It is a great time to be a part of African American studies at Winthrop University. According to the late Dr. Vivian Gordon in “The Coming of Age of Black Studies," African American studies is best defined as “...an analysis of the factors and conditions which have affected the economic, psychological, legal, and moral status of the African in America as well as the African in diaspora.” She added, “Not only is Black studies concerned with the culture of the Afro-American ethnic…it is also concerned with the development of new approaches to the study of the Black experience and with the development of social policies which will impact positively upon the lives of Black people.” As a result, African American studies has sought to counteract the damage wrought by racist stereotypes of blacks and people of African descent—ideas that have permeated literature, history, science, the mass media, and policymaking.
The minor in African American studies offers undergraduate students an excellent opportunity to learn about various aspects of the black experience—both domestically and internationally. Regular course offerings are available in art, geography, history, literature, political science, psychology, and sociology. Our classes are directed by dedicated faculty members whose research and teaching interests include: the history of education, the arts of Africa, global women’s movements, spirituality and social work practice, desegregation and education policy, urban politics, and the politics of mass incarceration in the United States.
In summary, the discipline of African American studies connects theory to practice through the vigorous and creative study of the black experience. This is what we strive to do at Winthrop. This site provides current and prospective students with more information about the AAMS minor. Look around to learn more about who we are and what we do. Also, feel free to contact us if your questions or concerns are not answered by this site.
Dr. Adolphus G. Belk, Jr.
Director, African American Studies