The purpose of the Black Studies Program is:
- to introduce students to the history, culture and society, and political and economic conditions of Black people in Africa, the Americas, and elsewhere in the world; and
- to explore new approaches–in perspectives, analyses and interdisciplinary techniques–appropriate to the study of the Black experience.
Black Studies has often stood in critical relation to the traditional disciplines. Its scholars have used a range of at times nontraditional methodological tools and have pursued knowledge that assumes the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora are central to accurately understanding the world.
The courses in the Black Studies Program at Swarthmore enhance the liberal arts tradition of the College, acknowledging positivist, comparative, progressive, modernist and post-modernist, post-colonial and Afrocentric approaches.