The minor in African-American studies exposes students to a program of study concerning African-American culture, life, and history in the United States. By exposing students to an interdisciplinary study of African Americans (encompassing history, political science, sociology, literature, music, and anthropology), the minor is intended to educate students on how African-Americans helped shape American history and culture and continue to transform it today. The minor also emphasizes the relevance of Africa in understanding the attitudes, circumstances, and experiences of African-Americans. The core course AFAM 2001 Introduction to African-American Studies, will ground students in the fundamentals of interdisciplinary study. In the electives, the students will learn that the African-American experience is not only an integral part of the United States experience but also integral to understanding the world at large.

Required Course (3 credits)

  • AFAM 2001 Introduction to African-American Studies

Select Elective Courses (12 credits)
Choose four of the 3-credit courses below to include at least one each from history, literature and sociology.





  • SOCI 3357 Sociology of the African-American Family
  • SOCI 3358 Sociology of the Black Church
  • SOCI 3359 Sociology of Race, Rap & Religion

Related Elective Courses (3 credits)
Choose any one of the 3-credit courses below:

Course Descriptions

  • AFAM2001 An overview of African American life in the U.S., past and present; interdisciplinary exploration of aspects of Black America including such topics as: African American identity; defining experiences in the United States; African American contribution to American culture and society; connections to Africa and other African diaspora communities.

  • ANTH2335 The study of the people and culture that make up traditional and modern Africa. Emphasis is upon the cultural and social organization of a variety of different peoples including hunters and gatherers, pastoralists, and agriculturalists. Attention is given to the impact of colonialism and globalization upon traditional cultures and the contemporary challenges to African societies brought on by economic development and new ideas of human rights.

  • COMM2866 With an empohasis on print and electronic journalism, an examin- ation of the history, role, and impact of womenand minorities in the American media; analysis of traditional minority media outlet and their audiences; the transition to participation in the major media marketplace of ideas; contemporary issues of race, enthnicity, and sex and how they are reported.

  • HIST2202 Examines the history of Africa from the origins of man through the Atlantic slave trade with a particular focus on the development of political, social, and cultural institutions across the continent.

  • HIST2350 The history of the American colonies from 1450 to the Revolutionary War and the subsequent problems of creating an American union.

  • HIST2351 This course will introduce the main themes and events in the earliest years of the new nation until about mid-19th century. Among the topics explained are the first and secondary political party systems; gender and race; development of market capitalism and its impact; the slave South; the westward movement; and reform movement and abolitionism.

  • HIST2352 The rise of sectionalism, the election of Lincoln and the secession of the Southern states, the Civil War, Reconstruction and the return of Southern "home rule."

  • HIST2402 This course explores the history of interaction between peoples located around the Atlantic Ocean. From Columbus through colonization, the slave trade, independence, and finally globalization, this course will explore a variety of themes (such as the origins of the blues) as rich and varied as the people who live in or around the Atlantic.

  • HIST4205 This seminar examines the critical role of race in the global context of Imperialism, from the age of high imperialism in the 19th century through the age of decolonization in the 20th century.

  • LITS3013 African - American Literature will examine the literary, cultural and social significance of both black characters and black writers and why Afro-centric literature continues to remain on the outside of mainstream literature consumption. Close attention will be paid to specific eras of writing each semester, such as Slave Literature, Reconstructionist Literature, The Harlem Renaissance and The Black Arts Movement.

  • LITS3071 A survey of drama, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from the African continent , in English and English translation, with emphasis on the colonial and post-colonial periods, the African aesthetic, African liberation movements, and African religious and cultural values. Texts studied may include works by writers such as Mariama Ba, Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mahfouz, and J.M. Coetzee.

  • SOCI3357 This course will analyze from a sociological perspective the factors that have contributed to the evolution of the African American Family such as slavery, religion, and the civil rights movement. Students will not only examine theories that attempt to explain social concerns for the African American Family, such as poverty, incarceration and single parent households but also the rise of the African American middle class and its family structure. The continuous impact of the media, music and literature on the African American Family Experience will also be investigated. Students will be exposed to literature from W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Franklin Frazier, Patrick Moynihan and others.

  • SOCI3358 This course will introduce students to the Black Church from a sociological perspective. Concepts such as socialization, the Protestant Ethic and deviance will be examined. Students will review literature from historical and contemporary African American theologians such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reverend Gardner C. Taylor, Rev. Floyd Flake and Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake. Students will evaluate the content of sermons and identify critical themes such as liberation theology and feminist theology. This course will analyze the complex relationship between the black church and politics, ethnic conflict, economics and the African American family. Social science research methods such as participant observation will also be reviewed and implemented.

  • SOCI3359 This course will provide students with a sociological analysis of race and religion as they intersect in rap music and hip hop culture. Classical theorists such as Marx, Weber, Du Bois, Durkheim and contemporary theorists such as Tricia Rose and Michael Eric Dyson will be discussed in relation to this multifaceted and controversial subculture. Sociological theories on violence, socialization, urbanism, and social stratification will also be explored.