At its national conference in San Diego last March, the National Council for Black Studies awarded Dr. Ama Mazama, an associate professor in the African American Studies department here, with the Anna Julia Cooper/CLR James Award for Promotion of Scholarly Publications.
The award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly in the Africana Studies field.
In a press release, Dr. Molefi Asante, a professor in the African American Studies department said, “The recognition by the National Council for Black Studies further underscores the impact that Dr. Mazama
has in African American Studies.”
Mazama, who is originally from Guadeloupe,
an archipelago in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea, came to the United States in 1987. Before arriving in the U.S., she studied at Paris’ La Sorbonne University and earned a Ph.D. in linguistics.
Mazama has taught at the University of Texas, Austin, and Penn State University in State College.
She came to Temple in 1993 and has taught courses such as Caribbean culture and politics, Afrocentricity and Africa in the 20th Century.
Mazama said the department’s “Afrocentric orientation” is one reason she enjoys teaching in it.
“It allows us to produce scholarship that can be liberating,” Mazama said.”It has meant a lot to be a part of this department,” Mazama said, “because it was the first.”
“I have always said that she is one of the most brilliant intellectuals in the field. “She greatly deserves this honor and I am proud to be her colleague,” Asante said.
Asante was instrumental in the founding of the world’s first doctoral program in African American Studies here in 1987.
Mazama has authored works such as “L’imperatif Afrocentrique” and “The Afrocentric Paradigm.” She is the associate editor of the “Journal of Black Studies.”
Charmie R. Snetter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.