Black studies at Occidental is a transnational and interdisciplinary exploration of the history, scholarship, arts and culture of people of the African diaspora.
Through Black studies you will learn to examine the impact of Black people and racial thought on the world and in specific communities. You will come to understand how class, location, gender and sexuality intersect with and inform Black identities, culture and political engagement, in the past and in the present.
Launched in 2018, Black studies at Oxy brings together faculty from American studies, politics, history, diplomacy and world affairs, English and other disciplines. Through exposure to multiple debates and traditions you will gain an appreciation for the centrality of people of African descent to major social, artistic, political, and scientific developments throughout the world. You might experience Black communities outside the United States through study abroad, or you can choose to get involved locally through community-based partnerships here in Los Angeles.
Moving through the major or minor, you will explore the conditions and experiences of race in the 21st century through a historical study of the enduring traditions of scholarship, activism, and community throughout the African diaspora. You will study the development of ideas that are foundational to our contemporary understanding of social justice and human rights.
The program’s interdisciplinary requirements offer powerful tools for criticism and analysis, preparing you for careers in fields such as law, medicine, education, arts and entertainment, and international business. In our our increasingly complex and pluralistic world, the program prepares students to better appreciate the histories of people across diverse communities.
In the News: New Chair in Black Studies Established
An anonymous gift of $500,000 will permanently endow the Mary Jane Hewitt Department Chair in Black Studies, honoring the influential legacy of the first Black woman to serve as a tenured faculty member at Occidental College. Read more