African American Studies Program
African American studies is interdisciplinary as well as comparative and cross-cultural. The curriculum offers a critical perspective of the complex interplay among ethical, social, economic, and political forces that influence struggles of African-descended people. Also, the curriculum explores how these people shaped global policies. Moreover, the curriculum explores the consequences of racial thinking.
The African American studies minor attracts students with a wide range of interests. Surveys reveal that students select the minor for four principal reasons:
- Race and nation building: The study of legal formations of race and ethnicity and their meanings to American and global institutions such as family, education, prisons, and religion provides insight into nation building and the functions of hierarchy, culture, and identity.
- Public policy: Because American political life remains encumbered by racial bias and its historical legacy, a historical, sociological, and economic understanding of race relations continues to be vital for those who make, evaluate, and serve as advocates for changes in public policy.
- African/African American culture and life: The study of a nonwhite group illustrates its contribution to American culture and struggle for democracy.
- Global ethnicity and economics: The study of the ethno-racial tensions that have developed in countries such as the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Brazil, Liberia, and Nigeria provide important global insights into the plurality of identities and the consequences of economic marginalization and legalized oppression.
Students who graduate with a concentration in African American studies have pursued advanced degrees in fields such as history, literature, political science, and sociology. They also go on to work in a wide variety of careers in education, business, medicine, entertainment, law, public policy, and the arts and sciences.
All undergraduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the undergraduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.
Latonya Thames-Taylor (2001)
Director, African American Studies Program
B.A., Tougaloo College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Mississippi