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Departmental Mission & Goals

"LET KNOWLEDGE SERVE THE CITY" - Portland State University's Motto

The Black Studies Department is an academic interdisciplinary unit within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The primary focus is in the social sciences and liberal arts.

The department is devoted to the exploration and analysis of the history, politics, and culture of African people in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. It seeks to objectively explore the black experience, to illuminate the contributions of African people to world culture, and to provide an alternative to traditional interpretations and approaches to the study of world history that have bypassed the African experience.

The objectives of the Department of Black Studies include providing comprehensive learning programs aimed at greater understanding by all people of the black experience, past, present, and future. The Department of Black Studies seeks to expose students from all cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds to academic experiences beyond those generally found in traditional college curricula. The Black Studies Department mission has always included a valued component of outreach efforts directed toward metropolitan community needs.