Established in 1970, we remain one of the largest Africana Studies departments in the world offering BA, MA and PhD degrees. We are named for scholar-activist and native son William Edward Burghardt Du Bois born and raised in Western Massachusetts.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies is one of the largest such departments in the country, comprehensively offering a BA major/minor, MA, and PhD degrees for all students who wish in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of black people in the Americas and the worldwide African Diaspora.
National Council for Black Studies
Legislative Update: President Amilcar Shabazz interviews California Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber
Chester Davis Scholarship for AfroAm Majors | W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies | UMass Amherst
Dear AfroAm majors,
The deadline for the Chester Davis Scholarship is this upcoming Thursday, October 15th! If you are a junior or senior and have a 3.0 GPA or higher, please apply! Scholarship is open to both primary and secondary majors.
Full application guidelines and link to application, here: https://www.umass.edu/afroam/news/chester-davis-scholarship-afroam-majors
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch.
Here it is...
Mark your calendars for October 18-24 and join us for spirited, safe, virtual events as part of #UMassHomecoming @HOME!
Bring your best school spirit, cover your social feed in maroon, and call your friends to celebrate together! 🎉🙌
▶️ View the full schedule and REGISTER NOW!
PAHMUSA-The Pan African Historical Museum USA
I would like to thank those of you that came to the International Underground Railroad Event. We had an awesome time, especially seeing the Native American Flag raising...
I would also like to give kudos to the character actors that participated; Janine Fondon (Josephine St Pierre) Maris Furlow (Ida B. Wells) Aprell May (Mary Church Terrell) Gloria May Peeler (Gentle Running Deer) Cynthia St Juste (Sanite Belair) The Mocha Org. and others.
And to the Performers, you did wonderful: Terry Reynolds , Dr Amilcar Shabazz , Bonita Oliver , Amber Peterson , Maurice Taylor.
The African Drummers Winston and Trinny be on the lookout for the next on.... COMING SOON!
CMASS at UMASS
Telling OUR Stories: The Latinx Diaspora
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Zoom link: https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/97529272066?pwd=ZFgxa2FtQjBKVlRqYTVETVFlbEZUUT09
Please join our panelists as they share their stories and discuss the history of the Latinx Diaspora and Indigenous people.
Guest Speakers: Ellen Correa, Lecturer Civic Engagement & Service Learning (CESL) and Isabel Espinal, Reference Services Librarian for Afro American Studies, Native American Indian Studies and Information Literacy and Agustin Lao Montes, Associate Professor of Sociology and Afro-American Studies
National Council for Black Studies
This episode in the Democracy Unchained conversation series faces the topic of America’s original sin of slavery and discusses reparations for Black Americans as an important part of rebuilding democracy in the U.S. Bakari Kitwana talks with Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharris, Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival co-chair; Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, NCBS President & UMass Amherst AfroAm Professor; Deadria Farmer-Paellman, Executive Director, Restitution Study Group; Betty Lyons, President and Executive Director, American Indian Law Alliance; and, Dr. Ron Daniels, Convener, National African American Reparations Commission - NAARC.
May all be safe and those that are sick have a speedy recovery
AMHERST — COVID-19 cases at the University of Massachusetts continued to climb over the weekend, with the university reporting 23 more over the weekend.That brings to 121 the number of those connected with UMass who have tested positive since Aug. 6....
Difficult Dialogues TV
Today, 4PM EST, join us live for our 1st Friday Reparations Dialogue mobilizing awareness of state-level reparations work. Invited guests include California Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber who just won a huge victory in passing the 1st state reparations law! Also, Massachusetts Senator Jo Comerford and Representative Bud L. Williams, State Representative Mindy Domb and former representative Ben Swan will talk about what's happening in the Bay State. Please share to your networks this live event. #ReparationsNow
Be safe, be aware
The 13 infected students, who live off campus, “are known to have socialized together, and a number of them attended a party together,” UMass said in a statement.
W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies
Meet & Greet for Majors, Secondary Majors and Minors
When: Thursday, September 24th at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Via Zoom at https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/96919388099
We hope you will join us - all are welcome!
Happening today at noon. Register here https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JJt93ptfSgWXegol6CQjCw
Each One, Teach One!
This activist stood up to a school board member who publicly defended Robert E. Lee and claimed the Confederate general was a freer of slaves
Early to jail, early to die
Hold your ground
Too many bound
Incarceration is their fate
Black on black won’t abate
Stop and frisk
Need to pray
For those at risk
Imperiled are they
How do you blend a unique art style with meaningful messaging? Let Martha's Vineyard based artist Harry Seymour show you!
The National Debate Tournament is a unit of the American Forensic Association that hosts an annual college debate championship tournament. The NDT voted #WEBDDAFRO PhD student Quaram Robinson its Debater of the Decade! For details, see https://nationaldebatetournament.org/history/ndt-books/ndt-book-2020/
#WEBDDAFRO is 50! Forget those COVID-19 Blues & be Golden with us!
W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies 50th Anniversary Virtual Symposium Conscious to Woke: Fifty Years of Revolutionary Black Thought
UMass Amherst AfroAm's cover photo
We mourn the passing of our colleague Gilbert McCauley’s mother
Celebrate the life of Mary McCauley, leave a kind word or memory and get funeral service information care of Demaine Funeral Home.
Five colleges report collective total of 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases
AMHERST — As colleges and universities around the country bring students back to campus with varying degrees of success, confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Five Colleges have remained relatively low so far.According to data released by the colleges,...
Tests shows no COVID-19 cases at Amherst College, Hampshire College with five reported at UMass
Since allowing all enrolled students back at Hampshire College, there has been no reports of either students, faculty or staff becoming infected.
Amilcar Shabazz, School Equity Task Force member
Benefit for Coach Patrick "Piggo" Dawes. Patrick was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and suffered a stroke last year. “Coaching his Golf Children is his pride and joy. His goal is to help them excel on or off the course. Patrick was always there coaching during his illness and treatments, even on days when he was too weak to stand up, but he never wavered.” Georgia Malcolm cooks!
Listen Up! #Uprising2020 #BeRevolutionary #DareToStruggle
“I was all in and I couldn’t have been prouder of him because he did that on his own,” UMass coach Matt McCall said during a virtual press conference Wednesday. “You have to give your players a platform and a voice to speak and to speak exactly to how they’re feeling. There are times when I have to just be quiet and listen.”
In embrace of W.E.B. Du Bois, Great Barrington names middle school after the civil rights icon - The Boston Globe
Thank you to the movement awakened by the unjustified deaths and attacks that has finally softened the hearts of folks in Du Bois’ hometown
In embrace of W.E.B. Du Bois, Great Barrington names middle school after the civil rights icon
By Deanna Pan Globe Staff, Updated September 4, 2020, 7:44 p.m.
Gwendolyn VanSant (right) and Randy Weinstein of the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee stood outside the newly renamed W.E.B. Du Bois Middle School in Great Barrington on Friday.Matthew Cavanaugh/For The Boston Globe
“To me, in this moment of ’Black Lives Matter,’ this was the action, right? We can put a lot of words up and hold signs, but this was a clear action that would stand for what I see as reparations in Great Barrington for past community hurts,” said Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and founding director of BRIDGE, a Berkshire-based nonprofit that provides cultural literacy and competency training.
In 2004, following the construction of a pair of brand-new elementary and middle schools, a bitter debate, which garnered widespread media attention, splintered the town of Great Barrington, according to the Berkshire Eagle, after historian Bernard Drew suggested naming one of the buildings after Du Bois, who was born in Great Barrington in 1868 and became the first Black man to earn a doctorate at Harvard in 1895. Opposition to the idea, led by local veterans, centered on Du Bois’ embrace of socialist politics late in life. In the 1950s, Du Bois eulogized Joseph Stalin and met with Mao Zedong. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party.
“Back in 2004, in this community, it seems there was an ’us’ versus a ’them.’ ‘Them’ being the town itself and ‘us’ being the DuBoisians,” said Randy Weinstein, founder of the Du Bois Center at Great Barrington, which abuts the Mahaiwe Cemetery, where Du Bois buried his son, daughter, and first wife. “Our town was polarized... and neither side was going to give an inch.”
At the time, according to School Committee chairman Stephen Bannon, the committee had already made the decision not to name the buildings after any person, living or dead. The schools were named after the surrounding geography instead.
But the controversy still stung Du Bois’s supporters, who felt the movement opposing Du Bois was steeped in racial bias. Great Barrington, with a population of less than 7,000 people, is nearly 88 percent white, according to Census data and roughly 4 percent Black.
“We know Du Bois is a global icon. We know of the trailblazing he did and how he broke ground with the NAACP and Harvard and everywhere else,” VanSant said. “All these truths are known and it’s still not good enough because of his communism and it’s like, people didn’t have the curiosity or the care to look into that or probe that or understand it better.”
Behind the scenes, VanSant, Weinstein, and others worked tirelessly to champion Du Bois.
Their efforts led to the formation of the town’s W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee, which Weinstein chairs, and a public celebration of Du Bois’s 150th birthday in 2018. Last year, they brought their campaign to rename the middle school after Du Bois to the three towns that make up the school district — Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge — and voters in all three approved.
VanSant was confident their advocacy would pay off at the School Committee meeting on Thursday. But earlier this week, she got wind of a petition with more than 250 signatures that urged the committee to oppose the name change.
On Wednesday evening, she fired off dozens of e-mails and social media messages to her network of friends and activists, asking them to write to the School Committee with their support. By Thursday, the committee had received more than 350 e-mails from community members, almost all in favor of renaming the school for Du Bois.
The School Committee meeting Thursday was unlike any in recent memory, according to district superintendent Peter Dillon. And not only because it was held over Zoom, with more than 200 people logging in to watch or participate.
“People spoke honestly and from the heart,” Dillon said. “I really think that meeting was remarkable and there were people on all sides of it, and folks on different sides made different kinds of arguments.”
“Small-town, New England-type town-meeting democracy, when it works, it’s extraordinary,” he continued, “and I think it really worked the other day.”
To VanSant, the School Committee’s decision was a proud moment in Great Barrington’s history, especially for the town’s children of color.
“Symbols means a lot,” she said. “Every day, that school will carry that name. Every piece of letterhead. Every child will say it. So there won’t be any more children going to the district, wondering if their identities are valued because there’s this icon they’re actually now appreciating instead of people stumbling upon it in college after they’ve left the area.
“It’s just a huge affirmation of belonging,” she said.
Deanna Pan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @DDpan.
At the end of a two-and-a-half-hour Zoom meeting — in which dozens testified, mostly in favor of the proposed change — the Berkshire Hills Regional School District committee voted unanimously Thursday evening to rename the local middle school in honor of Great Barrington’s best-known native so...
For justice-driven journalist, Du Bois honor a triumph she never would see
GREAT BARRINGTON — Dutch journalist Freke Vuijst-Klein was a force of good, just like her parents. Both her parents were celebrated as 'Righteous Gentiles' who helped Jews in hiding during …
AMHERST LEAGUE'S ANNUAL OPENING MEETING SET FOR SEPT. 17, UMASS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR TRACI PARKER WILL SPEAK
On behalf of the League of Women Voters of Amherst's Steering Committee and newly-formed Racial Justice Task Force, the League would like to invite you to the annual Opening Meeting, to be held via Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 7 to 8:30 pm.
The speaker will be Traci Parker, Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at the UMass, whose subject will be "Race, Gender and Voting in the Age of Trump."
Parker teaches African American women's history, nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history, race and racism, in addition to courses on class, labor and capitalism. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.
Parker is the author of "Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement: Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights," and is at work on her second book.
Amid the upswing in racist acts around the country, Prof. Parker's perspective will be welcome, and will help inform our work in moving toward racial justice.
To register in advance for this webinar, please go to:https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_J9eLnFwgRpuL8ReRXNi9QQ
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar. (A link to a meeting recording will also be available to all registrants.)
The LWVA hopes to see you at Opening Meeting!
Amilcar Shabazz, School Equity Task Force member
Read this and give us feedback at the Racial Equity Task Force of Amherst, MA, if you're a member or become one.
National Council for Black Studies
Join NCBS in this important moment of reflection on #Uprising2020 with Melina Abdullah, Black Lives Matter/LA & Prof. of Pan-African Studies at California State L.A.; Rose Brewer, People's Strike coalition & University of Minnesota Distinguished Teaching Professor of African American & African Studies; Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis City Council Vice-President & first Black openly transgender woman elected to U.S. public office; and Dequi Kioni-sadiki, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee Chair & co-editor of Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions (PM Press, 2017).
Intense struggle between CSU and state legislature ends with Gov. Newsom signing Assembly Bill 1460 that requires freshmen starting in 2021-22 to take an ethnic studies course that focuses on one of four racial and ethnic groups.
See you in zoomland for a most critical and urgent discussion. Let's go.
Ending Incarceration of Women and the Case for Reparations
with @andrea.james.336 and Prof @amilcar.shabazz
Dr. Lisa Green gave this lecture several years ago but it shows why last month our Board of Trustees appointed her a Distinguished Professor of Linguistics. Go UMass!
Dr. Lisa Green, professor of linguistics at University of Massachusetts - Amherst and director of the Center for the Study of African American Language, pres...
We will miss UMass and all Five College students, but let us do now what we must to be free of this virus in the future.
College trustees voted for classes to operate remotely this fall.
180 Infirmary Way
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The W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies was officially established in 1970, and has grown to become one of the largest Africana Studies departments in the country. We offer BA, MA, and PhD degrees for all students who wish in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of black people in the Americas and the worldwide African Diaspora. We are located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in New Africa House. From its beginning our department has been named for the scholar-activist William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (/duːˈbɔɪs/ doo-BOYSS; February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963), the sociologist, socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in the western part of the Bay State, Du Bois attended Fisk University, and went on to complete graduate work at the University of Berlin and Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate. He became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University and was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
Du Bois is buried in Ghana, where he died on August 27, 1963, in the capital of Accra at the age of 95. The following day, at the March on Washington, speaker Roy Wilkins asked the hundreds of thousands of marchers to honor Du Bois with a moment of silence. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, embodying many of the reforms Du Bois had campaigned for his entire life, was enacted almost a year after his death.
Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah gave Du Bois a state funeral and his former home has been dedicated the W. E. B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture in his memory. The UMass library is named for Du Bois and holds his collected papers. The department counts among its former faculty his wife Shirley Graham Du Bois, who worked here before she died in 1977; as well as his stepson David Graham Du Bois. Over the years we have been part of the stewardship of his boyhood homesite just outside of his hometown of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
151 Presidents Dr
151 Presidents Dr
67 Amity St
280 Main St
97 Spring St
Amherst Center 01002
Other Amherst museums
1 Barrett Hill Rd
125 W Bay Rd
1021 West St
125 W Bay Rd