Daryl Harris

Daryl Harris

Last year, Daryl Harris, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, traveled to the University of Ibadan’s Institute of African Studies in Ibadan, Nigeria, as the recipient of a 2014–2015 Fulbright Distinguished Research Award.

Harris says he has always been interested in Africa’s role in defining the nature of Black political thought and behavior—particularly in the foundational ideas in the history of Black people through African origin spirituality. His research, “Black Spirituality: An Essential Resource for Cultural Maintenance and Renewal,” has implications in the United States and the African Diaspora, where African traditional religion is practiced.

“Going to Africa for me was going to the source to examine Black spirituality with the intent of unearthing the core values, concepts and ideas that define Black spirituality,” says Harris, who has been at Howard since 2003 and teaches courses in Black politics and political theory.

Harris’s interest in Black spirituality and the uniqueness of its expression, which is not limited to religion, originates from his desire to philosophically understand and examine the foundation of Black culture. He believes that examination will illuminate Black culture’s transformation into what it is today.

After three months in Nigeria, Harris hopes to return to the University of Ibadan’s Institute of African Studies, where he was asked to give a lecture to the university community. Harris also wants to establish collaborative research and student exchange efforts with the Institute of African Studies and develop a center at Howard devoted to African knowledge systems.




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