The Center for African and African American Studies at Southern University at New Orleans was formally established in 1989 as a unit within the Office of the Chancellor as a Title III grant program.

In 2003, the Center was transferred to the College of Arts and Social Sciences to enhance its academic capabilities. As part of Southern University at New Orleans continuing and growing commitment to international and cultural studies, the Center seeks to provide innovative African and African American Studies programs in teaching, research, and public service.

Since the arrival of the current director, Dr. Romanus Ejiaga, the Center has necessitated greater involvement with Center affiliate faculty to expand the campus Africana Studies community and to strengthen ties between Africana Studies on campus and the broader community by creating two advisory committees – “Faculty Advisory Board” made up of 13 talented faculty members and “Community Advisory Council” that includes 11 representatives from various community groups. The Center plans to transform itself into one of the top Africana Studies programs in the nation. The core of this project of transformation includes: (1) development of an undergraduate major in 2006/2007; (2) graduate concentration in key curricula in 2008/2009; and (3) the establishment of a Masters degree in Africana studies in 2010/2011.

Located in New Orleans, the cultural capital of Louisiana the Center for African and African American Studies brings together a wealth of undergraduate course offerings, cultural and intellectual programming, archival and library resources, and numerous public events to create a strong foundation in African and African American Studies.