October 19, 2018

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Discusses the History, Future of Black Studies as an Academic Program

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will present Why Black Studies: A Reflection on 50 Years and Projections for the Future of the Discipline from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, in Jerry and Kay Jennett Lecture Hall Room 1111.  This event is free of charge and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow.  

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Black Studies programs in the United States,” shared Dr. Tameka B. Hobbs, coordinator of VSU’s African American Studies program.

California’s San Francisco State University became the first institution of higher education to establish a Black Studies program in 1968. 

“Since their founding, Black Studies, African American Studies, and Africana Studies programs have increased in scope and size, with nearly 400 programs throughout the nation offering doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate degrees, as well as minors,” Hobbs added. “Their groundbreaking success has led the way for the creation of other disciplines, such as Ethnic Studies, Native American Studies, Women’s Studies, and Gender Studies.” 

Dr. Shirley H. Hardin, who retired in 2015 after 39 years of service to the university, established VSU’s African American Studies program in 1996. A minor requiring 15 hours of coursework, VSU’s program is open to students from any major interested in learning more about the contributions of people of African descent to human history; exploring the social, political, and economic reality of black people in the United States; and developing the ability to communicate more effectively across cultural lines. 

Why Black Studies: A Reflection on 50 Years and Projections for the Future of the Discipline will feature a presentation by Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, a native of Valdosta who currently serves as a professor and chairman of the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he created the first Doctor of Philosophy program in this field in 1987. He is one of the 10 most widely cited African American scholars and is the founder of the Theory of Afrocentricity. 

Why Black Studies: A Reflection on 50 Years and Projections for the Future of the Discipline is sponsored by VSU’s African American Studies program, Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Housing and Residence Life, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, Office of Social Equity, Department of History, Office of Career Opportunities, and African Student Association 

The Jerry and Kay Jennett Lecture Hall is located at the intersection of Baytree Road and Oak Street. Parking is available in the surface-level parking lot between Oak Street and Sustella Avenue. 

Please contact Dr. Tameka B. Hobbs at tbhobbs@valdosta.edu or (229) 249-4843 to learn more. 

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