California State University, Northridge’s Department of Pan African Studies will celebrate its 44th anniversary with a series of events, including a discussion led by CSUN Black Student Union founder Adewole Umoja, formerly known as Archie Chatman, ’68 (History) and scholar-activist Akinyele Umoja.
The celebration will kick off on Friday, Nov. 1, at 5 p.m. with a screening of “The Storm at Valley State,” an hour-long documentary about student activism at CSUN in the 1960s and 70s, and a faculty-student dialogue in the University Student Union’s Northridge Center.
On Monday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m., Adewole Umoja, a political science professor at Los Angeles Southwest College, and Akinyele Umoja, chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University, will discuss the state of black studies, “From Then to Now,” in the USU’s Thousand Oaks Room. That evening, the department and the CSUN Black Alumni Association will host a reception and question-and-answer session at 7 p.m. in Sierra Hall 181 for Akinyele Umoja, author of “We Will Shoot Black: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement.”
“Our celebration is a reminder of the blood, sweat and tears shed by students of color for future students of color at California State University, Northridge,” said Cedric Hackett, acting assistant chair of the Department of Pan African Studies. “The Pan African Studies Department, which is now known as the Department of Africana Studies, is a CSUN cultural artifact. It is imperative that we preserve the history of the department and its founding. Our celebration gives more meaning and appreciation to the making and sustainability of our brand.”
CSUN’s Department of Pan African Studies is one of the oldest and largest degree granting black studies programs in the nation. CSUN was one of the first universities in the country to establish a black studies program, opening its doors in 1969. The department has produced thousands of graduates who are working in a variety of disciplines, including education, social work, law and media communications.
For more information about the event, contact the Department of Pan African Studies at (818) 677-3311.