By: Tesay Yusuf
The Center for African Studies is the home of the African Studies program at Stanford. CAS serves not only as an intellectual space, but also a community space. The 50th anniversary of CAS meant many things to so many people. In order to reflect that, we created an exhibit of photographs taken by a CAS alum of members of the community. People wrote on their hands what CAS meant to them and so it was a chance for students, faculty, alumni, and our whole community to reflect on what it means to us.
What does having a center and a community mean?
To me, CAS means comfort, and that’s what I wrote on my hand for my portrait. CAS is a place where I can feel comfortable in who I am. I have multiple spaces like that on campus, and each provides comfort in a different way. CAS is somewhere I can walk in, request a song, and get into the mood I need for that day. It’s a place I can vent, order ice cream for the whole office when we’re stressed, and plan a party in a matter of hours to get everyone’s spirits up. It’s way more than just a job. It’s a welcoming place, a place where people try to feel for one another. It’s a dynamic space, and I think everyone makes it into what they want for themselves. If you’ve never been, I would definitely encourage everyone in the Black community(ies) to come see it for yourself. Check out the exhibit, request a song that will get played just for you, and feel what’s going on at CAS.
Below are previously unreleased photos from the CAS 50th Anniversary Celebration this past Spring.