The mission of Africana Studies is to advance academic excellence, social responsibility and cultural grounding. Africana Studies focuses on the study of people of African descent from a core paradigm, which seeks human liberation and higher level human functioning. As a discipline, Africana Studies draws its philosophical and intellectual foundation from African culture. The discipline of Africana studies is concerned with investigating the thought and practice of people of African descent using theories, concepts, and perspectives that emerge from the unique heritage, and contemporary experiences of people of African descent. Key to Africana Studies is how our curricular strategies can foster liberatory knowledge that can be used to improve and transform conditions in urban Black communities and global settings. This discipline encourages students to think about how to use the knowledge and skills they acquire to address the needs and concerns of Africana peoples in particular as well as larger society in general.
Therefore, Africana Studies
- Provides students with knowledge of the conceptual approaches and tools of inquiry best suited to explore, explain, describe and advance the lived experience(s) of Africana peoples;
- Teaches students to conduct critical, scientific research on issues of relevance to Africana peoples;
- Helps students to think creatively and critically about issues that Africana-identified people experience in unique and common ways;
- Encourages teachers, students and alumni to share their knowledge and research with the community as well as actively engage in service learning projects;
- Entails a core curriculum concerning how people of African descent have demonstrated resilience: consciously shaping and reshaping their environments over time and in the present, while meeting challenges, achieving goals and resisting oppression;
- Prepares students with the specialized learning and competencies necessary in professions in which they will encounter people of African descent;
- Guides students to analyze the diversities of Black experiences as a window to fully comprehend the American experience, and thus, the human experience.