ATLANTA — The Department of Africana Studies at Georgia State University is proud to announce the establishment of the Jacqueline Rouse-Doris Derby Africana Studies Fellowship honoring the legacies of two distinguished scholars, Jacqueline A. Rouse and Doris A. Derby.
Rouse earned her B.A. in Afro-American History from Howard University, her master’s degree in African American history from Atlanta University and her Ph.D. in American Studies from the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Emory University. She became most well known for her scholarship on the women leaders of the Black freedom struggle, specifically Margaret Murray Washington, Lugenia Burns Hope, and Septima P. Clark. She served as assistant editor for the Journal of Negro History as well as in several leadership positions of professional organizations. Rouse joined the faculty in the History Department at Georgia State in 1991, and her support and advocacy as faculty made it possible for the student protestors’ demands to create a department devoted to Africana studies to become reality. She retired in 2017, but her legacy on campus and in the fields of Black Women’s History lives on through her work as a scholar, teacher, and mentor.
Derby continued the activist legacy of her family when she joined the Civil Rights Movement as a young woman. She earned her B.A. from Hunter College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialization in African and African American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She worked as an educator, photographer and anthropologist, founded the Free Southern Theater, and is distinguished as an activist in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Veteran of the Civil Rights Movement. She came to Georgia State as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Founding Director of Georgia State University’s Office of African American Student Services and Programs (OAASS&P) in 1990. Her impact was especially felt in Black student’s active participation in Student Life and in the Department of Africana Studies. She retired from Georgia State in 2012, but continued actively working in photography, theater, film and organizing.
The fellowship aims to honor the legacies of these scholars whose work has opened and maintained a space for Black student success at Georgia State, especially in the interdisciplinary field of Africana Studies, and how their scholarship, artistry, and activism have contributed to knowledge of Black people well beyond this campus.
The fellowship will support students seeking an M.A. in Africana Studies as they embark on their intellectual journey of recovering and creating the stories that need to be told, into their academic tradition of scholarly rigor, and their human tradition of community care. The first recipients of the fellowship will be named in spring 2024.
“This fellowship is a testament to the invaluable contributions that Dr. Rouse and Dr. Derby have made to the field of Africana Studies, Georgia State University and beyond,” said Department Chair Jonathan Gayles. “Their legacies will continue to inspire generations of scholars, activists, and community members for years to come.”
To contribute to the Jacqueline Rouse-Doris Derby Africana Studies Fellowship click here.