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.


Department News

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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Professor Emerita Nell Painter in Residence at the Brodsky Center

The primary mission of the Brodsky Center is to enable groundbreaking artists, both established and emerging, to create new work in paper and print. Artists-in-residence are invited to engage in one-on-one collaborations with the Brodsky Center’s master printers and papermakers. These experts and innovators make it possible for artists to translate their vision into a media that may be new to them. Since the Brodsky Center was conceived, diversity has been central to its mission and has consistently supported women and artists of color. The Brodsky Center is dedicated to the promotion of editions, paper and the printed image as central to contemporary art practice.  

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AAS Graduate Certificate Students Awarded Fellowships in Support of Independent Research

This spring several Princeton University graduate students pursuing graduate certification in the Department of African American Studies earned awards and fellowships to support continued research in African American Studies and intersecting fields. The graduate certificate provides an opportunity for graduate students to complement doctoral studies in their home department with coordinated interdisciplinary training in African American Studies.

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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