Program Requirements

Students who complete the major requirements for a bachelor of arts (BA) in Africana studies will be able to analyze the Black experience from perspectives that include history, theology, and sociology. The program is designed to nurture students’ intellectual, social, and political development by examining the cultures, literatures, religions, and histories of Blacks in Africa and the African diaspora.

Major Requirements (BA)

Course descriptions for all AS courses are available at the bottom of this page.

36 semester hours (sh) of major courses:
  • Prerequisite: AS 2500
  • Required core Africana studies courses (20 sh) — AS 3010, 3020, 4970
  • Required sociology course (4 sh) — SOC 2090 or 2100
  • One course from AS 3030 or AS 3040
  • Choose 3 elective courses from the following (12 sh) — AS 2220, 2840, 3910, 3920; HIST 3210, 3220, 3230, 3240, 3250, 3260, 3290

Minor Requirements

  • 20 semester hours (sh):
  • Prerequisite (4 sh) — AS 2500
  • Required core courses (12 sh) — AS 3010, 3020, SOC 2090 or 2100
  • Choose 1 course from the following (4 sh) — AS 2220, 2840, 3030, 3040, 3910, 3920; HIST 3210, 3220

Course Descriptions

Click on the links below for course descriptions of all Africana studies courses. For a complete list of all North Park's programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

AS 2220 – The Struggle for Freedom: Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century
Examines the philosophies and strategies of Black leaders in the struggle for freedom during the 1900s in the history of Africa and the United States. Focuses on key figures from the continent such as Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta, revolutionaries who fought against European colonialism, and preeminent African-American leaders such as Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. DuBois, organizers of protest against White American racism.

AS 2500 – Introduction to Africana Studies
Utilizing the disciplines of history, sociology, and anthropology, this course presents, discusses, and analyzes the African-American experience from pre-slavery West Africa to contemporary U.S., with particular emphasis on current cultural, theological, social, economic, and political issues that exist within the African-American community. Cross-listed with SOC 2500.

AS 2540 – The Sankofa Experience
Creates more meaningful and sensitive relationships and more intelligent and sincere communication between students of varying ethnic backgrounds. Features a 60-hour bus tour through several southern states with stops at sites relevant to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Includes pre-trip lectures and films on such topics as racism and prejudice. Assigns each student a partner of a different ethnic background with whom to discuss and experience cultural diversity before, after, and during the trip.

AS 2730 – Speaking Truth to Power: The Politics of Mexicans in America
Surveys Mexican history from Pre-Columbian Period to the present and emphasizes Mexican American politics. Employs Marxian and Gramscian theory in examining the political influence of such organizations as the League of United Latin American Citizens and the protest rhetoric of Chicano leaders like Cesar Chavez. Examines selected points of common political interests shared by Mexican- and African-Americans. Cross-listed with LAS 2730.

AS 2840 – African-American Church History and Religious Thought
Studies the religious thought of African-Americans, employing as a frame of reference the Black Christian church from its beginning during slavery to its maturity in the present day. Includes the ideas of a variety of spiritual leaders such as Jupiter Hammon, David Walker, Marcus Garvey, Father Divine, John Perkins, James Cone, and E.V. Hill. Examines the influence of slavery, emancipation, migration, and White racism on the development of African-American religion. Cross-listed with BTS 2840.

AS 2950 – Rap Music in Urban America: An Introduction to the Politics of Black and Latino Culture
The class employs Marxism and Gramscian theory in interpreting rap music specifically and hip hop culture generally as forms of resistance to the oppressive ideas and discriminatory policies of U.S. society. It offers a critical examination of Latino and Black political rappers, viewing them as socially conscious activists committed to the uplift of their respective communities. Cross-listed with LAS 2950.

AS 3010 – African-American History to 1865
Explores the history of African-Americans beginning with African origins and continuing through the Civil War. Focuses on Black religion, identity formation, participation in plantation society, and contribution to American culture. Emphasizes African-American self-expression through a reading of primary sources, especially slave narratives.

AS 3020 – African-American History from 1865 to Present
Explores the history of African-Americans from the end of the Civil War to the present. Investigates Black identity formation, migration and urbanization, leadership production, protest strategies, and recent political movements. Gives attention to the writings of African-American authors, especially those of the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Movement.

AS 3030 – Civil Rights Movement 1954-1970S
Emphasizes the period from 1954 through the 1970s as a time of social turmoil and change in American society, during which African-Americans insisted on inclusion in the nation's mainstream and power in their own right. Employs social movement theory in examining the history, progress, and effects of the Civil Rights Movement in general and in studying such organizations as the NAACP and such leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. in particular. Cross-listed with SOC 2530.

AS 3040 – The Literature of the Black Diaspora
Traces the literary history of Black people beginning with the hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt and concluding with works by such modern writers as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Emphasizes the literature production of African, African-American, and Caribbean authors in exploring the dynamics of the Black Diasporic experience. Uses techniques of literary analysis in examining representative poems, novels, plays, autobiographies, tracts, and essays. Highlights the contribution of history to interpreting the work of Black artists.

AS 3910 – Topics in Africana Studies
Focused examination of a particular theme within the sociopolitical framework of the Black experience. Possible subjects include in-depth studies examining the lives of such artists as Nikki Giovanni and historical analyses of such topics as the pro-slavery ideology of the antebellum South. Student must have consent of the instructor and chairperson of the division.

AS 3920 – Francophone Literature
Exploration of major regions of the Francophone world: Africa and the Caribbean; their culture, political, economic, and social problems, religion, etc. Quebec may be included if taught in French.

AS 4910 – Independent Study in Africana Studies

AS 4970 – Internship in Africana Studies
Please refer to the Internship Section of the catalog for internship requirements and guidelines.