Chemical modifications to the DNA and histone protein components of chromatin can modulate gene expression and genome stability. Understanding the physiological impact of changes in chromatin structure remains an important question in biology. As one example, in order to generate antibody diversity with somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination, chromatin must be made accessible for activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID)-mediated deamination of cytosines in DNA. These lesions are recognized and removed by various DNA repair pathways but, if not handled properly, can lead to formation of oncogenic chromosomal translocations. In this review, we focus the discussion on how chromatin-modifying activities and -binding proteins contribute to the native chromatin environment in which AID-induced DNA damage is targeted and repaired. Outstanding questions remain regarding the direct roles of histone posttranslational modifications and the significance of AID function outside of antibody diversity.