In the spring of 1969 the first course on African-American history was taught at Columbia by a young instructor called Eric Foner. It was a volatile time in the university’s history [see 1968], and with growing numbers of African American students and others pressing for the teaching of black history, the course unfolded against a background of protests and walkouts. Read the Columbia Spectator’s report from March 12, 1969Shortly afterwards, the department made its first hires in the field of African American history including two pioneers in the field of black studies – Hollis R. Lynch, an Africanist who also wrote on the pan-African movement and Nathan Huggins, a historian of the Harlem Renaissance.