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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > February
February 28, 2001

U.S. Department of State Recognizes Contributions of African-American Fulbright Program Alumni

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 28, 2001

In honor of Black History Month, the U.S. Department of State recognizes the many African American Fulbright Program Alumni who have made significant contributions to international understanding through educational and cultural exchange. The prestigious Fulbright Program is a government-sponsored international exchange program that is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries..."

Since its inception in 1946, more than 250,000 participants from 140 countries have been given the opportunity to teach, study, or conduct research while exchanging ideas and observing each other's institutions and cultures. According to Dr. John Hope Franklin, Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University and an African-American alumnus of the program, the Fulbright Program stimulates the development of "an important international community of people whose common interest in the advancement of knowledge transcends national lines."

Another alumnus, Andrew Brimmer, President of Brimmer & Company and a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, said, "I was able to work on the very frontier of a new and exciting part of economics, and India was an excellent laboratory in which to study the development process...undoubtedly my experience as a Fulbright student…was one of the highlights of my coming to maturity."

The following are selected prominent African-American alumni of the Fulbright Program:

Dr. Harold Amos - Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He has been recognized for his significant research and efforts to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in medicine and biomedical research. Fulbright Scholar, France, 1951-52.

Dr. Maya Angelou - Poet; Author; Actress; Director; Civil Rights Activist; Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University; U.S. Inaugural Poet, 1993. Her books include I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1970). Fulbright 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, Liberia, 1986.

Dr. Kariamu Welsh Asante - Choreographer; Director; Professor of Dance at Temple University; Founding Artistic Director of the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe. Fulbright Scholar, Zimbabwe, 1990.

Dr. Houston A. Baker, Jr. - Professor of English and African-American Studies at Duke University; Founder of the Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture. His books include Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance (1989). Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, Brazil, 1996.

The Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin - Judge, Allegheny (PA) County Court of Common Pleas; Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees; Member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Fulbright Scholar, Zimbabwe, 1994.

Dr. Andrew Billingsley - Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina. His books include Mighty Like A River: The Black Church and Social Reform (1999). Fulbright Scholar, Ghana, 1997-98.

Dr. Andrew Brimmer - President of Brimmer & Co., Washington, DC; Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 1966-74; Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1963-66. Fulbright Fellow, India, 1952; Fulbright Scholar, Sudan, 1958; Fulbright 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, Ghana and Nigeria, 1986.

Ms. Julie Dash - Filmmaker; Founder of Geechee Girls Multimedia Productions. Her film, Daughters of the Dust, won the cinematography prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival. Fulbright Scholar, United Kingdom, 1991-92.

Dr. Edwin Dorn - Dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin; Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense, 1993-96; Deputy Director for Research at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, 1981-90. Fulbright Fellow, United Kingdom, 1967-68.

Ms. Rita Dove - U.S. Poet Laureate, 1993-95; Professor of English at the University of Virginia; Recipient of 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Thomas and Beulah (1986). Her books include On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999). Fulbright Fellow, Germany, 1974-75.

Mr. Garth Fagan - Choreographer, Founder and Artistic Director of Garth Fagan Dance; Distinguished University Professor of the State University of New York; Recipient of 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography for Disney's The Lion King. Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, Australia and New Zealand, 1996.

Dr. Frances Smith Foster - Professor of English and Women's Studies and Director of the Institute for Women's Studies, Emory University; Co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, (1997). Her books include Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1726-1892, (1993). Fulbright Scholar, The Netherlands, 1997.

Dr. John Hope Franklin - Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University; Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; Chairman of the Advisory Board for One America: The President's Initiative on Race, 1997-98. His books include From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans (7th edition, 1994). Fulbright Scholar, United Kingdom, 1954; Australia, 1960; Distinguished Fulbright Scholar, Venezuela, 1973; Zimbabwe, 1986; Brazil, 1987.

Mr. William B. Gould, IV - Professor of Law at Stanford University; Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, 1994-1998. Fulbright Scholar, South Africa, 1991.

Dr. William Leo Hansberry (1894-1965) - Professor of African Civilization and Culture at Howard University, 1922-59; Founder of the Africa-America Institute. His works include Pillars in Ethiopian History: The William L. Hansberry African History Notebook (1974). Fulbright Scholar, Egypt, 1953-54.

Mr. Charles Hobson - Documentary Film Producer; Professor; Senior Research Fellow at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY); Executive Producer of Vanguard Films, Inc.; Senior Vice President of WETA-TV, Washington, DC, 1976-88. His documentary projects include From Jumpstreet: The History of Black Music, a ten-part PBS series. Fulbright Scholar, Germany, 1996-97.

Ms. Joyce A. Hughes - Professor of Law at Northwestern University; Recipient of the Clyde Ferguson Award, American Association of Law Schools, Minority Group Section and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minneapolis NAACP. Fulbright Fellow, Spain, 1961-62.


Dr. Cheryl Johnson-Odim - Professor of History and Chair of the Department of Liberal Education at Columbia College Chicago. Author of For Women and the Nation: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti of Nigeria (1997). Fulbright Fellow, Nigeria, 1976.

Ms. Dolores Kendrick - Playwright; District of Columbia Poet Laureate, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Professor Emerita at Phillips Exeter Academy. Her works include The Women of Plums: Poems in the Voices of Slave Women (1989), which was adapted to the stage and won the 1997 New York New Playwrights award. Fulbright Teacher, Northern Ireland, 1963-64.

Dr. Samella Lewis - Artist, Curator; Professor Emerita of Art History at Scripps College, Claremont Colleges; Founding Editor of International Review of African American Art; Founding Director of the Museum of African-American Art, Los Angeles. Her books include African American Art and Artists (1994). Fulbright Scholar, Taiwan, 1962.

Mr. Percy R. Luney, Jr. - Legal Consultant; President of the National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada, 1998-2000; Dean and Professor of Law at North Carolina Central University School of Law, 1980-98. Fulbright Scholar, Japan, 1986 and 1991-92.

Dr. Walter Massey - President of Morehouse College; Senior Vice-President and Provost of University of California System, 1993-95; Director of the National Science Foundation, 1991-93. Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer, South Africa, 1996.

Mr. Harold A. McDougall - Professor of Law at Howard University; Civil Rights Activist; National Legislative Director of the NAACP, 1997. He is the author of Black Baltimore: A New Theory of Community (1993) and is developing an "Invisible College" to provide mentoring and counseling for the next generation of community leaders. Fulbright Scholar, Jamaica, 1999-2000.

Dr. Sandye Jean McIntyre - Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Foreign Languages at Morgan State University and Campus Fulbright Program Adviser since 1951. Fulbright Fellow, France, 1951-52.

Dr. Margaret Musgrove - Writer; Professor at Loyola College in Maryland. Her works include The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth (2001) and the Caldecott Award-winning book Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1977). Fulbright Scholar, Ghana, 1997-98.

Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr. - Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice at the University of Minnesota; President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). His books include Persistent Disparity: Race & Economic Inequality in the U.S. Since 1945 (1998) Fulbright Scholar, Australia, 1997.

Dr. Ivory V. Nelson - President of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, President Emeritus of Central Washington University. Fulbright Scholar, Mexico, 1966.

Ambassador Ronald D. F. Palmer - Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at The George Washington University; U.S. Ambassador to Togo, 1976-78; to Malaysia, 1981-83; to Mauritius, 1986-89. Fulbright Fellow, France, 1954-55.

Mr. John W. Rhoden (1916-2001) - Sculptor; Educator; member of the New York City Art Commission. His sculptures, done in bronze or wood, include the public pieces outside of Harlem Hospital Center, Bellevue and Metropolitan Hospital in New York, and a statue of civil rights leader Fred Shuttlesworth at the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham. Fulbright Fellow, Italy, 1951.

Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich - Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Black Leadership Forum, Washington, DC; Professor of Political Management at The George Washington University; former Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia. Fulbright Fellow, Germany, 1955-56.

Dr. Ruth Simmons - President-Elect of Brown University; President of Smith College; Vice Provost of Princeton University, 1992-94; Provost of Spelman College, 1990-92. Fulbright Fellow, France, 1967-68.

Mr. Alvin Singleton - Composer; Visiting Professor of Composition at Yale School of Music, 1999-2000. His work is performed by most major U.S. and European orchestras. Fulbright Fellow, Italy, 1971-72.

Dr. Niara Sudarkasa - Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Florida Atlantic University, President of Lincoln College of Pennsylvania, 1987-98. She is helping to establish the Florida Atlantic University Research Center in the newly created African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale. Fulbright Scholar, Benin, 1982.

Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr. - Professor of American History at the University of Washington. His books include In Search of the Racial Frontier: African-Americans and the American West, 1528-1990 (1998), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in History. Fulbright Scholar, Nigeria, 1987-88.

Dr. Maxine Thomas - General Counsel and Secretary of The Kettering Foundation, Dayton, Ohio; Associate Dean of the University of Georgia School of Law, 1989-91. Fulbright Scholar, Japan, 1988-89.

Dr. George Walker - Composer; Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music; Inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame; Professor of Music at Rutgers University, 1969-92. Nearly every major orchestra has performed his compositions. Fulbright Fellow, France, 1957-58.

Dr. Margaret Walker (1915-1998) - Writer; Poet; Professor of English at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) 1949-79; Founder of the Institute for the Study of the History, Life and Culture of Black People, (now Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center). Her work includes the novel Jubilee (1966) and the poem For My People (1937). Fulbright Scholar, Norway, 1971-72.

Dr. Sherley Anne Williams (1944-1999) - Author; Poet; Playwright; Professor of Literature at the University of California-San Diego. Her work includes Working Cotton (1992), a children's book that won a Caldecott Award and Coretta Scott King Book Award, The Peacock Poems (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), and Dessa Rose (1986). Fulbright Scholar, Ghana, 1984.

Ms. Katherine E. White - Assistant Professor at the Wayne State University School of Law; Member of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Commerce; Major, U.S. Army Reserves. Fulbright Scholar, Germany, 1999-2000.

Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy - President of Johnson C. Smith University; Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, 1972-94. Fulbright Scholar, Singapore, 1968.



Catherine L. Stearns
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State
phone: 202-619-5053
e-mail: cstearns@pd.state.gov

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational and training programs. The bureau does so by promoting personal, professional, and institutional ties between private citizens and organizations in the United States and abroad, as well as by presenting U.S. history, society, art and culture in all its diversity to overseas audiences. Further information is available at http://exchanges.state.gov.


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