Black Studies Program

(Division of Humanities and The Arts)

Professor Vanessa K. Valdés, Director • Program Office: NA 6/109 • Tel: 650-8117

Ms. Jodi-Ann Francis, Assistant Director Program Office: NA 6/109 Tel: 650-8118

The City College offers the following undergraduate degree in Area Studies:


Programs and Objectives

Black Studies is a body of knowledge reflecting global African peoples’ participation in and contribution to the evolution, development and civilizations of mankind. It is a multidisciplinary program, encompassing a broad-based approach to the Africana experience within the context of human evolutionary development, history, race, ethnicity, and politico-economic interrelationships. The scholarship and teaching of Black Studies emanates from a set of distinct principles that are based on the interconnectedness of African and African Diaspora peoples’ diverse experiences. Scholarship and teaching in Black Studies involves the interdisciplinary creation and dissemination of knowledge about peoples of African descent from a perspective that places Black people at the center of their own experiences. Fundamental to this venture is the intent not only to study the world but also to actively engage in transforming it. Black Studies interrogates the methods, paradigms and assumptions of the various disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and natural sciences not only as a corrective but also as an independent discipline that produces its own body of knowledge, methods and theories. This distinguishes Black Studies from an interest in black issues based on traditional disciplinary paradigms, which often marginalize, minimize or neglect black people and lack a component of advocacy for social change. The program curriculum offers academic training in various interdisciplinary approaches, methods, interpretations, ethics, philosophies, and ideologies. Students are offered the opportunity to be placed in community-based organizations for at least one year.

The CCNY Black Studies program offers geopolitical, socioeconomic and cultural concentrations in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States.