Black Studies


The FMO Press Conference held to announce FMO’s boycott of the new African American Studies Department, November 29, 1972

Advocacy for Black Studies (also known as African American Studies or Africana Studies) programs and departments at higher education institutions emerged from the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement of the 1960s. Black students at historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and predominately white institutions typically organized protests for institutional change, among these, the inclusion of Black history in their education, resistance to traditional, Euro-centric curriculum.

By 1971, more than 500 programs and departments were established in the United States, including at the University of Illinois Chicago (1971), Loyola University Chicago(1971), and Northwestern University (1972).

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Citation: Northwestern University Archives, Ronald Craig Photographs


The BMRC's Curated Topics list is designed to help remedy the pervasive invisibility of primary source material documenting Black history and culture. In development now, it will be a special vocabulary that concisely encapsulates the subject domain. If you'd like to be a part of developing this resource, email the Project Archivist at and let us know how you'd like to contribute.