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Black Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study—this does not mean a simple mixing or borrowing of traditional disciplines but rather that we operate OUTSIDE or BEYOND fields like History, Psychology, or Literature. Courses in the major consider the United States, Africa, and the global dispersal of persons of African descent including the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. We offer a liberal arts education that develops skills in critical thinking, research methods, theory building, analysis, and written and oral expression. The Black Studies major and minor are excellent preparation for careers in public service, including health care, social work, and education; government; the arts; and media. Many of our students have successfully pursued advanced training in law, medicine, dentistry, library science, and other professional fields. Our majors also go on to graduate programs in disciplines such as History and Sociology, or in interdisciplinary programs including Black Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and American Studies.

Our Students Heading link

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“[The classes] changed my life and how I view things now in the world…it’s been very, very rewarding.”


Yvonne Livingston  |  Black Studies Minor
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“These classes seem to ignite another fire in me. It opened my mind and made more aware of different theories, authors, and impactful groups (big and small) throughout history. It has given me so many ideas [and] thoughts that I am currently trying to organize. I am quite astonished how influencing these classes have been to me.”

Jon-Tel Carter  |  Alumni and Recipient of 2018 Grace Holt Honorable Mention

Our Faculty Heading link

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Black Studies “sharpens students’ critical thinking process. We invest in teaching students to be discerning and passionate about whatever profession they choose, to see and go beyond the surface and the superficial, and figure out how to expand and/or advance knowledge that contributes to balanced and equitable lives.”

Mario LaMothe  |  Assistant Professor of Black Studies & Anthropology
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“I think the current political moment has made it more important than ever that students feel connected to each other and to the department. At a commuter campus, it can be tough for students to feel anchored at UIC, however, I’m hoping that we can mobilize the urgency that many students are feeling to create new opportunities for connection and engagement.”


Helen Jun  |  Associate Professor of Black Studies & English; Associate Head and DUS of Black Studies

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