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School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Black Studies

Historical experiences of peoples in Africa and the Black Diaspora

ISPD offers undergraduates a minor in Black Studies based on inquiries into a wide range of topics related to contemporary and historical experiences of peoples in Africa and the Black Diaspora. 


What Will I learn?

The minor reflects the dual focus of the Center for Black Studies, which aims to engage students in the Center and increase their knowledge, involvement, and critical awareness of race in the human experience. 

Through a variety of courses, students will learn about:

  • The culture and the educational, social, political, and economic development of African Americans and the black diaspora using a multi-disciplinary approach;
  • The relationship between African Americans and other ethnic groups;
  • African-American and Caribbean literature, modernism, and racial thought in the Western World;
  • Students will engage with the various entities that address Black experiences, through the Center for Black Studies.


Faculty and Staff Affiliates  



Faculty Spotlight 

Black Studies Affiliate Faculty 

Cheryl Jenkins  


Dr. Cheryl Jenkins is co-author and co-editor of the book Race and Media: Critical Perspectives, which focuses on journalistic representations of race and on the coverage of diverse communities (or lack thereof) in mainstream media. It aims to examine these journalistic representations of race, and in doing so to question whether or not we are living in a post-racial world.


Career Pathways

A minor in Black Studies can be paired with any major, and in many cases, students can get a Black Studies minor without taking any more credit hours than they would need to take for their major alone. The Black Studies minor is for all students, as it helps you broaden your perception of cultural diversity and gain a deeper understanding of how race relates to class, gender and sexuality, nationality, ethnicity and other social structures through out the world.  

Some majors that work well with this minor are:

  • Social sciences: Global studies, Political Science and Economics
  • Applied social sciences: Social work
  • Humanities: History, English, Philosophy
  • Communication: Journalism and Public Relations
  • And many more!



Photos of Raylawni Branch and Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong


Center for Black Studies

Southern Miss was desegregated in 1965 when Raylawni Branch and Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong became the first African-American students enrolled at the University. Fifty years of progress is evident in the wide-ranging programming, research, teaching, and service activities organized and supported by the Center for Black Studies.


Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Black Studies Student Alliance

The Black Studies Student Alliance supports the academic pursuits of students interested in Black Studies as a minor, provides opportunities for student involvement in local communities, and represents the needs of the Center for Black Studies.  

Minor Requirements

The minor in Black Studies requires eighteen (18) hours. Approved courses are classified into three broad areas. Students will be required to complete two courses from Area 1, three courses from Area 2, and one course from Area 3. 

AREA 1: Historical Foundations (6 Hours)

  • HIS 307 - Survey of African History, 1500-present
  • HIS 373 - African American History Survey, 1619-1890
  • HIS 374 - African American History Survey, 1890-present

AREA 2: Black Studies Across the Disciplines (9 Hours)

  • ANT 313 - Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • ANT 334 - Archaeology of the Old South
  • ANT 494 - Topics in Caribbean Studies
  • CIE 410 - Foundations in Multicultural Education
  • CIS 410 - Multicultural Education
  • ENG 312 - Postcolonial Literature
  • ENG 313 - Survey of Multiethnic Literature
  • ENG 372 - African-American Literature
  • ENG 410 - Studies in Ethnic Literature
  • ENG 411 - Studies in Postcolonial Literature
  • ENG 412 - Studies in African Literature
  • ENG 473 - Studies in African American Literature
  • ENG 496 - Caribbean Literature
  • GHY 402 - Geography of Middle America and the Caribbean
  • GHY 406 - Geography of Africa
  • HIS 411 - The Caribbean and Central America
  • HIS 445 - Racial Thought in the Western World
  • HIS 467 - The Colonial South
  • HIS 468 - The Old South
  • HIS 478 - Topics in African American History
  • HIS 498 - Topics in Jamaican History
  • MCJ 489 - Caribbean Mass Media Systems
  • PS 303 - American Political Movements
  • PS 402 - Urban Politics
  • PS 459 - Human Rights
  • PSY 413 - Multicultural Counseling
  • SWK 315 - Human Diversity in a Changing World
  • SOC 350 - Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 355 - Collective Behavior and Social Movements

*The above listing suggests a range of available courses to complete the Black Studies minor. Other courses may be substituted at the discretion of the Director or Associate Director of the Center for Black Studies. Students should check SOAR for an updated list of classes being offered each term.

AREA 3: Application of Knowledge (3 Hours)

  • All students minoring in Black Studies will be required to fulfill a three-hour requirement that incorporates application of material learned in classes. This requirement will typically be fulfilled by registering for an independent study or practicum course under the supervision of the Director, Associate Director, or affiliated faculty of the Center for Black Studies.
  • The content of the class will involve active learning in one of two ways: an internship with a local agency, institution, or business related to the broad field of Black Studies OR an academic service-learning project in which the student utilizes his or her expertise to provide a service to the local community and create an academic product that reflects his or her effort.
  • Students must complete a minimum of three courses towards the Black Studies minor before fulfilling the Area 3 requirement. When eligible, students will register for an independent study or practicum course following consultation with the Director or Associate Director of the Center for Black Studies.
  • If a student is enrolled in another course that requires a substantial and relevant internship, academic service-learning project, or research endeavor, he or she may petition the Director of the Center for Black Studies to count that course for the Area 3 requirement. 


Minor Plan Availability
Black Studies Undergraduate Minor Hattiesburg


Related Minors


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