Dr Amilcar Shabaz

Professor of Afro - American Studies at the University of Amherst

A professor of history and Africana Studies in the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies since 2007, Shabazz served as the department’s seventh chair from 2007 to 2012. In 2013, he accepted a central administrative appointment as Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor for Diversity and Excellence. He continues to teach in the department with an emphasis on the political economy of social and cultural movements, education, and public policy. His book Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas was the winner of the T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award and other scholarly recognitions. The Forty Acres Documents, a volume he co-edited with Imari Obadele and Johnita Scott Obadele and for which he wrote the introduction, was one of the earliest scholarly works in the modern movement for reparations for slavery and the racial oppression of people of African descent in North America. Shabazz has been a Fulbright Senior Specialist and has done work in Brazil, Ghana, Japan, Cuba, and other countries. Presently, he is completing an historical biography of lawyer-journalist-entrepreneur Carter Wesley, and a book on higher education in the wake of anti-affirmative action litigation from Bakke to Fisher. Shabazz was selected for the 2014-15 class of the American Council on Education Fellows Program, the longest running leadership development program in the United States that focuses on identifying and preparing the next generation of senior leadership for the nation’s universities.

Research Areas

• African American educational history and public policy

• Afro-Americans in the Caribbean, Central and South America

• African American Biography


• Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas (University of North Carolina Press, 2004)

• Women & Others: Perspective on Race, Gender, and Empire (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2007)

• Afterword: “The Shoulders We Stand On: Black Professionals & the Transformation of U.S. Society” in Quest for Justice: Louis A. Bedford Jr. and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Texas by Darwin Payne (Southern Methodist University Press, 2009)

• “The African-American Educational Legacy in Beaumont Texas,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, Vol. 50 (2014).

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