1968. That is the first year an African American and Africana Studies Course was offered at the University of Kentucky. The course catalogue from that year lists a seminar in African Societies taught in the Anthropology department. The following year the Philosophy department offered a course on the Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Black Student Union was formed. It is not a coincidence that course offerings in what was then called Black Studies grew as black students and their allies began organizing groups that continue to be important on our campus. The call by students and faculty was not only to broaden the course offerings on blacks in the U.S and through out the diaspora. Those raising their voices were also demanding space and inclusion within the University. Almost 50 years later, we are still building on their success but with a new name. With your support, we will continue that success into the future.
A few years ago we became the African American and Africana Studies Program to more fully capture our commitment to the study of Black people in the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean and the diaspora. Our name is new but our commitments are the same: producing quality scholarship, educating students and working collaboratively with the community. We still hear that original call of students, faculty and those in the community who we hope will continue to support our effort. In the last two years we have worked to overhaul our physical space including a nearly completed renovation of the Doris Y. Wilkinson Conference room. We have added an additional AAAS Classroom/Conference room. We continue to hire outstanding faculty in collaboration with other university partners. We support a study abroad program to South Africa. In the spring of 2016, AAAS will host the 22nd Annual Black Women’s Conference. This year we also embark on the development of an African American and Africana Studies major.
We are excited about what lies ahead for AAAS even as we recognize there is so much work to be done.
African American and Africana Studies Administration & Staff:
Dr. Melynda Price, Director, 257-5022. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Del Toro, Department Manager, 257-2284, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org