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Ayana Omilade Flewellen

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Ayana Omilade Flewellen is an archaeologist and Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California Riverside. She is the co-founder of the Society of Black Archaeologists, .[1] Flewellen sits on the board of Diving with A Purpose, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of submerged heritage resources.[2][3]

Early life and Education[edit]

Flewellen attended the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Minor in African American Studies in 2011 and a Master of Arts in African and African Diaspora Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. She earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. As a scholar of anthropology and African and African American diaspora studies working with Black feminist epistemology and pedagogy.


Flewellen co-founded the Society of Black Archaeologists in 2012. The non-profit organization works to create a network of archaeologists that advocate to ensure proper treatment of African and African diaspora material culture, and ensure community collaborations in the field of archaeology and actively encourage the interest and understanding of archaeology[1].

Flewellen worked on the Slave Wrecks Project[4], a joint international project between the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture and George Washington University that searches for slave ships to understand the histories, and legacies connected to the voyages during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. As a SCUBA instructor on the project, Flewellen has been featured in the National Geographic short documentary on the Slave Wrecks Project[5] [4].


2019 - “African Diasporic Choices: Locating the Lived Experiences of Afro-Crucians in the Archaeological and Archival Record.” In Nordic Journal of Information Science and Cultural Mediation (peer reviewed).

2019 - “Dress and Labor: An Intersectional Analysis of Clothing and Adornment Artifacts Recovered from the Levi Jordan Plantation.” In Archaeologies (peer reviewed).


2018 - Authors: Justin Dunnavant, Ayana O. Flewellen, Alexandra Jones, Alicia Odewale, and William White III. “Assessing Heritage Resources in St. Croix Post-Hurricanes Irma and Maria.” In Transforming Anthropology (peer reviewed). Vol. 26, Number 2, pp. 157–172

2018 - Odewale, Alicia, Justin Dunnavant, Ayana Omilade Flewellen, and Alexandra Jones. “Archaeology for the Next Generation.” Anthropology News website, January 2, 2018. https://

2017 - “Locating Marginalized Historical Narratives at Kingsley Plantation.” In Historical Archaeology (peer reviewed). 51(1), 71-87

2017 - Review of Spill, by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. In Ethnic and Third World Literatures, Volume 16, Hybrid Archives and Crossed Disciplines. Vol. 17, Spring 2017

2016 - Review of Yabo, by Alexis De. Veaux, In Ethnic and Third World Literatures, Volume 15, Hybrid Archives and Crossed Disciplines. Vol 16, Spring 2012

2012 - Co-Authored with Justin Dunnavant “Society of Black Archaeologists.” The African Diaspora Archaeology Network Newsletter. Spring 2012


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Society of Black Archaeologists". Society of Black Archaeologists. Retrieved 2019-10-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. "Diving With a Purpose". Diving With a Purpose. Retrieved 2019-10-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "Ayana Omilade Flewellen". Ayana Omilade Flewellen. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Slave Wrecks Project". National Museum of African American History and Culture. 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  5. "Most slave shipwrecks have been overlooked—until now". National Geographic. 2019-08-23. Retrieved 2019-10-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

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