African American Studies involves an interdisciplinary academic education that provides learners with access to a wide range of history, politics, race and ethnicity, economics, dance, literature and arts. It enables learners know the past, present and future of African Americans. There are no limitations to what a person having a major in African American studies can do. These studies can provide essential foundation for research writing, critical thinking and analysis skills.
Since African American studies is interdisciplinary in nature, it allows for a challenging and rich course of inquiry. This benefits students who have interest in, history, culture, policy, law, language, foreign affairs as well as education. The first department for African American studies or black studies was created in 1969 in San Francisco State University. This first department was started in September 1968 but gained the official status in 1969 as mentioned above.
In the quest for civil rights in North America, African Americans formed the African American Civil Rights Movement. The aim of this movement was to ensure that racial discrimination is outlawed in the United States of America and African Americans are given their voting rights. Black Power Movement that existed between 1966 and 1975 was formed that challenged black leadership for its non violent and cooperative attitude. Instead, it wanted political and economic self sufficiency. The civil rights movement practised boycotts, sit-ins and marches to help them obtain their rights. Legislative achievement during this phase is the passage of civil rights act (1964). This banned discrimination that is based on colour, religion or nation of origin. The movement also forced the passage of Voting Rights works cited
Act (1965), the Immigration and Nationality Services Act (1965) and the Fair Housing Act (1968).