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Africana studies is a minor concentration offered at SUNY Plattsburgh. Eighteen credits are required from a variety of courses offered by several disciplines; i.e., Africana studies; English; political science; music; sociology and history. Our courses provide an important roadmap to the developing multiracial, multicultural American society of the twenty-first century.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, W.E.B. DuBois in his classic treatise, The Soul of Black Folk, published in 1903, argued; “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” From our perspective, as we reach the end of the 20th century, his assessment was correct. We venture that the major challenge of the 21st century is that of accepting and also strengthening multi-racialism and multiculturalism as major components of American culture.
Why do we think that strengthening the acceptance of multiculturalism is important? Citizens of the United States are becoming more diverse than ever before. There are now approximately 250 million people in the U.S., of whom approximately 200 million are of European origin; 29 million of African origin; 16 million from the combined Latin American and Caribbean area; 4 million from Asia and the South-Western Pacific Islands. The question of national identity then, is of crucial importance to educational institutions.
A major goal of our program is to expose participating students to unbiased, relevant learning materials that will assist them in understanding and accepting demographic and cultural changes that we think will occur during the 21st century.
We want our students to recognize equal rights for all. We encourage them to become more familiar with the cultural values of minority groups, as well as those of the overreaching majority. We also emphasize that education and formation of substantial intellectual minority groups constitute the basic guarantee for the survival and development of minority communities; their self reliance and the ways in which they see themselves both culturally and politically.
Students participating in the Africana studies minor program major in a variety of disciplines, including:
For more information about the Africana studies program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:
Tracie Guzzio, Coordinator
Office: Champlain Valley Hall 202