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History, Hip Hop and Hope: College Kicks Off Major in African American Studies

15 September 2014 | 11:43 am By:
Contact: Conseula Francis, African American studies program director, 843.953.7738

BlackStudents&BlackStudies_IbramKendi[2]African American studies is the newest major at the College of Charleston, and a semester of events is planned to get the campus excited. Senior Jasmin Wilson is already excited – she is one of 10 students who have already started earning the major.

“I am learning the tools and resources to find the answers to my own questions about race, color and the ‘American way’ and how to present those questions and answers to others,” Wilson explains. She started taking courses toward a minor in African American studies, and just kept taking more and more as they were offered.

RELATED: See the African American studies courses offered in fall 2014.

To officially launch the new degree, the African American Studies Program will host three events during fall 2014. All of the events are free and open to the public.

September 23, 2014 – Black Students & Black Studies: A Founding History, 1966-1970

Ibram X. Kendi, author of an award-winning book about black student activism in the 1960s and 70s, will discuss the events that led to the creation of African American studies programs. Kendi is a visiting professor at Brown University, where he teaches Africana studies. His lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the School of Business. For more information, contact Lauren Saulino at saulinole@cofc.edu.

September 25, 2014 – Everything You Wanted to Know About African American Studies

A presentation and panel discussion will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in room 235 of the Robert Scott Small building at the College of Charleston. For more information, contact Consuela Francis at francisc@cofc.edu.

October 6, 2014 – Hip Hop Producer DJ 9th Wonder

9th Wonder9th Wonder, also known as Patrick Douthit, is a Grammy-winning music producer who has worked with artists from Jay-Z to Erykah Badu to Drake. He’s the founder and CEO of It’s a Wonderful World Music Group, which focuses on hip hop music lovers. Join him for an Artist’s Talk on at 6 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the School of Business.


While this is the first year of the major in African American studies, the minor has been available for 15 years.

“It’s important for the College to offer this degree because it explores a history that is relevant to this country that contributed to the U.S. as we know it and yet that is not common knowledge among the people,” notes Wilson. “The interdisciplinary foundation of the degree is truly reminiscent of the liberal arts experience that is a unique and integral element of the College.”

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