The Center was established in 1969 in response to the challenge of providing a supportive atmosphere to increasing numbers of African-American students entering Rutgers University. Widely recognized as the first black cultural center on a college campus in the United States, PRCC, like most black cultural centers, was established in response to the activism/struggle of black students, who organized a campaign calling for greater representation of black faculty, students and staff members.
In 1972, the Center was renamed in honor of Rutgers’ esteemed alumnus Paul Robeson. The Center has played a vital role in the Rutgers community by reflecting the rich cultural heritage of African Americans through programs that focus on the literary, cultural, and historic contributions of African-Americana to society. In 1992, the Center moved from College Avenue to its new home adjacent to the Busch Campus Center.