African American Studies

Farah Jasmine Griffin sits smiling in front of a book case in her office

Photo by Eileen Barroso

On December 1, when Columbia’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to create the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, the cry heard around the University was, “It’s about time!”

members of the Columbia Senate Plenary raise their name tags in the air to signify an affirmative vote to launch the the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

The Senate Plenary vote on November 16. Photo by Jessica Raimi

The University Senate achieved its biggest turnout in at least three decades for a vote on Sept.

aerial photo of the Morningside campus
Columbia University’s full Board of Trustees unanimously voted to create the African American and African Diaspora Studies department.

In late 1862, the French painter Édouard Manet recorded in his studio notebook that the model Laure posed for a portrait in his Paris studio.

Stepanie McCurry leaning on a stone wall in Columbia's Morningside campus

Photo by John Pinderhughes

Stephanie McCurry grew up in Belfast, surrounded by political violence. Her neighborhood was at the center of British occupation during “The Troubles,” the euphemism for sectarian strife between Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants that killed thousands in the 1970s and 80s.

Natasha Lightfoot

The personal and the professional came together for Natasha Lightfoot in her first book, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation.

Josef Sorett

Photo by Gabriel Cooney

Josef Sorett studies how religion takes shape outside of the spaces we see as religious and how it informs debates on modern black life.
Sadie and Bessie Delany

Bessie and Sadie, as pictured on the cover of their 1993 book, Having Our Say.

Sadie Delany and her younger sister, Bessie, both earned advanced degrees at Columbia at a time when the University enrolled few students of color and fewer women.
John Reddick

Photo courtesy of Apollo Theater Education Program

John Reddick is one of 18 northern Manhattan residents selected by the University to pursue research projects and develop their skills at Columbia.
Fredrick Harris

With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, race has become a defining issue in this election year, and mobilizing the African American vote will be the key to winning the presidency, says Fred Harris, a prof