Africana Studies is the critical, intellectual, and representational expression of the history, culture, and ideas of people of Africa and the African Diaspora, past and present. Founded in 1969, it is an interdisciplinary and transnational program of study that includes theoretical and methodological approaches reflective of the experience and intellectual traditions of Black people. It also includes studies of political and social movements, such as Négritude, Garveyism, Pan-Africanism, the Civil Rights Movement, Decolonization, Black Consciousness, Black Identities, and Black Feminism. Zora Neale Hurston, Frantz Fanon, Walter Rodney, C.L.R. James, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Patricia Hill Collins, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Ama Ata Aidoo, Buchi Emecheta, Samir Amin, and Oyeronke Oyewumi are among the writers and intellectuals studied. Through the disciplines of history, literature, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, religion, the cinema, and the creative arts, students examine the African world and the relationship between Africana people and the larger world system. Students obtain a wide range of knowledge and analytical tools as well as intellectual grounding, coherence, and integrity of the major. Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor, and be required to take the introductory course and attend a colloquium titled: "Africana Colloquium: The Common Intellectual Experience," offered each semester.

As an intellectual expression of Africana peoples, Africana Studies is designed to acquaint students with a critical perspective on the Africana world that is found primarily in Africa, the United States, the Caribbean/Latin America, but also among peoples of African descent in Asia and Europe. Grounded in the history, culture, and philosophy of Africana peoples, Africana Studies promotes knowledge of the contributions of Africana people to the world, develops a critical perspective to examine the Africana experience, and cultivates a respect for the multiracial and multicultural character of our common world humanity. Although Africana Studies emphasizes an interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to scholarship and learning, it also seeks to ground its students in a specific discipline and an understanding of the breadth of the Africana experience. As a result, the Africana Studies Department expects its students to develop a critical and analytic apparatus to examine knowledge, seeks to contribute to a student's self-awareness, and attempts to broaden her perspective in ways that allow her to understand the world in its diversity and complexity.