Henry (Hank) Williams is a Lecturer in the Africana Studies Department at Lehman College of the City University of New York (known by the acronym CUNY: pronounced “kew-knee”), where he’s also taught literature courses in the English Department.
He previously taught summer workshops for the SEEK Program at City College of New York where he also created the curriculum for intensive reading, writing, and research workshops for incoming first year students and has taught at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hunter College (in Africana Studies and Sociology), NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and SUNY Purchase as a Diversity Fellow for the 2011-2012 academic year. A list of current and past courses taught (with curricular links) is on the teaching page.
Research interests include the Black Arts and Black Power Movements, African American popular music (particularly jazz and hip hop and the literary and cultural connections) and film, and Black and Latin@ students in Higher Ed and the CUNY system.
He has also lectured on Kwanzaa, with an educational approach that explains the concepts and places it within its proper historical, cultural, and social context.
He has a BA in Media and Communications from the City College of New York and a MPhil in English with a concentration in Africana Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center.
His dissertation research is a profile of the early years of The Last Poets, a performance poetry/activist collective as a case study of how artists engaged as political activists during the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s – early 1970s in New York City. It places their work in the context of the Black Arts Movement, Harlem, and Black – Puerto Rican political and cultural connections.
Professional affiliations include the Association for Scholars of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), African Heritage Studies Association, Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement, Jazz Journalists Association, and the National Council for Black Studies.