African and African American Studies, a program born out of student protest that recently became a department, celebrates its 50th year.
In the fall of 1968, members of the Association of Black Collegians occupied Brookings Hall for eight days. The sit-in would permanently change Washington University.
Professor Gerald Early recently oversaw African and African-American Studies’ transition from program to full-fledged department at WashU. Here, he talks about the student activism that kick-started black studies programs around the country.
Founded in 1969, the African and African-American Studies program at Washington University in St. Louis was among the nation’s first. This spring, the university will mark a new chapter when the program becomes a full department within Arts & Sciences.
A panel discussion, titled “Conversations on Gender and Blackness in the Age of Trayvon Martin,” will open WUSTL’s African and African-American Studies fall colloquium series at 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge. WUSTL faculty will lead the discussion, which includes a coffee reception at 10 a.m.
It is being called “A Celebration of Women and Diversity at Washington University,” but it is much more than a celebration. Beginning Monday, April 5 through Saturday, April 10, a unique set of events — mostly free and open to the public — will be offered that demonstrate the talent and vitality that women and minorities bring to the university, the region, the nation and the world.