Divisions and Programs

  1. Institute for African American Affairs (IAAA)

    The IAAA was established in 1969 as a result of protests by Black United Students (BUS). This committee assumes responsibility for assisting collaborative research and program development and implementation, as well as establishing programmatic relationships with various bodies in and surrounding Kent State University.  The IAAA also publishes Kitabu and The African American Affairs Monograph Series, which reports the results of IAAA and related research. 

  2. The Center of Pan-African Culture (CPAC)

    Recognizing that the cultural contributions of blacks have been too long ignored in our society, CPAC, created in 1970, promotes the cultural traditions of Pan-African peoples.  It provides opportunities and facilities for the exposition of art forms—painting, sculpture, oral and written literature, poetry, music, dance, theatre—as well as other cultural modes of expression that define people of African descent.  Its mission is to complement the academic activities of the Department and to provide a living manifestation of the past and present cultural lives of people in the Pan-African world.

  3. The Communications Skill and Arts Division (CSA)

    CSA came into existence in 1971 as a joint effort of the Department of Pan-African Studies and the Department of English.  Its purpose is to maintain the PAS College Writing program in order to effectively fulfill specific instructional needs of a predominantly African American constituency.  The content of the CSA courses is intended to teach critical thinking and impart the writing skills necessary for academic success, while addressing specific issues in the Pan-African experience.  Since the traditional College Writing classes can not be expected to tailor their content to this experience, CSA seeks to help eliminate those linguistic as well as cultural barriers which black students may encounter at a predominantly white institution.

  4. The African Community Theatre (ACT)

    ACT promotes exposure to and knowledge of the theatrical heritage of peoples of African descent and encourages the participation of students and area residents in the production of Pan-African theatre events.  Black theatre came into existence with the advent of the IAAA (now the Department of Pan-African Studies) in 169-70 and the development of the Black Drama Workshop (1973) .  In 1981, the workshop took a new direction and evolved into a major theatrical component of DPAS which is now referred to as the African Community Theatre.

  5. Special Curricular Programs and Facilities

    1. The Pan-African Festival

      The purpose of the Pan-African Festival, usually held in late April/early May, is to provide a week-long or weekend experience that can be shared by all on the Kent State University campus and in the surrounding communities.  The Festival affirms our common heritage and determination to continue to educate ourselves.  The Festival is planned and executed by the Center of Pan-African Culture in collaboration with the Black United Students, campus organizations and community residents.

    2. The Henry Dumas Resource Center

      This is a departmental research library and reading room for faculty, staff, students and community.  It was named after Henry Dumas, an African American poet and short-story writer.  Henry Dumas (July 20, 1934-May 23, 1968) was a brilliant African American writer and poet.  Dumas was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas in 1934 and he lived there until the age of ten, when he moved to New York City; however, he always kept with him the religious and folk traditions of his hometown.  In Harlem, he attended public school and graduated from Commerce High School in 1953.  After graduating, he enrolled in the Air Force and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas where he met future wife, Loretta Ponton.  The couple married in 1955 and had two sons, David in 1958 and Michael in 1962.  Dumas was in the military until 1957, at which time he enrolled at Rutgers University but never attained a degree.  In 1967, Dumas began work at Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.   At EHE, Dumas was a teacher and counselor.  It was  here that he  met fellow teacher and poet, Eugene Redmond, forming a close collaborative relationship that would prove so integral to Dumas’ posthumous career.

    3. Departmental Publications

      The Department, through the IAAA, publishes its monthly newsletter KITABU which circulated nationally.  The African American Affairs Monograph Series projected to become a referred scholarly journal, published each spring semester.  Even though KITABU has an internal-use value, IAAA seeks to print articles and announcements of value to a general audience as well.  The Department encourages faculty, staff and graduate and undergraduate students to submit articles, creative writings, reviews, etc. to either of these publications.