History of Black Studies at Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame has a rich history of weaving diversity into our mission, beginning with the first generation of African Americans to graduate from the university in the late 1940s and early 1950s through to today.

2015 Wall Of Honor Plaque
Wall Of Honor Plaque

As tensions and questions about the need for and validity of Black Studies programs emerged across university campuses nationwide in the late 1960s, the University was actively creating a Black Studies Program at the behest of student advocates. 

By the fall of 1970, Black Studies was a mainstay of the university curriculum. In 1991, the Black Studies program expanded and became the African and African American Studies program encapsulating even more of the African diaspora and in 2005, with the approval of the College and Academic Councils, the program was granted departmental status and transitioned into the Department of Africana Studies. 

Today, the department houses a vibrant undergraduate program including a full major, a supplementary major, and a minor for interested students from across the university.