The Africana Studies Department of Rutgers-New Brunswick is celebrating its 40th anniversary this academic year. The recognition of Africana Studies as a discipline, and its attainment of departmental status at Rutgers and other institutions of higher education in America, is one of the triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Students, activists, and faculty members committed to redressing racial inequality in society, as well its manifestation in the academy, embarked on a daring experiment to found a discipline and department to serve as the custodian of various knowledges pertaining to “Africana.” Thus, “Africana Studies” came to embrace Africa, the ancestral homeland of African peoples, the diverse cultures, deep histories, and long memories of the vast African diaspora, as well as the heroic struggles that bind together all who are committed to a vision of racial justice and democracy in the world. In commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of that scholastic and historical milestone, the Africana Studies Department, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Rutgers, are planning a series of events throughout the 2009-10 academic year. The first of the series is a lecture and panel discussion featuring Mr. Benjamin Todd Jealous, the National President and CEO of the NAACP, who will speak on October 27th, 2009, at 7 pm in the Multipurpose Room of the Rutgers Student Center (click here for directions).