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

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.
Sharon Lynette Jones' new book project will take extensive research and involve visits to archives around the country.


A vision of love and community

In the 13-year history of the African American Alumni Society’s scholarship program, countless black students’ lives have been enriched through education and community
Wright State alumni collaborated with the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center to establish the African American Alumni Society scholarship.


Wright State alum Hannah Beachler shares her new Oscar and her insights with motion pictures students
Hannah Beachler '05 returned to Wright State to talk to students about filmmaking and winning an Oscar for her work on "Black Panther."

Wright State film grad Hannah Beachler wins Oscar for her work on ‘Black Panther’

Hannah Beachler, who graduated from Wright State in 2005, is the first African American to win an Oscar in the Best Production Design category.

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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