Africana Studies Minor

Description. The Minor in Africana Studies provides students with interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the historical and contemporary experiences of peoples of African heritage. Using themes such as culture, agency, struggle, and justice, students will master multidisciplinary knowledge about Africa and the African diaspora, and will explore new ways of thinking about the cultures, philosophies, history, and society of African peoples and their communities throughout the diaspora.

Learning Outcomes.
Students will:

  • Explain the core ideas (key concepts, theories, and methodologies) of Africana Studies, especially as they relate to themes of justice.
  • Acquire and hone their critical thinking skills as applied to problems around justice themes within Africana Studies and among people of color.
  • Use high level written and oral communication skills to work effectively and collaboratively with others.
  • Have a better understanding of themselves, and of their relationship(s) to the broader society, as a result of exposure to Africana Studies

The Africana Studies minor uses interdisciplinary studies to expose students to different ways of thinking about and communicating both the diversity and commonality of cultural, political, social, economic, and historical experiences. With a focus on African people throughout the diaspora (people of color) this minor increases students' familiarity with themes of inequality and justice, and provides tools students can use to study and address historical and contemporary racial inequality. Students will also learn more about the accomplishments, cultural richness and uniqueness, and contributions to the past and present world of Africana. Through community-based projects offered in several of the courses, students will be more attuned to real-life application of Africana perspectives and methodology. This in turn contributes to their ability to thrive in an increasingly diverse and globalizing world, and to adapt to changing work environments; as well as to their becoming well-rounded thinkers who will be attractive to employers and graduate schools.

Credits required: 18 

Program/Minor Coordinator. Professor Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Department of Africana Studies (646-557-4658,

Prerequisites. The prerequisites for AFR 310 are 6 credits in AFR courses and junior standing, or permission of instructor.

Requirements: A maximum of two courses can overlap with a student's major, other minors or programs.

PART ONE. Required Courses                    
Subtotal: 6 credits

AFR 140 Introduction to Africana Studies 
AFR 310 Research Seminar in African American Studies*

*Note: Students who take AFR 390 McNair Research Methods, AFR 410 Independent Study or a 300 or 400-level "Experience Course" equivalent (such as one of the courses indicated below with an asterisk) can use such a course in lieu of AFR 310. See the Minor Coordinator for more information.

PART TWO. Electives                                     Subtotal: 12 credits

Select any four courses

Suggested groupings of courses are listed below depending on the interests of the students.

For students interested in Justice:

AFR 123 Justice, the Individual, and Struggle in the African American Experience or AFR 125 Race and Ethnicity in America
AFR 215 The Police and Urban Communities
AFR 220 Law and Justice in Africa 
AFR 227 Introduction to Community-based Approaches to Justice
AFR 229 Restorative Justice: Making Peace and Resolving Conflict
AFR 315 Practicing Community-based Justice in the Africana World
AFR 317 Environmental Racism
AFR 320 Perspectives on Justice in the Africana World
*ICJ 381 Internship in International Criminal Justice (requires SOC 341 and LAW 259/POL 259)
*SOC 381 Internship in Dispute Resolution (prerequisites: SOC 380)

For students interested in a focus on Humanities:

AFR 132 Arts and Culture in the African Diaspora
AFR 223/LIT 223 African American Literature
AFR 230/DRA 230 African American Theatre
AFR 270 History of African American Social and Intellectual Thought
AFR 267/HIS 267/LLS 267 History of Caribbean Migrations to the United States
AFR 270 History of African American Social and Intellectual Thought
AFR 280 Selected Topics in Africana Studies
AFR 340/LIT 340 The African American Experience in America: Comparative Racial Perspectives
AFR 354/PHI 354 Africana Philosophy
LIT 212 Literature of the African World 
LIT 344 Caribbean Literature and Culture 
MUS 103 American Popular Music from Jazz to Rock
MUS 110/LLS 110 Popular Musics of the Caribbean 
MUS 310 Comparative History of African American Musics (prerequisites: one HIS course and any 100-level MUS course)

For students interested in Inequality:

AFR 110 Race and the Urban Community
AFR 121 Africana Communities in the U.S.
AFR 125 Race and Ethnicity in America
AFR 227 Introduction to Community-based Approaches to Justice 
AFR 237 Institutional Racism
AFR 280 Selected Topics in Africana Studies
AFR 317 Environmental Racism
AFR 322 Inequality and Wealth
*LLS 321 Puerto Rican/Latino/a Community Fieldwork (requires LLS 241)

For students interested in a focus on Africa:

AFR 150 Origins of Contemporary Africa
AFR 220 Law and Justice in Africa
AFR 263/LLS 263/HIS 263 Blacks in Latin America
AFR 271 African Politics

For students interested in Psychology and Identity:|

AFR 129/PSY 129 Psychology of the African American Experience
AFR 245 Psychology of the African American Family
AFR 248 Men: Masculinities in the United States
AFR 319 Self, Identity, and Justice: Global Perspectives
AFR 347/PSY 347 Psychology of Oppression 

Total: 18 credits