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Jemadari Kamara

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Information about Jemadari Kamara

Profile image of Jemadari Kamara

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
African American Studies Professor
Education Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Burnt Orange
Favorite Food:
Chicken, Peanut Stew
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
West Africa
Favorite Quote:
In Each Of Our Lives, We All Attempt To Plan, To Guide Our Lives, And To Lay Out The Course. It Is Only When We Understand It Is Not Our Plan, Then We Can Submit, And Open Ourselves To The Real Direction In The Course Of Our Lives.

Birthplace

Born:
11/25/1948
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
African American Studies Professor
Education Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Burnt Orange
Favorite Food:
Chicken, Peanut Stew
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
West Africa
Favorite Quote:
In Each Of Our Lives, We All Attempt To Plan, To Guide Our Lives, And To Lay Out The Course. It Is Only When We Understand It Is Not Our Plan, Then We Can Submit, And Open Ourselves To The Real Direction In The Course Of Our Lives.

Birthplace

Born:
11/25/1948
Birth Location:
Detroit
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Biography

Educator Jemadari Omowale Kamara was born William Cyrus Swan, II on November 25, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan to Elizabeth and Edward McCallan Swan. Kamara graduated from Western Reserve Academy boarding school in 1967, and received his B.A. degree in political science, sociology, and African Studies from Tufts University in 1972. He later obtained his Ph.D. degree in technological and environmental planning from the University of Michigan in 1983. Kamara also attended Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

In the early 1970s, Kamara was hired in a faculty position at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1975. In 1980, he served for two years as the director of the William Monroe Trotter House at the University of Michigan. Kamara then became assistant professor and chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies Department at the University of Michigan Flint, where he remained until 1988. From 1985 to 1987, he served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Universite Nationale du Benin in West Africa; and, in 1988, as the Development Consultant for the Societe Africaine de Technologie Appropriee et Developpement (S.A.T.A.D) in Cotonou, Benin.

Kamara returned to the United States in 1988 and was hired as dean of the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He served as chairman of the University’s Africana Studies Department from 1996 to 2001; and then again in 2007, 2008 and 2011. In 1999, Kamara became the founding director of the Center for African, Caribbean and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston; and, from 2001 to 2002, was a Senior Fulbright Professor at the Universite Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal.

In the 1990s, Kamara helped to found and continues to coordinate the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. / Amilcar Cabral Commemorative Program. Also, he collaborated in developing the Community Action Information Network (CAIN), which assisted community-based organizations in applying technology and data-based information to community-defined purposes for development. In addition, Kamara serves as an international coordinator for the Youth Education and Sports (YES) with Africa Program, which has served nearly 3,000 African youth.

Among Kamara’s numerous publications include State of the Race – Creating Our 21st Century (co-editor and contributor, 2004), which won the Charshee McIntrye Award and was named the African Heritage Studies Association’s Outstanding Book of the Year. He was also editor of Socially Responsible Investment and Economic Development (1987).

Kamara served as a senior advisor to the Boston Pan-African Forum, Treasurer of the West African Research Association and on the board of directors of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century. He is the father of two children.

Jemadari Kamara was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2007 and October 10, 2012.

See how Jemadari Kamara is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jemadari Kamara's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara shares his maternal family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara describes his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his mother's relationship to her family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his mother's experience at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and his family's relationship to other Stokes in Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara describes his father's childhood and his grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara describes his research on his paternal family history, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jemadari Kamara describes his research on his paternal family history, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara talks about where his father and grandfather attended school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his relationships with his extended family in Bermuda
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his father's role as the Executive Secretary of the NAACP in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara talks about Paradise Valley and Black Bottom in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about which of his parents he takes after and his father's work at Wrigley's Supermarkets
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara shares his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara recalls moving to the Boston-Edison neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the schools he attended in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara describes his childhood understanding of Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his early exposure to news of African Independence Movements
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara talks about media portrayals of Africa during his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about enrolling at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara talks about enrolling at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara talks about how African religions and the Civil Rights Movement were not taught at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara recalls his experience with the Upward Bound Program in Twinsburg Heights, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara talks about athletics at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his teachers at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his experiences competing in the oratory contest at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara describes his decision to not recite Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech for an oratory contest at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara talks about graduating from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio and enrolling at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience as a freshman at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the African American community in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the African American community in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara recalls being introduced to the Negritude Movement in his French literature course
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara recalls studying abroad in Africa, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara recalls studying abroad in Africa, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara describes his first impressions of Freetown, Sierra Leone, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara describes his first impressions of Freetown, Sierra Leone, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience in the cities of Kinshasa and Kisangani in Congo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Second slating of Jemadari Kamara's interview
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience in Kisangani, Congo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience at a village in Isiro, Congo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience driving through the Ituri Rainforest with Mbuti pygmies in Congo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara reflects on what he learned during his first trip to Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara recalls completing his undergraduate studies at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his involvement with the Congress of Afrikan People (CAP)
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara talks about Amiri Baraka and the different centers of focus within the Congress of Afrikan People
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jemadari Kamara recalls managing the campaign of black State Senator William Owens in 1974
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the role of the Congress of Afrikan People in electing Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ken Gibson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the political campaigns he managed and the closing of the Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube Company factory in Ohio
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara describes why workers at Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube Company in Youngstown, Ohio could not access their pensions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara describes enrolling in an urban planning doctoral program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his involvement with the Black Humanist Fellowship and changing his name
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara reflects on the relationship between Black Studies programs and the local African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his experience at the University of Michigan
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara recalls his trip to China with the Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI) in 1977
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara talks about some of his professors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience at the University of Michigan in Flint, Michigan
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jemadari Kamara describes studying in the Republic of Benin on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1985
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience in the Republic of Benin from 1985 until 1987
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara talks about getting married to Makeda Millett Kamara and her studies as a midwife
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience in the College of Public and Community Services at the University of Massachusetts in Boston
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara describes founding the Center for African, Caribbean, and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts in Boston
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his community development projects at the University of Massachusetts in Boston
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara talks about working with Cape Verde to develop renewable energy projects
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara talks about some of his writings as a Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara describes the struggle to keep Africana Studies Departments active and relevant
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jemadari Kamara talks about community engagement at the Center for African, Caribbean, and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts in Boston
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the Caribbean and African populations in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara talks about teaching his course on the Civil Rights Movement to Chinese students
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara talks about the ethnic demographics of his courses
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara describes the Success Boston program to increase college retention rates for African American males in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara talks about developing the Youth Education and Sports (YES) Program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara talks about developing the Youth Education and Sports (YES) Program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara describes his experience as a Fulbright Professor at the Universite Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara describes the origins of the "State of the Race" anthology that he edited
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his organizational involvement in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Jemadari Kamara reflects on the influence of the Institute of the Black World and on his plans for the future
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Jemadari Kamara reflects on the importance of quantitative analysis in his work
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Jemadari Kamara shares his lack of regrets
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Jemadari Kamara describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Jemadari Kamara reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Jemadari Kamara talks about his family
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Jemadari Kamara describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Jemadari Kamara narrates his photographs