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History of Black Studies

The field or discipline of Black Studies developed in the academy out of the political struggles and liberation movements of the 1960s.  The first Black Studies program and independent department was established at San Francisco State University in 1968.  Quickly Black Studies programs were established in the Nation’s leading institutions and today there are 311 degree granting institutions in the general field of Black Studies with:

  • Nine institutions granting doctoral degrees
  • 21 institutions granting master’s degrees
  • 158 institutions granting major degrees
  • 89 institutions granting minor degrees.

(“Africana Studies in the US,” Abdul Alkalimat, March 2007, available at www.eblackstudies.org)

Echoing the 1960s generation of students responsible for the formal creation of the Black Studies discipline in the academy, Saginaw Valley students initiated the development of our Black Studies degree in spring 2006 which was unanimously ratified to the curriculum winter 2007.