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VSU Alum Leonard Slade, Jr. Named Poet Laureate & Phi Beta Kappa Member

This article announces Leonard A. Slade Jr.’s appointment as the Poet Laureate of The Southern Conference on African-American Studies. Slade, a professor emeritus of Africana Studies and former adjunct professor of English at the University at Albany, is recognized for his impactful poetry that reflects the Black experience in America. The article also highlights Slade’s recent honorary membership in The Phi Beta Kappa Society and his notable scholarly contributions to the field.

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Special to the New Journal and Guide

Leonard A. Slade, Jr., professor emeritus of Africana Studies and former adjunct professor of English at the University at Albany (SUNY), has been named Poet Laureate of The Southern Conference on African-American Studies, Inc. Professor emeritus and distinguished professor awardee George Garrison of Kent State University nominated Slade for the position, which was approved unanimously by the organization’s Executive Committee and members.

Professor Garrison stated, “Slade’s poetry reflects the heartbeat of the Black experience in America, and it captures the spirit of our struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. Slade’s development of scholarly and creative work has led to his national and international reputation as a poet. His poetry creates a larger footprint in the world of organizations whose primary mission is to protect and preserve the history and culture of African people and their descendants, primarily in the hemisphere of the Americas: North America, South America, and the Caribbean.

“The Southern Conference on African-American Studies is honored to have such a scholar of distinction to be Poet Laureate,” said’Garrison.

Slade, who earned the master’s degree in English from Virginia State University, was also recently named an honorary member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society. According to Anthony DeBlasi, president of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Alpha Chapter of New York, Slade’s unanimous vote for membership “was based on his many scholarly contributions, his dedication to the liberal arts, and his literary accomplishments.”

Slade was invited to deliver The Phi Beta Kappa Society Address at the Induction Ceremony at the State University of New York at Albany. He is a SUNY Citizen Academic Laureate, Collins Fellow, and former president of Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society.

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