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.