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Black Studies: Building on a Proud Tradition

Message from the Chair

 Major Coleman

Dear Friends, Students and Community Members:

We are off to a thrilling start in building on the proud tradition of Black Studies.  It has been my great privilege to be chair of this historic department since 2011.  And the tradition continues.  While it is true that we lost two giants, Professors A. J. Williams-Myers and Zelbert Moore, both of whom retired after nearly 70 years of combined service, it can also be said, the best is yet to come.

Even with those retirements, we have new opportunities.  And these new opportunities could not have come at a more critical time. We, as academics, must be mindful of the tremendous changes taking place in America.  In less than 45 years America will be mostly non-white.  Yet most social workers, lawyers, Judges, doctors, legislators, Bankers, CEOs professors and mental health counselors will be white.  These mostly people-of-color tax payers will be supporting a mostly aging white population.  And most of these people of color workers and taxpayers would have been educated in segregated, mostly poor, urban schools.  These conditions will create a political and legal crisis the likes of which America has never seen before.  Those times will require extraordinary leadership and skills.

The Black Studies department is committed to providing community, government, religious, business and academic leaders who are trained to address the issues of equality, representation, justice and uplift of all peoples.  W.E.B. Dubois said “the problem of the 20th Century is the problem of the color line.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. said the problem of the 21st Century is the problem of equality for “this world House,” we live in.  And Jesus said “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”  Black Studies is concerned with the least of these, and restoring them to full person-hood. 

No matter your starting point, no matter your journey, no matter your destination, you are welcomed in Black Studies. 

Major G. Coleman, J.D., Ph.D.