In the establishment of the Africana Studies program, the Committee for Afro-American Studies (CAAS) requested only one full-time appointment in the program, the director, perhaps as a means of expediting its approval—the College would only have to fund one new faculty line. In practice, that meant the faculty director not only taught but managed the program, developed curriculum, and advised majors as well as the African American Society. This arrangement persisted for forty years, making the contribution of students’ time, effort, and advocacy to the program invaluable.
The African American Center
Robert C. Johnson, Jr. ’71was the first president of the African American Society and lead the planning that went into both the opening of Bowdoin’s African American Center and Maine’s first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, which coincided on January 15, 1970. In this photo, Johnson is speaking at the opening, a talk in which he recalled his first roommate experience at Bowdoin.