Why Minor in African American Studies?

The history of African Americans is the history of America

The history of African Americans is the history of America

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The goal of this minor is to fulfill the mission that Dr. Carter G. Woodson stated in 1915 when he created the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASALH)—to know the accomplishments of Black Americans and to honor Black history and heritage. “You must give your own story to the world,” Dr. Woodson once said. Under his guidance, the Association established the Journal of Negro History in 1916, the “first scholarly journal that published researchers’ findings on the historical achievements of Black individuals.” Dr. Woodson believed that “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

In February 1926, Dr. Woodson announced the first Negro History Week. “We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements,” he reportedly told an audience of Hampton University students. Why did Dr. Woodson choose February? It was the month Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln were born.

In February 1970, Kent State University celebrated the first Black History Month. In February 1976, President Gerald Ford “reaffirmed” the United States’ commitment to “racial justice and moral leadership” by publicly supporting Black History Month.

Although the United States still celebrates Black History Month in February, the African American Studies Minor at Texas State wants students to know Black history and to celebrate Black history every day of every month. By taking classes in the minor, students will be able to critically discuss the Black experience in the United States and throughout the African diaspora, and thus they will have the tools needed to thrive a diverse workplace and in the world.

African American Studies In the Real World

What can you do with a minor in African American Studies? The opportunities are endless!