The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  • 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.

  • Ariana Vazquez Receives the Chester Davis Scholarship Award

    The Du Bois Department is pleased to announce that Ariana Vazquez has been selected as the first recipient of a scholarship established in honor of Professor Chester Davis, a member of the W. E. B. Du Bois Department faculty from 1971 to 1992. During his tenure, Professor Davis recruited prominent activists and scholars to the department. His constant encouragement and unflagging support of the students he mentored during his more than 20-year tenure transformed the lives of his students.

  • Carolyn Parker-Fairbain: Recipient of the 21st Century Leader's Award

    Carolyn Parker-Fairbain, of Boston, Mass., earned a degree in Afro-American Studies with minors in theater and history and a certificate in multicultural theater. At UMass Amherst, Parker-Fairbain focused her considerable talent and organizational energy on the intersections between Black studies and the arts. In her first Department of Theater production, she performed in Baltimore, a play by Kirsten Greenidge. 

  • 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.


Fire Fridays: The Cats Talk Back-Mini Concerts and Panel Discussions

April 23, 2021

The W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies presents Fire Fridays: The Cats Talk Back - Mini Concerts and Panel Discussions on Hot Topics in Jazz. Friday April 23rd, April 30th, and May...

Dr. Julia Charles Featured on MSNBC Podcast Into America

February 18, 2021

With Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Trymaine Lee...

UMass Amherst Launches Black Presence Initiative

February 16, 2021

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has launched a new Black Presence Initiative. The Initiative, spearheaded by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, is coordinating a series of...

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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. 

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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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