Social Justice Studies

African American Studies

Example book covers

African American Studies (alternately named Afroamerican studies, or in US education, Black Studies) is an interdisciplinary academic field that is primarily devoted to the study of the history, culture, and politics of black people from the United States. African American studies uses a matrix model approach to trans-discipline studies that focuses on the sub-field of African diaspora studies and Africana studies, the Black Diaspora (the United States and Caribbean), and the study of people of African origin worldwide. The field has been defined in different ways and draws on diverse fields of study, such as anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, literature, history, sociology, performance, poetry, and education. African American Studies is committed to producing, refining, and advancing knowledge of Black people in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. A key component is to interrogate the meanings and dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class as it intersects with topics such as slavery and colonialism and their continuing political, social and cultural implications. Taken broadly, African American Studies focuses not only on African slave descendants but also any community of the African diaspora linked to the Americas.