline Date:


Advertisement Date:


Additional Information for Applicants:

Please upload (1) letter of interest, (2) vitae, (3) writing sample, and (4) teaching portfolio, which should include a statement on teaching philosophy and may contain previous course syllabi and/or evaluations.

Please arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to Dr. Edward Kissi, Department of Africana Studies, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, FAO 270, Tampa, FL 33620.

Application deadline is January 7, 2013.

For more information visit USF is an Equal opportunity Institution. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

This position is subject to a Criminal Background Check.  

Application Posting Date:



British Library acquires the archive of Caribbean British poet and writer, James Berry
The British Library has acquired the archive of the Caribbean British poet and writer, James Berry OBE. James Berry, one of the first black writers in Britain to be widely recognised for his work, came to Britain as part of the first major wave of immigrants from the Caribbean in 1948. He is now celebrated not only in the literary field, but also within communities encouraging and championing the work of new black writers in Britain. Held each October in Britain, Black History Month aims to promote Black history, culture and heritage; as part of which the Library has hosted a series of events.

Berry's archive includes poetry notebooks spanning the length of his career, along with manuscript and typescript drafts of his poetry and prose (including notes for an unpublished novel), diaries, photographs and audio visual material. Notes and heavily annotated drafts in the archive illustrate Berry's creative process and the meticulous attention to detail in his writing. As well as revealing the complex processes behind the creative development of Berry's poetry and prose, this unique material provides an illuminating first hand insight into the challenging circumstances that many immigrants to Britain faced in the 1940s and '50s.

James Berry was born in Jamaica in 1924. He worked as an international telegraphist until 1977 when he took early retirement in order to dedicate himself solely to his writing. The archive spans the length of Berry's literary career from the 1960s to the present, including his early short stories and pieces written for radio broadcasts, including Women's Hour, in the 1960s and '70s. Berry has published poetry collections for adults and children. His adult collections include Lucy's Letters and Loving (1982), Hot Earth, Cold Earth (1995) and Windrush Songs (2007). His work has won accolades nationally: he has been the recipient of the National Poetry Award and the Cholmondeley Award, given by the Society of Authors. In the USA he has received the Horne     Book Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for his children's fiction. He was awarded an OBE in 1990 and has received an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University.

Much of Berry's work explores the relationship between black and white communities; in particular, the excitement and tensions in the evolving relationship of the Caribbean immigrants with Britain and British society from the 1940s onwards. Windrush Songs (2007), perhaps Berry's best     known poetry collection, has at its heart the experiences of those who felt compelled by economic and social circumstances to leave their homelands in the Caribbean and seek opportunities abroad. As Berry explains in the introduction to the poetry collection, their decision to leave was often tempered by mixed emotions: 'here we were, hating the place we loved, because it was on the verge of choking us to death'. Giving a voice to these communities, and the cross-currents - social, emotional, linguistic - between them, Berry's poems are characterised by the juxtaposition of Standard English with the rhythms of the Jamaican language with which he grew up.

He has also edited a number of poetry anthologies, among them Bluefoot Traveller: An Anthology of Westindian Poets in Britain (1976). His lifelong passion for and involvement with education, which has included a year spent as Writer-in-Residence at Vauxhall Manor School in London in 1978 and innumerable visits to primary and secondary schools, has developed out of a concern about the low priority given to multi-cultural education in British schools. He has stated his desire to demonstrate the vibrancy and beauty of poetry written in Creole (the West Indian vernacular) to black children both in Britain and in the Caribbean.

James Berry was one of the early members of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) which was founded by Andrew Salkey, John la Rose and Edward Kamau Brathwaite in 1966. The founders of CAM sought to increase recognition of West Indian art forms in Britain and to encourage and mentor burgeoning writers, poets and artists. Just as Berry's writing and his anthologies have encouraged black children to read and enjoy West Indian poetry, his involvement with CAM enabled him to champion the work of younger black writers and poets, for whom he has worked as a tireless advocate.

The archive, which has been purchased by the British Library for �23,000, will be made available to researchers once necessary preservation, sorting and cataloguing work have been carried out. The archive joins the Library's collection as Black History Month draws to a close and the Library hosts the conclusion of its Black History Month events series:'Readers Research: Black in Renaissance Britain' on 19 October examines the findings of two of the Library's readers; Miranda Kaufmann reveals how the Library manuscript collection lead to her discovery of 135 Africans spending a week outside Bristol in 1590, whereas, Michael Ohajuru talks about his use of the Library to gain an insight into the making, location and viewing of a roodscreen featuring a black magus found in early 16th century Devon.

James Berry said:

"I made my work for other people to read and I always hoped that readers would get something special out of it. So I am deeply satisfied that the British Library should have taken on my archive as a resource for students and for anybody interested in the writing of poetry and in the development of Caribbean British literature."

Helen Melody, Curator of Modern Literary Manuscripts at the British Library said:

"The British Library is delighted to have acquired this significant archive, which provides researchers with a real insight into the life and work of one of the first black writers in Britain to gain widespread recognition. London has had a long history of welcoming waves of migrants from around the world and the inclusion of this material in the national collections will enable research into, and greater awareness of, the significant impact of the Caribbean Diaspora within the literary landscape of the UK."

Dr Stewart Brown, Reader in Caribbean Literature at University of Birmingham commented:

"One of the things that distinguishes James Berry's work from that of other migrant writers who began to write about the experience of 'settling in' - to use a pretty euphemism - in Britain in the decades after the Second World War, is its essential quality of celebration. It is a celebration tempered by a consciousness of all in West Indian history and the migrant experience that would defy celebration, but his urge to find value and sometimes joy in both the remembered life of his rural Jamaican childhood and in his sojourn as a "bluefoot traveller" in Britain through the last sixty years, is the real motive force of his work."

For more information contact:
Mel Rouse
t:+44 (0) 20 7412 7110

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages. 




FIU Eric Williams Lecture Celebrates Jamaica/Trinidad and Tobago's 50th Anniversary of Independence

MIAMI, FL. (October 15, 2012)- The 14th Annual Eric E. Williams Memorial Lecture at Florida International University's Modesto Maidique campus (11200 Southwest Eighth Street, Miami, Florida) will take place at the Green Library, GL 100 on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

This year, the African & African Diaspora Studies Program's Distinguished Africana Scholars Lecture hosts two prominent speakers: Rachel Manley, daughter and granddaughter    of two former Jamaican Prime Ministers; and Reginald Dumas, a veteran of Trinidad and Tobago's Foreign Service and former U.N. Special Adviser on Haiti. "50 Years After Independence: A Manley Perspective," and "50 Years After Independence, Is Eric Williams Still Relevant?" promise to address critical issues pertaining to the last half-century of development - its successes and failures - in both countries.

As a Caribbean literary personality and winner of Jamaica's Centennial Medal for Poetry, Ms. Manley teaches literary non-fiction and memoir in the MFA program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a frequent contributor to literary anthologies and writes book reviews for leading newspapers in North America and Britain. She is a Mary Ingram Bunting Fellow of Radcliffe University, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Rockefeller, Bellagio Fellow.

Appointed ambassador at the age of 38, Mr. Dumas has served his country in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and North America. In 1988, he retired as Ambassador to Washington and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), and was appointed Permanent Secretary (Chief of Staff) to the Prime Minister and Head of the country's Public Service. He has also represented the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in various fora.

Established in 1999, the Lecture honors the distinguished Caribbean statesman Eric E. Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Head of Government for a quarter of a century until his death in 1981. He led the country to Independence from Britain in 1962 and onto Republicanism in 1976. A consummate academic and historian, and author of several books, Dr. Williams is best known for his groundbreaking work, the 68-year-old Capitalism and Slavery, which has been translated into seven languages, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese and this year, Turkish. Popularly referred to as The Williams Thesis, this landmark text continues to inform today's ongoing debate and remains "years ahead of its time...this profound critique is still the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development," according to the New York Times.
Among prior Eric Williams Memorial Lecture speakers have been: the late John Hope Franklin, one of America's premier historians of the African-American experience; Kenneth Kaunda, former President of the Republic of Zambia; Cynthia Pratt, Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas; Mia Mottley, Attorney General of Barbados; Beverly Anderson-Manley, former First Lady of Jamaica; Portia Simpson Miller, now Prime Minister of Jamaica; the celebrated civil rights activist Angela Davis; and prize-winning Haitian author Edwige Danticat.

The Lecture, which seeks to provide an intellectual forum for the examination of pertinent issues in Caribbean and African Diaspora history and politics, is co-sponsored by: the Caribbean Consular Corps (Miami); Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs; FIU: College of Arts and Sciences, School of International and Public Affairs, Ruth K. and Shepard Broad International Lecture Series, The Honors College, Latin American and Caribbean Center, AADS Graduate Students Association, Caribbean Students Association, Council of Student Organizations, Student Government Association, Student Programming Council; Bilmor With Advertising Specialties, Inc.; Diane Galloway's Herbal Gardens, Inc.; Edwards & Partners; Emile Sabga; Lennox Scope; Aryian & Gieowar Singh; Mervyn Solomon; Linda Spears-Bunton; Joy's Roti Delight; Miami Dade College - Prof. Leroy Lashley; Zyscovich Architects.

The Lecture is also supported by The Eric Williams Memorial Collection at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago campus), which was inaugurated by former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell in 1998. It was named to UNESCO's prestigious Memory of the World Register in 1999.

Books by and about Eric Williams, Rachel Manley and Reginald Dumas will be available for purchase and signing at the Lecture.

For more information, please contact 305-348-6860/271-7246 or
- EWMC -
Media Contact: Erica Williams Connell 305-905-9999



Join Our Mailing List