African American studies

  • What the Rejection of African American History Means for Students

    by Monica Washington

    When a state decides to minimize African American history and thought in its curriculum, it marks that history as "other" and denies all students the opportunity to understand the national past and the prospects for realizing democratic values in the future.

  • College Board Defends AP Course Decisions

    The Board stated that it regretted failing to make its disagreements with Florida's assessment of the course as lacking in educational value, and that it had betrayed the trust of scholars who had worked with it to develop the course. 

  • Conversation: Why is AP Taking Activism Out of African American Studies?

    Historians Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Robin D.G. Kelley discuss the roots of African American Studies in civil rights activism, which makes the decision to de-emphasize contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter inexplicable and diminishes the power of the course to help students make sense of the society.

  • Fear of a Black Studies Planet

    by Roderick A. Ferguson

    A scholar whose work was named in Florida's decision not to support the AP African American Studies course discusses a long history of conservative efforts to control textbooks and teaching and, failing that, to create politically useful hysteria about indoctrination. 

  • Revisiting Saidiya Hartman on the Meaning of Freedom

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    A quarter century after publication, "Scenes of Subjection" still shows how Americans have embraced emancipation as a national expurgation of the sin of slavery, without stopping to consider the substantive meaning of freedom. 

  • Toni Morrison's Vision of Justice Was an Ethos of Care

    by Farah Jasmine Griffin

    "What does justice look like for centuries of systemic abuse and violence enacted by a society built upon withholding justice from Black people? In all of her novels Toni Morrison contemplates the nature and practice of justice."

  • What Does African American Studies Need to Thrive?

    A recent eruption of dissention in UCLA's African American Studies department arguably reflects the strains caused by poor institutional support by the university, an issue faced by Black Studies departments on many campuses.

  • Prolific author, Northwestern professor Jan Carew dies at 92

    Northwestern University issued the following obituary of former professor Jan Carew, who died Dec. 6:Jan Carew, professor emeritus of African American studies at Northwestern University, died Dec. 6 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was 92.Professor of African American Studies from 1973 to 1987, Carew was described as the “quintessential Renaissance Man – an author, historian, internationalist, public intellectual, social justice activist and pioneer in experimenting with sustainable lifestyles for people of color.”Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American studies and professor of history at Northwestern, said Carew was an important leader of Black studies....