African American Studies at Princeton

The Department of African American Studies at Princeton University provides an exciting and innovative model for teaching and research about African-descended people, with a central focus on their experiences in the United States. We embody this mission in a curriculum that reflects the complex interplay between the political, economic, and cultural forces that shape our understanding of the historic achievements and struggles of African-descended people in this country and around the world.

Events

Department News

Professor Ruha Benjamin Receives 2017 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching

A committee of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and academic administrators selected the winners from nominations by students, faculty colleagues and alumni. The awards were established in 1991 through a gift by Princeton alumni Lloyd Cotsen of the Class of 1950 and John Sherrerd of the Class of 1952 to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching by Princeton faculty members. Each winner receives a cash prize of $5,000, and their departments each receive $3,000 for the purchase of new books.

In Solidarity with Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

“The cancelation of my speaking events is a concession to the violent intimidation that was, in my opinion, provoked by Fox News. But I am releasing this statement to say that I will not be silent. Their side uses the threat of violence and intimidation because they cannot compete in the field of politics, ideas, and organizing. The true strength of our side has not yet been expressed in its size and breadth, and so they believe they are winning. We have to change this dynamic and begin to build a massive movement against racism, sexism, and bigotry in this country. I remain undaunted in my commitment to that project.”

Professor Tera Hunter Publishes the First Comprehensive History of African American Marriage in the Nineteenth Century

Uncovering the experiences of African American spouses in plantation records, legal and court documents, and pension files, Tera W. Hunter reveals the myriad ways couples adopted, adapted, revised, and rejected white Christian ideas of marriage. Setting their own standards for conjugal relationships, enslaved husbands and wives were creative and, of necessity, practical in starting and supporting families under conditions of uncertainty and cruelty

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News & Analysis

Stories recommended by African American Studies faculty

Statistics

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

Unemployment 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: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Wealth 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
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Poverty 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
Source: United States Census Bureau