Black and Latino Studies
Black and Latino Studies (BLS) is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary course of study that centers the knowledge production and contributions by people of the African, Caribbean, and Latin American diasporas in the United States and globally. The curriculum respects Black, Indigenous, Latin American and US Latinx peoples as intellectuals, cultural producers and activists. It maintains a scholarly interest in critical questions about race, identity, and justice that offers connections between academic lessons and social practice.
Nationally, the interdisciplinary project of Black Studies was established in 1968 at San Francisco State University, after an interracial coalition of students and faculty organized in the service of equity and opportunity as well as for intellectual, faculty, and student diversity. Between 1968 and 1971, more than 200 Black Studies programs were established across the country, including at CUNY. This development also coincides with investments in opportunity programs like CUNY’s SEEK (Search for Education Elevation and Knowledge), and it inspired Ethnic Studies programs, like Latino and Puerto Rican Studies, as well as Women’s Studies and LGBTQ+ Studies.
Courses in the department provide students with tools to develop solutions to social issues rooted in longstanding and persistent racial and social inequalities. BLS produces change-oriented, solutions-driven analyses. With an emphasis on applied learning in the service of equity and change, it encourages innovation, creative thinking, active learning, and the development of practical skills that prepare students for socially-engaged careers that will contribute to more just and equitable futures.
Students can minor in the areas of Black Studies (BLS), Latino Studies (LTS), or in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS). Students also have the opportunity to major in Black and Latino Studies through the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Graduates pursue careers and advanced degrees in law, education, politics, business, marketing, journalism, and the arts.
The department organizes scholarly talks, teach-ins, film screenings, exhibitions and other events for the entire college community. Our community blog is a digital space for announcements, information, and learning opportunities. The Latinx Visions podcast offers conversations and connections between our classrooms, scholarship, and the communities we serve. The Black Studies Colloquium (BSC) is a faculty-led, public forum to exchange ideas, works-in-progress, and professional development.
We are excited to announce Black and Latinx Publics, a two-year initiative supported by the Mellon Foundation that brings together our commitment to making connections between classroom learning and the communities we serve.
Chair: Shelly Eversley
Administrative Assistant: Anayka King
Faculty Advisor, BLS and LTS: Shelly Eversley
Faculty Advisor, LACS: Stephanie Golob