Africana studies is the study, research, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge concerning African American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture. Using the tools of the social sciences and humanities, Africana studies examines the structure, organization, problems, and perspectives of Blacks in Africa and the African Diaspora. Africana studies also stresses analytical interpretations and policy prescriptions for social change in African American communities and in various African and Caribbean nations. The term Africana incorporates the three-tier interdisciplinary thrust of the department: African, African American, and Caribbean social sciences and humanities.
Africana studies prepares social science majors for advanced graduate studies in international affairs, education, social work, social policy studies, and legal and professional training. In the humanities, preparation in the creative arts and literature gears students to practical development in such fields as communication, teaching, theater, and dance. Africana studies occupies a central role in understanding modern American life and African and Caribbean linkages. As an interdisciplinary major, Africana studies offers intellectual paradigms for the multicultural approach to historical, political, and economic reality. It is also critical and corrective of the inadequacies, omissions, and distortions of mainstream American education leading into the 21st century. Africana studies is committed to producing liberally educated women and men with a lifetime dedication to working on African American, African, and Caribbean affairs. For more information on the major and the Department of Africana Studies, see the department’s Web site at www.africanastudies.pitt.edu.