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AA Studies (1990-1999)

African American Studies Moving Forward (1990-1999)

The program changed its name to African American Studies in 1990. This came in the wake of nation-wide protests at historically white universities, including Vanderbilt, in the years prior.

African American Studies faculty obtained greater influence on campus. As administrators promoted diversity, program faculty were increasingly asked to embody these ideas in classrooms, campus programs, and public engagements.

Jimmie Lewis Franklin. Back to Birmingham: Richard Arrington, Jr., and His Times. University of Alabama Press, 1989. Southern Civilization Collection. Vanderbilt University Special Collections.

Professor Franklin was program director from 1987 to 1994 and a longtime faculty member in the Department of History. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Cup in 1990 for faculty-student relations, the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1993, and the Jefferson Award for exemplary service to the university in 2000.

“VU’s Own Black History.” Vanderbilt Hustler, February 16, 1999. Subject Files. Vanderbilt University Special Collections.                                                                                                                                          

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Growth of African American Studies scholarship on campus and in the number of Black students and faculty is reported. African American faculty members discuss concerns regarding their perception by others on campus in terms of representation and scholarship.

“From Ghana to Garland Hall.” Cornerstone, Summer 1996. College of Arts and Sciences, Vanderbilt University. Reproduction. Vanderbilt University Special Collections.                                                     

Sociology professor Francis Dodoo was Director of the African American Studies Program from 1996 to 1998. The article also details his participation in the Olympics representing Ghana.