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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

Black Film Project and Film Studies Fellowships Established at Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will direct the newly established Black Film Project, an initiative aiming to support independent films focusing on Black history and culture.

In Memoriam: Nathan Hare, 1933-2024

Dr. Hare was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s and was a strong advocate for equal educational opportunities for Black Americans. In 1968, he founded the country's first Black studies program at San Francisco State University.

Saida Grundy Wins Race, Gender, and Class Book Award From the American Sociology Association

Dr. Grundy's book, Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man, explores the culture and experiences of graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta, the country's only historically Black college for men.

Jack A. Kirkland Donates Collection of Papers to Washington University in St. Louis

Kirkland has served as an associate professor in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University for over 50 years. His collection of papers includes materials from the early days of the university's Black studies program.

Tina Post Wins National Book Circle Award for Book on Black American Identity and...

Dr. Post has been on the faculty at the University of Chicago for the past six years, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in the university's department of English language and literature.

California State University Sacramento Launches Black Honors College

Officially launching for the fall 2024 semester, the Black Honors College will support students from all backgrounds who study Black history, life, and culture by providing them with a specialized curriculum and mentoring opportunities.

Center for Politics and Race in America at Rutgers University Newark Renamed for the...

“Lt. Gov. Oliver’s legacy will continue to inspire our center as we expand access to public service as a profession and promote research and public policy that confronts systemic inequalities," said James Jones, co-director of the Sheila Y. Oliver Center for Politics and Race in America at Rutgers University Newark.

Johns Hopkins University Launches New Major and Center for Critical Study of Racism, Immigration,...

The new Chloe Center for the Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism will provide research opportunities and educational events for the Johns Hopkins University community. As part of the new program, the university has announced a new undergraduate major in critical diaspora studies.

Chicago Library Receives $2 Million to Digitize Collection of African American History and Literature

The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection housed within the Chicago Public Library will soon be available online to the public thanks to a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Kean University Establishes New Center for Africana Studies

“This new center epitomizes the university’s commitment to equity and to serving our state, particularly our urban communities,” said Kean University president Lamont Repollet. 

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.

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Global Black Writers in Translation Series Is Launched by Vanderbilt University Press

Global Black Writers in Translation, a new trade series launched by Vanderbilt University Press, will publish works by African-descended authors translated into English in an effort to expand public knowledge of Black literature.

The Slavery North Initiative Gets a Boost in Funding from the Mellon Foundation

The University of Massachusetts Amherst received its largest ever Mellon Foundation grant to support the Slavery North Initiative. The program is led by founding director Charmaine Nelson, provost professor of art history.

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.

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.

New Center on Urban Education Research

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has established the Urban Education Research Center to conduct research and analysis aimed at improving the lives of urban residents throughout the U.S.

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