Africana Studies Program

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"Established in the Fall of 1997 as an undergraduate, academic unit within Arts & Sciences, Africana Studies, at the College of William and Mary, provides an interdisciplinary framework for examining the experiences of people of African heritage. The curriculum engages students in the critical examination of black diasporic cultural traditions and race relations in Africa, the Caribbean Basin and especially North America; Black Studies regards black people and their cultures as essential, organic components of the societies in which they live. The major and minor in Black Studies draw on fields such as history, sociology, economics, anthropology, literature, music, drama, dance, film, and the visual arts."[1]

The first program director, according the 1997-98 Undergraduate catalog, was Jacquelyn McLendon, currently a professor in the English department and Black Studies. Dr. McLendon specializes in African American literature, with an emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance and women's literature. She has published a book on the first African American poet, Phillis Wheatley, entitled Phillis Wheatley: A Revolutionary Poet.


  • Black Studies Program website,
  • Black Studies Program, The College of William and Mary Undergraduate Catalog, 1997-1998, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

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Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fire, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the SCRC's collections and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the SCRC's access tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.