Issue 6

ARTICLE | Issue 6



Dear Reader,

I am pleased to present Issue 6 of the HBCU Speakers Bureau and Research Magazine.  Articles  feature the accomplishments of several HBCU alumni, faculty and associates, and other news of critical national and global impact.

In this issue, we announce a partnership between SAGE publications and Universal Write Publications, created by Ayo Sekai, CEO of Universal Write Publications and a recent Howard Ph.D. graduate.


This issue also features the Maroon Artisan Commemorative Candle created by Howard alumna Frankie Bethea and her business partner, Ryan Waddy. The candle was presented to event participants, including the five survivors, at the 1921 Tulsa Riots anniversary held last spring.   The issue showcases the award winning film, Tal Jones:  A Black Oil Legacy, produced by Howard alumnus Dr. Bernard Moore, and the award-winning film producer Pamela Richardson.


Book reviews include What’s Wrong With Us Kali Women, the fourth book of poetry by international poet and former Howard administrator, Dr. Anita Nahal; They Used to Call Me Brother, the autobiography of community activist Hank Wall, and Black Elder Speaks by the prolific writer/poet/educator Frederick Harper.
In global health news, the CDC website provides an update on the Delta virus. And among HBCU grant acquisitions, we note that Florida A & M’s recent $1.2 million grant from NASA will make a critical impact on the number of African Americans in the field of aerospace engineering.


Finally, we announce  that Howard University has renamed its College of Fine Arts to the Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts.  Bosman was star in the globally acclaimed movie, Black Panther, and actor/director in other notable films. The renaming of the college follows the appointment of award winning actor/Howard alumna Phyllicia Rashad as the new dean of the college.


Check out these articles in the latest issue of the online magazine at




Gwendolyn S. Bethea, Ph.D.




Dr. Ayo Sekai

SAGE Enters Three-Year Partnership with Universal Write Publications to Publish African- and Black-Centered Titles

UWP Currently Seeking Proposals for New Titles


LOS ANGELES, CA (July 14, 2021) SAGE Publishing and Universal Write Publications LLC (UWP) signed an agreement for SAGE to sponsor nine titles to support the growth of UWP, a Black-owned social science publishing company. Through the publication and promotion of academic books and articles, UWP represents voices of the Academic Diaspora to broaden worldviews through research that uses interdisciplinary theories with an emphasis on African and Black-centered scholarship.


While SAGE will not take any stake in the company, SAGE will hold a position on UWP’s Board of Directors, offering publishing advice and support.


Dr. Ayo Sekai, a political scientist (Howard University, 2020) and linguist, founded UWP in 2004 to publish her own fiction and children’s books. From there she shifted the one-woman company’s focus onto academic, peer-reviewed work that demonstrates a commitment to African agency and African narratives. With $600 she relaunched UWP. The company has since published important titles such as Molefi Kete Asante’s The Precarious Center, Nah Dove’s The Afrocentric School, and We Will Tell Our Own Story by Adebayo C. Akomolafe.
The three-year agreement with SAGE will allow UWP to expand its recruitment of new authors and books. UWP is currently seeking proposals for nine new titles. Instructions for submissions to the UWP publishing program can be found at


“SAGE, at this moment, is changing my life in ways I could never have imagined,” says Dr. Sekai. “SAGE has seen a value in UWP that can shift the consciousness and impact of not just my legacy, but the legacy of Afrocentricity, the legacy of Black and African history, and the legacy of our academic and scholarly voices. UWP in its rebirth is a form of resistance in itself. It is a reclaiming of Black agency, through the lens of Afrocentricity, to preserve the stories and memories of not just part of the narrative, but all of it. Thank you to Sara Miller McCune, founder of SAGE, for your vision and for being a visionary, and to Blaise Simqu, SAGE’s CEO, for your mentorship.”


“I cannot think of a more propitious development in academic publishing than this remarkable partnership between SAGE and Universal Write Publications,” comments Dr. Asante, professor in the Department of Africology at Temple University and Board Director of UWP. “SAGE’s willingness to help UWP ‘stand up’ is a testament to the early faith that its publisher, Sara Miller McCune, had to the idea of the Journal of Black Studies and the continuing emphasis on creating social and cultural value in our society.”


Blaise Simqu, CEO of SAGE Publishing, noted that SAGE was the founding publisher of the Journal of Black Studies in conjunction with Dr. Asante in 1970, and that Dr. Asante was the bridge between SAGE and UWP. “We are proud of the research published and our 50-year relationship with Dr. Asante, and in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, we began having deeper discussions about the importance of Black-owned businesses, and, more precisely, Black-owned publishers. Dr. Asante introduced SAGE to a young, energetic publisher named Ayo Sekai, the founder of UWP, who reminded us all of our founder who started the company with $500 in 1965.”

For more on UWP, visit


About SAGE Publishing

SAGE is a global academic publisher of books, journals, and a growing suite of library products and services. Driven by the belief that social and behavioral science has the power to improve society, we focus on publishing impactful research and enabling robust research methodology. We produce high-quality educational resources that support instructors to prepare the citizens, policymakers, educators, and researchers of the future. We publish more than 1,000 journals and 900 new books globally each year, as well as library products and services that include archives, data, case studies, and video. SAGE is majority-owned by our founder, Sara Miller McCune, and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence.


About Universal Write Publications

Universal Write Publications LLC publishes social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. The founding principle is that it is a universal right to tell our own stories. It is with that tenacity, commitment, and deep resolve, that the founder and publisher, Dr. Ayo Sekai, founded the company in 2004.To receive more information, please contact


Frankie L. Bethea (far left)at Anniversary of Black Wall Street, with event participants.


Frankie L. Bethea and partner, Ryan Waddy

Local Entrepreneur/Howard Graduate Creates Black Wall Street Candle  
Candle Presented at 100th Anniversary 


The Maroon Artisans organization formally presented the Greenwood Black Wall Street Candle at the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre.  The massacre occurred on May 31, 1921. On this date, the Greenwood District of Tulsa was burned to the ground and more than 300 black citizens were massacred by a white mob.  One thousand houses were destroyed, and an untold number of black-owned businesses were tragically burned.
The candle was created by Frankie L. Bethea, a native of Washington, DC and a graduate of the Howard University College of Fine Arts. It was especially designed to pay homage to the survivors.  A candlelight vigil was a featured aspect of the anniversary activities.
Although Black Wall Street would rebuild, the collective memory of that fateful day lives on in the hearts and minds of survivors and descendants. The aroma of the candle recreates the memories of the richness of the African American heritage and spirit embodied in the extraordinary entrepreneurship of a community only decades from enslavement.
“We chose to commemorate the lives of Greenwood Black Wall Street survivors by creating a candle which is symbolic of their spirit and fortitude despite their tragic history. It is the only one of its kind and will be a part of a historical candle series,” stated Bethea.  Her business partner in the candle venture, Ryan Waddy, a local graphics designer, accompanied Bethea to the commemorative event.
The Maroon Artisan was established as an Artist Collective Community engaged in social exchange initiatives impacting communities through art, culture, and business entrepreneurships.
For more information, and to purchase,




What’s Wrong With Us Kali Women? by Anita Nahal, Ph.D.
A Book Review by Gwendolyn S. Bethea, Ph.D.

I am moved to tears that linger just beneath the surface as I read Anita Nahal’s prose poetry covering her life before and after immigrating to America from her native India. I hear and feel the deep palpable longing for freedom as she and her son are driven dispassionately to the airport by a close relative. 

With this book of prose poetry, Anita Nahal brings passion and sentiment with poignant renderings of life as an immigrant, professional woman, mother, and survivor of domestic abuse.
Relatable universally, especially in the current pandemic, several examples come to mind.  In “What happened to their Clothes,” we see inanimate objects in ways that we never would have imagined, occurring all too frequently in this scourge of our lifetime. Nahal depicts the clothes of the deceased as no longer living, breathing, never again enveloping … they are the embodiment of what is no longer possible.

In another prose poem, “How easy it is for a Black life to be taken?” Nahal writes of black lives which not long ago actually mattered to loved ones before they were snuffed out, thoughtlessly, cruelly. Their names — Castile, Floyd, Garner, Blake, Brown, Rice, Bland, Gray, Martin, Arbury, Taylor, Till.  roll from her thoughts to paper in rapid, seemingly endless succession as did their untimely deaths.
In “Democracy is in decline,” she decries the state of America when a homeless man in a coffee shop whose barely clothed body sends her “into a spiral of sadness,” while the man’s companion announces outside,


“there is something wrong with America

where having food and health care are privileges


and owning guns is a right…”
In “It’s not all about sex,” one encounters a sloth’s heated pursuit of sexual satisfaction when “Mama sloth, holding onto her baby,” signals the story of humans choosing maternal instinct over the sometimes shallowness of over sensationalized human sexuality.
“Mama sloth pulled him back to her embrace. The stud knew, it was only to be about consideration, today.”

In “Finally, she showered,” we see the immigrant mother reminiscing about her new home, across the ocean, in America, with her son, living and flourishing, yet experiencing life in all its nuances; and understanding too well that they have left behind the love of family and success of career, yet the horror of abuse.  Finally, she has time to “shower” after her son’s splendid Indian wedding earlier that day.  She appears to cleanse away wistful thoughts of yester year, lovers’ lost, yet remembered with blissfulness, while embracing the oncoming dawn of hope for the present and future.
And in still another piece, “Corona and love-life layers,” Nahal announces a new beginning for a refurbished earth, reminding us of when “the streets had ample fresh air and the ozone was stronger. Trees too were a lusher green.” 


In these and other prose poetry works, Nahal is a messenger of hope for the survival of the human species.  We see a full range of disappointments with love interests, aging, physical and mental challenges, and musings about life’s relentless superficial creations, based on skin color, cultural, social, and economic conditions.


Originally Published in Confluence, September 2021





Anita Nahal’s website:



They Used to Call Me Brother


– By Hank Wall
Reviewed by Gwendolyn S. Bethea, Ph.D.

Henry “Hank” Wall’s life story begins with his birth to a single mother in High Point, NC on April 11, 1950.  Raised by her sister, his aunt, and her husband, Hank fondly recalls his childhood of racing on unpaved streets, young romance, school band trips, home cooked meals shared by neighborhood friends, YMCA meeting places, and teachers who also served for many as surrogate parents. He becomes a star football and basketball player at William Penn High School, a premiere high school for blacks in that era.

He later joins the U.S. Army where he makes lifelong friends and after returning home marries his youthful sweetheart.  He begins a more than 45-year journey as mentor/father figure and co-creator of BOTSO (Brothers Organized to Serve Others).  BOTSO is a widely recognized, mostly African American male mentoring organization based in High Point. Many former members still attribute their success as adults to Hank and the program. 

He recalls that one of his proudest moments was when he was named the first national mentor of the year by the National CARES Mentoring program, created and presented to him personally by former Essence magazine editor Susan Taylor.

As a well-respected community leader and staunch advocate for youth and other citizens in High Point and surrounding areas, he attributes much of his accomplishments to a closely knit family, a nurturing educational and faith-filled environment, and the unfailing loyalty of friends and mentors.

The richness of small-town family warmth and school/community pride form a perfect backdrop to a heart-warming story.   

You may purchase this book by contacting: Hank Wall,110 Scott Avenue, Suite #3, High Point, NC. 27262 




Black Elder Speaks

By Frederick D. Harper, Ph.D.


A Review by Dorothy Wilson Roth


If one needed a racial blueprint of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s Black American experience, one need look no farther than to Black Elder Speaks by Dr. Frederick Douglas Harper. This latest book, and his crystalized intelligence facilitate that Exhale at the end of a race well run, and of a life well lived.

He meticulously recounts the social missteps and mistakes, as well as the loves and wonders of our shared Black human existence. Obviously, Dr. Harper has been guided through the years by the Eternal Spirit, as God; and it is that life-long gift and relationship that has delivered this storytelling. We are blessed recipients as we occupy front-row seats to the cultural events and remarkable personalities of our time. This book is surely destined to be a bestseller.

You may purchase the book-

or from the publisher:

or an autographed copy from Dr. Harper for $25 (includes priority mail postage),
through PayPal,

Dorothy Wilson Roth is architect of the newly established Willie L. Wilson Foundation.  She is committed to providing direct needs-based financial assistance to students attending HBCUs in North Florida.



Screenwriter/Director/Producer Pamela J. Richardson and Bernard Moore Ph.D., Bring a Family Legacy to Life 

Reprinted from the PRNewswire

“Tal Jones: A Black Oil Legacy” An inspiring true story of a family prevailing in a big way, despite the odds. “The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so for them.”
LOS ANGELES, June 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The American Dream has perpetuated the myth that we all have an equal opportunity to generate the kind of wealth that brings meaning to the words, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Were these truths evident for all at the time it was written, and are they evident for all today?

Screenwriter/Director/Producer Pamela J. Richardson and Author/Political Strategist /Executive Producer, Bernard Moore Ph.D. have collaborated to bring to light a compelling screenplay for a limited TV mini-series based on a true story of the history and legacy of a black family from Oklahoma’s oil rich land. The story moves the reader from a boy born in slavery to the emotional torment of being treated as chattel, to inheriting land that would ultimately lead to a multi-million-dollar fortune for his descendants. Tal struck oil just before the historic Tulsa, Oklahoma Massacre, which was a direct consequence of black prosperity in oil. The series brings to life interesting characters and distant relatives who scheme to take oil-rich land from Tal’s children and their offspring. It is filled with unexpected twists, including significant events in history.


The story of Tal Jones is unique, as it chronicles an authentic African American family who, against all odds, have living descendants who add validity to this distinctive story. Historically, many African Americans were property rich and cash poor without the financial resources to fight for their land rights. But Tal Jones and his descendants were able to retain oil wealth through a maze of legal challenges. While the courts have since ruled in their favor, from the early 1920s to 2021, a hundred years later, the Jones family is still wracked with legal challenges to ensure their oil royalties remain within the family.


The screenplay has racked numerous  prestigious awards which serves as an affirmation of the popularity and interest in the Black experience. Although African Americans have made enormous contributions to the American culture, screenplays by and about Blacks are finally gaining recognition and momentum within the industry. Plans for the mini-series pilot are in development. There are many roles available for an all-star cast.


Moore, the great, great grandson of Tal Jones has spent years diving into the archives of the family’s history, as well as spending numerous hours documenting the recollections of individual family members. There are many layers to the Tal Jones story, and the mini-series will delve deep into the pain, the sacrifice, and the survival of a family that could have and should have, had they been white, become one of the wealthiest families in America. Moore is leading the charge to ensure the legal rights of their land leases.


Richardson has been creating works of art and commercially recognized film projects for over twenty years and, as an African American, is deeply committed to the success of the series. “The truth of American History can no longer be dismissed, diminished and ignored. It must be told honestly,” said Richardson. For Richardson and Moore, putting the pen to the pain will hopefully encourage others to honor their ancestors by documenting their stories. “TAL JONES: A Black Oil Legacy” is based on a real family and its ultimate triumphs.


For additional information contact:



Press release distributed by PRLog  


SOURCE Tal Jones Legacy