Mar 05, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Africana Studies

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

Associate Professors

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

Professor Emeritus

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

Professor Emerita

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


Kwame Ansah-Brew

Tammy Sanders Henderson

Terrence Hickey

Sharon King

Kibibi Mack-Shelton

Jason Rhodes


Courses in this program are listed under AFST.

The Department of Africana Studies provides an undergraduate education that draws from the intellectual heritage, accumulated knowledge, enduring experiences and contributions of Africa and its diaspora. Through multi- and interdisciplinary methodologies, students acquire knowledge in ways that help them build their analytical and critical thinking skills. Students are helped to use their knowledge and experiences to prepare for graduate study in a variety of fields and for rewarding careers that will enhance the quality of their lives and contribute to the development of their communities.

Students may pursue the standard major in Africana studies or a concentration in a track. 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, 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 will be well-prepared in the department. The concentration in community involvement studies prepares students to work in community-oriented, 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.

Interdisciplinary Studies Major

In addition to the major options in Africana studies, a student may choose to complete the major through the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Full descriptions of the options offered by the INDS major can be found in the catalog under Interdisciplinary Studies.


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 black peoples. For students planning careers in public service (including education, health-related professions, environmental management, law and social services), an exposure to the values and dynamics of black society and culture is indispensable. In addition to AFST 100 , other lower-level courses in Africana studies are highly recommended to all students for the purpose of fulfilling the general foundation requirements. 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.

Honors Program

Qualified students may enroll in the department’s honors program. This is an intensive program of seminars, workshops, research and independent study. It emphasizes the development of critical thinking and leadership skills. Information and application forms are available in the department office.

Special Opportunities

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


    Africana Studies

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