Interim Director of the Center for African American Studies:
Walter Lee, Ph.D.
An interdisciplinary approach to history, culture and experience of African Americans from the fifteenth century to the present, the minor program attracts students interested in the African American heritage and rich intellectual traditions. This minor also explores African American struggles, successes, as well as art and literature.
The Center for African American Studies seeks to develop and sustain extra-curricular intellectual discussions about the African American experience through its campus and community programming initiatives. Please see the center website for information about current programs.
Students completing the minor program will be introduced to seven major themes throughout their studies:
- Connections to the African American Past, where students will learn about the pre-Atlantic slave trade world Africa with emphasis on West African civilizations and societies;
- Becoming African American, where students examine the effects of enslavement on African identity and the construction of an American identity;
- Race and Identity Issues will examine the political, social and economic impact of the construction of blackness for African Americans;
- Resistance and Agency will examine the strategies used by African Americans to combat their disempowerment;
- Spirituality will trace the impact of African American spirituality on culture, community life and political activism;
- Cultural Expression will examine the material and intellectual contributions of African Americans to literature, music and art;
- and Liberation will include discussions on how the struggle for freedom and inclusion has shaped the African American experience and impacted the definition of freedom in the United States.