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Africana Studies major

Why Study Africana Studies?

Explore the social and political experiences of many people groups—including African Americans, Afro-Mexicans, and Mexican Americans—from an Afrocentric standpoint. Discussions of justice and injustice, and many forms of discrimination will help you think critically about your own history and culture while you develop a deeper understanding of the Black experience in Africa and the African diaspora. You’ll be ready to pursue graduate school and careers in community organizing, social work, history, and more.

Why Choose North Park

Why North Park?

North Park’s distinctive multicultural approach to learning provides a supportive and engaged community where you can explore topics like racism, classism, and injustice, their historical roots, what has changed, and what still needs to change. Your professors will help you ask the difficult questions while reflecting on the experience of Blacks in the United States. The backdrop of Chicago provides an expansive laboratory for the major with its significant historical contributions and contemporary race and class conflicts.

Careers and Graduate Schools

A major in Africana studies will prepare you for careers in nonprofit administration, social science, government, ministry, or business. You’ll also be well-qualified to pursue graduate work in history, religion, social work, and law.

Our Career Development and Internships Office will help you explore options that match your goals and passions.

Interdisciplinary Excellence

The Africana studies major is intentionally interdisciplinary: you’ll take courses in sociology, theology, history, politics, economics, and art as you explore the Black experience. This mix will bring depth to your understanding of many subjects, and hone your ability to think critically and creatively.

The Sankofa Experience

This annual three-day bus trip takes students on a journey through the history of civil rights in America while discussing current issues of reconciliation and developing meaningful and sensitive relationships with individuals from different ethnic backgrounds. Named for a West African word meaning “looking backward to move forward,” this journey is a powerful experience open to all students at North Park.

Read more about Sankofa at North Park.

Sankofa program
Meet the Faculty

Dr. Rupe Simms’s Africana studies courses challenge students to expand their worldviews as they come to understand the social injustice and discrimination that large groups of Americans experience because of their race, class, and/or gender.

Learn more about Dr. Simms.

Rupe Simms
Interesting Classes

Explore a range of topics in Africana studies, including:

  • The Literature of the Black Diaspora
  • The Struggle for Freedom: Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century
  • Speaking Truth to Power: The Politics of Mexican in America
  • African-American Church History and Religious Thought
  • Rap Music in Urban America: An Introduction to the Politics of Black and Latino Culture

Learn more about the courses and requirements for this major.

Beyond the Classroom

Enhance your education through extracurricular opportunities, including: