Black History in the Making

Black History in the Making was founded in 1983 by Dr. Daryl Dance, the distinguished scholar of African American and Caribbean literature who served as Program Coordinator during the 1983-84 academic year. Dr. Dance established Black History in the Making to recognize the achievements of African American students.

In 1983, Dr. Dance invited academic units and organizations to “recognize a student who has made an important contribution.” The nominating units established criteria for selecting recipients. Since 1983, more than 550 students have been recognized by over fifty departments and organizations. Nominees generally have stellar academic records, a history of community service, and intern, professional or work experiences that place them at the forefront of their careers.

In 2019, the department introduced a separate award for junior faculty (particularly term faculty), staff, and University and Academic Professionals.

The Department calls for award nominations each spring semester.

Selection Process

  • Departments and units that wish to participate select their recipient(s). The criteria is determined by the department, and usually includes academic excellence, service to the university or community, and intern, professional or work experiences that place them at the forefront of their careers. The Department of African American Studies does not judge or determine the recipients. Please submit recipients via the form linked below.

  • Departments may select multiple recipients (for example, an undergraduate and graduate student) if they wish.

  • Departments traditionally provide a gift for their recipient, such as a book or a plaque.

  • Recipients are honored at our Black History in the Making reception and award ceremony, which is held in February.

The 2019 nomination process is currently open. Department representatives should submit their recipient information via our form. Please submit all recipients by February 15, 2019. If you need an extension, please contact us.

Please direct questions to Dae Newman at or 804-828-1371.

Recipients by Year