North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Africana Studies

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.

Faculty Spotlight:
Dr. Rupe Simm

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.

More About Dr. Simm

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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.

Beyond the Classroom

Enhance your education through extracurricular opportunities, including:

  • Black Student Association
  • University Ministries and Urban Outreach
  • Study Abroad
  • Internships

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.


Interesting Classes

  • 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