History of African American Studies at OHIO
History of Activism
"At 4:30 am on December 27 a group of students from colleges and universities in the Western states stepped off the train in Athens and immediately checked in at Ohio University dormitories. By midnight the number had swelled to nearly 3,600, arriving by train, bus and automobile from every section of our country.
Next morning the delegation assembled for the most widely representative student conference held in the Western Hemisphere: the 18th Ecumenical Student Conference on the Christian World Mission..." Read more at the Ohio Alumnus.
History of the Department
Through the efforts of Black students and faculty, African American Studies at Ohio University was established in 1969 under the name Center for Afro-American Studies, which included the Black Studies Institute and Resource Center.
Students presented University President Vernon Alden, with a list of demands. One of those demands resulted in an undergraduate program focused on the life, history and culture of people of African descent. The center was subsequently renamed the African American Studies Institute and later department. The African American Studies Institute, later African American Studies Department, graduated its first undergraduate, Curtis Richardson, in 1971.
It remains one of a few programs with departmental status in the state of Ohio.
A centerpiece of that legacy is the faculty's shared vision and philosophy with the National Council for Black Studies, which is to promote academic excellence and social responsibility in the areas of teaching, research, and service. The department is committed to producing persons who are capable of solving problems in American (and global) society.