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About Us

The origin of the Department of African American Studies (AAS) at Georgia State University is steeped in protest.  Indeed, the creation of the department is a direct result of the persistence, fortitude and commitment of the student-activists who sought social change at Georgia State University by participating in the 1992 sit-in.  Since its formal inception in 1994, the African American Studies department has made tremendous strides in fulfilling the University’s advisory committee on African American Studies’ mandate “to become a regionally and ultimately a nationally recognized department of African American Studies.” A dedicated faculty, outstanding staff, enthusiastic students and the generous support of the Dean’s office of the College of Arts and Sciences have propelled the Department of African American Studies at Georgia State University on to the national landscape of the discipline. During its first decade, the department of African American Studies has enriched the intellectual and cultural life, both on campus and in the Atlanta metropolitan area. It has hosted academic conferences and sponsored lectures. The department has been a model of interdepartmental collaboration and developing community linkages with such organizations as the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History; Hammond House Galleries and Resource of African American Art; Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Martin Luther King Center of Non-Violence; and Project South-Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide. Moreover, from 2002 to 2011, the department housed the national office of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), the premier professional association of the discipline.

Akinyele Umoja, Chair