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. 

The Office is Open!

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

Norah Shimokawa, Administrative Assistant is in on Mon/Tues 8AM - 2PM (Remotely Wed/Thur/Fri 11AM - 5PM)

Dr. Travis Boyce, Professor, Chair and Advisor, is in on Tue/Wed 10AM - 2PM (Remotely otherwise)

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.

Apply for Graduation

The deadline to submit your Graduation Application for Spring/Summer 2022 graduation is October 2, 2021 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.

AFAM Team at City Hall Photo
In November 2019, San José City Hall awarded the Department of African American studies for their incredible achievements and contributions to the city of San José.