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Black Studies Minor

Sankofa BirdThe Black Studies Minor offers courses that study in-depth African and African-American art, communication, education, geography, history, literature, music, political science and sociology.

Black Studies spring course offerings include:

  • ART 280: Intro to Sculpture
  • COM 420: Cross Cultural Communication
  • ED 225: Multicultural Education
  • ENGL 356: Studies in African American Literature
  • ENGL 357: Literature and Culture of the 1960s
  • GEOG 310: Sustainable Development
  • HIST 112: Early Modern Civilization
  • HIST 113: Modern Civilization
  • HIST 120: US to 1877
  • HIST 121: US Since 1877
  • PS 335: Politics of Poverty
  • SOC 335: Politics of Poverty
  • SOC 351: Contemporary Social Problems
  • SOC 362: Race & Ethnic Relations

Black Studies Minor Checksheet

Please contact Dr. Joe Croskey, Dr. Uraina Pack or Dr. Jane Walsh  for further information regarding the Black Studies Minor. Also, please check out and like our Facebook page: Clarion University Black Studies Minor.

The Black Studies Minor Committee's expectation is that students from all diverse backgrounds on campus and at other PASSHE schools (that do not offer a minor in Black Studies) will become interested in earning a minor in Black Studies through Clarion University. Another expectation is that students will begin a dialogue about the importance of Black Studies in academia. Black Studies, like Hispanic/Latino Studies, Native American Studies, Asian American Studies and so forth, enriches students' lives and builds a community of diversity and acceptance.

The Black Studies Minor Committee, along with Clarion University's President, Dr. Dale-Pehrsson, Provost Dr. Pamela Gent and the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Laura Delbrugge and other Clarion University faculty, administrators and staff, support diversity. The committee welcomes students, faculty members, staff, administrators, community members and Clarion University Alumni to participate in the Black Studies Minor's program and all the events the committee plans on campus.

The Black Studies Program collaborates with the Frederick Douglass Institute and the Office of Multicultural Affairs on various multi-cultural programs and diversity initiatives Clarion University offers on campus and online.


Dr. George LaRue, a retired professor in the Social Sciences Department, originally started the Black Studies Minor in 1994. Dr. Roberts served as an original member of the Black Studies Committee. It had been a while since any students had earned a minor in Black Studies when in 2018, several students approached Dr. Uraina Pack and Dr. Roberts about their interest in earning a minor in Black Studies.

Along with the renewed interest, America was coming up on the 400-year Celebration of African Americans' presence in this country when the first slave ship came to America in August 1619. Many universities across the country were celebrating this historical milestone on their campuses by planning academic and cultural events through-out the school year.

The Black Studies Minor also uses the Sankofa bird to represent its minor. The Sankofa Bird originated in West Africa, representing the need for one to reflect on the past to build on the future. Clarion University students, in their academic studies, are reflecting on the past and building on your careers as future leaders.


In relaunching the Black Studies Minor, Clarion University prepared a 400-Year Celebration on Campus during Homecoming and the Autumn Leaf Festival in 2019 with the theme "Resilience."

Besides presentations from Kaersten Colvin-Woodruff, Dr. Joseph Croskey, Dr. Jeffrey Diamond, and Dr. Jane Walsh, the university's student organizations L.E.V. Choir, the Hip-Hop Dance Team, the Kudets Step Team performed at the event. There also were two keynote speakers including Dr. Brenda Dede, a Clarion Council woman and a retired vice president at Clarion University, and Dr. Claudia Nelson, a professor at Coppin State University and an expert on Black Studies.

In addition, we brought Pittsburgh musicians, actors, and dancers, who through artistic performances, showcased the resilience of African Americans in this country. Resilience refers to the traditions, customs, artistic forms of expression, written forms of expression and other mediums that African Americans have utilized in their lives over the past 400 years to create a sense of self identity and self-worth in America. This resilience or set of cultural tools, helped African Americans to plant roots in this country 400 years ago and these roots continue to grow today in the 21st century. The event was a success and many people from campus including, students, faculty, administrators as well as people from the local community and alumni came to support the 400-Year Celebration Event and the re-launching of the Black Studies Minor.

In addition to the 400-Year Celebration, the Black Studies Minor also hosted the second annual Black Studies Symposium this past fall.


Black Studies Committee

The committee members include:

Support the Black Studies Minor and its programming.

Last Updated 2/26/21