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The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies



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The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies at the University of Rochester 1986 1998 A Chronicle and Documentary History Karen E Fields Ph D Keywords African American Studies Black Studies Afro America undergraduate education multiculturalism desegregation diversity minority recruitment race racism Rochester affirmative action Frederick Douglass Summary Over the past thirty years some 380 American colleges and universities have established programs in African and African American Studies While these programs are very diverse in name philosophy and structure they share three related characteristics First students not faculties provoked their establishment and besides called for relevance in courses and research agendas Second all have struggled or continue to struggle for academic legitimation and stability Third all have complex lives in public opinion on and off campus Appearing to incarnate what Americans shorthand as race or condemn as racism they are often discussed in those limited but loaded terms In fact however to analyze those traits is to open a window on the surrounding academic world What follows is a detailed examination of one program As the second of three launched at the University of Rochester between 1969 and 1999 it exhibits the problem of instability especially well This study concludes that while unfinished business of racial desegregation continues to weigh in campus life so too do specific features of decision making that shape instructional programs more generally Thus although this chronicle is addressed first and foremost to faculty colleagues and students who work in African and African American Studies it is addressed as well to all who reflect on the culture and direction of American higher education This is a work in progress As such it awaits readers comments suggestions corrections and most of all comparisons with other cases To facilitate browsing through various topics a list of section headings and



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