African American Studies

Created in 1970, WIU’s African American Studies Department was developed during a period of racial strife in America in general and Macomb in particular. This period corresponded with the first significant presence of Blacks on campus. In response to student demands for a black curriculum, several white instructors devised the first courses examining the black intellectual experience. English professor Norman Anderson headed this effort in 1969-1970. The African American Studies Program, then called the Negro Studies Program, came into existence at WIU in 1970, with Mr. Charles J. Evans as its first Director from 1970 to 1971. WIU's African American Studies Department has remained a leader in the production of well-rounded graduates ready to contribute in shaping our global world. Today, our strong and multidisciplinary faculty provide outstanding teaching, research, student mentoring, community outreach and public service. The department creates a rich scholarly environment promoting Western Illinois University's values of "academic excellence, opportunity, social responsibility and personal growth.”

The 40th Anniversary was commemorated in Spring 2011 with lectures, films, and the UVOWIS concert. AAS is proud of its current and former faculty and staff members who have contributed to the department's successes.