African and African American Studies

Welcome to African and African American Studies

Engaged Learning

The minor in African and African American Studies at Loyola invites students to study the histories, cultures, and politics of Africa and the African diaspora in the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America. The program provides a stimulating combination of intellectual rigor, cultural experience, and community engagement through its course offerings and extra-curricular opportunities.

Students are encouraged to participate in various events throughout the semester that address aspects of African and African African experience and explore the urgent issues surrounding race, racism, and privilege in the U.S. and around the world.  A close, collaborative connection with the New Orleans community and a commitment to student study abroad provides ample opportunity for realizing the real world implications of this highly-engaged field of study. 

About African and African-American Studies 
Program Requirements
Current Course Offerings

About African and African-American Studies

MissionThe African and African American Studies program is an umbrella under which all African and African American-related courses take shelter. As an interdisciplinary program constituted by diverse methodologies and intellectual thought, African and African American Studies provides a transnational approach to illuminate the histories, culture, and experiences of Black people in the United States, Caribbean, continental Africa, and across the globe. Foregrounding people of African descent not simply as subjects but also as producers of knowledge, the program and course of study allow students to focus on areas that complement and augment their major fields of study; expand the horizons of their academic interests; and think critically. African and African American Studies sponsors and co-sponsors intellectual, social, and community-oriented events regularly to contribute to and enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the Loyola community at large.

Students in African and African American Studies courses can expect to:

  • Learn the methodologies and critical interventions of the field of African and African American studies
  • Engage the scholarly work of people of African descent as producers of knowledge not simply subjects of study
  • Better understand the role of local, national, and global movements for racial equality played in challenging racial injustice
  • Cover issues that discuss the socio-historical experience of people of African descent
  • Discuss how race is a socially constructed, hierarchical phenomenon
  • Discover how social institutions encourage expectations of racially appropriate behavior that maintain racial hierarchies
  • Take an intersectional approach to show how race interacts with other social statuses (ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, religion, ability, etc)
  • Recognize how this knowledge leads to social justice in the present
  • In addition to course offerings, students declaring a minor in African and African American Studies are encouraged to take part in the events offered throughout the semester that address aspects of the African American or African diaspora experience.

In the past, students and faculty associated with the program have participated in the following:

  • Black History Month film festival and the New Orleans Afrikan Film Festival
  • Distinguished Lectures (eg. The writers Maya Angelou, Maryse Condé, and Sefi Atta)
  • Theater Performances addressing African American or African diaspora experiences
  • These events provide opportunities for students and faculty to associate with and get to know each other and offer valuable and enjoyable ways to experience the richness and diversity of the African and African American diaspora experiences.

Program Requirements

In order to fulfill the African and African-African American Studies (AAAS) minor, students take seven courses (21 credit hours) which are distributed over three broad areas of study: History, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

  • History area - one course (3 credit hours)
  • Humanities area - one course (3 credit hours)
  • Social Sciences area - one course (3 credit hours)
  • AAST Electives - four courses from History, Humanities, or Social Sciences areas (12 credit hours)

An itemized academic program listing and course requirements for African and African-American Studies can be found in the University Bulletin. 

Course Offerings

Students can use the Course Section Search on the Loyola Online Records Access (LORA) system to find courses that are eligible for the African and African-American Studies Program. Before declaring an African and African-American Studies minor, please contact the program director. 

In addition to the African and African-American Studies courses listed in the Bulletin, students can also apply the following specific courses to the minor with the approval of the director: 

  • HIST A294/H396 Incarceration in America
  • HIST H295 Witches, Prophets, and Doctors 


The Interim Director of African and African-American Studies is Angel Adams Parham, Associate Professor of Sociology. 

Participating faculty also include: 


Immerse yourself in the richness of African culture and history by exploring these expert resources.

  • Amistad Research Center: Houses original documents and other resources for research on America's ethnic history, the African Diaspora, the ethnic diversity of the United States, human relations, and civil rights.
  • New Orleans Museum of Art: Has permanent and temporary collections in the arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Louisiana, and Oceania as well as decorative arts, contemporary arts, photography, and other areas. The African Collection is one of the best in the country. Admission is free for Loyola University New Orleans students, faculty, and staff.
  • Historic New Orleans Collection: Hosts a wealth of information about the Gulf South area and New Orleans including colonial Louisiana, the Louisiana Purchase, Civil War, plantation development, urban development, jazz, architecture, and Mardi Gras.
  • Louisiana Museum of African American History: Located in the Treme neighborhood and it has artifacts, collectibles and historical documents referencing African and African American family, military, school, church and cemetery records, slave and plantation history, wars and much more.
  • New Orleans Public Library City Archives and Special Collection: Contain the city’s municipal records from 1769 to the present including the Civil War, court records, maps, photographs, non-archival materials, rare books, genealogy, and carnival collections.
  • Dillard University Archives and Special Collections: Focus on Southern African American history and culture.
  • Loyola University Special Collections and Archives: Includes the Cornet Collection on the art of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Southern University Center for African and African-American Studies: A collection that focuses on Africa and the African-American experience, along with an African art collection. Contact (504) 286-5296.
  • Tulane University Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz: Has material relating to jazz music including oral histories, photographs, and records.
  • Tulane University Manuscripts Department: Has documents from the founding of the city to the present including colonial Louisiana, the Civil War, Louisiana politics, Southern literature, and Carnival.
  • Xavier University Archives and Special Collections: Focuses on African American history, the history of the U.S. South and the Gulf-Caribbean region as well as Catholicism in the U.S.