Over the past several years, the number of students signing up for the African American studies minor each year at Boston University has grown from a handful to more than 40 at one point, with hundreds more taking individual classes.
Under the leadership of Louis Chude-Sokei, the George and Joyce Wein Chair in African American Studies and a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English, the program has also added five new faculty and six faculty affiliates. Nearly 30 new courses – some crossed listed with other academic discplnes – have been established.
Now beginning this fall, students at Boston University will be able to major in African American and Black diaspora studies.
“African American studies at BU has always had a global component,” says Professor Chude-Sokei, “It’s always been interested in Black peoples all over the world. But now the program is much more formally comparative, looking at different racial formations and experiences across the world. It’s also more interested in issues of gender, sexuality, and immigration.”
Dr. Chude-Sokei is an expert on race, literature, music, and technology in the Black diaspora and the editor of Black Scholar, one of the country’s oldest and most respected Black journals. His memoir, Floating in a Most Peculiar Way (Mariner Books, 2021), is the story of his journey from the former nation of Biafra, where he was born, to a refugee camp in Gabon to Jamaica to Washington, D.C., and to South Central Los Angeles.
Professor Chude-Sokei holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.