Teaching Black History Conference

Black to the Future: Afro-Futurism as Black History.

Each year, the Teaching Black History conference, our signature event, convenes hundreds of teachers to learn the best curricular and instructional practices surrounding Black history education. We host expert speakers and entertainment, but the stars of the conference are our teachers. Each conference session is led by a classroom teacher who shares their Black history strategies. The sessions are interactive, so participants will have hands-on experiences to bring to their classrooms. We welcome community educators, parents, school-aged students, librarians, museum curators and anyone who loves to learn about Black history. Attendees are eligible for 24 professional development credits.

Information is being added daily. Please check back frequently to keep up with the most current developments.

2024 Conference Theme

In 2024, the conference theme is Black to the Future: Afro-futurism as Black History. Join us as we reimagine the world without racism and antiblackness. Our conference work will focus on reconceptualizing the past and present through writing about the future. We will push the boundaries of learning, using our knowledge of the past as commentary for Black people’s future, not one of despair but one that reimagines what it means to be Black in a society that historically was meant for us not to survive.

Mark Your Calendars

The conference will be held over three days:
Friday, July 26-27 will be in-person. Sunday, July 28 will be held virtually.

*Note that this year we will not have asynchronous or live stream learning for our virtual attendees.

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Call for Proposals

The 2024 Teaching Black History Conference call for proposals is now open! 

This is a great opportunity to present to hundreds of K-12 educators about the best practices for Black history education. While the theme for 2024 is Black to the Future: Afro-futurism as Black History,  your proposal can include any topic related to Black history education. 

This year, the conference will have two days dedicated to in-person learning and one day of virtual learning. This year we will not have asynchronous or live stream learning for our virtual attendees.

Below, you will find our call for proposals and a link to submit your idea.

Proposals are due by March 2, 2024.

Registration To Attend

This year, the conference theme is "Black to the Future: Afro-futurism as Black History." Afrofuturism is seen as a cultural aesthetic combining science-fiction, history, and fantasy to explore and connect the African American experience to their forgotten African ancestry. Others have noted that Afrofuturist imagines a world absent of white supremacist thought and institutional structures hindering and oppressing Black communities. Afrofuturism evaluates the past to create a better present and prepare for a future void of those problematic histories. Afro-futurism is about using science fiction that is fact based to teach about Blackness that diverges from societal understandings about Black people and their history.

Afrofuturism is typically associated with Black science fiction and includes various sub-categories, including cyberpunk (art in futuristic settings focusing on futuristic technology and scientific achievement, think Artificial Intelligence, and cyber culture), Black speculative fiction (futuristic literature focusing on race and the history of race, may also include fantasy and horror), and music such as Afropunk and funk, art, fashion, costumes, and films. Yet, it is history education that ties everything together. To reimagine a safe and free world for Black people, Afrofuturism must use history as its foundation. For many, it is commentary on where we have been. In many ways, it is about teaching us about our history that has been forgotten or ignored.

Thumbnail image of the program cover for the Teaching Black History Conference.

Conference Dates

Three Days
Friday, July 26, 2024 (in-person)
Saturday, July 27, 2024 (in-person)
Sunday, July 28, 2024 (online only)

Conference Location

Diefendorf Hall
University at Buffalo
South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214



Please note that this year we will not have asynchronous or live stream learning for our virtual attendees.


Black History & Racial Literacy Writing Retreat

This year's conference will include the opportunity to participate in a writing retreat. This two‐day session best serves researchers and scholars who are interested in writing collaborations around Black history and race research. Snacks and drinks are provided.

Dates: July 24-25, 2024

Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: University at Buffalo South Campus, Diefendorf Hall

Contact LaGarrett King at lagarret@buffalo.edu or 716-645-2455

Social Studies Curriculum Coordinators Retreat

This two-day retreat will include presentations by social studies coordinators about developing Black history and racial literate curriculum. Each day will also include collaborative planning sessions. Snacks and drinks are provided.

Dates: July 24-25, 2024

Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: University at Buffalo South Campus, Diefendorf Hall

Contact LaGarrett King at lagarret@buffalo.edu or 716-645-2455

Conference Swag


Presenter Talk Title
Abigail Henry & Liz Wallace Chain-Gang All-Stars and the Criminal Justice System
Akil Parker Leveraging Historical Black Math Exemplars to Reach a Brighter Future
Alizé Scott-Nowell
We Real Cool: The Birth of “Cool” and How “Coolness” Gives Us A Future
Amaka Yvonne Okafor
A Journey Through Time: Exploring Afro-futurism and Igbo Cultural Heritage in Elementary Education
Amber Lawson
Academics, Belonging, and Criticality: Incorporating Black History in Di•VERSE Literacy
Amirah Ali & Alyssa Liles-Amponsah
Teaching Black History Through Immersive Play
Aneke Chukwuemeka Emmanuel
Exploring Just and Unjust Wars through Afrofuturism: An Interdisciplinary Approach to International Studies
Anitra Butler-Ngugi Imagine the Possibilities: Using Language to Reinvent our Afro-futures
B. Sharise Moore Using Conjuring Worlds: An Afrofuturist Textbook to Teach Across the Curriculum 
Bobby Morgan No More Broken Black Boys: Restorative Practices As Racial Justice
Calissa Brown Spectors and Spooks: From Haunting to Futurity
Cayla Parson We're Losing Recipes: Using Storytelling Through Stimuli to Develop, Clarify & Preserve African American Memories & Identities
Dane Peters "Painting the Narrative: Black Studies in the American Education Landscape"
Daphanie Bibbs

Using Beyonce to Speak to, Advocate for and Celebrate Black girls

 The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools: A Strategic Convening of Film Viewing and Reflection

Dr. Daryl Rock They Were Black All Black: A High School Success Story 
Dawnavyn James Who Are Your People?: Building Powerful People Sets to Teach Black History



Deana Forbes Forward From February: Celebrating Black History and Joy in the Secondary School Setting Year Round
Deirdre Lynn Hollman, EdM

Mapping the Futurity of Black Migrations: From Africa to the Americas

Afrofuturism as a Transdisciplinary Design for Black Education in Communities and Schools

Desiree McCray Reimagining Reality: Afro-futuristic Exploration of Identity, Cultural Heritage, and Belonging
Diamonnique Muhammad Beyond Emancipation: Unmasking Intentions in Civil War Narratives and the Vital Role of Educators in Dispelling Historical Misconceptions
Donnalie Jamnah

Healthy Black Futures: How Global Health Reporting can help us develop communities that thrive.

Education Network Presentation | Centering Joy in Hard History and Imagining More JUST Futures

Dr. Dorothy Mmaegbunam Afunugo Leveraging afro and African futurism to transform educational psychology and teacher education through abolitionist teaching practices
Ekemezie Ekene Black to the Future: Leveraging Afro-futurism in Economic Globalization, Human Capital Development, and Addressing Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dr. Elizabeth McCauley McDonald
Black Oral Histories: Bridging Community and Content
Emmanuel Kulu Sankofa: I Am because We Are
Frederick Douglass Let Freedom Ring: Deconstructing the emergence of the Civil RIghts Movement and Examining Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's facing the challenge of a New age speech

Gloria Boutte

Jarvais Jackson

Saundah Collins

Janice Baines

Anthony Broughton

George Johnson

Pro-Blackness in Early Childhood Education: Diversifying Curriculum and Pedagogy in K-3 Classrooms.
Iman Lathan
The Secondary Diaspora of the Black NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete
Jamaal Thomas TBD
Jeffery White  Wakanda Forever: Integrating Afrofuturism into Education for Racial Equity

Jillian Ford 

Kristie Smith

Samuel Sasser

Tubman and Banneker’s Cosmic Legacies: Using the Stars to Chart Our Future 
Joanneke Fleischauer (UNC African Studies Center)
The Possibilities of Using Digital Resources to Teach Contemporary Africa: A Project by the UNC African Studies Center
John Gass TBD
Josephine Obiageli Okafor, PhD Impacts of translated afro-futurism themes in early childhood education for cultural competence in Anambra state, Nigeria
Dr. Justina Anydiegwu Storytelling as an Instrument of Deconstructing Black Image and Cultures: Insights from Justina Anyadiegwu’s Mbeagaba 
Karla Manning, PhD
Conducting a Black Studies Curriculum Audit for K-12 Schools
Keith Benson

There is a Better Way: Camden City School District’s Approach to School Safety in Urban School District  

We're Not All the Same:Young, Black Educators Using Social Media to Shame Black Students and Black Parents



Kelly Parker & Lucy Horswill Fine young Philly: the stereotypic intersectionality between horses and Jezebels.
Ken Granderson Timbuktu, the Online Black History Content Management Engine (Protecting the Future of Black History, using Technology that WE Created, Control and Own)
Kenyatta Funderburk Teacher PAI: Artificial Intelligence and the Black Experience
Kerri Ullucci Centering Black Students in Social Studies: Conscious history teaching to support Black youth
Kimisha Simpson Educational Emancipation: Unpacking The Afro-Caribbean Diaspora & Educational Reform
Latif A. Tarik “A Brother from Another Planet”   An Examination of a Black Science Fiction Movie in College Africana History Courses 
Laura L. Gore

Ubuntu - Where I'm From

Restorative Justice Circles in the Classroom



Loreen Williamson & Pamela Thomas
Museum funk, that’s what it is… Bringing an authentic 1970’s Black history museum experience to the classroom.
Dr. Malissa Mootoo and Kyra Narain Lloyd
Afro-futurist Vision Boarding: Afro-futurism starts with Me and Us!
Marcus "Sankofa" Nicks
Still We Rise!: Humanizing Black Histories For Healing, Community Care and a Liberatory Future
Marsha Greco
Lift Every Voice Through AP African American Studies
Michiko Quinones and Morgan Lloyd
Bringing People In: How we use marketing techniques to bring engage students in Black History
Njemele Anderson 
The Youth Have Spoken: Redefining the Future of the Eduction of Black People in America
Samuel Ogechukwu Otugo Alleviating the Computer Assisted Technology Proficiency Challenges in South Nigeria Tertiary Institutions for Advancing Justice in a Globalized Multi-Disciplinary Context
Raymond Hamilton
Rethinking Social Studies in DC Public Schools: Centering Black Stories in Curriculum
Renee O'Connor Beyond Pain: Embracing Black Joy Through the Art of Photography
Rhonesha Blanche, EdD The Black Cake Framework
Rodney Freeman
Building a curriculum around the history of Black Librarians In America 
Russel Bassarath
Teaching the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott through and Intersectional Conceptual Framework
Shakealia Y. Finley, MPA
Uchumi Njia Yetu: Imagining an Afro-Future for Precollege Economic Education

Shaquita Smith

Angela Crawford

Karen Williams

Teaching Resistance Through Afrofuturism
Dr. Shokry Eldaly

"Afrofuturism and Emancipatory Paradigms: Transforming Education and Social Justice"

"Reimagining Futures: Afrofuturism, Community-Based Education, and Social Change"

"Afrofuturism as a Catalyst: Emancipatory Learning and Transformative Education"

"Revolutionizing Education with Generative AI: An Afrofuturistic Approach"

"Creating Futures: Emancipatory Education and Social Change in the Age of AI"



Sonya Sampson The Power of Imagination
Sylvia Miguelina & Regina Banks Centering Your Identity in Career Path
Ufoaro Obinna Arize Afrofuturism and Environmental Justice: Impact of Climate Change and Real Output Growth on Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa
Zena Robinson-Wouadjou
Harriet and Other Starseeds: Tapping Into Underground Ways & Wisdoms to Tune Into Free Black Futures

Keynote Speakers

Friday, July 26

Bavu Blakes.

Bavu Blakes, Scholar Emcee, Educational Consultant, Speaker, Musician and Author

Title of Talk

Hip-Hop Grew Up

Saturday, July 27

Dr. Toby Jenkins-Henry.

Dr. Toby Jenkins-Henry, Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Interim Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of South Carolina

Title of Talk

The Hip-Hop Mindset

Sunday, July 28

Grant” SKRIBE DA GOD” Atkins.

Grant” SKRIBE DA GOD” Atkins, Musician, Education Activist, Author and PhD Student at the University of Rochester

Title of Talk

Cultural Currency: Mining Legacy thru Hip-Hop Pedagogy

Conference Program


Registration is now closed.

Sessions by Day

Sessions by Audience


Bronze Sponsor

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