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Why Choose African American and Diaspora Studies

Our alumni tell us that courses in African American and Diaspora Studies provide excellent preparation and foundation not only for graduate work in the humanities and social sciences, but also for careers in a number of fields, including traditional areas, such as business, education, health care, law, journalism, social work, and politics. Because the African Diaspora has so deeply influenced the making of the world today, it is an ideal field for students wishing to work in public and private organizations that investigate issues of far-reaching significance and consequences in the United States and beyond. Moreover, African American and Diaspora Studies also uniquely prepares students for positions in many of America's premier museums, cultural centers, and historic sites, as well as in the array of industries that market to African descent people, such as advertising, film, and music. Students gain a diversity of knowledge, coupled with cultural awareness about global and multiethnic societies, which translates into clear advantages and assets, leading to multiple career opportunities and paths. For more information on the career opportunities available to AADS majors and minors, please go to the following link:  http://www.blackpast.org/?q=special/what-can-i-do-black-studies-major-222-answers.

Where Are They Now? (Featured AADS Graduates)

  • Karlin Compton '18 majored in African American Studies. He is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northwestern University.
  • Akaninyene Ruffin '17 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. She currently attends the Vanderbilt School of Nursing.
  • Erin Logan '17 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. She attends the School of Journalism at American University.
  • Damon Cole '16 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. He is currently pursuing a J.D. at Tulane University Law School.
  • Yelana Sims '16 majored in African American and Diaspora StudiesAfter completing a Masters degree in Women's and Gender Studies at George Washington University, she is currently in the Ph.D. program in Afro-American Studies at UMass-Amherst.
  • Sharon Zipporah Champion '15 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies . She completed a Master's degree in Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University.
  • Erica Johnson '15 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. After working with Teach for America, she is pursuing a Masters in Divinity at Vanderbilt University.
  • Rebekah Nordine '15 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. She was accepted into Teach for America in Alabama.
  • Tarique Shotwell '15 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. He was accepted into Teach for America in New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently the Academic Dean of Social Studies at the Akili Academy of New Orleans.
  • Niya McKray '14 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. She completed her J.D. at Vanderbilt University Law School.
  • Jennifer Moore '14 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies and Political Science. She completed her J.D. at Howard University School of Law. 
  • Jessica Brown '12 majored in African American and Diaspora Studies. In 2015, she graduated from the Peabody College of Education and Human Development. 
  • Nate Marshall '12, a double major in African American and Diaspora Studies and English, studied abroad on our Cape Town, South Africa program. He won a Fulbright in the spring 2012 to serve as a teaching assistant in South Africa. He declined the Fulbright in order to pursue a fully-funded Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) at the University of Michigan. An accomplished poet, he is featured in the critically acclaimed documentary, Louder Than a Bomb. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wabash College and Northwestern University. 

Below is a sample of books used in our 1010 Introduction to African American and Diaspora Studies course:

  • James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
  • Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism
  • W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
  • Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969