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.

African American Studies Class Day and Reunions

Alumni are invited to gather in Stanhope Hall for an African American Studies event at Reunions. The mixer will take place June 1 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The first graduating cohort of concentrators in African American Studies will be honored on Class Day by the Department, Monday, June 4, 2018 at the Carl A. Fields Center. The ceremony will begin at 12:45 p.m.

Concentrators and certificate earners will receive information about inviting family and friends to the ceremony. 

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Events

Press & Media

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.

Call for Proposals – Contemporary Cultures of Black Impossibility – the Second Princeton African American Studies 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.

The 2018 James Baldwin Lecture, “The Dramatist’s Call to Action,” on April 12 by Brian E. Herrera

The annual James Baldwin Lecture series was launched March 29, 2006 with the inaugural lecture presented by Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Princeton University Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. The series aims to celebrate the work of Princeton faculty and to provide an occasion for the intellectual community to reflect on the issue of race and American democracy. The lectures also honor the work of the late essayist James Baldwin, one of America’s most powerful cultural critics. Professor Brian Eugenio Herrera, who will deliver the 2018 lecture, is Assistant Professor of Theater at Princeton University where his work, both academic and artistic, examines the history of gender, sexuality and race within and through U.S. popular performance. He is author of The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: A Narrative Report (HowlRound, 2015) and Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in Twentieth-Century U.S. Popular Performance (Michigan, 2015), which was awarded the George Jean Nathan Prize for Dramatic Criticism.

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Statistics

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

Unemployment
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
Wealth
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
2015
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
Poverty
Source: United States Census Bureau
2014
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

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