Studying the African Diaspora
and its significance in our world.


Who We Are


Student writing on her note in an Africana Studies classroom

The GW Africana Studies Program uses a global, cross-disciplinary approach to examine the historical, cultural, economic and political legacies of the largest forced migration in human history: the Atlantic slave trade. Through major and minor programs, undergraduate students study how this massive upheaval of African populations altered civilizations, transformed the globe and changed the course of modern history.

The program is committed to expanding research paradigms that have traditionally placed the West at the center of knowledge production and cultural analysis. From the Caribbean to the Middle East, our broad geographical scope prepares students for the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world.



What Is Africana Studies?

The word “Africana” is used to describe the cross-pollination of several fields that have often been treated as separate academic endeavors: African American, African, Latino and Caribbean studies. Scholars examine race, ethnicity, culture and political and social structures of diasporic communities, from the United States to Africa itself.


News from Africana Studies

Xolela Mangcu

Shadows of Apartheid

Twenty-five years after apartheid, Xolela Mangcu is writing the first African-authored biography of Nelson Mandela — and urging people to continue fighting injustice.