African/African American Studies (Minor)

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. AAA is an interdisciplinary minor and ideal complement to many disciplinary majors.

Our Program

AAA Coordinator
Professor Jack Mangala
101 Lake Ontario Hall
Phone: (616) 331-8512
Email: [email protected]

"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 the ethic of civic participation and global awareness."

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

Why Study African/African American Studies?

Elmina Castle
  • AAA prepares students for an increasingly diverse world of peoples, cultures, religions, and economies.
  • AAA is a gateway to gaining communicative and intercultural skills in a global economy.
  • AAA offers opportunities for study abroad and rich cultural enrichment.
  • AAA provides a multidisciplinary and rigorous intellectual grounding both in an important world region (Africa) and a major U.S. ethnic group (African Americans).


The AAA 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

The AAA minor represents an excellent academic and personal investment for students who intend to pursue career opportunities in a broad range of fields, including:

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

Upcoming in African & African American Studies

Page last modified March 15, 2023