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History of the Discipline

During the struggle for civil and human rights of the 1960s, Africana students and communities demanded Black / Africana / African American studies programs and departments to be offered. By the 1970s, more than 600 educational institutions added the discipline to their curricula. The importance of such programs cannot be overemphasized. Research indicates a correlation between the existence of Black / Africana / African American studies programs and departments and the recruitment and retention of students of African descent. This has been done by providing a more representative and culturally balanced college curricula as well as culturally relevant subject matter for the African descended populations of the University of Houston and the various colleges and universities of the United States in general.

The University of Houston, due to student protest, created the African American Studies Program in 1969. After more than 50 years, that program became a department. Throughout the years, the discipline continued to move forward with innovative course offerings, focusing on the history, culture, life and contributions that people of African descent have made to the world. Moreover, since its inception, AAS has added new courses, received additional and continuous funding, stimulated increased student interest and expanded its associated cultural activities and community presence.

For more general information, call the department of African American studies at 713.743.2811.