African American Studies @ WFU

African American Studies at Wake Forest University is a signature academic program that:

  • Leverages the University’s distinctive commitment “to the pursuit of excellence in the liberal arts” while educating a new generation of scholars and citizens committed to serving humanity
  • Employs a broad humanistic framework in providing a novel intellectual space for students and scholars to develop new knowledge in their attempt “to ask and answer the fundamental questions of human existence”
  • Distinguishes its approach to the discipline by its unique focus on the cultures, knowledges, and expressions of African descended people in the southern United States and their global reverberations.
Maya Angelou

“I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition – about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive.”

– Maya Angelou

About the African American Studies Program


African American Studies is integral to a liberal arts education.

African American Program Academic Information


Learn more about our signature African American Studies program and see what’s being offered this spring.

African American Studies Program Faculty


Meet our distinguished African American Studies faculty.

2023 AWFUBA/AAS Annual Homecoming Lecture:

The War on Black Studies:

Education, Politics, and the Fate of Democracy

The 2023 AWFUBA/AAS Annual Homecoming Lecture, “The War on Black Studies”: Education, Politics, and the Fate of Democracy,” features a public conversation with Professor Claire Crawford, Wake Forest University, Professor Daniel Henry, Wake Forest University, and Professor Darius Bost, University of Illinois Chicago. The conversation was moderated by Dean Corey D. B. Walker, Dean of the School of Divinity, Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities, and Director of the Program in African American Studies, Wake Forest University. This program was sponsored by the Association of Wake Forest University Black Alumni and the Program in African American Studies.


Radically Reimagining Black Women’s Lives

Black women’s life writing has been among the fastest-growing literary subgenres in the past several years. Long before this explosion of memoirs and biographies on and by Black women, scholars such as Nell Painter, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Barbara Ransby led the way in the 1990s and early 2000s, writing path-breaking biographies and establishing the methodologies that other scholars would build upon. And while Black women’s biography has remained a vital form of writing and research for academics at various career stages, only a few have managed to secure contracts with commercial publishers and garner wider audience reach. 

This 2-day conference is an opportunity to celebrate and expand the community of Black women’s life writers.

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