Black studies programs were established at many colleges and universities in the late 1960s and 1970s. But few historically Black colleges and universities followed suit as Black studies were routinely part of the overall curriculum at these educational institutions. Later on African American studies programs were established at several leading HBCUs.
Now Tuskegee University in Alabama, which was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, is establishing an African American studies 15-credit minor. The new, multidisciplinary African-American studies program is a collaborative project between the university’s Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science and the department of history and political science in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Carla Jackson Bell, professor and dean of the Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, will serve as director of the program. She stated that “the minor will explore ways of thinking, researching and writing about the diverse experiences of African-Americans and human culture — such endeavors at an HBCU are often more limited in the curricular sense.”
Dr. Bell became dean of the School of Architecture and Construction Science in 2016 after teaching for 10 years at Auburn University in Alabama. Dr. Bell is the author of Space Unveiled: Invisible Cultures in the Design Studio (Routledge, 2014). She is a 1991 graduate of Tuskegee University. Dr. Bell earned a master of fine arts degree in interior design at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia, and a Ph.D. in architecture education from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.