Africana Studies Major

Study the cultures, histories and politics of Africa and the experiences of people of the African diaspora from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Students majoring or minoring in the intercollegiate Africana Studies program explore Africa and the experiences of people of the African diaspora and heritage from the perspectives of anthropology, art history, history, literature, psychology, religious studies and other areas. You will be exposed to a broad range of research and teaching, and choose a concentration in the arts, humanities or social sciences.

The rigor and scope of Africana Studies prepares students for careers in a variety of fields, including education, social work, public policy, law, medicine, business and international relations.

Art History Professor Phyllis Jackson in class
Art History Professor Phyllis Jackson in class
Professor Valorie Thomas with students at the Vertigo @ Midnight art exhibit
Professor Valorie Thomas with students at the Vertigo @ Midnight art exhibit

What You’ll Study

    • Two introductory courses in Africana Studies
    • Courses in literature, history and social science
    • One course in art, music or religion
    • Four courses in an area of concentration
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Students are encouraged to take four semesters of an African diaspora language: Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish or an African language.

Researching at Pomona

John West Jr. ’23

Black Feminism and the Media

John West Jr. ’23 is focusing on Black Feminists’ work and the way that this theoretical framework is deconstructing the social construction of society. More specifically he is looking at the media as a tool of oppression reinforcing subordination through controlling images.

Marie Tano Slideshow

African American Vernacular English and Anti-Black Politics

Marie-Emmanuelle Tano ’21 is currently examining the use of African-American Vernacular English/African American Vernacular Language by non-Black speakers. Through her research, she hopes to analyze the anti-Black politics of desire that surround the language and distort the pragmatic meaning of AAVE/AAL words in ways that harm Black native speakers.

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John West Jr. ’23
John West Jr. ’23

The Africana Studies Department is centered around community and as Black students in the 5Cs this allows us to connect ancestry to history and study the complex relationships African diaspora people have on this planet past and present.

Faculty & Teaching

Our Africana Studies professors are drawn from across The Claremont Colleges, bringing a breadth of experience and diverse understandings to the field. You will study the African continent and its people with preeminent historians, sociologists, linguists, musicians and more.