Minor: Black Studies
Hometown: Oxford, MS
Current Position: USM Graduating Senior ‘23
Why did you decide to choose a minor in Black Studies?
I had a desire to learn about issues plaguing the African diaspora, and as a future multicultural counselor, wanted to know what ways historically Black people have been excluded to track progress (or the lack thereof) that we see today.
What course(s) did you take at USM that enhanced your interests in Black Studies? If possible, identify the instructor as well.
- SOC 350 (“Race & Ethnicity,” Dr. Kari Kozlowski, Sociology): this class did an excellent job of displaying systemic racism from a historical to a modern lens in a multitude of areas – housing, education, etc.
- BLKS 301 (“Introduction to Black Studies,” Dr. Sherita Johnson, English / Black Studies): This class did a wonderful job breaking down how Black Studies was created [as an academic discipline in the 1960s] with the implementation of service learning. Also, [the class] did a good job of introducing service learning to students.
- PSY 413 (“Multicultural Counseling,” Dr. Richard Cox): This course did a good job with connecting my preferred path of study with the Black Studies curriculum, preparing us on how to be more well-rounded counselors and consider the implications of race and culture during sessions.
How did minoring in Black Studies enhance your major studies at USM?
Minoring in Black Studies gave me access to several areas I hadn’t considered before. For instance, I had never considered housing/generational wealth creation prior to taking Race and Ethnicity, or the importance of service learning and giving back as an academic [sic] prior to taking the intro course. It challenged my thinking on issues that I had always heard, while offering me literature and access to professors who are dedicated to teaching about the diaspora.
How might Black Studies influence your future career?
I plan on opening my own mental health clinic and working with marginalized youth, specifically racially and sexually marginalized youth so the information I learned in my courses have helped me become more culturally competent and understanding the implications of white supremacy on the diaspora and how it could impact us therapeutically.