Our program is committed to promoting and encouraging scholarship that is designed to challenge multiple forms of oppression both within the U.S. and globally. The program engages in various activities intended to encourage students to critically think of knowledge production and to arm them with the necessary tools to critique such production.
Our program offers a strong grounding in the African-American community's past as well as present. We study the unique cultures, collective experiences and connections within the African Diaspora, so that students gain a better understanding of American society and the world we live in.
In addition to the academic benefits of obtaining the minor, students enjoy the extra-curricular experiences, such as movie series, guest speakers, and an array of community activities. Upon graduation students receive Kente stoles to mark their achievement.
The Black Studies Program was created and implemented into the college’s curriculum in 1995. It was created by students, with the advice and support of faculty members. These students believed that “the unique perspective of the Black Studies Program, that of those most oppressed by racism in American society, [would] be of great educational value to black and white students alike. We need this view to appreciate the contributions—cultural, historical, political, and social—of Africans and African-Americans which have been hidden by a nearly total emphasis on Europeans and their descendants”. These students designed the very core of the program, and nurtured its growth.
To complete the minor in Black Studies, students take one required course, Introduction to Black Studies, and select an additional five courses from among program and departmental electives. For minors whose interests are not directly addressed in formal course offerings, the program also offers the opportunity for independent readings and research, at the student's initiative, with the support of a faculty sponsor.