Dr. Daryl C. Dance Open or Close
A noted author of several books, including “From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore”, as well as an anthology of African-American women's humor and a volume on folklore from contemporary Jamaicans. Dr. Daryl Dance, VSU Class of 1957 & 1963 has had two Ford Foundation fellowships, three Southern Fellowship Fund grants, two NEH grants, one Fulbright research grant, and others, and has presented approximately 50 papers at conferences. Dr. Dance is Professor Emerita at the University of Richmond.
Naomi Long Madgett Open or Close
Naomi Long Madgett, VSU Class of 1945, was a poet and English professor emeritus and a vital part of Detroit's cultural life. In 1949, her poem appeared in The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949 and in 1950, several of her poems were featured in American Literature by Negro Authors. In 1968, she was included in Ten: Anthology of Detroit Poets and she also joined the faculty at Eastern Michigan University where she wrote A Students Guide to Creative Writing. She edited the acclaimed "Adam of Ife: Black Women in Praise of Black Men" in 1992 and has been the recipient of many honors including 1993s American Book Award and the George Kent Award in 1995. Naomi was also named Detroit’s Poet Laureate by former Mayor Dennis Archer. There is an 82-minute documentary about her life and art titled StarbyStar: Naomi Long Madgett, Poet & Publisher by filmmaker David B. Schock, Ph.D. This documentary chronicles her journey, her struggles, and her achievements. In conversations with Naomi, we learn about the course of her life and the encouragement she received from Langston Hughes and others of the Harlem Renaissance.
Dr. Thomas D. Pawley III Open or Close
Dr. Thomas D. Pawley, III, VSU Class of 1937, is a pioneer in Theatre and is recognized as an educator, director, playwright, and historian. Dr. Pawley is Professsor Emeritus of Theatre and a former Dean of Arts and Sciences at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. He built the Speech and Theatre Department at Lincoln where he taught for 40 years. He was one of the first African Americans to be accepted in the old American Theatre Association and distinguished ATA College of Fellows. Above all, Dr. Pawley was a leader in the National Association of Speech and Dramatic Arts (NADSA) and the HBCUs Summer Theatre Program. His book, The Black Teacher and the Dramatic Arts, ranks as one of the leading anthologies and scholarly dialogues in African-American Theatre. In 1952, he initiated one of the first college summer-theater programs for black students at Lincoln and, during his Lincoln tenure, directed 75 student plays. In 2011, Lincoln renamed its Langston Hughes Theater, in Martin Luther King Hall, as the Pawley Theater in his honor.
His father was professor of English at VSU. During his tenure he coached the debating team and authored an english text book entitled A Modern Advanced English Grammar for Secondary Schools and Colleges in 1930. A street was named for him at the University in 1986.
Carl Weber Open or Close
With 14 New York Times bestselling novels under his belt and twenty-two novels in total, Carl Weber is considered one of the premiere African-American authors in the country. As the President, CEO and Publisher of Urban Books LLC, he has published more than 2500 hundred books and has grown his company into one of the largest African-American owned publishing companies in the world. Carl successfully ran a chain of Urban Knowledge bookstores and has now branched out into screen writing and has written and produced three of his bestselling novels (The Man in 3B, The Preacher’s Son, and The Choir Director) into independent films with his production company, Urban Books Media LLC.