Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D.,
Professor of History & Interdisciplinary Studies & Director, CABCS
Professor Tatiana Bryant, M.S.
Mr. Gregory Miller, B.S.
Adelphi University MBA Candidate
Research Assistance provided by:
Fabian G. Burrell, M.S. '17
Doris Henderson, M.S
Text by: Professor Darling
This exhibition celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Black Studies Program at Adelphi University. It tells the story of the student activism that created the Program and its evolution over five decades.
Angela Davis speaks at Adelphi (1984 Oracle)
Long Island does not come to mind as an arena in which the Civil Rights Movement unfolded. Yet, the racial caste system created by slavery on Long Island continued into the 20th Century creating harsh “separate and unequal” racial segregation against African Americans.
Widespread racial segregation on Long Island was spurred on by the activities of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. After WWII, unlike returning White soldiers, African American soldiers were denied mortgages to buy homes in large housing developments like Levittown, and their children experienced unequal educational opportunities.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) on Long Island challenged the barriers that withheld financial, educational, and health and well-being resources from African Americans in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
The front page of the Street Wall Journal, Thursday, May 21, 1970.
1960s and 1970s
When the about 40 Black and Puerto Rican youth were admitted to Adelphi University in the late 1960s, they confronted the toxic racial environment that existed on campus and in surrounding communities.
Those students and some White allies who were influenced by the fervor of the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movement, Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Chicano Liberation Movement, Anti-Apartheid Movement, and the Women’s Liberation Movement launched protests at Adelphi, and were responsible for the creation of a Black Studies Program and scholarships for Black and Puerto Rican students.
Front page of Radical Free Press [Adelphi student publication], March 10, 1970
La Union Latina from the Oracle 1976
Black Students Union from the Oracle 1970
Robert Robinson, Director of Black Studies/ Chairman of African American Studies 1970-1976
1980s and 1990s
A student sit-in in 1980 renewed pressure on Adelphi’s administration to better provide for the well-being of African American and Latino(a) students and the Black Studies Program which changed its name to African American Studies (AAS).
Front page of the Delphian, October 22, 1980
In the 1980s and 1990s, academic and cultural life for African American and Latino(a) faculty and students was enriched by the courses that comprised a Minor, cultural, and the extra-curricular events like Solidarity Day, Kwanzaa, Greek Life, Distinguished Lectures, Fashion Shows, Black History Month Artist Exhibitions, and Scholastic Award activities connected with the AAS.
Kwanzaa Dancers (University Archives Photo Coll)
Photograph of Henry Louis Gates visit to Adelphi (1991)
Griot, September 1992
Cover of 25th Anniversary of African American Studies brochure (May 6, 1995)
Manning Marable lecture flyer
Afrika Unbound [student newspaper], December 1999
In 2000, the Program’s name changed to African American & Ethnic Studies (AAES), and a decade later, to the Center for African, Black & Caribbean Studies(CABCS); and it has continued to offer academic, intellectual, artistic and cultural programs for student enrichment.
Dr. Marsha J. Tyson Darling with Masaai Chief Joseph (right). (Image by Dr. Darling)
Photograph of Adelphi students with Congressman Gregory Meeks, standing far right (2005)
Between 2000-2020, the academic Minor in AAES and then CABCS continued to provide a Minor to interested students; interdisciplinary CABCS course offerings expanded significantly. The Center offers courses cross-listed with 11 academic departments. It is directed by Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D., and a Faculty Advisory Committee comprised of the Associate Faculty who teach courses that are cross-listed with the Program and a number of Adjunct Faculty..
CABCS continues to promote vibrant artistic, intellectual, and cultural programming, having added: the African American Read-In, Distinguished Alums Celebration, topic specific day long symposia (i.e., Missing Children; Genetics and Society), and a Humanities Council of New York Reading Group. The Center collaborates with Adelphi Alums of Color who formed the Adelphi Multicultural Alumni Chapter.
African American Peoples Organization, 2006
Flyer for Missing Children Symposium (2011)
CABCS 2014 Events Calendar Flyer for public lecture by Haki R. Madhubuti (2014)