Dr. Akinyele Umoja assumed the position of Chair of the Department of African-American Studies (AAS) in July 2011. Anyone that knows Dr. Umoja has complete confidence in his ability to lead the department and build on the legacy left us by our founding Chair, Dr. Charles E. Jones. Indeed, we express our gratitude to Dr. Jones' incredible leadership and wish him well in his new post. Dr. Umoja's scholarship, energy, passion, and commitment to the department and the discipline most certainly represents a bright future for African-American Studies at Georgia State University.
Dr. Umoja began his career at Georgia State in 1996. He was the fourth tenure-track faculty member hired in AAS and played a significant role in establishing the department’s reputation on campus, in the academic community nationally, and in the Metropolitan Atlanta community. Umoja’s scholarship is respected by historians of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. He is completing a manuscript on the role of armed self-defense in the Black freedom struggle in Mississippi scheduled to be published by New York University Press in 2012. Dr. Umoja teaches a variety of AAS courses and has served as a mentor and advisor to several students and campus organizations. Umoja’s activism and service to the community has been acknowledged by several organizations, including the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the National Council of Black Studies. Dr. Umoja has been married to educator Aminata Umoja for over thirty years and is the parent of a GSU alumnus Tashiya Umoja (class of 2006) and Chinua Umoja, currently a graduate student in Computer Science.