Chicago State University
773.995.2000

African American Studies

Chairperson: Dr. Mario Beatty

Faculty: Bartley McSwine.

Affiliate Faculty : Brenda Aghahowa (Literature), Philip Aka (Political Science), Philip Beverly (Political Science) , Emmett Bradbury (Philosophy), Ivy Dunn (Psychology), Sylvia Gist (Education), Songodina Ifatunji (Theater),Marva Jolly (Art), Hanna Jones (History), Lionel Kimble (History), Suzuko Morikawa (History),Gebeyehu Mulugeta (History), Saidou Mohamed N’Daou (History)

The African American Studies Department in the College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts degree and a minor in African American Studies. It provides students with a comprehensive undergraduate degree program designed to foster the systematic understanding and examination of the experiences of people of African descent. The program offers students the opportunity to engage in intellectual work that will give them a strong foundation in the core ideas, concepts, and theories of the discipline of African American Studies. African American Studies uses an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the history, culture, social and political thought, values, and conditions of people of African descent. A degree in African American Studies prepares students to be culturally knowledgeable, academically excellent, and socially responsible global citizens empowered to serve their communities and creatively meet the challenges of a rapidly changing global environment. The rigor and interdisciplinary nature of the department’s requirements prepare students for careers in law, education, criminal justice, international affairs, business, publishing, journalism as well as graduate programs in African American Studies and various other liberal arts disciplines. The curriculum is structured so that students can pursue a double major in a reasonable amount of time.

Note: All 1000- and 2000-level African American Studies count for general education Social Science credit.

Note: The department’s assessment plan can be found in the departmental office.

General Requirements

Admission to the program is contingent upon good academic standing. The program will not accept transfer courses with a grade of D or below. A grade of C is required in all major courses Completion of 120 credit hours: 15 hours of Core requirements (consisting of 6 hours in composition, 6 hours in a single foreign language, 3 hours in mathematics), 27 hours of General requirements (consisting of 9 hours in humanities, 9 hours in Physical and Life Science/Math/Computer Science, and 9 hours in social sciences).

Specific Requirements

Core Courses 15 credit hours

AFAM 1000, 1010, 1020, 3010, and ELCF 4610.

Required Support Courses 15 credit hours

Select one course from each of the five categories below. Note: Some of the courses listed below have prerequisites.

  1. African American History and Politics:, POL 3510, HIST 2710, or HIST 2830.
  2. African-American Literature: ENG 2910, 4322, or 4382.
  3. African-American Psychology and Social Issues: SOC 4300 or PSYC 3200.
  4. Black Music, Art, and Theatre: ART 4121, MUS 4040, or CMAT 2140.
  5. Black Africa: ANTH 2120, HIST 2840, or GEOG 3060.

Required Foreign Language Sequence

Select six hours in a single foreign language. The department recommends AF L 101 and 1020 or a 6-hour sequence in French or Spanish.

Elective Courses 24 credit hours

The department recommends that students distribute their electives over one or two of the concentrations listed below.

African American History and Politics: ANTH 2140; PHIL 2720; POL 3510; HIST 2710, 2830, 4050, 4510, 4830; SOC 4300, PSYC 3200, 3240.

African-American Literature: ENG 2910, 4321, 4322, 4323, 4324, 4332, 4334, 4370, 4382, 4384, 4386; CMAT 2140.

Black Music, Art, and Theatre: ART 3130, 4121, 4122, 2545, 4120; MUS 2215, 2216, 2217, 4040; CMAT 2140.

Black Africa:AF L 1010, 1020, 1100; ANTH 2120; BIOL 2001; IST 1840, 2840, 2850, 4530, 4540, 4550, 4560, 4840, 4860, 4900; POL 2600; GEOG 3060.

Minor in African American Studies (21 credit hours)

The requirements for minors must be completed prior to graduation in order for the minor to appear on the transcript. For more information about minors, see the chairperson of the department. Completion of a minimum of 21 credit hours to be selected with the approval of the

African American department chair and departmental advisors. Equivalents from other institutions will be considered, but at least 12 of the 21 credit hours must be earned at Chicago State University. African American Studies courses may be used to satisfy College of Arts and Sciences general education social science requirements.

Core Courses (6 credit hours)

AFAM 1000, 2020

Humanities (6 credit hours)

Six credit hours selected from among ART 3130, 4121; ENG 2910, 4321, 4322, 4332; MUS 2215, 4040; CMAT 2140

Social Sciences (6 credit hours)

Six credit hours selected from ANTH 2120, 2140; BIOL 2001; GEOG 3060; HIST 2710, 2840, 2850; POL 2600, 2650, 3510: PSYC 3200, 3240; SOC 2400, 4300.

Supportive Electives (3 credit hours)

Three credit hours selected from one of the following African American Studies courses: AFAM 1010, 1020, 2000, 2010, 2450, 2900, 3000, 3510

African American Studies (AFAM) Course Offerings

1000/100 INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the English Qualifying Examination or equivalent courses.

Explores the history and development of African American Studies as a discipline.

1010/101 PAN-AFRICANISM AND W.E.B. DUBOIS (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the English Qualifying Examination or equivalent courses.

Explores the history and ideology of Pan-Africanism through the ideas of W.E.B. DuBois, George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, and the Negritude movement.

1020/102 CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (3)

Provides students with a knowledge of the role cultural pluralism has played in defining the American ethos using a team taught, interdisciplinary, cross cultural framework.

1099 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN AFRICN AMERICAN STUDIES (1)

Prerequisites: Newly admitted freshman and transfer students with fewer than 30 credit hours.

2000/200 SPECIAL TOPICS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the English qualifying examination or consent of instructor.

Focused study of a selected topic in African American studies. May be repeated under different topics for up to 6 credit hours.

2010/201 AFRICAN CULTURE, SOCIETY, AND POLITICS (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of university qualifying examinations.

African philosophical thought, African political developments, practice of socialism and Marxism, African political economy, emphasis on wealth, geography, political diversity, international relations, concepts of cosmology and axiology.

2020/202 AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of university qualifying examinations.

Review and compare the readings in the works of such African and African American thinkers as Kwame Nkrumah, Frantz Fanon, Frances Cress Welsing, Martin Luther King, Jr., Leopold Senghor, Malcolm X, Cheik Anta Diop, and W.E.B. DuBois.

2030 BLACK IMAGES IN FILM  (3)

Explore the historical, psychological, political, cultural, and sociological effects that media-created Black images have had on people of African ancestry and others.  Provides students with a framework to begin to understand and define a stereotype, recognize common stereotypes and stereotypical themes in film, television, and print media, illustrate damaging effects perpetuating stereotypes through behavior, and finally, to deconstruct racial stereotypes and reconstruct identity.

2450/245 YORUBA RELIGION AND CULTURE (3)

Yoruba creation stories, metaphysical concepts, religious rites and practices in their traditional and contemporary context as found throughout the African diaspora. Field trips required.

2900/290 BLACK WOMEN IN AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of university qualifying examinations.

Explores the similarities and differences in specific cultural environments and issues involving family, work, sexuality, activism, literary productivity and male-female relationships.

3000/300 AFRICAN AMERICAN INDEPENDENT STUDY. (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the English qualifying examination or consent of instructor.

Staff-directed study in special topics.

3010/301 AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES RESEARCH (3)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of qualifying examinations or equivalent courses and Junior or Senior level standing; or consent of department.

Using the internet, the library, and other resources to locate information about African-Americans. Introduction to quantitative data analysis using SPSS or excel.

3020 THE GREAT DEBATE: MALCOLM X AND MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.  (3)

An in-depth analysis of the lives of martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  Their respective philosophy and activism will thoroughly be examined with a particular emphasis on the willingness of both men to change or alter their respective world views.   

3500/350 SEMINAR IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES (3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the qualifying examinations or equivalent courses.

An in-depth critical examination of scholarly works in the field of African American studies by writers such as DuBois, Cooper, Garvey, Baraka, Washington, Woodson, and Diop. May be taken three times for credit if the topics are different.

3510/351 BLACK CHICAGO (3)

Intellectual and interdisciplinary study of Bronzeville (historical Black Chicago) through the works of sociologists, historians, visual artists and writers.

4000/390 SENIOR CAPSTONE TUTORIAL (2)

Prerequisites: African American studies major and senior standing.

Design, implement, and complete a field project. Demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge and critical thinking skills acquired during the undergraduate education.