Message from the Chair,
Dr. Gayle T. Tate:
Welcome to Africana Studies! Our intellectual roots run deep and in many directions. We are engaged in rich dialogue on topics ranging from the history of the United States to ancient African empires, from the origin of humankind to the global African diaspora, from religion to philosophy, to science, culture, and politics. Irrespective of their intellectual interests, students frequently comment that our courses open up new horizons for them, and novel ways of seeing the world.
The discipline of “Africana” or “Black” Studies was institutionalized within the American academy as a consequence of political mobilization during the Modern Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Student and faculty activists at campuses nationwide demanded an intellectual space for the study of the Black experience in the United States and in the diaspora. In the four decades following the institutionalization of our department at Rutgers, Africana Studies has played an important role in transforming and democratizing research and pedagogy in the academy.
This achievement would not have been possible without the support of passionate students, engaged faculty, and committed administrators over the years. Thanks to their activism, the histories and experiences of peoples of African ancestry, once invisible in academic discourse, are now an integral part of university curricula nationwide. Now, as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of our department, we proudly offer a wide variety of courses that bring together a number of perspectives and disciplines focusing on peoples of Africa and African origin worldwide.
I invite you to explore the field of Africana Studies and welcome you to visit our Department in person. Our dedicated Faculty are eager to help you discover the exciting possibilities that lie within our interdisciplinary field.