About African American Studies

African American Studies was born of struggle—its legacy stems from black intellectual labors in the nineteenth and early 20th centuries, and its formation was part of the post-World War II black freedom movements. Student protest and advocacy played a critical role in establishing the field. Today our award-winning faculty continue the tradition of placing black people at the center of their scholarship as they seek to produce new knowledge and innovative approaches to research.

Our energetic students and dedicated faculty work together on endeavors both within and beyond the classroom including original research projects, community-based arts exhibitions, or advocacy and policy-making for social chance. We encourage our students to explore their academic interests and career goals by using the methods and ideas that come from the field of African American Studies. With UIC’s location in the heart of Chicago, and our commitment to working with community partners on real-world concerns, our department offers unparalleled opportunities for learning about race, class, gender and the black experience.