California State University, Northridge’s Department of Africana Studies will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Friday, Nov. 1, and Monday, Nov. 4, to honor the sacrifices of those who fought for black studies and those who continue to advocate for change.
“Africana studies was born in a storm, having emerged from the student protest movements that demanded more representation in the student body and faculty, as well as calls for action for more diverse curriculum,” said Theresa White, chair of the Africana studies department. “This celebration honors the history and struggles of those who were instrumental and key to establishing a department that has served thousands of students for half a century.”
Friday’s celebration is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Student Union (USU) Grand Salon. It will feature a one-man play about what Malcolm X would say to the youth of today, by speaker, writer and health coach Jermaine Hagan.
Guest speakers such as Africana studies professor Monica Turner “will reflect on the experiences of being in the department and what it has done for them in terms of an internal racial uplift and racial pride, to continue the fight and struggle for democracy and equal rights and equity within our democracy,” said Cedric Hackett, Africana studies professor and one of the coordinators of the event.
Monday’s celebration is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at USU’s Northridge Center. A scheduled HEAL (Honorary Elders Applied Leadership) ceremony will be followed by a teach-in by the Rev. Zedar Broadous, who graduated from CSUN in 1971.
“The celebration helps identify those who sacrificed – students and their careers – in order to attain policies that worked for the betterment of people of color and, in particular, African Americans,” said Hackett, who is also the director of the DuBois-Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement, which helps promote student success through community and campus partnerships. “It commemorates the 50 years of struggle of being in the department.”
The celebration “reflects a culmination of pivotal, key moments in history that were instrumental in bringing the department to fruition,” White said.
For more on the Department of Africana studies, visit https://www.csun.edu/social-behavioral-sciences/africana-studies.