Black Studies

Emory University Acquires a Collection of Letters Written by Barack Obama in His 20s

Emory University Acquires a Collection of Letters Written by Barack Obama in His 20s

Rosemary Magee, director of the Rose Library at Emory University, stated the letters “reveal the search of a young man for meaning and identity. While intimate in a philosophical way, they reflect primarily a college student coming to terms with himself and others.”

The University of Virginia Establishes the Center on Race and Public Education in the South

The University of Virginia Establishes the Center on Race and Public Education in the South

The new center is being led by Derrick Alridge, a professor in the Curry School of Education at the university. Professor Alridge also is the director of “Teachers in the Movement,” an oral history project that explores the ideas and pedagogy of teachers during the civil rights movement.

African American Studies Granted Departmental Status at the University of Virginia

African American Studies Granted Departmental Status at the University of Virginia

The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia was established in 1981. Now, 36 years later it has been granted departmental status allowing it to function autonomously to develop curriculum and hire faculty.

Two Black Scholars Named Calvin Bland Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania

Two Black Scholars Named Calvin Bland Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania has announced the first cohort of Calvin Bland Fellows. The fellows, all members of the university’s faculty, will conduct research on boys and young men of color. Two of the three new Calvin Bland fellows are African Americans.

University of Illinois Acquires the Papers of Poet, Educator, and Publisher Haki Madhubuti

University of Illinois Acquires the Papers of Poet, Educator, and Publisher Haki Madhubuti

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois has acquired the papers of poet Haki Madhubuti and the archives of the Third World Press, the oldest independent Black-owned publisher in the United States.

Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative Launched at Vanderbilt Divinity School

Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative Launched at Vanderbilt Divinity School

Under the initiative, the Divinity School will bring scholars, students, activists and public servants to Nashville for the next three years to work through the collaborative on programs to eradicate racism and all of its reciprocal forms of injustice and hatred.

Harvard-Based Journal on Africa and the Diaspora Is Printed Once Again in Africa

Harvard-Based Journal on Africa and the Diaspora Is Printed Once Again in Africa

The journal Transition was founded in 1961 in Kampala, Uganda, and became an important voice of Black intellectual thought as the continent transitioned from colonial rule to independence. For the past quarter century, the journal has been housed at Harvard University.

University of California, Merced Debuts New Major in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

University of California, Merced Debuts New Major in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

The major has four interdisciplinary core classes, including a capstone/senior thesis course, along with various electives. Faculty members from affiliated programs will offer a host of other courses that students can take to fulfill additional major and elective requirements.

University of Montana Black Studies Scholar Looks to Raise Awareness With 500-Mile Bike Trek

University of Montana Black Studies Scholar Looks to Raise Awareness With 500-Mile Bike Trek

Tobin Miller Shearer, an associate history professor and director of the African American studies program at the University of Montana, is about to embark on a 500-mile bicycle trip through the mountains of Montana in an effort to raise awareness of issues important to African Americans.

University of Montana Graduates Its First African American Studies Majors

University of Montana Graduates Its First African American Studies Majors

The African-American studies program at the University of Montana is the third oldest in the nation and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. But until now, students could not major in the subject.

University of Cincinnati Researchers Produce a Racial Diversity Map of the Entire Nation

University of Cincinnati Researchers Produce a Racial Diversity Map of the Entire Nation

The map shows how the racial makeup of neighborhoods changed between 1990 and 2010. Users can zoom in to focus on a particular state, city, or even neighborhood. The maps are so detailed that information can be found for any 30-square-meter area in the country.

The New Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at New York University

The New Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at New York University

According to the university, lawyers today cannot fully understand the American legal landscape without studying the relationship between race, ethnicity, and economic inequality.

New Black Cultural Center Dedicated at the University of Wisconsin

New Black Cultural Center Dedicated at the University of Wisconsin

The new Black Cultural Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will serve as a venue for programming, community organizing, and academic activities related to Black culture.

Hamilton College's Oral Histories of Jazz Greats Made Available Online

Hamilton College’s Oral Histories of Jazz Greats Made Available Online

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording, Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, has established a YouTube channel where it will share oral history interviews from its extensive Jazz Archive.

A New African Art Exhibition at Oberlin College in Ohio

A New African Art Exhibition at Oberlin College in Ohio

Oberlin College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution in Ohio, recently dedicated a new African art installation at its Allen Memorial Art Museum. The museum has 107 African art objects in its collection.

Niagara University Establishes a New Center on Race and Equality

Niagara University Establishes a New Center on Race and Equality

The Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equality and Mission will be focused on research and integrating issues of race and equality into the teaching/learning environment at Niagara University.

University of Kansas to Develop Curriculum for Teaching About the 1967 Riots

University of Kansas to Develop Curriculum for Teaching About the 1967 Riots

The three-week seminar, entitled “Teaching the Long Hot Summer of 1967 and Beyond,” will allow 30 high school teachers to develop lesson plans for teaching about this period of civil rights history.

University of Virginia Law Students Participate in Pro Bono Civil Rights Law Clinic

University of Virginia Law Students Participate in Pro Bono Civil Rights Law Clinic

The goal of the clinic is to bring cases that have the potential to provide real and concrete relief to large groups of people who have been harmed by discrimination or deprivation of protected rights.

Mohamed Camara to Chair the Department of Africana Studies at Howard University

Mohamed Camara to Chair the Department of Africana Studies at Howard University

Dr. Camara has been serving as associate vice president for academics, speaker of the Faculty Senate, and director of the McNair Scholars Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

A New Home for Yale University's African Art Collection

A New Home for Yale University’s African Art Collection

The Laura and James J. Ross Gallery of African Art includes more than 250 items spanning more than 3,000 years of African history. Items include sculptures, ceramics, masks, ivory carvings, and metal works.

University of Oregon Plans for a New Black Cultural Center

University of Oregon Plans for a New Black Cultural Center

In the fall of 2015, the Black Student Task Force at the University of Oregon issued 13 demands designed to make the campus more welcoming to African American students. One of these demands was to build a Black Cultural Center on campus. Efforts are underway to meet that demand.

A New Academic Program in Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University

A New Academic Program in Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University

The new Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies program at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth will explore issues of race and ethnicity as active social, political, historical, and cultural processes.

University of Southern California to Launch the Race and Equity Center

University of Southern California to Launch the Race and Equity Center

The university has hired Shaun R. Harper to lead the new initiative and to serve as the Clifford and Betty Allen Professor in Urban Leadership. Currently, Professor Harper is the director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vast New Online Archive of African American History Materials

Vast New Online Archive of African American History Materials

The University of Minnesota Libraries’ Umbra Search African American History website offer users access to more than 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries and cultural organizations.

A New Online Archive of the First Blacks in the Americas

A New Online Archive of the First Blacks in the Americas

The online bilingual archive is called the First Blacks in the Americas/Los Primeros Negros en las Americas. It documents the earliest history of the African diaspora in what is now the Dominican Republic.

Wellesley College Offers a New Minor Degree Program in Comparative Race and Ethnicity

Wellesley College Offers a New Minor Degree Program in Comparative Race and Ethnicity

The new minor at the highly rated women’s college, where Blacks make up 5 percent of the student body, will allow students to create a structured yet individualized plan of study from interdisciplinary courses that offer rigorous and complementary approaches to understanding race and ethnicity.

Black Studies Achieves Departmental Status at Washington University in St. Louis

Black Studies Achieves Departmental Status at Washington University in St. Louis

As a full department, African and African American studies will be better positioned to set curriculum and drive hiring decisions. Gerald Early, the Merle King Professor of Modern Letters, will serve as the inaugural chair of the new department.

University of Alabama Debuts Online Archive of Documents Relating to the Scottsboro Boys

University of Alabama Debuts Online Archive of Documents Relating to the Scottsboro Boys

The archive, “To See Justice Done: Letters from the Scottsboro Trials,” includes thousands of letters, documents, petitions, and telegrams that were sent to Alabama governors during the legal proceedings.

New Minor Degree Program in Africana / Black Studies at Niagara University in New York

New Minor Degree Program in Africana / Black Studies at Niagara University in New York

Courses in the new minor will be offered by several departments including history, sociology, literature, political science, law, communication and education. Students can choose from two tracks. One will focus on African American history and culture and the other will focus on the African diaspora.

Professor Seeks to Solve the Mystery of the Man Who Claimed to Be the Last Surviving Slave

Professor Seeks to Solve the Mystery of the Man Who Claimed to Be the Last Surviving Slave

Sylvester Magee died in Columbia, Mississippi, in 1971. He claimed he was born a slave in 1841 and after securing his freedom was a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. If true, the 130-year-old Sylvester Magee was not only the last surviving American slave, he was the last living Civil War veteran.

Temple University Scholar Leads Effort to Remember Pennsylvania's Slaves

Temple University Scholar Leads Effort to Remember Pennsylvania’s Slaves

Charles L. Blockson, the curator emeritus of the Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia, led an effort to commemorate the lives of enslaved Africans who labored in Pennsylvania or who were transported through Philadelphia on their way to southern plantations.

A New African American Center Planned at the University of California, Berkeley

A New African American Center Planned at the University of California, Berkeley

The new center will be named after Fannie Lou Hamer, the voting and civil rights activist. The agreement to establish the center comes after a year of talks among the administration, the Black Student Union and other campus African American groups.

Emory University Opens Its Refurbished African Art Galleries

Emory University Opens Its Refurbished African Art Galleries

Only 5 percent of Emory’s African art collection can be displaced at one time. The refurbished galleries allow museum officials to easily change exhibits, allowing for more of the university’s vast collection of African art to be seen by museum visitors.

A New Database of Peer-Reviewed Articles on Black Males in Education

A New Database of Peer-Reviewed Articles on Black Males in Education

Louis Harrison and Anthony Brown of the University of Texas at Austin have created The Black Male Education Research Collection. The new website is a repository of research on issues relating to Black men in all levels of education, with a special emphasis on higher education.

Western Illinois University to Eliminate Degree Program in African American Studies

Western Illinois University to Eliminate Degree Program in African American Studies

Western Illinois University in Macomb has announced that is eliminating several degree programs due to low number of students pursing bachelor’s degrees in these fields. One of the degree program being eliminated is African American studies. Blacks make up 19 percent of the undergraduate student body at the university.

New Website Explores the Origins of African American Music

New Website Explores the Origins of African American Music

Scholars at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have debuted an interactive website that chronicles what is believed to be among the earliest examples of the music of the African diaspora.