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  • Max Roach and His Legacy

    Conversation: Drummers As Trendsetters
    Wednesday, October 23rd at 6:30 p.m., New Africa House Theater Room 
    Drummers are place right up front, as they discuss the legacy of Max Roach and how they themselves fulfill a role as a trendsetter in the industry. Featuring renown drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington; beat scientist, Makaya McCraven; and percussionist, Royal Hartigan; and moderator Stephanie Shonekan, Chair, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. Warren Smith will receive our Distinguished Achievement Award.  Conversation followed by mini-concert with Mtali Banda.  

  • Black Lives Matter and Music

    In this collection of critical studies co-edited by Stephanie Shonekan, contributors draw from ethnographic research and personal encounters to illustrate how music in the Black Lives Matter movement can contribute to public awareness of the injustices in our society.

  • Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture

    Honorable Mention, 2019 MLA Prize for a First Book
    Sole Finalist Mention for the 2018 Lora Romero First Book Prize, presented by the American Studies Association
    Rusert's book exposes the influential work of a group of black artists to confront and refute scientific racism. Traversing the archives of early African American literature, performance, and visual culture, Britt Rusert uncovers the dynamic experiments of a group of black writers, artists, and performers.



  • Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights

    Parker examines the movement to racially integrate white-collar work and consumption in American department stores, and broadens our understanding of historical transformations in African American class and labor formation.


  • Afro-American Studies at UMass

    One of the largest departments of its kind, the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies serves students seeking in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of black people in the Americas and the worldwide African Diaspora.


Reliquary of Blackness

October 09, 2019

An Exhibit of Oral Histories, curated by scholar Erika Slocumb Please see the full MassLive article for details.  Erika Slocumb is a doctoral student in the Afro-American Studies Department.

Kiara Hill at the Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation Seminar

August 13, 2019

Kiara Hill says attending this year’s Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation seminar in New York City revealed something very important for her. “The program showed me there is a path,”...

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Max Roach and His Legacy

New Africa House Theater Room (#03), 180 Infirmary Way, Amherst
6:30 pm


Max Roach and His Legacy

New Africa House Theater Room (#03), 180 Infirmary Way, Amherst
4:00 pm

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Hands holding a sign that says "Hands Up Don't Shoot"

Why Afro-American Studies?

Our department is named for the great intellectual, a native of our Western Massachusetts region, who was the first academic scholar to pioneer the systematic study of people of African descent in the U.S. and throughout world. To earn a degree in Afro-American Studies, to take courses leading to a certificate or a minor is to follow in W.E.B. Du Bois’ footsteps of academic excellence and social responsibility.

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