Africana Studies

Announcements, Academic Opportunities & Internships

Honoring  Mrs. Mary Louise Smith-Ware with a Historical Marker placed at her home site in 1955 

62 years ago Mrs. Smith-Ware was arrested for defying segregation orders on a city bus and her actions and treatment mirrored Mrs. Parks and Claudette Colvin of the same year.  She then joined three other women as co-lead plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, Browder v Gayle that was unamioulsy supported by the U.S. Supreme Court and was a major precedent that enabled Civil and Human Rights legislation of the 20th and 21st Century. Equal Justice, Due Process, Civil Rights legislation post 1956 mirrors the ruling of the Browder v Gayle case.

Mrs. Smith-Ware continued to distinguish herself by joining her sister in filing a segregation complaint against the Montgomery YMCA in 1969 that ultimately led to a class action lawsuit, Smith vs. YMCA that desegregated the YMCA and overturned a 1957 city ordinance that blocked blacks and whites from socializing in public.

Donations can be made on our GoFund Me Page-Smith Historical Marker, or mail directly to us, Cosmo D- Productions- Smith Historical Marker. P.O. Box 798,Selma, Al 36702. See our website:, Facebook:More Than A Bus Ride@ WaheedC.

The Patience Essah Africana Studies Lecture Series

Each academic year, Africana Studies at AU coordinates a series of academic and cultural lectures in honor of retired professor of history and Africana Studies – Dr. Patience Essah.  The academic lectures are designed to expose students to the rigor and breadth of Africana Studies by giving them the opportunity to learn from and engage with leading scholars within the field.  As a complement, the cultural lectures speak to contemporary and historical moments or experiences in ways which allow students to connect with complex or difficult subjects through more a personal, commun, and extracurricular interaction.  

Last Updated: August 26, 2019