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  • Dr. Yolanda Covington-Ward, Chair, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies

    Welcome to Yolanda Covington-Ward as the new Chair of the Du Bois Department!
    Dr. Covington-Ward is currently President of the Association for Africanist Anthropology, Vice-President of the Liberian Studies Association, and is an executive board member of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD).  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Brown University. Her research focuses on embodiment, identity, religion, performance, and politics, emphasizing the agency and creativity of people of African descent in transforming the worlds around them.  



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

    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. Fellowship Fund will provide summer fellowship support for doctoral students in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies who have achieved candidacy and are engaged in research and writing their dissertations.

  • 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.


Professors Shabazz and Lao-Montes Attended the Inauguration in Colombia

August 17, 2022

AMHERST, Mass. — UMass Amherst's Amilcar Shabazz, professor and graduate program director of Afro-American studies, and Agustin Lao-Montes, professor of Sociology and Afro-American studies, as well...

Dr. Leydi Vidal Perlaza "MAKES AN IMPACT"

August 17, 2022

See the video here:

Call for Papers:

August 09, 2022

The W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies’ 2022-2023 Workshop Series...

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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
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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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