The African and African American Studies Program is necessitated by the imperatives of a solid liberal education, properly conceived. Those imperatives require us as educators to strive to create graduates who are imbued with an expansive sense of the human experience and, simultaneously, trained to identify unifying themes in this experience throughout history.
We share with John Henrik Clarke this belief:
The Minor in African and African American Studies is designed to educate students about the African world, globally conceived. On one hand, it takes the African American experience as the anchor. On the other, it enables students to acquire knowledge of the African World outside the United States, including the rest of the "New World" from Canada to Chile and all points in-between, as well as Africa and wherever else in the world the African presence is to be found.
"There is now a need for a global approach to Africana Studies, one that embraces the Africans in Africa, in North and South America, and in the Caribbean Islands who are just discovering that they are African people. Because history is both topical and ancient, and cannot be separated, there is no way to talk about Africana Studies without looking again at the roots of world history and the interplay among the histories of various peoples."