Jul 12, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Africana Studies

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Gloria I. Chuku


Gloria I. Chuku
B.A., University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1986; Ph.D., 1995; M.A., University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), 1989

Assistant Professor

Maleda Belilgne
B.A., Hunter College, 2003; Ph.D., Duke University, 2011

Thomas N. Robinson, Jr.
B.A., Morehouse College, 1967; M.S., Howard University, 1971; Ph.D., 1974


Tammy Sanders Henderson
B.A., Johnson C. Smith University, 1994; M.A., Bowling Green State University, 1996; Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2009

Professor Emeritus

Daphne D. Harrison
Mus.B., Talladega College, 1953; Mus.M., Northwestern University, 1961; Ed.D., University of Miami, 1971

Willie B. Lamouse-Smith
B.Sc., University of London (U.K.), 1962; Dr.sc.pol., University of Muenster (Germany), 1966

Adjunct Instructor

Sussie U. Okoro
B.A., University of Nigeria, 1986; M.Sc., University of Jos (Nigeria), 1989; M.P.A., Southeastern University, Washington D.C., 1999; Ph.D., Howard University, 2014

Latif A. Tarik
B.A., Norfolk State University, 1997; M. Ed, Regent University, 2005; Ph.D., Howard University, 2016

Damon J. Turner
B.A., University of Akron, 2000; M.A., University of Akron 2008; Ph.D., Morgan State University, 2017



James Smalls
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1981; M.A., 1986; Ph.D., 1991 

Associate Professor

Shawn M. Bediako
B.S., University of Central Arkansas, 1994; M.S., Florida A&M University, 1997; M.A., Stony Brook University, 2000; Ph.D., 2002

Tyson D. King-Meadows
B.A., North Carolina Central University, 1992; M.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996; Ph.D., 2001

Kimberly R. Moffitt
B.A., University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1992; M.S., Boston University, 1994; Ph.D., Howard University, 2000

Michelle R. Scott
B.A., Stanford University, 1996; M.A., Cornell University, 2000; Ph.D., 2002

Patricia A. Young
B.F.A., New York Institute of Technology, 1985; M.S. California State University East Bay, 1994; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1999

Courses in this program are listed under AFST.


The Department of Africana Studies (AFST) provides students of all ethnic, national and cultural backgrounds the necessary tools to understand, critically evaluate, analyze and interpret events and phenomena that structure the experiences, possibilities and dynamics of the people of African descent in the United States, Africa and its diasporas. AFST students are offered a broad array of courses addressing cultural, economic, historical, political, psychological and sociological issues that affect peoples of African descent from diverse disciplinary and comparative perspectives. Africana Studies at UMBC offers a rigorous and challenging academic program that prepares students to think and write critically and clearly, engage in research and service, argue persuasively, and effectively solve problems. Africana Studies adopts an interdisciplinary approach that is sensitive to the interests and outlook of the people of African descent and their contributions to the interdependent global world through teaching, research, and service in human development and civilization, arts and the sciences.

Students may pursue the standard major in Africana studies or a concentration in community involvement studies. Many students find it productive to combine Africana studies with another discipline in a dual major. Students also may minor in Africana studies. Students who select the major or double-major in Africana Studies have the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge through internships or field research.

Career and Academic Paths

Majors in Africana studies have continued on into graduate and professional schools and built successful careers in many fields, including public affairs, law enforcement, archives and museums, law, health, government, social work, education, the visual and performing arts, and business and management. Many students planning careers in medicine, law, public policy, social work and education pursue a second major or a minor in Africana studies. Students with interest in foreign service in Africa and the Caribbean or students who intend to acquire graduate training with specialization on Africa or the Caribbean are well-prepared in the department. The concentration in community involvement studies prepares students to work in community-oriented and community-based agencies or in local government. The track in education enables students with career interest in elementary- and secondary-level teaching to prepare for Maryland Teacher Certification in social studies through the UMBC Department of Education.

Transfers and Other Majors in the Upper Division

If a student successfully has completed 60 or more credit hours at the time of declaring the major, the core requirements in Africana studies may be substituted with equivalent courses completed elsewhere, subject to approval by the student’s AFST advisor and the department’s chairperson. 


Generally, students learn comparatively little about the black experience in elementary and secondary schools. Through Africana Studies, they find the opportunity to benefit from courses offering broad perspectives on the history and culture of people of African descent. For students planning careers in public service (including education, health-related professions, environmental management, law and social services), an exposure to the cultural heritage and the dynamics of African society and African diasporic communities is indispensable. In addition to AFST 100 , other lower-level courses in Africana studies, including AFST 211 , AFST 212 , AFST 213 , AFST 261 , and AFST 271  are highly recommended to all students for the purpose of fulfilling the General Education Program. Through mutual cooperation, many of the courses in Africana studies are cross-listed with other departments in the humanities and social sciences, thus offering students several electives for completing their graduation requirements.

Special Opportunities

The department encourages and assists students to pursue research assistantships and internships focused on community involvement in urban development, health, education, justice, African diplomacy, business and industry.

Freshmen and sophomore students can obtain research experience on an Africana studies topic of their choice by completing any of the following courses under the supervision of a faculty member of the department: AFST 490 , AFST 495 , AFST 498 . Students pursuing the AFST major are required to complete six credits of faculty supervised directed research/independent study or community internship before completion of the major.


    Bachelor of ArtsNon-Degree


      Africana Studies

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