VCU’s Department of African American Studies enjoys a rich and distinguished history as the second department of its kind created in Virginia. The pioneers who created the department as it exists today were not without challenges and setbacks, but these visionaries persevered in their commitment to teach and understand the experience of African Americans. The field of African American Studies is not without controversy, but scholars embrace these challenges as opportunities to explore and resolve critical social issues. African American Studies in the past and today imparts knowledge that contributes to positive social change.
African American Studies majors interpret and gain perception of the culture, politics, and intellect of African Americans in history and into the future. As an interdisciplinary field, students pursue individual interests of art, history, medicine, and many other disciplines. Students are challenged to look at those of African descent throughout the Black Diaspora and their impact on society. Students also analyze and compare other cultures and their influences on African American society. With small classes, a student never misses a beat to be a part of discussion, events, and advising within the department to achieve scholarly success.
Alumni with an African American Studies degree are unlimited in career opportunities. Students acquire valuable critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills and go on to become teachers, lawyers, politicians, artist, historians, and media personalities just to name a few.