At the height of America’s civil rights movement, Colby recognized a need for a rigorous program in African-American studies. Today, through critical analysis of literature and historical materials and close collaboration with professors, students gain insight into the formation of the cultures of people of African descent in the United States and the Americas.
Students in the African-American Studies Program investigate the history, literature, and culture of African-Americans in the United States and the Caribbean. The interdisciplinary major and minor are built around courses in anthropology, economics, English, government, history, music, religious studies, and sociology, helping students understand all facets of African-American life and culture and the historic and contemporary connections between the Americas and the African continent. Students are encouraged to deepen their academic experience through study-abroad programs in South Africa or Ghana or through off-campus study at historically black institutions in the United States.
Students may elect a major or a minor in the program and have ample opportunities for cocurricular engagement through lectures, films, and a wide range of cultural events on campus.