The demand for African American Studies at The University of Alabama has its roots in the late 1960s. Led by African American students, the student body called for the creation of courses with a focus on race or an emphasis on African American historical or contemporary issues, the hiring of black faculty members, and accepting credits in black studies courses from Stillman College. In 1991 a minor in African American Studies was established at The University of Alabama. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the African American Studies Program and the Women’s Studies Program were combined into the Department of Gender and Race Studies.
At the undergraduate level, the Department of Gender and Race Studies offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a minor program in African American Studies. Course offerings in the Department of Gender and Race Studies reflect the assumption that the study of the theory, practices, and politics of both areas improves our understanding of society. The Department and its faculty actively promote the course program through lecture series, seminars, study abroad programs, and work with other institutions at The University of Alabama.
As the flagship institution of the state of Alabama, The University of Alabama has a coterie of nationally and internationally recognized faculty whose scholarship and teaching interests in African American Studies reflect the level of intellectual productivity and engagement that makes UA one of the foremost research institutions in the nation. The work in African American Studies at the Department of Gender and Race Studies provides an important intellectual resource for research at The University of Alabama.