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Black Studies Program

Department Overview

The purpose of the Black Studies Program is  to introduce students to the history, culture, art, social relationships, and political, religious, and economic experiences 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 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 postmodernist, postcolonial, and Afrocentric approaches.

60-Second Lectures on Racial Injustice

In an effort to amplify the messages of the protests, Penn Arts & Sciences presents a special series: What Happens to a Dream Deferred? 60-Second Lectures on Racial Injustice. This set of short talks spotlights the history and contemporary manifestations of racism in the U.S., Black lives and culture, and the range of factors that have contributed to this moment.

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Cecilia Marquez

Cecilia Márquez is an Assistant Professor in History and previously taught Latino/a Studies at New York University. She earned her MA and PhD in American History at the University of Virginia. She also holds a BA in Black Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies from Swarthmore College.

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Shameika Black '11

Shameika Black '11 works to cultivate engaged and well-supported workforces that promote improved performance, retention, and inclusive cultures.

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Ashia Troiano '11

Ashia Troiano (she/her/hers) is an educator and organizer from Harlem, New York and the Head of Educational Coaching for At the Table.

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Randall Keith Benjamin, II '09

Keith Benjamin serves as the Director of the Department of Traffic and Transportation for the city of Charleston, South Carolina. 

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Justene Hill '04

Justene Hill Edwards is a scholar of African-American history, specializing in the history of slavery in the United States. 

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