M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the
RECORDS, 1968-1976


For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518)-437-3935.

Finding Aid Compiled by
Kerri T. Payne
May 8, 1992

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: 1.33 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: These records were transferred to the University at Albany, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections, by the chairs of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

ACCESS: Access to these records is unrestricted except where otherwise noted in the finding aid.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Adminstrative History

Series Description

Box and Folder List

Africana Studies, Department of
Administrative History

The current department of Africana Studies is the successor to the Department of Afro-American Studies created in January 1969.  The department was part of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the College of Arts and Science, which became the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 1977.  The Afro-American Studies department was created by President Collins in response to demands by an increasing African American student population, lead by the Black Student Alliance, for entry level courses in Afro-American studies.  On January 31, 1969, President Collins by-passed normal University channels and formed an Afro-American Studies Department scheduled to offer courses in the fall of 1969.[1] Previous to the formation of the Africana Studies Department courses had been offered during the 1960's in the departments of English (Afro American Literature Eng 583 was introduced in the Fall of 1966), History (History of the Negro in the United States, HY 254 was introduced in the fall of 1966), Sociology (Minority Groups, Soc 150, introduced in Fall of 1964). These courses would eventually form the basis for the interdisciplinary Afro-American Studies Department.

According to the 1969-1970 bulletin of the new department, "The Department of Afro-American Studies was designed...[to] supplement...the intellectual perspectives which have been characteristic of our nations historically pro-white orientation.  This would be accomplished through an investigation of vital disciplines such as political, historical, economic, socio-psychological and derived issues as they relate to the Black experience."[2] According to the University Final Budget request for 1970-71 the new department would concentrate specifically on "Urban Affairs and human development."[3] Though the primary focus of the department was studying the black experience in the United States, from the start the department also included courses relating to African history and culture.

The new department developed rapidly.  The 1970 University Bulletin lists thirty-four courses available to an undergraduate major in Afro-American Studies in the areas of Historical Issues, Economic-Political, Socio-Psychological, or Cultural.[4] Since the Fall of 1972 the department has offered a Masters of Arts degree.[5]

In addition to its strictly academic course offerings, the African and Afro-American Studies Department served as a social support arena.  It was and is the only department in which there is a substantial number of black professors, providing students with needed role models in a predominately white environment. The department serves as a home for mentors and those to be mentored.

In 1973 the Department Afro-American Studies enlarged their mission to give equal emphasis to the interdisciplinary study of Africa. In recognition of this new emphasis the Afro-American Department changed its name to the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. In 1990 the department once again changed its name to Africana Studies in recognition of a new widening of its intellectual focus--namely the inclusion of courses documenting the whole African diaspora. New areas of concentration included Caribbean and Latin American Studies.


**1 Draft letter of President Evan R. Collins to Faculties ,Senate, Ca. January 20,1969;  Official Listing of Black Students Alliance Demands, January 13, 1969.
**2 The State University At Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin, 1970-71, p. 152.
**3 State University of New York at Albany, Final Budget Request, 1970-71, p. 51.
**4 State University of New York at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin, 1970-71, p. 152-55.
**5 State University of New York at Albany, Graduate Bulletin 1972-73, p. 61

Africana Studies, Department of
Series Descriptions

Series 1: Chair's Subject Files, 1969-1976

Contained in this series are the chair's correspondence of the Department of Afro-American (1969-73) and subsequently African and Afro-American Studies (1973-76) regarding the formation of the department in 1969 and it's subsequent development, as well as correspondence with colleagues in the profession interested in the process by which the department was founded, and relating to the formation of the Council on Afro-American Studies in 1969-70.  Also contained in the records are department faculty minutes (1969-73), proposals Afro-American Studies Department, a "The Minority Summer Institute" (1971); requests for assistance in the development of a Puerto Rican Studies department; and a few faculty publications.

Africana Studies, Department of
Box and Folder List

Series 1: Chair's Subject Files, 1969-1976

Box 1

Afro-American Studies Department and Program, 1970-71
Annual Reports, 1973
Annual Report, 1975-76
Assignments and Syllabi, 1973
Black Educators Conference Correspondence, 1970
Black Faculty and Staff Organization, 1969-1970
Bibliography of Faculty, 1973
Budget Documents and Correspondence, May 1970-March 1972
Budget Documents and Correspondence, April 1972-March 1973
Buffkins, Dr. Archie, 1970
Bulletin, 1969-1970
Correspondence, 1971-1972
Correspondence, 1973-74
Correspondence, Misc., 1968-1979
Correspondence on Workshops ,1970
Correspondence Received, 1971-72
Correspondence Received, 1974
Correspondence on Research, 1974
Correspondence Sent, 1969
Departmental Beginnings, 1968-70
Departmental Correspondence, 1969-70
Departmental Correspondence, 1970-71
Departmental Correspondence, 1971
Enrollment Data, 1973-74
Faculty Committee Correspondence, 1970-71
Faculty Correspondence, 1974
Faculty Meeting, 1969-70
Faculty Meeting, 1970-71
Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1972
Faculty Meeting Minutes 1973-74
Faculty Staffing, 1971
Faculty Staffing, 1972-1973
Graduate Committee, 1971-73
Graduate Assistants Correspondence & Memorandums ,1973-74
Graduate Information 1972-1973
Graduate Students Handbook, undated
Guest Lecturer Announcements, 1973-74
Hampton Associates, 1971
Harris, Fred, 1970
The Holt Collection, 1969
Honorarium Request Forms 1973-74
Ibadan University - Nigeria, applications for, 1972-1973
Independent Undergrad Study Proposals, 1972-73
Interfuture Program , 1973-74
Jackson, Dr. Jacquelyne, 1971
Master of Art Degree Program Purpose, 1971
Masters Program Proposal/Related Correspondence, Folder 1, 1969-1971
Masters Program Proposal/Related Correspondence, Folder 2, 1971
Memorandums, 1972
Memorandums, 1973-74
Minority Graduate Recruitment, 1971-73
Minutes, Faculty Meeting March 8, 1972 and April 20, 1972

Box 2

Miscellaneous, 1970
Miscellaneous, 1972-74
New York State Conference, 1976
Obradovic, Dr., 1970-1971
Okonko Correspondence, 1974
Programs/Announcements, 1976-1985
Proposal for Nigerian Trip, 1973
Prospects for World Peace, 1973
Puerto Rican Studies Course Proposal, 1970
Research Project, 1971
Registration Information, 1973
Schedule of Classes, 1972 & 74
Staff Publications, 1974
Stokes, Dr. Olivia Pearl, 1969-1970
Student Papers, 1970
Suggested Fall Courses, 1973-74
Thornton, Virginius B., 1969-1971
Three Year Plan, 1976
Wesley, Dr. Charles H., 1969
Wheeler, Paul, 1970-1971
YWCA of Albany Black History Month Essay Contest, February 1987

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Last updated August 21, 2007