Africana Studies  {SF State Bulletin 2012 - 2013}

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Africana Studies

College of Ethnic Studies

Dean: Kenneth Monteiro


Department of Africana Studies

EP 103
Phone: 415-338-2352/1054
Chair: Dorothy Tsuruta



Professors: Head, Obenga, Richards, Tsuruta, Yansane
Associate Professor: Akom, Ginwright
Assistant Professors: Fischer, McDougal, Washington
Lecturers: Casey, Hubbard, Mtambuzi



B.A. in Africana Studies

Minor in Africana Studies



Program Scope

The Department of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University was origniated as the first Black Studies Department established on a four-year college campus in the United States. The birth of Black Studies at SF State in 1968 was, in fact, inspired by student-led opposition to the then Western intellectual hegemony and racist scholarship that characterized the limitations found in traditional approaches to college education. In 2005, the Black Studies Department at SF State changed its name to the Africana Studies Department.


Every student should know about the unparalleled and unmatched contributions African and African American people have made to human civilization. These contributions include the formulation of the first system of government for a territorial state; creation of the foundations of science, mathematics, and advanced technology; the first written script, the foundations of philosophy and psychology; the building of the great pyramids and such modern inventions as the first electric light filament, the cotton gin, the first gas mask, the double effect evaporator, and the first design of a three stage rocket capable of interstellar flight. In the Africana Studies program students are able to learn about, critique, and be inspired by the accomplishments of African men and women who shaped and are shaping the moral conscience, artistic genius, scientific and technical achievements, and political activism of their time.


The department has continued to be in the vanguard of the intellectual discourse pertaining to domestic and global freedom and development of African people throughout the world. The maturation of the discipline has resulted in new and innovative alternatives to the traditional paradigms of oppression and exclusion. In addition to learning aspects of human history that have been hidden and/or stolen, students learn how to recognize and challenge intellectual hegemony and racist science. The discipline of Africana Studies not only provides students with the experience of challenging traditional Western orthodoxy, but also gives them an opportunity to explore new and alternative paradigms and theories. In Africana Studies, students acquire and develop an appreciation for the origins of knowledge, the philosophy of science, and the politics of knowing. Students develop a social character and personal outlook that gives them the ability to contribute to the well-being of themselves and humanity. The Africana Studies curriculum is designed to address the needs of the African and African American community as a classroom where lessons can be learned and taught. The discipline of Africana Studies prepares students to not only understand the world they live in but to see where the world is wanting and to have the ability and the desire to make it better.


Students majoring in Africana Studies are required to complete a program consisting of core courses and electives with emphases in the areas of the humanities and behavioral and social sciences. The core courses (30 units) provide the students with an appreciation of the historical development and intellectual foundation of the discipline as well as the critical knowledge base, intellectual skills, and methodological techniques essential to the field of Africana Studies. The courses offered in the emphases (9 units each) allow the student to gain a deeper intellectual grasp of the field within one of two important emphases.


Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies includes core courses (30 units), and an area of emphasis (9 units).


On-line course descriptions are available.


How GWAR is satisfied in the Africana Studies major: ETHS 300 GW "Writing in Ethnic Studies - GWAR" or other approved GWAR course. The writing requirement units are not included in total units for the major.


Core Requirements

Course Title Units
AFRS 101 Introduction to Africana Studies 3
AFRS 200 Introduction to Black Psychology 3
AFRS 210 Introduction to Africana Literature 3
AFRS 266 Black On-line: Cyberspace, Culture, and Community 3
AFRS 300 From Africa to Olmec America: Ancient African Prehistory and History 3
AFRS 303 African American History 3
AFRS 345 Blacks in Urban America 3
AFRS 375 Law and the Black Community 3
AFRS 515 Black Family Studies 3
AFRS 516 Research Methods 3

Total for core: 30


Area of Emphasis (9 units listed below)

Total for Major: 39


Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.


Africana Humanities Emphasis

Units selected on advisement (9)

Course Title
AFRS 201 Kemet, Afrocentricity, and the Dawn of Science
AFRS 213 Science and Spirituality in Ancient Africa
AFRS 221 African American Music: A 20th Century Survey
AFRS 225 Images and Issues in Black Visual Media
AFRS 301 Africa in Global Perspective
AFRS 302 Black Diaspora
AFRS 303 African American History
AFRS 305 Ancient Egypt
AFRS 326 Black Religion
AFRS 400 Black Arts and Humanities
AFRS 411 African and African American Literature
AFRS 450 African Philosophy and Cosmology
AFRS 525 Black Child Development
AFRS 551 Fieldwork in Africana Studies
AFRS 665 Black Journalism


Africana Behavioral and Social Sciences Emphasis

Units selected on advisement (9)

Course Title
AFRS 100 General Studies Colloquium
AFRS 111 Black Cultures and Personalities
AFRS 125 Black Community Involvement Workshop
AFRS 215 Introduction to Black Family Studies
AFRS 256 Hip Hop Workshop
AFRS 290 Malcolm X in the Context of Black Nationalism
AFRS 301 Africa in Global Perspective
AFRS 310 Anthropology of Blackness
AFRS 320 Black Politics, Mass Movements, and Liberation Themes
AFRS 335 The Black Woman: A Cultural Analysis
AFRS 350 Black-Indians in the Americas
AFRS 376 Government, the Constitution, and Black Citizens
AFRS 382 African American Economic History
AFRS 551 Fieldwork in Africana Studies
AFRS 600 Proseminar in Africana Studies
AFRS 646 Frantz Fanon's Psychology of Violence, Negation, and Liberation
AFRS 660 Civil Rights Movement and Education
AFRS 678 Urban Issues of Black Children and Youth
AFRS 705 Seminar in Africana Studies


Minor Program in Africana Studies

Core Requirments: 9 units

Course Title Units
AFRS 101 Introduction to Africana Studies 3
AFRS 210 Introduction to Africana Literature 3
AFRS 302 Black Diaspora 3

Electives upon advisement (9 units)

Total for Minor Program in Africana Studies: 18


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