The Black Presence Planning Committee

The Black Presence Project was a cross-campus collaborative effort led by Dr. John Bracey of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. The oral histories were primarily recorded by Dr. Bracey and UMass graduate student, Erika Slocumb, as well as students in AfroAm 397N-597P over the course of 2020–2021. The interviews feature prominent alumni, faculty, and athletes as well as current students sharing their life experiences. Students in AfroAm 397N-597P who helped conduct the interviews are Vladimir Ducasse, Maya Dennis, Janice Obudai, Stacie Klinowski, Emily Whitted, Nicholas Stearns, Zahria Thomas, Caitlin Barinas, and Luca DeCola.


Dr. John Bracey

Professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies
(413) 545-2751
306 New Africa House
About Dr. John Bracey

Whitney Battle-Baptiste

Professor of Anthropology
(413) 577-0932
Machmer 211

Mary Custard ’82, ’87 M.Ed.

UMass Amherst Alumna

Brian Devore

Web Designer/Production Manager
(413) 545-6541

Claudia donald

Claudia Donald

Executive Director of Digital Strategy
(413) 545-5282
Slobody Building

Sidonio Ferreira

Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
(413) 545-3805
Hampden Dining Commons, Rm 200 

Dr. David Glassberg

Professor of History
(413) 545-4252
Herter Hall 637

Michelle Goncalves

Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor
(413) 545-1978
Whitmore Administration Building 374

Ebru Kardan smiling at camera in front of a tree

Ebru Kardan

Senior Director of Diversity Communications and Events
(413) 545-6294
305b Whitmore Administration Building

Dr. Marla Miller

Distinguished Professor of History
(413) 545-4256
Herter Hall 704

Erika Slocumb

Ph.D. Candidate, History and Politics
(413) 555-5555
329 New Africa House

Christopher Sparks

Web Strategist/Production Manager
(413) 545-8848
Slobody Building

Blake Spitz

Archives & Manuscripts Librarian
(413) 545-6898
W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 25th Floor

Esther Terry

Dr. Esther Terry

Former Professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies; Former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life