African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, Department of

This department has its roots in the 1960s-era activism of African American students at predominantly white universities. Still within the first decade of integration, such institutions faced increasing criticism from students about admissions policies, campus life, and academic programs. In December 1968, UNC's Black Student Movement presented a list of twenty-three demands to the chancellor that included a call for a department of African and Afro-American studies. In 1969 the faculty council endorsed such a curriculum and approved a major in 1970. With tracks in African studies and Afro-American studies, the curriculum had codirectors for its first fourteen years. It was made a department in 1997, twenty-two years after it was first proposed, becoming the Department of African Studies and Afro-American Studies.

The department adopted its current name in 2013. The change better reflected the department's research and teaching focus. The department offers a bachelor of arts degree with a major in African, African American, and diaspora studies, and a concentration in either African studies or African American and diaspora studies. At first housed in Alumni Hall, the department now resides in Battle Hall.


Date Established: 1951

Date Range: 1951 – Present