The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  • Sofia Meadows-Muriel Afro-Am Alum '22 Featured in Two Portraits on View at the Met

    Two portraits of Sofia Meadows-Muriel ’22, who majored in Afro-Am Studies, are currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the exhibition, “Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina,” on view through February 2023.  See the full article here from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.  Congratulations Sofia!

  • Chester Davis Scholarship Recipients

    The W. E. B. Du Bois Department is pleased to announce its recipients for this year's Chester Davis Scholarship. This year, the scholarship is awarded to Bertovah Michel ('22) and Zachary Steward ('23). This award is named in honor of Chester Davis, a beloved professor and mentor who taught in the Du Bois Department for over twenty years. We thank the scholarship's donor for their ongoing support of our undergraduate students. 

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    Film Screening with the Du Bois Department
    Thank you for joining us on Sunday, November 13th at the Hadley Cinemark Theater.  It was great to see faculty, staff and students all together socializing and enjoying the movie.This event, co-sponsored by the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, the Afro-American Studies Undergraduate Council and the Afro-American Studies Graduate Council was a smashing success. Wakanda Forever!  

  • Afro-American Studies at UMass

    What can I do with a major in Afro-American Studies?
    As an Afro-American Studies major, you will gain skills in project development, research and analysis, interpersonal and cross-cultural communication, critical thinking, problem solving and writing—all skills employers look for in new hires. The undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies prepares you for the complex challenges that face our communities, country, and the world in the 20th century.  Find out more⇒


Professor Steven Tracy's Interview on "Meet the American Who”

January 24, 2023

Professor Steven Tracy was interviewed live on radio for “Meet the American Who,” an international radio news story on Fox News dealing with the blues singer Mamie Smith. The program also cites his...

Maya Cunningham's Recent Publication

December 09, 2022

 "Fishbowl Colonialism: The White Colonial Gaze on the Sound of Black America in Education." was published in New York University's Voices in Urban Education (VUE) journal (Spring/Summer 2022)....

John H. Bracey, Jr. Fellowship Fund Supports Graduate Students in Afro-American Studies

November 30, 2022

An endowed graduate fellowship has been established in honor of John H. Bracey, Jr., professor of Afro-American studies at UMass Amherst since 1972. The fund is now active. The John H. Bracey, Jr....

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Chayanne Chataigne, UMass Amherst Class of '21
Alumni Profile

Chayanne Chataigne '21

A resident of Worcester, MA, Chayanne Chataigne decided on UMass Amherst due to its proximity to home and financial aid offerings. Chayanne was initially a psychology major, but during the fall of her first year she took a general education course on Afro-American history from 1619 to 1860. In the spring, she took Introduction to Black Studies. Eventually, she made the decision to add the Black Studies major to enrich her academic path. She graduates with a dual degree in psychology and Afro-Am Studies. 

Continue reading about Chayanne Chataigne
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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