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Today's Message

Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2020

Africana Studies at Buffalo State: Fall 2020

Many of us here at Buffalo State College agree that Black lives matter, but what about Black voices? Like most of you, Africana studies faculty members felt disgusted as we watched the video of George Floyd being killed. We think it’s also safe to assume that, like us, you understand that this was not an isolated incident. It doesn’t take much research to see that abuse of Black people by police is a constant in our country’s history, and that it dovetails with job discrimination, unfair banking practices, neighborhood segregation, and mass incarceration to make being Black in America a difficult way to live. We invite members of the Buffalo State community to take the opportunity to utilize Africana studies because of how vital it is for doing something real about achieving racial justice.

Africana studies is a unique discipline within academia because it centers on Black peoples’ perspectives in its analysis of the world. Since the field’s inception during similar social turmoil in the late 1960s, Africana studies has introduced generations of college students to the intellectual and creative knowledge produced by members of the African diaspora.

Any sincere advancements in the quest for racial justice will require viewing the world from the marginalized voices of the people that America has ignored—Black people. These perspectives are wide-ranging and include prescriptive and analytical tools for understanding and creating the kind of just world we all wish for our students and ourselves.

There may never be a better time to learn about the discipline, mobilize it, and partner with us to realize our unmatched potential at Buffalo State and beyond. As the new academic year quickly approaches, students will return amidst an ongoing pandemic and citizens’ protests with questions and concerns about the current state of society. We ask that you encourage students to enroll in Africana studies courses to enrich their understanding of the historical, social, political, and economic legacies informing the current moment.

When you meet with advisees who are selecting a major or considering a minor, please encourage them to take courses and talk with Africana studies faculty members. We also encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions. Together, we can discuss how this field enriches their current educational interests and create new opportunities for their futures.

Lastly, Africana studies welcomes the opportunity to partner with all departments and offices in student research, events management, diversity training, community engagement, and student recruitment and retention. As the Black philosophical tradition reminds us, “I am because we are.” Let’s pull together and make Buffalo State the place that made the difference.

Submitted by: Naila H Ansari
Also appeared:
Friday, July 24, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020