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What is Black Studies?

Black Studies is an interdisciplinary field that explores the histories and cultures of Black diasporas, ideologies of anti-Black racism, themes of Black resistance to oppression and exploitation, and the range of political strategies and community-based mobilization tactics Black activists have employed to counter systemic and institutionalized oppressions and fight for social justice.

Slide 1

Women having tea during the Emancipation Day celebrations | Three youth at laundromat on Queen Street West, Toronto ON | Singer Jackie Shane, ~1959 | Women sitting in doorway of empty storefront, Harlem NYC

Slide 2

School children at Black Community Centre in Montreal, ~1930 | Image from “Black Mother Black Daughter”, a 1989 documentary film that explores the lives and experiences of Black women in Nova Scotia, Watch for free on NFB website (external link)  | Grace Price Methodist Episcopal Church, then located at 460 Shaw Street in Toronto ON, January 1947 | Nurse on graduation day

Slide 3

YMCA Boarding House, Toronto ON, 1917 | Farm life in Southwestern Ontario | Agnes Street Methodist Church Choir, 1907 | Poster from Black Theatre Canada, a Toronto-based theater company

Why Black Studies?

LEFT: Canadian Filmmaker Jennifer Hodge De Silva | TOP: Mechanic technician standing in front of old machine | BOTTOM: Charlie Duval’s barbershop, Hurontario Street, Collingwood ON, ~1855

“Having courses on the Black experience helps me feel included and wanted in the university community.”

— Kiera Nisbett, Sociology, TMU

The launch of the Interdisciplinary Black Studies Minor in Arts is an important acknowledgement of the depth Black scholarship, but it's also essential for building community and countering the alienation felt by Black students. In doing this minor, you will be able to:

  • Immerse yourself in the histories, cultures, and politics of African peoples and diasporas.
  • Engage in a scholarly tradition that challenges the limits of Eurocentricity.
  • Participate in local and international community-based learning opportunities.
  • Gain knowledge that fosters transformative social and political change.

Careers for Black Studies Grads

Business & Marketing

  • Social media manager
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Communications specialist
  • Public Relations (PR) specialist
  • Interaction/UX designer

Archives & Research

  • Market/Social researcher
  • Policy analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Archivist

Social & Community Services

  • Settlement worker
  • Counsellor
  • Community program coordinator
  • Social worker
  • Human Rights Officer/Services
  • Immigration Officer/Services

Law & Teaching

  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Lawyer

History of the Minor

Created by Dr. Mélanie Knight, Dr. Anne-Marie Lee-Loy and Dr. Cheryl Thompson, the minor housed in the Department of English in the Faculty of Arts, has courses from a number of departments and schools within the Faculty of Arts, The Creative School, the Ted Rogers School of Management and the Faculty of Community Services. The Black Studies minor at TMU is one of few in Canada!

Black Studies minor launching next fall

TMU News | October 2021

Explore Black Studies

Images from left to right: Caribana Celebration | African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, Women’s Executive, 1919-1920 | Emancipation Day Parade | Stan Hardy, Henry Wright, Cy McLean and Al Meyers, late 1930s