The UMass Afro-American studies program is one of the largest in the country, bringing depth and breadth to this crucial academic field. We foster new generations of students who build on the scholarship and the social justice commitment of the department’s namesake, W. E. B. Du Bois and who carry their skills and knowledge into their communities, for the good of the wider world.

Our students engage in an interdisciplinary study of the history, politics, culture, music, economics, and literature of people of African descent in the United States and across the wider African diaspora. However, they focus not only on the experiences of these communities, but also on the linkages of those experiences to the cultural, political, and economic forces of the larger societies to which Black people have been, and are, inextricably linked.

Our graduates are prepared to meet the growing demand for men and women possessing a thorough understanding of Afro-American history, communities, and culture, a demand expressed by federal, state, and local governments, schools and colleges, community organizations, and other organizations of public trust and responsibility.