Department Chair, Dorothy Randall Tsuruta, Ph. D.
The Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University was the first Black Studies Department established on a four year college campus in the United States. The department offers a multi-disciplinary curriculum in the areas of Black Humanities and Behavioral and Social Sciences. Courses offered in the Africana Studies curriculum enable a student to have a holistic understanding of the Black reality, by offering instruction that provides analysis and synthesis of African Philosophy, African and African American History, the Black Family, Black Psychology, Pigmentation theory and research, Black Political Movements, Economics of the Black community, Community Organizing, Black Religion, Black Literature, African and African American Theatre, Black Art and Black Dance.
The premise of Africana Studies is that self knowledge is the key to all knowledge. By offering students a balanced and well-minded curriculum, the Department seeks to develop self knowledge and critical thinking skills that will help them to serve as agents of awareness and change in their communities. Students taking Africana Studies classes have the option to major in Africana Studies and/or to complete a double major. In addition, students can minor in Africana Studies, or take Africana Studies as electives or to meet GE requirements. Whatever option a student selects, Africana Studies courses will prove helpful in pursuing a specific professional career. For example, students who are interested in pursuing a career in business will find courses in Black History, Black Psychology and Black Economics helpful because these courses provide the student with a perspective and understanding of culture, history, psychology and economic characteristics of Black people, that cannot be attained in other departments within the University.
More importantly, the Africana Studies curricular program is designed to serve the needs of the Black community. Africana Studies courses stress using academic skills to further advance community empowerment and change. Students enrolled in the Africana Studies program are encouraged to view the Black community as a classroom where lessons can be learned and taught.
Finally, the Africana Studies program at San Francisco State University has distinguished faculty who are nationally and internationally renowned for their academic scholarship and leadership in the area of Africana Studies.
Regarding the prospect of majoring in Africana Studies, one of the most commonly asked questions is: What can I do with a major in Africana Studies? The answer is: the same thing you can do with any liberal arts or science major (English, Foreign Languages, History, Chemistry) and much more. A concentration in Africana Studies provides the foundation through which you can guide your personal and professional ambitions. The Africana Studies perspective also assists the student in understanding the compartmentalized and often disconnected areas of focus within Western education.