Today’s spotlight is on KATH Board member Deonte Hollowell who is our Private/Independent Universities Representative. Here are his answers to our request to tell us more about himself.
Current school: I am currently an Instructor of History in Spalding University’s School of Liberal Studies
Fields of interest: Policing, Urbanization, Housing, Education and Socialization…
When did you first develop an interest in history? As a child I could never accept that things just happened; I needed to know why. I was always wondering and questioning. My academic interest in history was sparked by the late, great J. Blaine Hudson in my undergrad days at University of Louisville. His historical storytelling reminded me of friends and family back home in Hopkinsville, Kentucky that I swapped stories with growing up (as we still do). Looking back, I appreciate learning the importance of history in all human endeavors.
How have your interests changed since graduate school? I have not lost any interest for the topics I studied during grad school such as Hip Hop music and culture, the struggles of Black Studies on campuses and in communities, and urban activism. However, lately I have been reading about various concepts of power as well as the interactions between indigenous Americans and colonial forces.
What projects are you working on currently? I am currently working on a project that investigates urban rioting, looting, and violence as responses to police violence. I am also analyzing a theory called “the revolt of consciousness” which evaluates a person’s mindset prior to revolutionary action. Finally, I have been working on a group project that focuses on the health and educational implications of the HOPE VI Project (now called “Choice Neighborhoods Project) in Louisville, KY.
Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? The most compelling historical text that I have read is Ivan Van Sertima’s They Came before Columbus which exams physical proof that ancient Africans visited the New World prior to Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage. Van Sertima documents maps, statues, monuments, and botanical evidence – his work is groundbreaking in proving African contributions to the world.
What do you value most about the history profession? The history profession has offered me tons of flexibility in the studies that I am able to pursuit and the courses that I get to teach.
Other than history, what are you passionate about? Institution Building. Teaching on the college level has blessed me with the opportunity to engage community necessity in a meaningful way. I have developed various programs throughout my career that focus on enhancing the quality of life in communities.
Any final thoughts? The ancient Akan people of Ghana developed a term called “Sankofa” which means “to return and recover it” – it is the process of historical recovery. The symbol of Sankofa is a bird looking back into its wings. It represents the idea that “until you know where you’ve been, you won’t know where you’re going.”