Only program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest

The Black Studies Department, officially established in 1970, centers the experiences, voices, and research of people of African descent as a way to challenge dominant narratives. Our research and teaching covers pre- and post-colonial Africa and the African Diaspora in its multiple regions.

COVID-19 Update: Our office in Parkmill 150 is physically closed, but we are still here to help you. You can email us at or join us at our virtual front desk, open M-F 9:00am -4:00pm


'Critical Thought & Activism' Cluster Hire

Black Studies is hiring for two tenure-track positions as part of the School of Gender, Race and Nations' "Critical Thought and Activism" cluster hire initiative. Follow the link for more information about the hires and upcoming candidate presentations.

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COVID-19 Support for Students

Hardship funds are available for students needing help with technology, food, rent, transportation and/or other basic needs. 


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Major or Minor in Black Studies

We offer a major, minor and post-baccalaureate certificate. Our innovative program incorporates courses from many departments and focuses on the historical and contemporary issues of people of African, African American, Afro-Latin@ and Caribbean descent.

Upcoming events

Walidah Imarisha

Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar, and spoken word…
Add to my Calendar 2021-03-05 16:00:00 2021-03-05 17:00:00 Walidah Imarisha Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar, and spoken word artist. She has edited two anthologies, Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements and Another World is Possible. Imarisha’s nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars, and in 2015, she received a Tiptree Fellowship for her science fiction writing. Imarisha has taught at Stanford University, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Oregon State University; she recently joined the faculty of PSU's Black Studies Program. For six years she presented statewide as a public scholar with Oregon Humanities' Conversation Project on topics such as Oregon Black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop. She was one of the founders and first editor of the political hip hop magazine AWOL.  **Register here for the Walidah Imarisha reading. A link will be emailed shortly before the event.** This event is co-hosted with the Black Studies Program at Portland State University. An ASL interpreter will be present. Visit for more Creative Writing events. Zoom webinar (Register below) America/Los_Angeles public
News clips from 1969-1970 about the establishment of the department.  To view the articles, please click on the links at the bottom of the page.

Studying Black America

Established in 1970, the Center for Black Studies at Portland State University facilitates the study of the past and present experiences of Black America.

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Black Bag Speaker Series

The series provides a forum for people and organizations doing work that addresses issues related to the community of Black people in Portland.

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Support Our Department

Your tax-deductible gift goes toward providing opportunities for our students.