Invite Sheila To Speak to Your Audience

I love sharing the fascinating experiences I lived in expected and unexpected places as I learned that the African Diaspora is global.

I was assured decades ago by noted sociologists and graduate school anthropology professors that we, U.S. African Americans, had no culture and certainly no African heritage, which many people, unfortunately, still believe. I was excited and gratified to learn, beginning with my first adolescent journey to Central Africa, that my community still manifests elements of its rich African heritage and that we are an integral part of a larger, worldwide African Diasporan community. It’s a pleasure to convey knowledge and images from my decades of field research with people interested in these enlightening realities, including such topics as:

  • Africans Making the Modern World
  • Rewriting the Stories of Africans in the Americas
  • Technology Transfers from Africa to the Americas
  • Spirituality of African Origin in the Diaspora
  • Diaspora Women as Priestesses & Queens


United Nations Keynote: Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

When invited by the Remember Slavery Programme to address the UN General Assembly, I said that descendants of the enslaved want to forget a traumatizing history and descendants of enslavers want to ignore their ancestors’ guilt and their own complicity in benefiting from the inhumane system. Yet, we must remember slavery to understand the inequitable racial realities and the cultural forms of African origin characterizing American nations. Current research urges us to remember not just oppression, but also triumphs over oppression, and contributions by the enslaved to global civilization.

United Nations Gala in Support of a Permanent Memorial to Africans and Afrodescendants

The Ark of Return, the memorial to the African and Afrodescendent victims of the Transatlantic commerce in African lives, now graces the esplanade of UN Headquarters in NY. My address highlighted the importance of counteracting miseducation and telling truths about the impact and meanings of the presence of Africans and their descendants throughout the Americas, emphasizing African intellectual and technological contributions to the development of the Americas, and African and Afrodescendent resistance to the system of enslavement.

Lessons from the Water: Diving With a Purpose and Black to the Future from United Shades of America

Dr. Sheila S Walker moderates this discussion of the film “Lessons from the Water: Diving With a Purpose” with director Charles Todd and archeologist Dr. Ayana Flewellen, and the episode “Black to the Future” from United Shades of America series with host W. Kamau Bell both CNN productions. “Lessons from the Water” is about ‘slave ship archeology‘, the underwater archeological search for wrecks of ships that brought enslaved Africans to the Americas, and “Black to the Future” is about the presence or absence of African Americans from STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Thinking and Rethinking the Global African Diaspora, Pan African Heritage World Museum Conference

The Pan African Heritage World Museum will be located in Accra, Ghana, and will allow Africans and African Diasporans to tell our own stories. This presentation focused on seminal African and Afrodescendant contributions to the creation of the Americas and the Atlantic World. Thinking of those albeit involuntary contributions requires a rethinking, a fundamental reconceptualization, of the role of the commerce in African lives that forced 12-15 million African people across the Atlantic Ocean to use their African knowledge systems to foster the development of the new societies of the Americas.

You Can't Know the Americas If You Don't Know Africa, Black History Month Address, Wagner College

I always emphasize two issues fundamental to understanding the Americas. Africans and Afrodescendants were the majority of the population during most of the history of the modern Americas, so foundational to the creation of the new societies. And the transatlantic commerce in African lives, more than just a violent displacement of millions of laborers, was also a systematic brain drain and transfer of technology from Africa to develop the European colonies that became the nations of the Americas.

From Daufuskie Island to the Global African Diaspora, International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference

Rather than telling an audience that included Gullah Geechee people about Gullah Geechee culture, I shared how what I learned in visits to Daufuskie, Johns, and Sapelo islands and to Charleston in South Carolina and Georgia allowed me to recognize similar phenomena of African origin elsewhere in the African Diaspora. Gullah Geechee language, wisdom tales, agriculture, gastronomy, iron metallurgy, spirituality in motion, etc., let me understand echoes of these characteristics elsewhere in the Diaspora.

Transforming Anthropology, ABA 50th Anniversary Issue Event: Honoring Sheila S Walker

“Reflections on Anthropology and Afrocentrism across the African Diaspora,” was a dynamic discussion about my article, “The Virtues of Positive Ethnocentrism: Some Reflections of an Afrocentric Anthropologist,” published in 1991 in Transforming Anthropology, the journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists. Characterized as “groundbreaking,” it was featured in the 2020 issue in the “Honoring Our Elders” series and complemented by provocative insights from Dr. Jemima Pierre and Dr. Krystal Strong.

Tarzan in the Classroom, Africa in Educational Media

“Tarzan in the Classroom: How ‘Educational’ Films Mythologize Africa and Mis-Educate Americans,” was how I characterized the results of my study of “educational” films about Africa and the African Diaspora during a conference on the Inclusion of African and African-American Content in the Curriculum. Images from the era of my study have now been replaced by differently negative ones. My findings encouraged me to produce documentaries based on my own experiences and reflecting my positive perceptions of Africa and the Global African Diaspora.


El Primer Congreso de la Cultura Negra de las Américas

Al no poder asistir a una conferencia en Cartagena, Colombia en mayo de 2017 sobre el trabajo del activista intelectual y cultural afrocolombiano, el Dr. Manuel Zapata Olivella, envié este video. En el video hablo de como el Primer Congreso de la Cultura Negra de las Américas, co-organizado por el Dr. Zapata Olivella y el afrobrasileño Abdias do Nascimento, y realizado en Cali, Colombia en 1977, fue pionero en la revelación de la importancia de la Diáspora Africana y el principio de mi descubrimiento de y mis investigaciones sobre la Diáspora Africana Global.

La Africanidad de Colombia y de la Diáspora Africana

Durante esta conferencia del Decenio Internacional de las Naciones Unidas para los Afrodescendientes que dicte en el Museo de Historia de Cartagena, en Colombia, después de discutir cómo aprendí sobre la africanidad de mi cultura africana americana viviendo con una familia en Camerún, en África Central, hablé de las manifestaciones de la herencia africana de Colombia. Tales manifestaciones se encuentran en la concentración de apellidos africanos en la Costa Pacífica y de topónimos africanos en varias partes del país.

Las Contribuciones de África a las Américas, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Este discurso, que fue una transmisión especial del programa Estás Viendo en la Televisión Nacional de Honduras, fue organizado por ODECO, la Organización de Desarrollo Étnico-Comunitario, que promueve los derechos y el desarrollo de los afrodescendientes. Mi enfoque se centró en las presencias y contribuciones de africanos y afrodescendientes en las Américas: en la búsqueda de la libertad, incluso en Honduras, así como en la economía, la transferencia de tecnología y las manifestaciones culturales. 

Generando Conocimiento Desde Adentro, Barlovento, Venezuela

Esta reunión inicial en Barlovento, Venezuela, condujo al libro que coordiné, “Conocimiento desde adentro: Los afrosudamericanos hablan de sus pueblos y sus historias”. En él, los afrosudamericanos de los nueve países de habla español escribieron sobre sus propias comunidades y sus roles en sus naciones. Invité al investigador afrovenezolano Jesús Chucho García a colaborar en el proyecto que nos permitió generar este aporte pionero al conocimiento.


Cartographie, Survivances, Contributions à la Modernité | Forum des Humanités Africaines, Mali, 2021

Cette présentation sur les humanités africaines qui continuent à caractériser la Diaspora Africaine aux Amériques faisait partie de l’évènement qui a eu lieu à Bamako au Mali en septembre 2021 pour fonder le Forum des Humanités Africaines. Ma présentation utilisait comme exemples des continuités et survivances africaines manifestées dans les toponymes africains du Panama ainsi que dans les noms de familles de la côte pacifique de la Colombie qui rappellent les lieux et les noms ethniques africains.

United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent

Black History Month presentation of “Familiar Faces / Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora”

Presenting “From Daufuskie Island to the Global African Diaspora”

International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference