JOHNSON CITY (Sept. 1, 2021) – East Tennessee State University’s College of Arts and Sciences announces its new Black American Studies (BAS) Program, formerly known as Africana Studies.
“The new Black American Studies Program is excited to be open for business,” said Dr. Daryl A. Carter, director of the program. Since he took the reins in August 2020, BAS has “changed its name to reflect the program’s focus, pursue opportunities, engage faculty and diligently establish partnerships with a variety of partners on campus and throughout the region.
“Black American Studies is a minor program that is attractive for students of all academic, racial, ethnic, gender, LGBTQ or other backgrounds,” he continued. “Moreover, the minor has been modernized and students only need to successfully complete 18 credit hours – nine of which are elective – in order to finish the minor.”
The purpose of the BAS minor is to give students opportunities to learn about the history of Black Americans, the ways in which Black Americans have contributed to the culture and history of the United States, to appreciate the myriad ways Black Americans have engaged with the humanities, social sciences and arts, and more.
“Equally important,” Carter notes, “is that Black American Studies helps to prepare our students for an increasingly complex and diverse world. We are living in a time of great upheaval – politically, socially, culturally and economically. BAS will allow students to develop a nuanced view of the world around them and to gain a strong appreciation for the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The program is interdisciplinary and is committed to approaching issues from a variety of academic perspectives, Carter says.
The BAS Program will host a dozen or more events during the 2021-22 academic year, including talks by guest speakers. In addition, six meetings are planned for the new student organization, the W.E.B. DuBois Society, in which students will discuss issues near to the heart of the Black American experience. Refreshments will be provided at each event.