Why Black Studies?

The undergraduate program in Black Studies at Queen's is a diverse, interdisciplinary program that explores and engages the connections between the arts, social justice, decolonial thought, and practices of anti-oppression. Our program spans multiple faculties and units to bring together world-leading experts in art and activism, geography and planning, global health, literature, creative writing, history, music, philosophy, political thought, religion, and cognate fields of race and anti-racism.  

In joining an innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary program, students will receive rich and rewarding learning experiences about the political, intellectual, cultural, and social aspirations and achievements of Black communities across time and space.  They will have the opportunity to work with academics, artists and activists who demonstrate the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and learn approaches, resources, and strategies to succeed in a broad range of careers as global leaders and citizens. 

Student experience

"I took the Introduction to Black Studies course, and it was genuinely one of my favourite classes! The assignments were a mix of creative and critical scholarly work, which made it both informative and fun. As a black student, it meant a lot to take a course that focused on my people and our history; it allowed me to broaden my interest in Black Studies, which I plan to take into my Master’s!"

Lois Vaah
Class of 2022

Top 5 Reasons to study Black Studies:

  1. Develop historically-informed and forward-looking approaches to the political, intellectual, artistic and activist work of global Black communities.
  2. Critically analyze blackness in relation to various equity deserving groups, social identities, and axes of oppression and privilege (e.g. class, sexuality, disability).

  3. Engage with creative, rigorous and interdisciplinary theories, methods and approaches developed by Black scholars, creatives and activists to address distinct yet related social movements (e.g. racial justice and climate justice).

  4. Learn about the management of diversity in institutional life as well as how people have gotten together, inside and outside of conventional politics, to abolish racial hierarchies.

  5. Participate in collaborative and experiential learning models (such as practicums, internships, work-study programs, cultural production and research assistantships with scholars, activists and/or creatives).


What is Black Studies?

Katherine McKittrick and Daniel McNeil discuss the Black Studies program at Queen's University. They talk about the history of Black Studies, its start at Queen's, and some of the instructors who will be teaching in the program.

Many thanks to Emily Joyce for video editing.

Black Studies Career Paths

Students with a BA in Black Studies will be well-prepared to pursue multiple career paths that require expertise in equity initiatives and other skills that focus on challenging racism and other forms of discrimination. 

A General/Minor in Black Studies will support career aspirations in the fields of:

  • Education
  • Environmental policy
  • Health policy
  • Human resources
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Public policy and public administration
  • Care work
  • Social change
  • Social justice

Frequently, history erases the lived experiences of black people. For a long time, textbooks have neglected black experiences or delivered black history from a privileged white lens. As a result, Black Studies holds meaning to me because it allows me, as a black woman, to understand the intricacies of Black culture, as told from our unique vantage point. In addition, hiring Black professors such as Dr. McKittrick makes the information more authentic and valid.

Chidera Ekeanyawu
Class of 2021