Michigan State University is a national leader in agricultural research and extension programming. MSU is a member of the AAU with a diverse community of dedicated students, scholars, athletes, and artists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research and excellence in teaching.  

AAAS at MSU was initially founded as a PhD granting program in 2002 as a unit committed to making concrete connections between faculty scholarship, pedagogy, and social justice causes. An undergraduate minor was created in 2014 to extend the Black Studies experience to an increasing interested undergraduate population. On July 1, 2019 AAAS became a department. The new AAAS department (the Department of African American and African Studies) embraces diverse scholarly approaches to research, teaching, and civic engagement required for comprehensive study within the larger Black Studies discipline.  

In Spring 2020, MSU appointed Dr. Ruth Nicole Brown, the Inaugural Chair, and Dr. Tamura Lomax, Foundational Associate Professor, to lead the new build.