This concentration considers the great range of experiences of African Americans historically and in the present. Students who choose this concentration consider the many ways African Americans have negotiated the issue of race within a predominantly white society, using strategies that range from assimilation to separatism. In this concentration, students are encouraged to think critically about the concept of race and the crucial role of language and culture in defining racial difference at distinct historical moments. Students analyze history, theory, and cultural representations made by African Americans in order to increase their understanding of black achievement and oppression.
Students in the African American & African studies concentration may enter into fields and positions such as counseling, social research, personnel, and education.
Sixteen credits are required for the concentration. Two courses counted toward the concentration must be at the 300-level or above. Students should take at least one course each on history, contemporary experience, and cultural representation in order to discover how African American experiences today are rooted in the past, and how art, music, or literature reflect and construct a tradition in which personalities, philosophies, events, and social and creative needs are intertwined. Because African American experience is best understood when considered from a variety of perspectives, courses used to fulfill the concentration requirements should be drawn from at least two areas of study (e.g., history and literature or sociology and art history).