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African American Studies: Education

Resources on African American history, literature, biography, and arts as well as racism and statistical resources


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Background resources

Institutional Racism in Higher Education

More on African Americans and higher education

Find more education resources

Use the Library's OneSearch below to find more books, videos, and articles. Use filters on the left side of the screen to limit your search. You can filter by Resource Type (just ebooks, just articles, etc.), by Date, and more. Check out our video tutorial for a brief overview of OneSearch.

Here are some subject terms you might find useful to get started:

  • Discrimination in education [or Higher education]
  • African Americans -- Education [or Higher education]
  • School integration -- United States
  • Education and state
  • Busing for school integration
  • African Americans -- Study and teaching

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History of Education

Origins of African American and Black Studies as Academic Disciplines

Origins of African American Studies

"At the dawn of the 20th century, when 8.5 million blacks constituted about 12 percent of the population of the United States, according to the distinguished black scholar, William Edward Burghardt (W. E. B.) Du Bois, "not a single first‑grade college in America undertook to  give any considerable scientific attention to the American Negro." Yet between 1897 and 1903, the Department of Labor ... published nine investigations, of varying length,  importance, and point of view, about the condition of blacks in America. Du Bois himself prepared three of these studies. When, in 1906,  Du Bois prepared another study for the Commissioner of Labor which he considered his finest sociological work, it was destroyed,  willfully, according to its author. The fate of this 10th and last study raises fascinating questions.”                                       

Grossman, Jonathan.  Black Studies in the Department of Labor 1897-1907 Monthly Labor Review, vol. 97, no 6, June 1974,  pp. 17-27. 

The above article is also available on the Dept. of Labor's website [article] and the Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries' Social Welfare History Project website [article].

History of African American Studies at Universities and Colleges


San Francisco State University

The first Black Studies Department was established at San Francisco State in response to a months long student strike.

University of California, Berkeley

A Black Studies Program was implemented by UC Berkeley administration on January 13, 1969.  

Harvard University

In 1969, the university established the African and African American Studies Department, then called the Department of Afro-American Studies.       

Washington University in St. Louis

In 1969, Washington University began offering courses under the rubric of Black Studies.

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