In a statement before the House Committee on the Judiciary, the noted African American Congresswoman Barbara Jordan said, "'We, the people.' It is a very eloquent beginning. But when the Constitution of the United States was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787 I was not included in that 'We, the people.' I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision I have finally been included in 'We, the people.'"
The struggle of Africans and people of African descent to move forward in their societies, often against overwhelming odds, is one of the most compelling areas of enquiry emerging at colleges and universities within the past 30 years.
Africana studies (formerly African American and African studies) describe and analyze the origins and experiences of people of African descent wherever they live or have lived. These fields are inherently comparative, international, and interdisciplinary in approach, embracing a wide range of pursuits in the humanities and social sciences and including the performing arts. Students majoring in these fields should understand how blacks shape their lives in particular historical, social, political-economic, and cultural contexts.
The major prepares students for a number of careers: government, politics, international affairs, law, education, journalism, public health, religious studies, literature and the arts, and business management, to name only a few.