Program History | African American & African Diaspora Studies

Program History

William Andrew Campbell

African American and African Diaspora Studies at UNCG (AADS) has grown from two classes in 1982 into a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum which now offers a major, minor, and Disciplinary Honors.

Since 1982, AADS has been central to UNCG’s goal to provide its increasingly diverse student population with an opportunity to study the cultures, histories, and experiences of people of African descent throughout the world. Our program reflects Greensboro’s history of Black sociopolitical movements and a global history of life across the African diaspora.

Our professors are from various disciplinary backgrounds, including art history, sociology, English, Performance Studies, history and anthropology. In collaboration with UNCG departments, AADS provides students with authentic interdisciplinary academic experiences, which provide them with a strong foundation for graduate and professional studies in a variety of fields. Our graduates attend medical, law, and graduate schools and pursue careers in education, politics, management, healthcare, writing, performance, and law, among others.

We also strongly encourage our students to pursue Disciplinary Honors, Study Abroad, and internships. Many of our students engage in various leadership positions, including as AADS Ambassadors, AADS Club members, and community volunteers. AADS students work one-on-one with our faculty as they develop their academic and professional profiles.

We provide unique opportunities for UNCG students, faculty, staff, and community members to learn about how people of African descent have shaped our world. We invite you to attend our annual conference (CACE), our Conversations with the Community, and our diverse programming offered throughout the year.

Chronology of Program Development:

1982-83 Black Studies offered as a “student-designed” minor
1986 First offering of Black Studies courses: BKS 100: Blacks in America and BKS 110: Blacks in American Society: Social, Economic and Political Perspectives
1990-91 Black Studies introduced three experimental courses: BKS 200: Afro-American Art History, BKS 210: Afro-American Literature and Liberation, and BKS 220: Portrayal of Afro-Americans in Art and Film
1991-92 Additions made to core curriculum in African American Studies: BKS 200 approved as a core program course and BKS 493 as an Honors course
1992-93 Black Studies renamed African American Studies
Fall 2002 Began to offer bachelor’s degree in African American Studies
Fall 2014 African American Studies renamed African American and African Diaspora Studies


Past directors: Dr. Lee Bernick, Dr. Edwin Bell, Dr. Willie Baber, Dr. Angela Rhone, Dr. Frank Woods, Dr. Tara Green, Dr. Cerise L. Glenn
Current Director: Dr. Noelle Morrissette