Department of Africana Studies

Yolanda Covington-Ward and Diamond Buadu

Africana Studies Returns to Its Roots

The Department of Africana Studies’ history of community-building and fostering critical conversations makes it an especially salient major for students wishing to tackle tough issues today. The new chair, Yolanda Covington-Ward, wants more people to know about it.
The KanKouran West African Dance Company dancing on stage in bright yellow and orange attire.

Black History Month Programming Looks at the Past and Future

Born of a lunchtime conversation among three women faculty members and sponsored by multiple units on campus, the upcoming “Black to the Future” festival will showcase artistic talent, resilience and innovation.
Kent-Smith in a jacket, white shirt and bowtie, sitting pensively

Senior Activist Thinks Big

Zuri Kent-Smith: forward-thinking, charismatic, passionate and unapologetic. Through his activism on campus and off, the senior philosophy and Africana studies major leaves his mark on Pitt.
woman singing joyfully

University Commemorates Anniversary of Pivotal 1969 Computer Center Sit-in

The January event, held on the 50th anniversary of the sit-in, included a candlelight procession recreating the march from the student union to the Cathedral and a ceremony passing the mantle of Black Action Society leadership from one generation to the next.
Patel in a tan coat in front of a body of water

Studying Migration, Refugee Issues at Oxford University, Alumna Draws on Personal History

Bhavini Patel (A&S ’16) is combining her deep personal knowledge of immigrant communities with her research at the University of Oxford on extended refugee displacement.
Oronde S. Sharif

'Black Nativity' Showcases Gospel Music, Family and Community Connections

Based on poet and playwright Langston Hughes’ adaptation of the classic nativity story, "Black Nativity" is marking its 24th year at the University of Pittsburgh, bringing a distinctive multicultural holiday experience to the city of Pittsburgh.
headshot in black and white of Bob "B.J." Johnson

Archival Collections Document the Black Arts Movement in 20th-century Pittsburgh

Papers from B.J. Johnson — a teacher and dancer who was integral in founding Pitt's Department of Africana Studies — and from the Kuntu Theatre and its founder, Vernell Lillie, shed light on the performing arts community of Pittsburgh.

Africana Studies Faculty Member Recognized by the Association for Africanist Anthropology

Yolanda Covington-Ward, an associate professor of Africana Studies, has been honored with the Elliot P. Skinner Book Award from...