Samantha Nyweide and Lillian Williams holding the “Sojourner Truth” art piece.

Samantha Nyweide ’24, photographed with Professor Lillian Williams, created this unique piece highlighting Sojourner Truth's successes as a positive representation of people with similar backgrounds who can inspire and motivate others to pursue their goals and dreams. Photographer: Douglas Levere

Welcome to Africana and American Studies

Serving as the university’s gateway for exploring cultural connections across borders, identities and time, the Department of Africana and American Studies operates in a unique niche between theory and practice, research and social engagement, and humanity and the environment.

Join Our Scholarly Community

Students in classroom.
Welcome, future students!

Academic work in Africana and American Studies will prepare you to be an active, purposeful citizen of the world. Find out how!

Our Programs

"Empress of the Blues" by Romare Bearden.
African and African-American Studies

Explore the history as well as the political, economic, social and cultural circumstances of people of African descent in the United States and around the world.

Our Programs

National Museum of the American Indian - painting restoration.
American Studies

Take a global and hemispheric approach to the study of the Americas by examining local cultures, nations and regions within their larger geopolitical contexts. 

Student Testimonials

"When choosing UB, I reverted to the factor I was looking for initially: a sense of family, and the ability to build a relationship with a department. The faculty in the department is what really reeled me in.” – Taylor Coleman, MA and PhD student