Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.
– From John Lewis's 2017 memoir, "Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America"
Left: President Barack Obama awards the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Congressman John Lewis
(Author: Lawrence Jackson)
About African and African American Studies (AAAS)
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. Launched in the fall of 2010, 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.
Black Lives Matter
In his 1903 work The Souls of Black Folk, civil rights activist, sociologist, author, WEB Dubois prophesied that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." Well over 100 years later, DuBois's prophecy still rings true.
The summer of 2020 has proved to be a pivotal moment for race relations in the United States. The tragic murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have forced many Americans to realize the existence of systemic racism and to fully understand the meaning of Black Lives Matter. Americans of all races and ethnicities are now protesting for dynamic and lasting change.
To address systemic racism and white supremacy, scholars in all fields of study must address the impact of systemic racism; the task of dismantling white supremacy is not only the job of historians. For example,
To effectively disassemble systemic racism from American life, scholars in all fields of study must be armed with the knowledge of how systems in their specific discipline are designed to cause racial inequities. Thus, the interdisciplinary nature of AAAS at Loyola is a unique way students of any major can address systemic racism.