African and African American Studies

African and African American Studies (AAFS) is an innovative interdisciplinary program in the College of Liberal Arts that offers you the opportunity to explore the experiences of people in Africa and the African Diaspora (the spread of people of African descent throughout the world), including the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. The mission of the AAFS program is to provide you with a rigorous education that will enable you to become a productive citizen committed to using your learning to better understand the world you live in and also find ways to improve it.

You will investigate the culture and contributions of Africans and African Americans to world civilizations and cultures. You will also be able to develop a global view, essential for living in an increasingly diverse society.

Success Stories

Pamela Cone, a Wright State communication alumna, is director of Aviatra-Dayton a nonprofit organization that supports women in business.
Hannah Beachler, who received a B.F.A. from Wright State in 2005, talked about her successful career and answered questions during a discussion with performing arts students.


Spring 2022 class notes

Meet three outstanding alumni who are featured in the spring 2022 issue of the Wright State University Magazine.

Gary Schmidt of Coastal Carolina University named dean of College of Liberal Arts at Wright State

Gary Schmidt is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion and community engagement for the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University.

Helping Dayton’s youth

Wright State alumna Nina Carter was honored by the University of Dayton for her work in public administration.

View all African and African American Studies news

Program-Related Points of Interest

From the New York Times:  The 1619 Project

American slavery began 400 years ago and is referred to as the country's original sin, but it is more than that:  it is the country's true origin.  "The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are".  This is an experience, rather than a mere article, and uniquely displays the history of our country in a way that touches the explorer deeply.


For the Pulitzer Center's Reading Guide (which includes the PDF to the NYT article, the 1619 newspaper broadsheet, and other useful resources related to the project), try


From luminary podcasts:  Toni Morrison tribute

Toni Morrison's death brought together many of us to recall her life, legacy, and teachings about motherhood, sisterhood, the white gaze, and remembering black women's brilliance.  This FREE podcast is a round-table discussion with Roxane and Tressie as they talk with Stacia L. Brown, Rebecca Carroll, and Imani Perry "about how Morrison remapped the history of the United States and what future generations can learn from Morrison’s work".




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