Welcome to the Department of Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte, an institutional member of the National Council for Black Studies. Our department was founded in 1969 as a result of activism in the form of student protest and the tireless advocacy of our first director, Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey. As such, we have a continued interest in social justice issues that connect African diaspora communities – particularly related to the legacies of slavery and colonialism, health and environmental inequities, and structural biases in the law and popular culture.
For more than 50 years, we have offered students a wide range of programs and courses that explore the fascinating and complex experience of peoples of African descent with emphasis on Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. We take pride in our expanding interdisciplinary and transnational curriculum that provides diverse perspectives with emphasis on four core areas: history, culture, social policy, and entrepreneurship. Ours is therefore a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum geared towards providing students with the skills needed for success in a wide range of careers in the 21st century. Our academic programs include a baccalaureate major in Africana Studies (with the option of Concentration in Health and Environment), an undergraduate minor, and a Graduate Certificate. Thanks to our dedicated and award-wining faculty – scholars and teachers – who put high emphasis on mentoring students, our alumni have gone on to pursue graduate/professional study and careers in community development; federal, state, and city civil services; business; museums and archives; and diplomatic/foreign service; as well as research, journalism, international organizations, law, and teaching.