Major and Minor
Africana Studies provides a foundation for understanding black experiences in the United States, as well as an appreciation for the rich traditions of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Africana Studies program has forged connections with other academic areas as well, such as Women's Studies, Latin American Studies, Educational Studies, Integrated International Studies and American Studies.
Knox students also benefit from the increasing visibility of the Africana Studies program. There are close ties to the Illinois Committee for Black Concerns in Higher Education, the Association for Black Culture Centers (ABCC) and with the National Council for Black Studies.
Africana Studies at Knox College offers more than 30 courses, with a strong emphasis on content in Black history and culture. Introductory courses examine the areas of Black Studies and African studies, as well as the histories of slavery in the Americas. Electives may be chosen from 27 courses, and may also include independent study work and/or an internship.
Two culminating courses familiarize students with theoretical models and research methodologies in Africana Studies, resulting in a term-long independent research project.
The minor in Africana Studies consists of five courses and an independent research project or internship.
Africana Studies occupies a spacious suite of offices, classrooms, seminar rooms, library and reception areas. The program benefits from the extensive holdings of Seymour Library, with more than a quarter of a million books, more than 700 periodicals, rare book collections and on-line databases. The abolitionist section in the archives is a valuable and unique resource.
In addition, the ABLE Center for Black Culture, operated by the student group, Allied Blacks for Liberty and Equality (ABLE House shown right), maintains a cultural center with an extensive library of print and video materials, cultural artifacts relating to the African and African- American experiences, and meeting rooms for special events and study sessions.
Knox College's holdings of Africana Studies materials and excellent inter-library loan program provide ready access to research resources. Since Africana Studies research has been widespread for less than a half century, the resources you discover -- and the conclusions you draw -- may be previously unexamined and provide a source of help for future studies in the field.
Knox has hosted many noteworthy black authors, speakers and performing groups, including U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka, poets Rita Dove and Gwendolyn Brooks, blues artists Koko Taylor and Joe Jackson, the Najwa Dance Company, Haki Madhubuti, Martin Luther King, III, Itabari Njeri, KRS-1, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. Scholars who have visited the campus including Delores Aldridge, Maulana Karenga, and Beveryl Guy-Sheftall.
There are a number of co-curricular opportunities geared for students interested in Africana Studies. These include:
- ABLE (Allied Blacks for Liberty and Equality), formed in 1967, and open to students of all races, unites students around common concerns regarding the Black experience.
- RAMSU (Real African Men Standing Up), addresses the concerns of African American men on the Knox campus and in the larger society.
- Harambee Club aims at clarifying the false stereotypes about Africa by promoting African history and culture through various activities.