Department of Black Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Student & Alumni Spotlight

"Where are they NOW?"

A look at some of the Graduating Seniors from this past class of 2013-14. Take a second to get to know: Yoel Haile, Lauren O'Brien and Jorge Ramirez.


Student Spotlight:

Info: Yoel Haile

Graduated: 2013-2014 with Double Major in Black Studies & Political Science

Currently: Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy.

Quote:I believe the critical thinking skills and intellectual training I received from the Black Studies Department will prove invaluable as I continue my education.I urge you to take advantage of the most incredible department UCSB has to offer and learn from our amazing faculty and students.


Info: Lauren O’Brien

Graduated: 2013-2014 with Major in Black Studies

Currently: Masters in History at Loyola University Chicago Graduate School

Quote:As an aspiring historian in Black History and Museum Curator/Educator I am very excited to explore the continuous opportunities I am being granted in Chicago! However, regardless of where life takes me, I will be a carrier of the love and wisdom bestowed upon me by the UCSB Black Studies Department.


Info: Jorge Ramirez

Graduated: 2013-2014 with Double Major in Black Studies & Sociology

Currently: PhD student in History at University of California, San Diego

Quote:The Black Studies Department has been crucial in my academic pursuits while teaching me the importance of bridging university-community work through community-based projects, the critical mentorship from faculty, and the valuable lessons of history. Furthermore, the Black Studies Department pushes me to continue listening to the voices most marginalized in our society, and how their situated knowledge can teach us about the possibilities for a new future being crafted today.”                                                                 



The Department of Black Studies at UCSB recently held it's second annual: Undergraduate Colloquium, which highlighted the incredible achievements and research intiatives of some of the top Majors in the Department.

Please join us for the annual Black Studies Undergraduate Colloquium (South Hall 3711) FRIDAY, April 24th, 2015 @ 2:00-5:00pm.


The Black Studies Colloquium, with the co-sponsorship of the department of Feminist Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, the History of Science Program, and the New Health, Medicine, and Care Working Group will host a lecture series on the biopolitics of reproduction in the US and globally.

Events, Upcoming

Are YOU a true Hip-Hop head?...Have you been looking for ways to actively get involved with like-minded students who are passionate about bridging the gap between Academia & Hip-Hop culture?...

If so....Please join us for our first ever: "Hip-Hop Lyric Analysis & Album Discussion" led by Black Studies Visiting Ella Baker Professor: Dr. Shana Redmond, taking place next THURSDAY, May 28th, 2015 @ 3:00-5:00pm in the African Diasporic Cultural Resource Center in the SRB (AdCRC).

For our inaugural meeting, we will be analyzing Kendrick Lamar's latest release: "To Pimp a Butterfly".

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the Undergraduate Advisor directly (jtapiro@blackstudies.ucsb.edu).

FYI: Spaces are limited to 35-40 seats


  1. May 28, 2015 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Faculty Spotlight


Dr. Terence Keel, Assistant Professor in the Department of Black Studies at UCSB, was recently interviewed to provide insight on an upcoming event at UCSB surrounding the history of the Underground Railroad: "Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad".

The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at UCSB, will be hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner to give a talk on his book surrounding the "hidden history" of the Underground Railroad on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 @ 5:00pm in UCSB's Campbell Hall.
Notable Excerpts from Dr. Keel's insight includes:
  • “There’s an assumption that what happened 150 years ago really doesn’t have any bearing on their lives today and I think that’s unfortunate because the Underground Railroad is a story about black and white solidarity in the struggle for freedom and justice, and this is a consistent feature of African American history and American history in general.”


  • “I think the significance of Foner’s talk is his trying to carve out an argument about how widespread the Underground Railroad was. But more than that, the Underground Railroad was a coalitional political project that involved African Americans who had run away, as well as white abolitionists and Quakers who were actively working together to create this network of support.”

  • “It’s a history of black agency and partnership with other people,” he said. “Yet often students assume that a course on African American history is about demarcating boundaries and defining who is and who isn’t a proper part of this history.”

  • “This is not one of those research sites where there’s a robust archive,” Keel went on. “But it so happens Foner did in fact stumble across the record book in which Sydney Howard Gay was cataloging the number of slaves who were making their way up north. It was a record of the names of the slaves and potentially where they were from. And now we can begin to put names to regions and frequencies and time periods in ways that historically haven’t been possible. And that’s ground-breaking.”




Contact Us

Department of Black Studies
Room 3631, South Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3150
Tel: (805) 893-8045
Fax: (805) 893-3597

Main Office Hours
Monday through Friday
8am-12pm and 1-5pm

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