African American Studies

We examine the history of people of African descent from the colonial period through the present. This includes studying racial inequality and social movements and exposing students to the ideas, institutions, and practices that African-American peoples have used to survive and shape the modern world.

Our multidisciplinary program draws upon expertise in the College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State at large while remaining a close-knit family that brings together students, faculty, staff, and the broader African-American community.

Welcome to the Department of African American Studies at Penn State
Adriana Lacy

Meet Adriana Lacy

Alumna Adriana Lacy combined her African American Studies major with her interest in journalism to start The Underground, a student news organization that covers Penn State through a multicultural lens. She’s currently a freelance journalist, audience strategist and journalism professor.
Adriana Lacy

Meet Adriana Lacy

Alumna Adriana Lacy combined her African American Studies major with her interest in journalism to start The Underground, a student news organization that covers Penn State through a multicultural lens. She’s currently a freelance journalist, audience strategist and journalism professor.

Meet Brian Anthony Davis

Alumnus Brian Anthony Davis made the most of his time at Penn State. He was a member of the University’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, gave a TEDxPSU talk, and received a Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Award — just to name a few of his achievements. "I would give most of the credit for my success to the African American Studies department— all of my professors there are my mentors, every single one of them," said Davis.

Meet Brian Anthony Davis

Alumnus Brian Anthony Davis made the most of his time at Penn State. He was a member of the University’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, gave a TEDxPSU talk, and received a Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Award — just to name a few of his achievements. "I would give most of the credit for my success to the African American Studies department— all of my professors there are my mentors, every single one of them," said Davis.

Latest News

1 week ago

Support the Department of African American Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts with an award in memory of Yaayaa-Maria Hunt, a 2016 alumna.

2 weeks ago

Penn State News recently interviewed Timeka Tounsel, assistant professor of African American studies and media studies, on her new book "Branding Black Womanhood: Media Citizenship from Black Power to Black Girl Magic"

3 weeks ago

Timeka Tounsel, assistant professor of African American studies and media studies, recently wrote an article for The Conversation: "In age of racial reckoning, Ralph Lauren partners with Morehouse and Spelman grads on vintage Black fashion styles".