Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary and transnational field of knowledge about the lived experiences and contributions of peoples of African descent. Since the beginning of African civilization, to the creation of African-derived communities and cultures around the world, Africana people have served as the blueprint and fabric of global society. Africana— a term used to refer to Afro -Indigenous, Afro Asiatic, Afro Hispanic/Afro Latin, Afro Caribbean, Black American and any combination within the African Diasporic. Africana Studies emerged from a long complex history of resistance against slavery, colonization, oppression, violence, and other forms of power. Overall, Africana Studies emerged to center the realities and lived experiences of the Black Radical Imagination that is the framework for understanding Black life and thought. This course will selectively engage aspects of the African American and African diaspora, and Black Intellectual Thought and its relationship to current social and political conditions.

Using close reading of primary documents, theoretical texts, and various media this course grapples with the following question: What constitutes the African diasporic lived experience? What is the most effective way of “reading” Black history? Throughout the course students will gain a fundamental understanding of the general nature of Africana Studies and African diasporic experiences and its relationship to key moments in the global historical, political, economic, and social movements of Africana peoples. The overall goal is for students to become scholars and come to appreciate the richness and diversity of the Africana experience. Finally, students will be able to critically assess and describe key patterns and issues that are studied in this course, and ultimately apply this new knowledge to questions, issues, and other disciplines that are of interest to them

Student Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Gain a greater understanding of the historic relationship between race, class, gender etc in the Americas.
  2. Use primary and secondary sources to develop and sharpen analytical and critical thinking skills.
  3. Evaluate the impact of slavery, capitalism, and democracy on Africana people socio-cultural and political expressions.
  4. Identify the contributions of African descended people to early history and culture of the Americas