2021 Conference

For the past forty years, the Metropolitan Historical Commission and Tennessee State University have partnered for the Nashville Conference on African American History and Culture (NCAAHC). This year’s conference will be the first-ever virtual conference and is packed with many new presenters, engaging sessions, and talented musical guests. Our theme this year is “40 Years of Science, Sites and Sounds.”

Attendees will be treated to a thoughtful panel discussion with some of Nashville’s foremost historians. Participants will also experience a virtual tour of the Jefferson Street Sound Museum, hosted by Jefferson Street Sound Records CEO Lorenzo Washington. The $20 registration fee includes access to the half-day online event, a commemorative conference lapel pin and a copy of the newly revised Profiles of African Americans in Tennessee book showcasing all 40 years of illuminating conference profiles. We hope you will join us in celebration of the 40th annual Nashville Conference on African American History and Culture!

Mark your calendar and make plans to join us online on Friday, February 12, 2021!

View the full 2021 conference video here.

Completed forms and payment must be received via mail by Wednesday, February 10, 2021.

For questions about the 2021 NCAAHC, please contact Caroline Eller at caroline.eller@nashville.gov or (615) 862-7970 ext. 79780.

Presenters and Musicians

Learn about this year’s guests.

jeff carr

Rev. jeff obafemi carr is a widely-recognized Spiritual Leader and Creative who has worked at the intersection of interfaith spirituality, the arts, media, community building, and social justice for over three decades. He is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and activist who has authored 3 books, 7 full length plays, and provided close to 100 commentaries on National Public Radio. He is the Founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Infinity Fellowship Interfaith Gathering, Nashville’s only independent, Inter-Spiritual Church. carr is also the CEO of The Media Scientist Laboratories, a multi-platform production and consulting company with projects in film, print media, theatre, community engagement, and political consulting. His work has been featured at The Discovery Theatre of The Smithsonian, The Urban Movie Channel, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center/TPAC Education. “Rev. jeff” as he is now popularly known, is a 1990 Cum Laude Graduate of Tennessee State University, where he served as Student Government Association and leader of the historic 1990 Sit-In, which resulted in the state of Tennessee spending over $120 Million Dollars to rebuild the campus of TSU. He lives in Nashville with his wife and 5 children.

Andriana Haygood

Raised in South Bend, IN, vocal artist and coach Andriana Haygood is all things vocal. She grew up directing and singing in her father’s church choir and now resides in Nashville, TN. She teaches at Belmont University where she also earned her Master of Music degree in Commercial Voice. Her music education began at Alabama A&M University where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Voice. Andriana’s vocal style is that of black gospel, R&B/soul, and jazz. Performing on stages such as the John F. Kennedy Center, Nashville’s Schermerhorn, and Bridgestone Arena, Andriana is sure to touch hearts around the world.

Patrick King

Patrick King II is a Sustainability Education Manager with Urban Green Lab, a Nashville-based non-profit that teaches communities how to live sustainably. He’s a native of Baton Rouge, LA, and developed a passion for the environment at an early age. Spending a significant portion of his childhood exploring the woods and fishing with his grandmother, he quickly gained an appreciation for the natural world. His sustainability journey began shortly after moving to New Orleans in 2015, where he saw firsthand the impact of climate change on coastal communities. Patrick has been with UGL for about a year and now works to contribute to the much needed structural change in Nashville.

Keneisha Mosley

Keneisha Mosley is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public History with a focus in Archival Management at Middle Tennessee State University. She earned her undergraduate degree in History and Classics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her historical interests are Greco-Roman history and, recently, architectural history. Keneisha currently works as a research assistant at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County and as a research intern at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens.

Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel

Mary Ellen Pethel is an author, historian, digital humanist, and academic entrepreneur who serves as an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Belmont University. Dr. Pethel is widely published with several essays and four books. Recently, she published Athens of the New South: College Life and Making Modern Nashville, which focused on the role of Nashville’s colleges and universities in shaping the city’s ethos from 1865 to 1930. She is currently working on a manuscript celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title Nine, which will highlight the stories of 25 female trailblazers including Betty Booker-Parks, Chandra Cheeseborough, and Pat Summitt.

In 2017, Dr. Pethel began a digital walking tour project as part of a post-grad certificate in Digital Humanities from George Mason University. She continued this work, with the support of the Metro Historical Commission Foundation and through educational partnerships formed with the late Dr. Reavis Mitchell (Fisk), Dr. Lea Williams (TSU), Linda Wynn (THC and Fisk), Dr. Brandon Owens (Fisk), Dr. Angela Sutton (Vanderbilt, Ft. Negley Descendants Project), Dr. Carole Bucy (Vol State Community College), Dr. Mickey Casad (Vanderbilt), and many others. NashvilleSites.org is free and accessible on any device. Each tour includes historic images, narration, and GPS navigation. Today there are over 25 walking tours and NashvilleSites.org has received Mellon Partnership funding to expand to include driving tours, which will include Civil Rights, North Nashville/Jefferson Street, and East Nashville. Follow @NashvilleSites on social media.

Katatra Vasquez

Katatra Vasquez is a native of Dayton, Ohio but presently resides in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She is a history enthusiast who has a passion for reveling the stories and the contributions of the historically unknown to connect and inspire. A graduate of Tuskegee University, Vasquez is an award-winning environmental scientist who preserves history and protects the environment as a Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy. Katatra Vasquez is also the author of the recently-released books entitled, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Travel Activity Guidebook, and Atomic Hope: Our Words and Our Spaces, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Dr. Bryan Kent Wallace

Dr. Wallace was offered a position as a Research Assistant at Fisk University’s Physics Department upon completing his Masters Degree. He served in that position for three years and accepted a full-time faculty position in the fall of 2002. Currently, Dr. Wallace serves as a physics faculty member and is the Physics Discipline Coordinator as well as Director of Physics Laboratories. He assumed responsibility for the modernization and instruction in all physics undergraduate laboratories and laboratory curriculum in that capacity. Under his supervision, the Physics laboratories have advanced from partial to full computerization of data collection and received numerous improvements through renovation, organization, and utilization of more efficient equipment.

Dr. Wallace was appointed to the rank of Assistant Professor of Physics in August of 2016. Dr. Wallace is currently Primary Investigator for Fisk University’s Rocket Science Program, entitled Altitude Achievement Missile Team (F.A.A.M.T). This program was built from scratch to compete in a N.A.S.A. competition wherein the students design, build, launch, and recover a sounding rocket carrying a scientific payload to an altitude of exactly one mile. Dr. Wallace’s career is dedicated to the upward mobility of underserved and underrepresented populations in the S.T.E.M. related curriculum. Dr. Wallace has a long history of engaging youth and adult learners to positively impact their sense of self-efficacy in being full participants in S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.M. related careers.

Lorenzo Washington

Lorenzo Washington has been involved in the music and entertainment business for over 40 years and has been crucial in celebrating and preserving the African American musical history of Jefferson Street. He opened his first record shop, The Soul Shack Record Shop and Boutique, in the Buena Vista neighborhood in the early 1970s. In 1976, he connected with Moses Dillard and Jesse Boyce to form Dillard and Boyce Productions, the first African American production company on Music Row. In 2010, he founded Jefferson Street Sound (JSS), which is the only African American music production company offering studio and rehearsal space on Jefferson Street. As CEO of JSS Records, Mr. Washington helps carry on the famed street’s musical legacy by recording and supporting new and emerging artists. He is equally passionate about documenting and preserving the history of the Jefferson Street music scene which he continues to do through his work at the JSS Museum.

Profiles

The 2021 NCAAHC Planning Committee

  • Linda Wynn, Tennessee Historical Commission – Chair
  • Glenda Alvin, Tennessee State University
  • Pamela Bobo, Tennessee State University
  • Dr. Joel Dark, Tennessee State University
  • Caroline Eller, Metro Historical Commission
  • Dr. K. T. Ewing, Tennessee State University
  • Gloria McKissack, Tennessee State University (ret.)
  • Jamaal Sheats, Fisk University
  • Sharon Hull Smith, Tennessee State University
  • Tim Walker, Metro Historical Commission
  • Dr. Learotha Williams, Jr., Tennessee State University