Pan-African Studies | Faculty and Staff

Department of Pan-African Studies
5151 State University Dr. Los Angeles
King Hall C3095 
Phone (323) 343-2290
Fax (323) 343-5485
Email [email protected] 


Image of Melina Abdullah

Melina Abdullah
Associate Professor
Office: King Hall B3024
Telephone: (323) 343-2294
Email: [email protected]

Ph.D., University of Southern California

Melina Abdullah is Associate Professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Southern California in Political Science and her B.A. from Howard University in African American Studies. Her research focuses on power allocation and societal transformation. Abdullah has authored several articles and book chapters, including "The Emergence of a Black Feminist Leadership Model,” “Hip Hop as Political Expression," "Self-Defined Leadership Among Black Women," "Capitalistic Hands around My Throat: Corporate Control and the Erosion of Hip Hop’s Womanist Roots," "Pushing and Pulling Towards Coalition: African Americans and the Election of Antonio Villaraigosa," and "Towards a Womanist Leadership Praxis: Electoral/Grassroots Alliances in Black California." She is currently working on her first book, Move the Crowd: Hip Hop and Political Mobilization. Abdullah defines herself as a womanist, scholar-activist – recognizing that the role that she plays in the academy is intrinsically linked to broader struggles for the liberation of oppressed people. Melina resides in mid-city Los Angeles with her husband, Phaylen Abdullah, a teacher and filmmaker, and daughters Thandiwe and Amara.

Image of Melvin Donalson

Melvin Donalson, Acting Chair
Office: King Hall C3095
Telephone: (323) 343-2291
Email: [email protected]

Ph.D. Brown University

Melvin Donalson received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University. He edited the text, Cornerstones: An Anthology of African American Literature (1996), and served as an Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of 20th Century African American Literature (2007). His critical books include Black Directors in Hollywood (2003), Masculinity in the Interracial Buddy Film (2006), and Hip Hop in American Cinema (2007). His poetry collection, Dancing on Quicksand (2006), contains original verse of various themes, and his book, Seekers and Saints (2007), is a collection of fifteen short stories. In addition, Donalson is a screenwriter and filmmaker. Having written over fifteen screenplays, he wrote, produced, and directed the short films, A Room Without Doors (1998) and Performance (2008). 

Image of C. R. D. Halisi

C. R. D. Halisi
Office: King Hall C3095B
Telephone: (323) 343-2295
Email: [email protected]

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

C. R. D. Halisi is Professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. He has doctorate in Political Science (with an emphasis on South African politics) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Halisi has conducted field research in South Africa and several other African nations. In 1994, he was one of seventy-five Americans selected to be a United Nations Observer during South Africa’s first democratic elections. His Black Political Thought in the Making of South African Democracy was published by Indiana University Press in 1999. Halisi served as a Commissioned Scholar with the Project on the Public Influences of African American Churches funded by the Pew Charitable Trust and was a fellow at Yale University’s Southern African Research Program. Halisi has published research essays in numerous edited volumes and academic journals including Africa Today and Comparative Studies in Society and History.


Image of Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar

Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar 
Office: King Hall B3024
Telephone: (323) 343-2293
Email: [email protected]

Professor Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar is originally from South Central LA. Aminah has a B.A. from USC in Cinema Television with an emphasis in Critical Studies. She also holds an M.F.A. from UCLA in Film & TV Production with an emphasis in Directing. In 1996 Aminah was in Film Independent’s Project Involve and later she was selected for their screenwriter’s lab. Her film, Personal Touch, which was created to help her cope with her mother’s death from breast cancer, won the Liddel Art Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2000. That same year, Aminah completed a Directing Internship at The Young and the Restless and was featured on Entertainment Tonight. In 2002, Aminah won the Visionary Award at the Pan African Film Festival for Bilalian, a feature length documentary about Muslims, and received a glowing review from Variety praising the film's focus on African-American Muslims in America. Next, she became a finalist in the AOL/CNN/HBO & Harvard Life Through Your Lens Contest. In 2008 Aminah won the Lecturer of the Year award from the California Faculty Association, CSULA.