Africana Studies Program

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"Established in the Fall of 1997 as an undergraduate, academic unit within Arts & Sciences, Black 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 of Black Studies according to William & Mary's 1997-1998 undergraduate catalog, was Jacquelyn Y. McLendon, a professor in the Department of English and Africana Studies.[2]

Prof. Berhanu Abegaz was the first director of Africana Studies. Prior to that he was chair of African Studies.

References