14 Facts About Barbara Christian


Barbara T Christian was an American author and professor of African-American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.


Barbara Christian was born on December 12,1943 in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands to Ruth and Alphonso Christian.


Barbara Christian's father was a judge in St Thomas and both of her parents strongly encouraged their children in pursuing academic goals.


Barbara Christian was an avid reader and questioned why there were no African-American or Afro-Caribbean women included in her education or the stories she read.


The school did not offer black studies at that time, but Barbara Christian chose Columbia because it would give her access to the Harlem intellectual community.


Immediately following her degree, Barbara Christian was promoted to an assistant professorship at City College, teaching English.


In 1978, Barbara Christian was granted tenure at UC Berkeley, the first African American woman to be tenured and the same year she was elected chair of the Department of African American Studies.

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Barbara Christian was one of the first scholars to bring the works of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker to the attention of academia.


Barbara Christian held the chair of African American Studies until 1983.


In 1986, Barbara Christian was promoted, as the first woman of African descent, to full professor.


In 1991, Barbara Christian received the Distinguished Teaching Award from UC Berkeley and in 1994, was honored with the MELUS Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies Award bestowed by The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.


Barbara Christian tied this phenomenon directly to a rise in critics being trained solely as academics, without any experience as creative writers.


Barbara Christian stated that this method of producing theory helped exclude peoples of color, black women, Latin Americans, and Africans from the category of theorists.


Barbara Christian died on June 25,2000 from complications from lung cancer.