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Z Brim, Class of 2022

Why African American Studies (AFRO)?

I chose to minor in African American Studies because during my latter years of high school I became increasingly cognizant of what it meant to be Black in America and my interest in Black history grew. I started fostering a deep sense of obligation to myself and my community to learn more about our origins and journey as a people. When entering college, I wanted to continue to gain a repository of knowledge that could speak to many facets and experiences of Black people within America, but also globally. In looking at the courses the AFRO department had to offer, I knew that I could do just that.


How has being an AFRO major or minor benefited you? Are you working in your field?

As an AFRO minor, I am able to see the world in a new lens. A lens that centers Black people in the history of the world--instead of subjugating us to the background of the master narrative. As a future educator in the social sciences, having an AFRO minor proves itself beneficial because I will be able to teach African American studies within my field.


Did you feel AFRO prepared you for the workforce and the real world?

I do feel like AFRO prepared me for the workplace and the real world because it affirmed within me that I come from a people rich in history, knowledge, innovation, and resistance. I have a right to exist in ANY space as my most authentic self and my humanity does not rest above or below anyone else's. Honing in on resistance, particularly, in this socio-political climate I can acknowledge that many professional, academic, and public spaces are still discriminatory and policing in ways that are not always overt. However, thanks to the AFRO courses I have taken I have been armed with the tools to 1. Describe injustice(s), 2. Uncover historical context(s), 3. Connect historical context(s) to the present, and 4. Combat injustice through methods of resistance most appropriate to the situation(s) I am confronted with.