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Black Studies at Providence College
The Black Studies Department offers a strong grounding in the Black community’s past and present. We study the unique cultures, collective experiences, and connections within the African Diaspora so that students gain a better understanding of American society and the world we live in.
We are committed to promoting and encouraging scholarship that challenges multiple forms of oppression within the U.S. and globally. Black Studies at PC engages in activities that encourage students to critically think of knowledge production and to arm them with the necessary tools to critique such production, such as movie series, guest speakers, and an array of community activities.
Bachelor of Arts in Black Studies
Student pursuing a Black Studies major will be among a historic pioneering cohort of the first to graduate with this degree from Providence College, which was established in 2023.
The program has two required courses, BLS 101: Introduction to Black Studies and BLS 480: Seminar in Black Studies. Students are also required to take eight additional Black Studies electives with at least two each in each of three areas of concentration, Culture, Language, Literature and the Arts; Historical Inquiry; and Social and Structural Analysis. These electives cover the history of Black peoples in Africa, the African Diaspora, including the U.S., the Black cultural expression of those peoples, and the social structures that have oppressed and/or represented a path to liberation of those in Black communities around the world.
Minor Black Studies
Beginning in 1995, the minor in Black Studies at Providence College has contributed to the appreciation of contributions — cultural, historical, political, and social — of Africans and African-Americans. Students in the program are required to take an Introduction to Black Studies course and five additional elective course from three thematic tracks: Culture, Literature, Language, and the Arts; Historical Inquiry; and Social and Structural Analysis.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Contribute to the college-sponsored Heritage Journal
Participate in campus-wide events such as the Black Women and Girls Symposium
Present research about African Diasporic in Rhode Island at the African Community Colloquium
Our department is committed to promoting and encouraging scholarship that challenges multiple forms of oppression within the U.S. and globally. Black Studies at PC engages in activities that encourage students to critically think of knowledge production and to arm them with the necessary tools to critique such production.
The department offers a strong grounding in the African-American community’s past and present. We study the unique cultures, collective experiences, and connections within the African Diaspora so that students gain a better understanding of American society and the world we live in. In addition to the academic benefits, students enjoy the extra-curricular experiences, such as movie series, guest speakers, and an array of community activities. Upon graduation students receive Kente stoles to mark their achievement.
The Black Studies Program was created in 1995 by students – with the advice and support of faculty members. These students believed that “the unique perspective of the Black Studies Program, that of those most oppressed by racism in American society, [would] be of great educational value to Black and white students alike. We need this view to appreciate the contributions — cultural, historical, political, and social — of Africans and African-Americans which have been hidden by a nearly total emphasis on Europeans and their descendants.” These students designed the very core of the program and nurtured its growth. Black Studies transitioned from a program to an academic department – adding a bachelor’s degree program– in 2023.
I will always be grateful for minoring in Black Studies because I found the knowledge that I gained in race relations, the construction of race, and the history of the Black Diaspora useful throughout the course of my academic career. The faculty members in the Black Studies department are incredibly supportive and created a safe environment to become familiar with material that we were really learning for the first time.
There is so much space in the program to really make it your own and so many opportunities to take on independent projects and really have agency of the electives you can take. I had the freedom to learn about black leaders, theorists, and educators whose contribution to Black America is still valuable to this day.
Fartun graduated from PC with a degree in Health Policy and Management and minors in Black Studies and Sociology. She is currently enrolled in a graduate program at Boston College.
Throughout my childhood, we learned a lot about American history with brief mentions of black leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X. That continued at PC, but the Black Studies minor was a good opportunity to learn more about the history of African Americans, other different ethnic groups and their experiences, and white privilege.
Charles graduated from PC with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Black Studies. He currently serves as a community director at Bryant University in Rhode Island.
We go through middle and high school blindly trusting in the curriculum, but as a Black Studies minor, I learned so much about the Black Diaspora that was never included in my secondary education. I cannot think of who I would be without having become a Black Studies minor. I was exposed to many new ideas, historic events, and thinkers that weren’t mentioned in my 12 years as a student. I am very thankful to the faculty and exceptional courses offered that exposed me to the education I never received.
Kristen graduated from PC with a degree in Sociology, a Business Studies certificate, and a minor in Black Studies. She is currently a high school math teacher in New Orleans.
IN THE NEWS
A degree in Black studies helps students develop a multicultural mindset and gain an understanding of environmental and human needs across racial and national boundaries. With these skills there are a variety of career opportunities open to our majors, including advertising agent, social scientist, community planner, educator, historian, lawyer, psychologist, social worker, and international business professional.
of 2018-2022 interdisciplinary program graduates are employed and/or attending graduate school
are employed only
are attending school only
are employed and attending school
Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond with the sum of the separate figures.
Selected Places of Employment/Service
Chisholm, Chisholm, & Kilpatrick
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Moda Operandi, Inc
Pierce Davis & Perritano LLP
Proven Behavior Solutions, LLC
The Key Program, Inc
Selected Graduate Schools
Hult International Business School
New York University
Parsons School of Design/The New School
Quinnipiac School of Law