Smith and Carlos Statues photo
San José State University Alumni Tommie Smith and John Carlos display their "silent gesture" for human rights at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

The Department of African American Studies aims to provide students throughout the University with critical, interdisciplinary, and specialized knowledge about African and African American populations and its communities. Our curriculum, programming, and scholarship examines, explores, and engages the intellectual traditions within the African Diaspora from multiple perspectives—historical, cultural, philosophical, political, social, and theoretical—in service to its students and society.


Don't wait to get the support you need! We want to help keep you on track to make the most of your time at SJSU and to graduate on time. 

Email our Undergraduate Advisor, Dr. Wendy Thompson for an advising appointment

Find an Advisor

The Office is Open!

Welcome Back to campus! The Office of the Department of African American Studies is open on a limited basis: 

Dr. Travis Boyce, Chair is in on Mon/Tues 11AM - 3PM; Thurs 2PM - 5PM (Remotely Wed 11AM - 3PM)

Visit us

The Diasporic People's Writing Collective

DPWC is a great way to get involved. They meet up on a regular basis and they host speakers. See their website for more information on what they do and how to join.

Check out DPWC

Apply for Graduation

The deadline to submit your Graduation Application for Spring 2024 graduation is October 13, 2023 to receive 1 semester of priority registration. Meet up with Dr. Boyce to get started!


AFAM Website

Broken link? Can't find what you're looking for? Please contact us at if you have any suggestions on how this website can be improved.

Contact us


We're determined to spark new change while centering on decolonization within our communities and in our daily conversations. Join our Spartan Speaker Series and the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change (ISSSC) for a list of events!

Attend events

NCBS Call for Papers

The 48th Annual National Council for Black Studies Confrence is inviting you to answer the call for papers by Sunday, December 31, 2023 11:59 p.m.
The theme for the annual conference is “Our AfroFuture in the Crosshairs: Black Studies in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Big Tech, and the Cultural Wars.”

Submit your Proposal

AFAM Team at Commencement
In December 2021, we got to celebrate our recent and current graduates. Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021!