About the Undergraduate Program:
The Department of Black Studies came about as a result of the students' need for a more relevant curriculum, one dealing with the African Diaspora, and for more meaningful opportunities for faculty, staff and students. The department caters to its undergraduate majors as well as the larger academic community by serving more than 4,000 students per year fulfilling general education requirements.
Black Studies is a distinctly innovative discipline that focuses on people of African descent whether they live in Africa, in the Caribbean, or in North or South America. Along with similar departments in the University of California and in other universities, it consists of intellectual and cross-cultural enterprises, incorporating historical reconstructions and formulating hitherto unexplored and unexamined methodological, theoretical, and analytical forms in the social sciences. Interdisciplinary in nature, it includes professors trained in comparative literature, film studies, ethnomusicology, gender studies, history, linguistics, political science, and other traditional disciplines. Besides exploring new areas of contact between these disciplines, it prepares students for life in an increasingly multi-ethnic and global society, for graduate study, and for professional careers in community service, education, government, law and private industry.
The Department of Black Studies seeks to increase the general awareness and understanding of the Black experience through an examination of its historical and contemporary manifestations in various societies. The department brings together scholars who are concerned with Black America, the African Diaspora, and Africa. It utilizes a cross-cultural approach, incorporating the active participation of faculty, students, and the wide community. The faculty of Professors and lecturers ground their students in history, literature, cinema, religion, the arts, and the social sciences, with particular concentrations in the achievement of moral ideals such as democracy and equality, cultural theory, and the social, aesthetic, and political ideas emerging from historical and contemporary societies.
Among the affiliated faculty are members of Art Studio, English, Political Science, and Sociology Departments and the Women's Studies Program. The department's resources and partnerships include the Center for Black Studies, the Ethnic Studies Library, the Multicultural Center, and various student groups.