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African/African American Studies


The African and African American studies (AAA) program develops an understanding of the variety and complexity of Africa, a deep appreciation of the African American experience, and an enriching knowledge of the various historical trajectories and contributions of the global African diaspora.

Area and Global Studies

Brooks College


Program Offerings at Grand Valley

AAA is an interdisciplinary minor and ideal complement to many disciplinary majors. Two tracks or areas of emphasis are possible, allowing students to tailor the minor to their own interests and needs. Students can choose to minor in either:

  • Track I: Africa
  • Track II: African American

Coursework and Career Options

Curriculum covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Africa - U.S. relations
  • African American history
  • African American literature
  • African diaspora
  • Civil conflicts in Africa
  • Culture and thought
  • Geography of Africa
  • Philosophical thought

Students may find work in a broad range of fields, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Criminal justice
  • Health sciences
  • International business
  • Literacy studies
  • Politics

Elmina Castle


Why Study African/African American Studies at Grand Valley?

This program:

  • Prepares students for an increasingly diverse world of peoples, cultures, religions, and economies.
  • It is a gateway to gaining communicative and intercultural skills in a global economy.
  • Offers opportunities for study abroad and rich cultural enrichment.
  • Provides a multidisciplinary and rigorous intellectual grounding both in an important world region (Africa) and a major U.S. ethnic group (African Americans); the minor represents an excellent academic and personal investment for students who intend to pursue career opportunities in a  broad range of fields.

"The AAA program provides students with a foundation for understanding the complexity of continental Africa and the history of culture of peoples of African descent throughout the world. Beyond academic and/or professional success, the AAA program fosters in students th ethic of civic participation and global awareness."

Sherry Johnson, Ph.D.
Faculty in African and African American Studies and Associate Professor of English



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