The Los Angeles Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc., better known in Los Angeles as Our Authors Study Club, Inc. (OASC), celebrated 73 years of African American History on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey, California. This year’s theme was: “African Americans in Time of War” and emphasized the importance of knowing the contributions of African American soldiers, sailors, veterans and civilians and telling their stories.
Among the honorees were World War II Veteran Ivan J. Houston, actor William Allen Young, Kenneth J. Lombard of MacFarlane Partners, and Lula and Erwin Washington of the Lula Washington Dance Theatre. The distinguished attendees included OASC President, Ernestine Janet Gordon; Executive Director, Mordena Moore; event Co-Chairs, Helen E. Steward and Maude L. Johnson as well as the Honorable Diane Watson among others.
OASC is a non-profit organization that was founded by Mrs. Vassie D. Wright on February 14, 1945; for the purpose of studying the biographies of African American authors, reviewing their books, and learning the true history of African people throughout the diaspora. That same year, Mrs. Wright worked with Dr. Carter G. Woodson to charter Our Authors Study Club, Inc. as the Los Angeles branch of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc. (now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc.).
Since its inception, Our Authors Study Club has continued its original mission and now offers programs for elementary and high school students, including granting scholarships to college students pursuing a degree in the field of African American History, Literature and/or Culture.
A total of nine students were awarded scholarships this year. Among them were: Kari Alexandra Brown, attending Spelman College in Atlanta, GA; Danielle Kitchen, attending Cal State San Bernardino, in California; James Wesley Bennett, III, attending Wiley University in Marshall, TX; Royalle Adai Stewart, attending Grand Canyon University in Pheonix, AZ; Dynesha Lucas attending Los Angeles Community College; Jared Baylis, attending California State University Northridge; Erynn Perkins, attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA; Eryanna Perkins, attending Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA; and Myko Lyric Campbell, attending New York University. As each student was awarded their scholarship, OASC member Dr. Toni Humber encouraged them to “Be the rule, not the exception of African American greatness and genius.”