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The mission of the Department of African American Studies

is to cultivate a critical understanding of the forms of knowledge and culture that African-descended peoples in the Americas have produced, as well as of the sociopolitical, cultural, and economic conditions under which they have done this work. The Department envisions a vibrant community of inquirers and interlocutors organized around the study of African American life at Penn State, and is keen to play its part in creating and maintaining that community.


Featured Student of the Month:

Alphonso Grant



Alphonso Walter Grant is a Ph.D. Student and Instructor in Art Education and African American and Diaspora Studies at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). He is a member of the Penn State Honor Society and is serving as the project manager for the Organization of the Black Aesthetic Curious (OBAC) at Penn State. This complements his interests in Black visual culture and African American and Diaspora Studies, and his desire to use W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideological concepts on race, Du Boisian Pragmatism, as a lens to interpret visual images of the Black male in the United States.

More on Alphonso



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