Africana Studies

Africana Studies at a glance

Mission statement

The mission of the Department of Africana Studies is to foster academic excellence and success for all students at Cleveland State University and to provide the greater Cleveland metropolitan area with opportunities to acquire knowledge and appreciation of the history and culture of people of African descent.

Vision Statement

The Department of Africana Studies seeks to promote academic excellence, success for all students, and knowledge to foster multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural partnerships within larger society. Africana Studies offers academic opportunities, activities, and services for the enrichment and education of Cleveland State University’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as the greater Cleveland metropolitan area.

Cleveland State University’s Black Studies Program was founded in 1969, and in 2022 was declared the Department of Africana Studies. Africana Studies is one of the nation’s oldest interdisciplinary course of study. The Department of Africana Studies provides undergraduate students an opportunity to study the history, culture, socio-economic and political developments, and creative expressions of people of African descent. Additionally, the program highlights the contributions of black people to world civilizations. The principal geographic domains of this academic discipline are the United States, South America, Africa, and increasingly Western Europe, where large communities of persons of African descent reside.

While the Department of Africana Studies focuses largely on the African-American experience, it also seeks to promote greater awareness of the African diaspora, particularly the global connections of black people. Courses offered through Africana Studies provide students with a multi-dimensional understanding of the African diaspora. Not only will students acquire knowledge of the racial injustices inflicted on people of African descent and the lingering effects of white supremacy, but also they will learn of the accomplishments and contributions that black people have made to the world.