Black Studies Major Proposed at Southern Illinois University

The black studies program at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has been in existence for nearly 40 years. Now Joseph A. Brown, a Catholic priest who is the director of the black studies effort, is seeking departmental status and the institution of a black studies major at the university. Brown has suggested that due to the program’s international focus, the major should be renamed Africana studies.

Father Brown is a graduate of Saint Louis University. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, a second master’s degree from Yale University in Afro-American studies, and a Ph.D. from Yale in American studies. Before coming to Carbondale, he taught at Creighton University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and the University of Virginia.