Alicia Fontnette Appointed Executive Director of the National Council for Black Studies

The National Council for Black Studies has selected Alicia Fontnette as the organization's executive director. Dr. Fontnette is an assistant professor in the department of African studies at the University of Delaware, which will serve as the council's new headquarters.

Vanderbilt University Acquires the Dom Flemons Collection

The collection includes research materials on Black cowboys, musical instruments, an Edison phonograph with several playable wax cylinders, historical sheet music, art pieces, memorabilia, personal gifts, autographed records, and materials documenting Flemons’ 20-year professional music career.

University Press of Kentucky Launches New Imprint to Discover Creative Black Writers

Screen Door Press is dedicated to discovering unique, exceptional, and varied voices within Black literary traditions. The goal of Screen Door Press is to publish thought-provoking books that feature relatable characters, strong narratives, and beautiful language to champion diverse views from throughout the Black diaspora. The new imprint will be edited by Crystal Wilkinson, Bush-Holbrook Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky.

Kerry James Marshall’s Portrait of Henry Louis Gate Jr. Donated to Cambridge University

Kerry James Marshall has donated his portrait of Harvard's Henry Louis Gates Jr. to the University of Cambridge. Professor Gates holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English language and literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. The work is Marshall's first portrait of a living person.

University of Virginia School of Law Establishes the Education Rights Institute

The new institute, led by law professor Kimberly Jenkins Robinson, aims to ensure that all students receive a high-quality K-12 education and help schools understand how to address obstacles facing disadvantaged students.

Ball State University Combines Women’s, Gender, and African American Studies

The women and gender studies program and the African American studies program at  Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, have been combined to form the Department of Women's, Gender and African American Studies. Sharon Jones, a professor of English at Ball State University, has been named chair of the new department.

Vanderbilt’s New Center for Research on Inequality and Health

The center’s scholarship aims to deepen society’s understanding of the causes of health-related inequalities, how they intersect, and how they affect population health. The center’s research hopes to formulate potential solutions to these challenges through advocacy, intervention, and public policy.

Ohio State University Is Launching a Hip-Hop Studies Program

Jason Rawls and Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson have been hired as assistant professors to lead the new hip-hop studies program.

Grinnell College in Iowa Launches the Department of African Diaspora Studies

In 1971, the members of Concerned Black Students at Grinnell College in Iowa presented President Glenn Leggett with a list of 10 demands to improve life on campus for Black students and faculty. Among these demands was the creation of a Black studies major. Now that demand has become true.

Morgan State University Museum Added to the National Register of Historic Places

In 1935, Lillie Jackson was elected president of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. Under her leadership, the NAACP membership rose from less than 200 in 1935 to over 25,000 by 1946. She remained president until 1970. Her home was made into a museum and later ownership was transferred to Morgan State University,

Dartmouth College Launches the Institute for Black Intellectual and Cultural Life

The new institute will host visiting scholars, artists, writers, activists, and postdoctoral fellows; provide research grants to Dartmouth faculty and staff; fund student internships; and sponsor events such as symposia, performances, and courses, among other activities.

Huge Number of the Nation’s Political Leaders Have Director Ancestors Who Enslaved People

New research by Reuters has found that of the 536 members of the current U.S. Congress, at least 100 have ancestors who had ties to the institution of slavery. More than one quarter of all U.S. Senators have an ancestor who enslaved at least one person. Two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and 11 of the nation's 50 governors had ancestors who were involved in slavery.

Huge Number of the Nation’s Political Leaders Have Direct Ancestors Who Enslaved People

New research by Reuters has found that of the 536 members of the current U.S. Congress, at least 100 have ancestors who had ties to the institution of slavery. More than one quarter of all U.S. Senators have an ancestor who enslaved at least one person. Two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and 11 of the nation's 50 governors had ancestors who were involved in slavery.

Rhodes College in Memphis to Launch the Institute for Race and Social Transformation

Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, has announced that it is establishing the Institute for Race and Social Transformation (iRaST). The institute will serve as...

Center for African American Health Established at the University of Kansas

The University of Kansas Medical Center has announced the launch of the Center for African American Health, which will focus on improving the health outcomes of Black, African American, and other marginalized people and populations through service, education, research, and policy.

Vanderbilt University Scholar Has Established the “Possibilities Project”

The Possibilities Project, under the direction of Chezare Warren, an associate professor of leadership policy, and organizations at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development “is an arts-informed knowledge hub committed to improving Black students’ well-being in education and beyond.”

The University of Connecticut to Establish a Social Justice Course Requirement

The University Senate at the University of Connecticut has voted to create a social justice requirement in the university's curriculum. The new social justice requirement focuses on the one-credit “Anti-Black Racism” course that has been offered as an elective since the 3021=-22 academic year. The new requirement will be in effect beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.

Northwestern University Is Changing the Name of Its Department of African American Studies

The department is seeking to better reflect the breadth of its scholarship and teaching, according to the faculty’s formal name change proposal. The term “African American studies” is often interpreted as being specific to the United States, while the department’s actual work is broader.

College Board Once Again Making Revisions to Advanced Placement Course on Black Studies

In the fall of 2022, The College Board offered an Advanced Placement course in African American studies for the first time. The course was offered in 60 high schools throughout the United States in a pilot program. Now 800 schools are planning to offer the course. But controversy about the content of the course persists.

University of North Carolina Is Preparing to Launch Graduate Programs in Black Studies

In 2021, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill approved the establishment of graduate programs in its African American and diaspora studies department. The department is now developing the curriculum and searching for graduate faculty. The first students will enroll in these new graduate programs in the fall of 2025.

Williams College in Massachusetts to Offer an African Studies Major

Williams College, the highly selective liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts, has announced that it will begin to offer an Africana studies major this coming fall. Africana studies will be the 37th major available to students at the college. Federal data shows that Blacks make up 5 percent of the 2,200-member student body at Williams College.

University of Pittsburgh to Offer a Ph.D. Program in Africana Studies

The University of Pittsburgh’s graduate program in Africana Studies has announced that it will enroll its first cohort of students in its Ph.D. program this coming fall. The new Ph.D. program will offer students the choice of three different concentrations: Race & Equity, Migration & Community Transformation, and Culture & Creative Production.

The College Board and Governor Ron DeSantis Add Fuel to the Fire Over Black...

On February 11, the College Board issued a statement that said, "we are proud of this course. But we have made mistakes in the rollout that are being exploited. We deeply regret not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander." On February 13, Governor Ron DeSantis said that Florida may reevaluate Florida's entire relationship with The College Board.

Ron DeSantis Mounts Effort to Challenge Diversity Programs at State Universities in Florida

Ron DeSantis, the newly re-elected governor of Florida, has notified all state-operated universities in Florida that they are required to “provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs, and campus activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and critical race theory,” as well as an accounting of all state funds used to fund such efforts.

Wayne State University Announces a Cluster Hire Program for 30 Scholars Focused on Black...

Wayne State University is launching a cluster hire program that will recruit and hire 30 new humanities faculty and create the Detroit Center for Black Studies. The initiative will support Wayne State's goal to build a more inclusive and equitable university by prioritizing faculty and research centered on the Black experience.

University of Arkansas to Offer a Master’s Degree in Black Sacred Music

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has announced that beginning next fall it will offer a master's degree program in Black scared music. The university states that this will be first degree program of its kind in the United States.

Williams College in Massachusetts to Add an Africans Studies Major

The nine-course major will consist of three required courses and six electives. Currently, there has been a five-course concentration in Africana studies that consists of two required courses and three electives. With the addition of African studies as a major, the concentration will be eliminated by 2026.

University of Rochester in New York Establishes a Black Studies Department

The new Black studies department will work in close collaboration with the university’s Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, which was established in 1986.

Penn States Scraps Plans to Establish the Center for Racial Justice on Campus

Last fall, Pennsylvania State University announced plans for the center that it said would be dedicated to research and scholarship around racism and racial bias. Now, after installing a new president, the university's plans for the new center have been abandoned.

Emory University Has Announced the Debut of a Ph.D. Program in African American Studies

Emory University states that the doctoral program is the first of its kind in the southeastern United States and the first at a private university in the entire South. Each student in the program will receive specialized training in one of three fields: gender and sexuality; social justice and social movements; or expressive arts and cultures. The first students will enroll in the fall of 2023.

Baruch College of the City University of New York Launches Black and Latino Studies...

The new degree track, housed in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and chaired by Professor Shelly Eversley adds five full-time, dedicated faculty members.

The College Board Introduces an Advanced Placement Course on African American Studies

This fall for the first time, there is an Advanced Placement course in African American studies. The course is being offered in 60 high schools throughout the United States. The new offering makes a total of 40 Advanced Placement tests and it is the first new subject added since 2014.

Brown University Acquires Papers and Artwork of Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 1982, Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His death sentence was later overturned and he was given a life sentence without parole. While in prison, Abu-Jamal has written extensively on the failures of the U.S. criminal justice system.

Thomas Jinnings: The First Black Student at Harvard?

Who was the first African American student at Harvard? This question is not as easy to answer as one might think – and, with the recent discovery of a name buried in an 1841 Harvard catalogue, a new possible answer has come to light.

UCLA Law School Project Tracks Anti-Critical Race Theory Efforts Nationwide

The law school’s CRT Forward Tracking Project is the first in the United States to precisely identify, catalog, and contextualize these efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Center for the Study of African American Preaching Established at Anderson University

The Center for the Study of African American Preaching at Anderson University in South Carolina will have two missions: developing significant new scholarship regarding the use of preaching in the Black church and creating a publicly available online library of audio recordings of well-known African American preachers.

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