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Why African and Black American Studies

  • UMM Students
  • UMM Students
  • UMM Students
  • UMM Students
  • UMM Students

The African and Black American Studies (ABAS) minor is an interdisciplinary program that will teach you about the variety, depth, and significance of African and Black Americans' contributions to American culture and to the world.

The ABAS minor will ask you to wrestle with the difficult histories of racism, slavery, and colonialism so you gain a solid understanding of the ways in which these phenomena impact all people--those with dark pigmentation, those whose skin is lighter in tone, and everyone in-between--and have created systems and hierarchies that impede some people's abilities to live freely, walk safely, and enjoy economic security.

You will explore positive dimensions of Blackness, too, by studying the rich intellectual, artistic, religious, scientific, and political contributions that Africans, Black, and Brown people have made to the Americas and to Africa. This is where the interdisciplinary nature of UMN Morris's ABAS minor shines: you will delve into the contributions that Africans and African Americans have made to multiple fields, such as music, literature, film, history, politics, and art. Study the nature and representation of Mande spiritual beliefs in African film. Learn about the key role African Americans have played in the development of Biofiction. Explore Queer PanAfricanism and how it impacts current politics, as well as the richness of imagery created by non-binary African-American poets. There is so much to learn!

Begin your journey by talking to your advisor or by coming to the office hours of one of the ABAS faculty. We are passionate about this field of study and will help you develop a minor program tailored to your interests, and that enables you to learn about the dynamics of colonialism and racism and to discover important African and Black American historical figures, political fighters, intellectuals, and artists.