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Black Studies
Welcome to the Portland State University Black Studies Department: Celebrating Forty Years of Dedicated Educational Service

Black Studies at Portland State University

The Black Studies Department (BST) at Portland State University (PSU), initially established in 1969 as the Center for Black Studies, facilitates the systematic and scientific study of the history of origins, development, nature and culture of people of Africa and the African Diaspora as a means of reconstructing and explaining the formation and transformations in their experiences, often characterized as the "black experience", as they relate to World Histories and cultures. The department serves as a forum between Faculty and Students of different disciplines and interests, but especially those, who share interest in the study of the black experience.

What We Do and How We Do it

We collect and disseminate information, which accurately reflects and explains or present the black experience and serve as a link between PSU and other university or educational and cultural institutions and communities through active collaborative partnerships and community service. As an interdisciplinary academic unit within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), with a focus in the social sciences and liberal arts, BST department's mission has always included a valued component of outreach efforts directed toward metropolitan community needs and is devoted to the exploration and analysis of the history, politics, and culture of African people in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. Portland State University is the only institution of higher education in the Northwest and one of the few in the entire nation that offers a degree in Black Studies. It is a unique degree also because it covers Africa, African America and the Caribbean (and includes South America) on equal basis in credit distribution, syllabus and practicum.


Department Highlights


Faculty Research

Dr. Derrais Carter is on a Fulbright Scholarship in Prague in the Czech Republic this academic year. Find out more here.

Special Activities

February is Black History Month and it is also time for the African Film Festival!

Course Spotlight

2016 is the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party. Find out more in Professor Imarisha's BST 411seminar Spring 2016!












Department Mailing Address:
Portland State University
Black Studies - Liberal Arts & Sciences (BST)
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207