K. Nyerere Ture` is a practicing cultural anthropologist/criminologist and an educator, who teaches Anthropology and Criminology/Criminal Justice at Winthrop University, at the rank of Assistant Professor. Ture` earned a BA in African/African American Studies and Criminal Justice at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and a MA in Applied Anthropology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He successfully defended his dissertation and now performing the final revisions in the Department of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC. In between undergraduate and graduate school, he engaged in a folk ethnography project of law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county and state level believing that as an aspiring criminologist, he could offer a more informed perspective and pedagogy on the American criminal justice industry. As a result of his folk ethnography undertaking, he was certified in basic law enforcement and as a sheriff deputy through three Atlanta metropolitan law enforcement agencies. As a former police office, he provides invaluable insight into the use of law enforcement as an instrument of state violence against marginal peoples.
Building on his undergraduate and master level graduate research focus that explored the relationship between community crime and urban development, Ture's dissertation research examines the lived experiences of African American public housing residents in the throes of an urban renewal project that demonstrates the continued perpetuation of structural violence against marginal citizens. The particular site of Ture’s doctoral research (research completed in spring 2013) is one of the most historical African American neighborhoods within Washington, DC (WDC) and the largest and most ill-reputed public housing community in the nation’s capital. This public housing community is called Barry Farm Public Dwellings by city officials and outsiders, but referred locally as the “Farms” and it is located east of the Anacostia River (EoR) - a river that forms an expansive separation between the WDC’s majority African American communities from their more affluent and privileged counterparts on the mainland. The Farms' community serves as a metaphor for the continued devalued treatment of people of color in the United States of America (US) and represents a punitive mechanism within the US broader repertoire, techniques, institutions and coercive policies and practices of state violence.
Senaida P. Sharif is a social worker, emergent Muslim and family scholar and advocate for social justice more directly for children, youth and women. Sharif earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida Memorial University in Miami, Florida and a Masters of Social Work degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Sharif’s professional career includes youth counseling, law enforcement and professional social work practice to which she most recently enjoyed a decade long practice with the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, Landover, Maryland.
Sharif interest in area social work begun at a youthful age growing up in Brooklyn, New York, with parents who led a Neighborhood Block Association and ran a local community center. Sharif along with her siblings had the opportunity to operate the facility serving free lunch, tutoring and mentoring neighborhood peers and the depth of poverty she witnessed stirred a disquieting concern for the human condition. This concern continues to shape her professional practice, activism and scholarship.
Sharif since witnessed her childhood community Brooklyn transition from a manufactured, chocolate and urban ghetto where racism, sexism and islamicphobia ruined many lives to a revitalized, exclusively white and wealthy urban latte. Sharif maintains that the ghettoization process and now the process of gentrification and displacement yields and unattended trauma for people of color in Brooklyn and the US writ large.
KTure Institute Founder & Resident Scholar
Christina Benton is an anthropologist specializing in bioarchaeology and forensics. She is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Winthrop University where she primarily teaches archaeology and forensic courses.
She received her undergraduate degree from Howard University in biological anthropology and her MA degree from the University of Tennessee. She is currently on a dissertation sabbatical from Winthrop University and as a PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina, she is completing her doctoral requirements.
Christina’s research interests include bioarchaeology, African American biohistory, mortuary studies, cemetery demography, African Diaspora studies, skeletal trauma and forensics.
Her current and recent projects include excavations of enslaved African dwellings at the Springs Close Plantation, Historic Rosedale Plantation, Archaeological Survey of Historic Brattonsville’s Slave Cemetery, Excavation of Historic Brattonsville’s Main House Basement, Philadelphia Presbyterian Church Cemetery project, and African American cemetery surveys of Charlotte.
In addition to being a professor and archaeologist, Christina is a writer having completed her first crime fiction novel. Her most important job, she would argue however, would be her role as a mother to three wonderful children.
KTURE Institute Co-Founder & Resident Scholar
Christina Brooks, KTURE Resident Scholar