Thank you for your interest in African & African-American Studies at Elon (AAASE). It has been a pleasure to serve as the program coordinator since 2006. In that time, I have overseen several important developments related to a strengthened curriculum, expanded course offerings, new hires, and exciting programming. These developments are made possible through the hard work of several dedicated faculty and staff, many of whom comprise the AAASE Advisory Board.
However, none of AAASE's progress would have been possible without the vision of Professor K. Wilhelmina Boyd, whose contributions to the university we continue to honor. At the program’s inception in 1994, Professor Boyd pioneered much of AAASE’s work as the first coordinator. She retired from the Department of English in 2005, four years before her eventual death. Professor Boyd was an avid bibliophile, who started Elon’s annual celebration of African-American Read-in Day. We revived the event in 2011 and Elon’s Black Alumni Network (EBAN) started and named their bookclub after Prof. Boyd.
In 2008, we launched the Black Oaks Graduating Seniors Banquet and at the annual event held each May, we present the K. Wilhelmina Boyd Scholar award to an outstanding AAASE minor, whose Elon career exemplifies Prof. Boyd’s life and work. On Aug. 21, 2012, friends and colleagues gathered in Alamance 302 for the dedication of the K. Wilhelmina Boyd Office of African & African-American Studies, a fitting tribute to a trailblazing educator. Some of those colleagues paid tribute to Prof. Boyd in a video located on this website's welcome page.
Our community has made significant strides in attracting and recruiting Elon students interested in African, African-American, and African diasporic communities. Not only has the program established itself as one of the most engaging, interdisciplinary minors on campus, attracting our best and brightest students and faculty, but its educational awareness efforts highlight the issues Black communities still confront. The Black Oaks Newsletter, our semesterly publication, chronicles our work. To see some of our most recent accomplishments, click here.
AAASE nurtures the scholarly and professional pursuits of our faculty- and student-scholars, and aims to provide a global forum for individuals and organizations with an interest and concern for the history, politics, languages, cultures, and lives of blacks within the United States, Africa and her diaspora. The faculty, students, and staff of the program are as diverse in their origins as they are in their talents. We come from Barbados, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Georgia, Jamaica, Nigeria, New York, North Carolina, Washington, DC and points in-between. In the This is my . . . video series, we share our fondest memories and thoughts of our respective countries, in our attempt to dispel some of the media stereotypes about local and global Black communities and to invite you to embark on the physical and educational journeys with us to these locales.
We invite Elon students to enroll in the highly engaging and exciting courses we offer across Elon’s Schools of Communication, Education, and Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, to study abroad in Barbados, Ghana and South Africa through Elon’s winter term programs or via one of the many affiliate or exchanges we offer through our worldwide partners. Celebrate our faculty/staff authors on the third Wednesday of selected months each semester and enjoy a potpourri of Black History Month events each February. Participate in any of our faculty- and student-led service initiatives, such as The Village Project led by Dr. Jean Rattigan-Rohr or any of our student-affiliated organizations, including the Black Cultural Society, the Elon African Society, Friends of Ghana, Invivsible Children, and STAND (Students Take Action Now: Darfur).
To learn more about our programs or to get involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the K. Wilhelmina Boyd Office of African & African-American Studies. We can't wait to welcome you! Join us on this journey of discovery . . .
Associate Professor of English &
Coordinator of AAASE