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African American Studies

How did the United States elect an African American president? Why is there a disproportionate concentration of African American men in state and federal prisons? How are African American women portrayed in U.S. and world media?

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Find the answer to these and so many more questions through Saint Louis University's African American studies program.

Degrees in African American Studies

Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies

Undergraduate Minor in African American Studies 

What is African American Studies?

African American Studies at SLU carries on a tradition of scholarly engagement begun in the early 20thcentury. The discipline of African American Studies comprises critical, systematic engagement with historical, cultural, political, and social experiences of people of African descent in the United States. 

While our work centers on U.S.-based experiences, we are equally concerned with the global presence of African descendants. African American experiences are therefore viewed within an expansive diasporic context. Importantly, this work requires interrogation of the racial, ethnic, gender, and class dynamics that enrich African diasporic experience and scholarship. 

Our students, staff, and faculty come from a range of backgrounds, experiences, and fields of study. Collectively, our mission is to combine rigorous study, creativity, and research in the production and exchange of knowledge concerning the Africa and its Diaspora. 

We aim to foster a community of thinkers, scholars, activists, and artists whose work enriches understanding of how African Americans and other African Diasporic communities have mutually shaped the social worlds they inhabit.  

Join us. 

Careers in African American Studies

Either a major or minor in African American studies gives you the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the pluralistic society in which you live. You will become knowledgeable about the African diaspora and be prepared to seek careers or professional programs where you can use that knowledge to design and implement programs for, and on the behalf of, African Americans.

Our Unique Features 

Saint Louis University’s African American studies program is interdisciplinary. Many of the courses we offer are cross-listed with other academic departments and may also fulfill some College of Arts and Sciences core requirements. This variety of courses across academic disciplines enables you to develop new ways of conceptualizing issues related to race and culture.

Who Pursues African American Studies?

Students enrolled in our programs gain insight and knowledge about the cultures and histories of people of African heritage in the U.S. and throughout the African diaspora. African American Studies courses complement a variety of academic majors. Our recent graduates include students who have also majored in communication, marketing, political science, psychology and social service.