Africana Studies


Learn about the histories, literatures, and cultures of people of African descent. Graduate with a global perspective through Africana studies at Luther College.

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Why Pursue Africana Studies?

People of African descent make up 17.5 percent of the world’s population. Unfortunately, their history and contributions remain understudied. Africana studies emerged out of a need to recognize and explore the history and culture of people of African descent.

As an Africana studies minor, you’ll explore perspectives outside the norm and discover why race is a powerful part of identity. You’ll study the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and elsewhere in the world.

Why Pursue Africana Studies at Luther?

At Luther, you’ll discover new ways of understanding the world. Your studies will focus on the experiences and knowledge of the people of Africa and the African diaspora.

Africana studies faculty emphasize the link between intellectual rigor and social responsibility. Students engage in on-campus debates about ways to make Luther more inclusive. Education occurs in the classroom, in mentoring, and through extracurricular events and programs. Annual programs include the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture and Black History Month programming.

The Africana studies minor at Luther will connect you with students passionate about fighting systemic oppression and promoting social justice.

Program Highlights

Lectures, Art, and Performances

The Africana studies program sponsors events such as lectures for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, art displays related to Africana culture, and gospel choir performances.

Off-Campus Studies

Expand your horizons, especially during January Term. Each January, students study in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. See what’s on the J-Term schedule for this year!

Faculty with Real-World Experience

Our Africana studies professors have diverse lived and educational experiences. They’ll help you find your passion within the program and develop the skills you need to thrive after you leave Luther.

What You’ll Learn

Africana studies graduates enter the workforce with a global perspective. Students develop strong critical thinking and effective writing skills. The program is multidisciplinary. Its main components are the social sciences and humanities.

Africana Studies Minor

Coursework in Africana studies encompasses history, geography, social structures, literature, and expressive art. You’ll learn about African American history in a way that centers African Americans’ words, actions, and creative expressions. You’ll also choose from courses that study literature, music, film, art, race and racialization, the African diaspora, and history from pre-1800 through the present.


Charles Martin Stanley
The transformative experiences I had in my Africana studies courses at Luther College really helped me to grow intellectually as a social justice advocate.
Charles Martin-Stanley '14

Careers and Outcomes

Within a year of graduating, 90 percent of Luther Africana studies minors are employed, volunteering, or seeking a higher education degree. Graduates take numerous career paths. Many pursue careers in social services, human services, and community development. Other graduates have gone to Africa, where they’ve taught English, worked for NGOs and the Peace Corps, and provided medical services. Students interested in pursuing graduate programs have continued their education in a wide variety of fields.

Career Fields

  • Law
  • Political science
  • Women and gender studies
  • American studies
  • Religion
  • Business
  • Medicine

An Ideal Place to Teach

“With its emphasis on embracing diversity, challenging one another to learn in community, and striving to serve with distinction for the common good, Luther has proved to be an ideal place for me to teach.” —Richard Mtisi, associate professor of Africana studies and history

black man with short hair, wearing blue shirt and tan jacket, stands in a classroom

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