212: OPENING PLENARY SESSION - The Shadow of Suns: Paradigmatic Rifts and the Theoretical Legacies of the Black Struggle in Family Science

Andrea Hunter; Tammy L. Henderson; Ramona Faith Oswald; Leigh A. Leslie; DeAnna Harris-McKoy; Sadguna Anasuri; I. Joyce Chang; Karen Blaisure; Yolanda Mitchell
11:45 AM
01:00 PM
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About the Session
Plenary Sessions are the main, featured addresses at the conference. The topics of plenary addresses fit closely with the conference theme. Plenary presenters are all well-accomplished in their disciplines.

An interactive discussion with Dr. Hunter will take place at the conclusion of this session.

Welcome and and Introduction to Conference:  Tammy Henderson, Ph.D., Lamar University, 2021 NCFR Program Chair

Welcome from the Session Sponsor: Ramona Faith Oswald, Ph.D.

Welcome and Introduction of the NCFR Board, Editors, and Executive Director, Diane Cushman: Leigh A. Leslie, Ph.D.,  2019-2021 NCFR President

Introduction of Plenary Speaker: DeAnna Harris-McKoy, Ph.D.

Discussion Time: Moderator: Karen Blaisure, Ph.D.; Q & A Monitors: Sadguna Anasuri, Ph.D., and I. Joyce Chang, Ph.D.; Chat Monitors: DeAnna Harris-McKoy, Ph.D., and Yolanda Mitchell, Ph.D.

Session Sponsored by: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Human Development and Family Studies
For more than a century, African American developmental and family scholars have sought to juxtapose black life against its representations in the American public imagination. These scholars also exposed the interconnections between knowledge, power, and ideas, and the racial politics of epistemology. To reveal the humanity of a people for whom it was denied would require new and re-fashioned theoretical and interpretive tools, and the paradigmatic rifts that resulted would be transformative. This plenary address highlights these paradigmatic rifts and their theoretical legacies in Family Science, as well as what the pain, joy, struggle, and faith of black folk reveal.

Sustainable Conference Goals:
This evidence-based presentation will (a) strengthen research on race, culture, and families; (b) enhance the work of scholars, educators, practitioners, and policymakers; and (c) provide a critical framework for scholars focused on the design, modification, and evaluations of curriculum and courses.


  • To recognize the intellectual traditions and paradigmatic tensions in the discipline of Family Science rooted in hegemonic discourse(s) about race, family, and gender.
  • To engage in critical reflections about the political and sociohistorical context in which knowledge-generation occurs and is validated, and in whose interests.
  • To deconstruct how race and the subfields of Black family and developmental studies influenced the discipline of Family Science.
  • To recognize the critical role of Black scholars, and the paradigmatic rifts they created alongside the 100-plus year history of Family Science.
  • To integrate into the canon of Family Science the history of Black family and developmental studies, and their impact on theoretical and methodological advancements of the discipline.
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