Sign up for our newsletter! The Department of African American Studies sends out regular announcements about public events on campus. These events include our Toni Morrison Lectures, our Conversation Series, the Reflections on African American Studies lecture, performances, workshops, and a host of other programming co-sponsored with other departments and Centers at Princeton.

About the Department and the AAS 21 Repertoire

African American Studies at Princeton turns fifty years old in the 2018-2019 academic year (in the second semester - spring 2019). This academic unit has grown from a program, to a Center, to a department. Today the department holds many of the most prolific and notable African American Studies scholars in the world. General areas of expertise are displayed lower in the page, with full detail on their faculty bio pages. The department seeks to engage a wide audience in the discussion of race and inequality and this website is an effort to support this mission. The AAS 21 Repertoire is a not a traditional archive, even among digital collections. In addition to academic writing and scholarship, more popular published writing including editorials and opinion essays are part of the collections. The repertoire includes a great deal of online video and listening content like media commentary, podcasts, public events, interviews and even documentaries. The repertoire also contains book recommendations and assigned texts from AAS classes and syllabi. This repertoire seeks to bring together a massive amount of open access and public domain content too, and while African American Studies is the focus, the content is truly interdisciplinary in nature.    

Explore Princeton African American Studies


Press & Media

Princeton University African American History Walking Tour

As part of the Campus Iconography Committee (CIC), the Princeton History Working Group (PHWG) works to create visual cues on campus that tell nuanced interpretations of Princeton University’s history. PHWG’s work brings to light some of the University’s lesser-known histories in order to build a more complete narrative of Princeton’s past. Reintroducing complexity and nuance regarding race, gender and other identities into the narrative history of Princeton can help Princeton become a more inclusive place for members of the University community. PHWG is an interdepartmental advisory group composed of students, staff and faculty, and collaborates with a number of University centers, departments and offices, as well as community organizations and partners. PHWG initiatives include both temporary and permanent projects. They take a variety of forms, including exhibits, historical markers, walking tours and orientation programming.

Tera Hunter wins Organization of American Historians prize for Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century

Professor Tera Hunter, a professor of history and African American studies at Princeton, has been awarded the Mary Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for her 2017 book, “Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century.” Hunter researched court records, legal documents and personal diaries to illustrate the constraints that slavery placed on intimate relationships. Her own great-great-grandparents, Ellen and Moses Hunter, were enslaved, freed and then married during Reconstruction. The Nickliss Prize is given for the most original book in U.S. women’s and/or gender history, and it acknowledges the generations of women whose opportunities were constrained by the historical circumstances in which they lived. The award was presented to Hunter on April 14 at the 2018 OAH Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California.

Contemporary Cultures of Black Impossibility – AAS Graduate Conference (October 18-20, 2018)

The Black impossible is at once about continuing to live and resist in the face of the debilitating policies of modernity (impossible to do, but nevertheless done), yet also about the seeming impossibility of ever just living. The Black impossible draws together modes of cultural responses to the ethos of life and living in the face of practices of discipline and death. On the fiftieth anniversary of Black Studies, it asks us to bring together the critical methodologies and creative practices of Black Study to bear on the now and the future. The second biannual conference of the African American Studies Department at Princeton University will explore the contemporary cultures of the Black impossible. This conference seeks to bring together intellectuals, artists, and organizers working across many different disciplines, mediums, and movements that speak to the cultures and the impossibility of Black life in the U.S. and abroad.


  • RT : "Black life is expensive—but so is black death. Two months after a grand jury failed to indict the officer who fata…

News & Analysis

Stories recommended by African American Studies faculty

Latest in the AAS 21 Repertoire


How race measures up in the United States today, in black and white

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
May 2016
African American Unemployment Rate is at or Below its Pre-Recession Level
Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas
Hispanic Unemployment Rate is at or Below its Pre-Recession Level
California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina
White Unemployment Rate is at or Below its Pre-Recession Level
in 24 states
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
African American Household Earning Between $25,000 and $50,000
Emergency savings of $400
Hispanic Household Earning Between $25,000 and $50,000
Emergency savings of $700
White Household Earning Between $25,000 and $50,000
Emergency savings of $2100
Source: United States Census Bureau
States with Greatest African American Poverty Rate
Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, and Wisconsin
States with Greatest Hispanic Poverty Rate
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island
States with Greatest White Poverty Rate
Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia

Who We Are