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Sarah Lacour, a history and art double major with a minor in Africana studies, is a member of the National Council for Black Studies Honor Society.
Sarah Lacour, a history and art double major with a minor in Africana studies, is a member of the National Council for Black Studies Honor Society.

Expanding understanding

Photo courtesy of Sarah Lacour

Meet NCBS Honor Society member Sarah Lacour

Editor’s Note: As headquarters for the National Council for Black Studies, the University of Delaware is leading a nationwide effort to expand the NCBS Honor Society to include university chapters. NCBS Executive Director and UD Professor Alicia Fontnette spearheaded this initiative with an inaugural cohort of 10 Blue Hen undergraduates. “As we continue to grow, I’m excited that UD will be pioneering many of the initiatives for chapters worldwide, from community service projects to research opportunities,” Fontnette said. 

Students were selected for their commitment to Africana studies, community service and academic rigor (all must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA). The following Q&A is part of a larger series spotlighting these charter members.

As a history and art double major, Sarah Lacour added an Africana studies minor after taking three classes in the field during her junior year. 

“They fit requirements for my other majors, and I'm so glad I took them all,” she said. 

Here, Lacour shares more about her experience as a student and NCBS Honor Society member.

What has been your favorite Africana studies course?  

Picking a favorite Africana studies course is a little tough. I have had genuinely wonderful experiences in every AFRA class so far. If I had to pick, I'm torn between AFRA306/HIST326: African American History Since the Civil War, taught by Dr. Cheryl Hicks and AFRA315/ARTH346: Issues in Black Photography, taught by Dr. Julie McGee. Both covered and really expanded on my understanding of topics within my other two majors. 

What was the most surprising or interesting thing you learned? 

When taking Intro to Africana studies, one thing that surprised me, but maybe shouldn't have, was the emphasis on the activist scholar, or the scholars relationship with their community. Every class encourages you to apply what you learn in the classroom to support communities beyond the University, be that in your personal life, work, or service.

What’s something you wish more people knew? 

I think everyone should have to take at least one Africana studies course in their college career.

Why did you want to join the NCBS Honor Society?

I wanted to join the Ankh Maat Wedjau Honor Society because I appreciated the recognition, and hoped it would continue pushing my academic and professional experiences while I'm still at UD. 

What topic are you presenting at the upcoming NCBS conference?

My presentation draws from a paper I wrote for HIST400: Reconstruction History, taught by Dr. Dael Norwood. The paper explores Delaware's disproportionate use of corporal and capital punishment against Black Delawareans during the federal Reconstruction period (1865-1877), and how that system extended the violence of enslavement. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I'm hoping to get a job in public programming, or education in an art museum. I'm also planning to continue painting and hope I can grow that practice with time. 

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