The purpose of the Black Studies Program is:
- 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
- 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 traditional and nontraditional methodological tools to pursue knowledge that assumes the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora are central to understanding the world accurately. The courses in the Black Studies Program at Swarthmore enhance the liberal arts tradition of the College, acknowledging positivist, comparative, progressive, modernist and postmodern, postcolonial, and Afrocentric approaches.