African and African American Studies (AAAS) offers opportunities for critical examination and sophisticated understanding of the cultural, social, political, economic, and historical factors that have created and shaped Africa and its diaspora, including black experiences in the United States, the Caribbean, and throughout the globe. The minor is meant to be complementary with any major field of study. Awareness of the history, diversity, and cultures of people of African descent, along with the habits of mind nurtured by the broader liberal arts curriculum, is a valuable asset to a variety of careers, including in the education, business, law, social services, academic, and non-profit sectors.
The minor also contributes to the enrichment of the whole person and prepares students to be responsible, aware citizens of local and world communities. The black experience is at the heart of many key social justice issues, from slavery and abolition to the anti-colonial, anti-segregation, anti-apartheid, and civil rights movements of the twentieth century. Rigorous academic study of these experiences tells us not only about ourselves and our past, but also how to participate in a diverse and rapidly globalizing world.
You can find each semester's AAAS course offerings by searching for section types in WebAdvisor or checking the Resources page on the AAAS website.
In 2013, AAAS launched "Food for Thought," a new lunchtime conversation series about research in African and African American Studies. The next installment is March 31 and it will be the first one led by a student: Andrea Awde, a graduating AAAS minor. Andrea will discuss race, urban segregation, and fair housing policy based on her experiences both in the AAAS classroom and as an intern at the ACLU. Lunch is provided. Bring a friend! More info on our news page.
The program hosts an annual fall lecture. This year's lecture is October 30, featuring Dr. Tyson King-Meadows (UMBC) on race and voting rights. Previous lectures featured Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP; Lonnie G. Bunch III, Ph.D., director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Emira Woods, an expert on Africa and U.S. foreign policy at the Institute for Policy Studies.