Welcome to the African & African American Studies Program

The Mission of the University of Oklahoma African and African American Studies Program (AFAM) is first to exemplify excellence in research, teaching and service, in accordance with the mission of the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).  Specifically, AFAM has the mission to provide students with a broad, interdisciplinary education inclusive of a focus on Africa and the traditional areas of study of the African American Studies / Black Studies discipline.

The African & African American Studies (AFAM) program offers the B.A. degree in African & African American Studies. Students earning a B.A. degree in AFAM must also complete specified University and College of Arts & Sciences degree requirements. Students may also choose to enroll with a minor in AFAM.

AFAM courses are exciting, challenging and offer students (from all racial and ethnic backgrounds) the opportunity to hear and discuss important content, essential to Africa and the African American experience, in a constructive learning environment. Students are exposed to different theoretical approaches, typically taught in Black Studies. All students should emerge from the program with a clearer understanding of African-centered thought, as well as alternative paradigms articulated within the discipline.

In the 1960s, at the inception of the Black Studies discipline, Black Studies serviced both the campus and the community. Here at OU, we aim to facilitate dialogue between those on campus and in the community via education and civic engagement. 

African & African American courses are stimulating, thought provoking, and interdisciplinary. Courses in this program offer students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to hear and discuss important content, essential to Africa and the African American experience in a constructive learning environment.


Words from Our Program Director

"The story of African American Studies is one of strength, resilience, accomplishment, and empowerment. African American Studies scholars have, and will continue to have unique and far-reaching contributions within universities-intellectually, aesthetically, spiritually, politically, and culturally.  At the same time, in many ways, African American Studies exemplifies the quintessential story of race in the United States, with all the challenges, power dynamics, and hard-fought successes too long in coming. As with the large national context, so goes if for African American Studies.  We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go."

Dr. Jeanette R. Davidson, Director of AFAM, University of Oklahoma

African American Studies, Edinburgh University Press 2010


Career Opportunities

Majoring in African and African American Studies challenges students with a high level of critical thinking encouraging the growth of knowledge beyond the bounds of the traditional college program. Learning about and tackling important societal issues such as poverty and healthcare provides an understanding that will allow a graduate to stand out to potential employers.

Graduate of the program have entered graduate schools or the work force in the following areas: 

  • Community Service 
  • Education 
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social services 
  • The Arts
  • And many more...

All students should emerge from the program with a clearer understanding of African-centered thought, as well as alternative paradigms articulated within the discipline.