Black Studies Option

The A.A. Degree with Black Studies Option

The Black Studies Option engages students in the study of the history, intellectual heritage, artistic production, political and social experiences pertaining to people of African descent throughout Africa and African Diaspora communities in the Americas. Students will engage in interdisciplinary inquiry that spans cultural and historical studies; arts and humanities; social and behavioral sciences among other disciplines with a wide array of courses and robust student-centered extracurricular programming hosted by student clubs such as the Black Student Union, the Hip-hop Club and the Capoeira Club. 
Moreover, the Black Studies Unit cultivates strong relationships with student organizations and promotes extracurricular activities for the Hostos community.  In the past, we collaborated with off-campus cultural institutions and organizations such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Weeksville Heritage Center, the Bronx Defenders, and Picture the Homeless.
The Black and African Diaspora Studies Option critically engages students in the Black intellectual tradition by reinforcing Afrocentric principals while emphasizing multicultural competency. This Option can conform to any future career and academic plans of study in fields such as history, law, anthropology, art, government, international relations, education, policy, health, literature, sports, music, and beyond. Ultimately, the Black and African Diaspora Studies Option prepares students to succeed professionally and excel academically upon transferring to four-year CUNY institutions and other quality senior colleges. 
Black and African Diaspora Studies Option students will:  
  1. Develop information literacy, writing skills, and the ability to synthesize content in meaningful ways.  
  2. Connect history and culture across geography, politics, and time.
  3. Relate course content to the larger world as a means of understanding their individual responsibility as a civic and social actor.   
  4. Analyze the worldview of ancient African civilizations through the study of creation narratives from Eastern and Western African empires. 
  5. Generate comprehensive understanding of Black identity and culture; as well as the dynamic political, social and cultural contributions of Africans and their descendants throughout the African diaspora. 
  6. Analyze the emancipatory ideology generated by Africans and their descendants to combat racism and assert agency.   
    The Black Studies Unit at Hostos Community College (CUNY):
    The Black Studies curriculum offers courses, which trace the history and culture of African people on the continent as well as in the Diaspora. All courses are taught within the framework of the established academic disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and literature. Students interested in planning a concentration in Black Studies should consult with the Black Studies Coordinator.
  7. The Black Studies Option requires students to successfully complete 4 courses from 4 distinct categories: (1) African Antiquity Courses, (2) Black Heritage Introductory Courses, (3) Black Creative Expression in African Diaspora Communities Courses, (4) Core Career Courses 

I.African Antiquity | Complete 1 Course

BLS 110 African Civilization I 3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisites: ENG 91 or ESL 91
This course is designed to provide a broad acquaintance with African history, civilization, and culture from the earliest times to the 16th century. The course will discuss the origins and development of civilization in Africa, focusing on the oral civilizations, ancient African kingdoms, the African middle ages, traditional and foreign missionary religions, and Africa before the advent of the Europeans.
BLS 112 African Civilization II 3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ENG 91 or ESL 91
This course is designed to provide a broad acquaintance with modern African social history, civilization, and culture. After a quick overview of the period of Oral Civilization and the colonial partition of Africa, the continuity and development of African culture and civilization will be analyzed: Its social and political institutions, its people and the growing social issues which confront African society today. The course will explore the social, political, economic, and intellectual dimensions of African life through a wide variety of readings from the various disciplines of history, anthropology, political science, literature, music, and the arts.
BLS 116 African Spiritual Traditions 
3 credits, 3 hours
The student will trace the history of African spiritual traditions in ancient African civilizations covering religious manifestations chronically and geographically from Egypt to West Africa. Major emphasis will be placed on the present-day practices and cultural manifestations of African spiritual traditions in the Diaspora. 

II.The Black Heritage Introductory Courses | Complete 1 Course

BLS 101 Introduction to Black Studies (Pathways)
3 Credits 3 Hours
If student already took this course as part of their Common Core or Flexible Core course of study, the student must complete an additional course in this category.  
Pre/Co-requisites: ENG 110
This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Black Studies. Students are broadly acquainted with continental and Diaspora African history, religion, sociology, politics, economics, arts and psychology.
BLS 114 The African-American Experience (Pathways)
3 credits, 3 hours
The student will be introduced, through a series of guided readings, to the experiences of peoples of African descent from Africa’s genesis through the middle passage, slavery, emancipation, the reconstruction and the aftermath of de jure slavery in the Americas. The literary, economic, socio-psychological, and cultural aspects of the African-American experience till the end of the 19th century will be discussed and analyzed.

III.Black Creative Expression in African Diaspora Communities | Complete 1 Course 

BLS 123 African-American Literature
3 credits, 3 hours
The student will survey the literature from the slave narratives to the present time. S/he will relate the literature to the historical and cultural context in which it is set. S/he will analyze and criticize such writers as Isaac Jefferson, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and John A. Williams. Credit will be awarded in English and Africana Studies.
BLS 125 The Harlem Renaissance
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre/Co-requisite: ENG 110
This course is designed to explore the socio-political environment and evolution of Afro-Americans as reflected in the literature of the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1939) in drama, fiction, poetry and other forms of artistic expression. Students will study the relation of the various changes taking place on the social and political scenes during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The birth of the “New Negro”, the impact of black Art and Music first in Europe and in the United States will be treated through its literature of justification/revolt or literature of racial/ethnic promotion, cultural awareness and identity. The course will compare the works of key figures of the Harlem Renaissance such as Claude Mckay, Counte Cullen, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer and those of writers of the “lost generation” such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. New themes and forms developed by the Renaissance writers and their influence on succeeding generations will be studied.

IV.Core Career Courses | Complete 1 Course, 3 credits, 3 hours and Optional 1 Credit Course 

BLS 150 Ethnicity, Health & Illness
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ESL 91
The student will investigate the relationship between health, illness, and ethnicity from the standpoint of folk beliefs and traditions rooted in the socio-cultural histories of African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups.
BLS 161 The Hip Hop Worldview 
3 Credits 3 Hours 
Pre/Co-requisites: ENG 110 
This course is designed to explore the sociological realities of the Hip-Hop community, from its most visible recognition in the 1970s, to its current form at the inception of the twenty-first century. Thus, students will examine the historical, cultural, economic, and political dynamics out of which Hip-Hop culture emerged, and learn about how various social institutions have interpreted it in various ways.
LAW 101: Law and Social Change
3 credits, 3 hours 
Pre/Co- requisite: ENG 110 
Through historical investigation and critical analysis, the student will gain an understanding of the relationship between law and social change. The student will examine historical movements such as: the abolitionist movement, labor movement, women’s rights movement, and civil rights movement
VPA 121 Painting & Drawing I, Professor Ian Scott, International Renown Artist  
3 credits, 3 hours
In this course students will be introduced to various techniques for creating drawn and painted artwork. In addition, they will be exposed to important master works of both contemporary and classical art through select readings, slide presentations and visits to museums and galleries. Focus will be paid to the process of both creation and creative thinking. In this way we will develop the students’ critical eye as well as their technical aptitude.
BLS 201 Black Rebellion and Resistance in the Americas 
3 Credits 3 Hours
Prerequisites: BLS 101 or BLS 111 or BLS 112 or BLS 114 
Pre/Co-requisites: ENG 110
This course offers an Afrocentric and revisionist analysis of the role of Blacks in the fight against European conquest in the Americas, which consisted of armed resistance, sabotage, subversion, and the creation of maroon* communities from the early 1500s to the 19th century. After completing this class, students will have an understanding of how Africans and their descendants achieved their autonomy and fostered social, cultural, political and economic practices that neutralized the destructive impact of life under Makumbo (Enslavement). In addition, students will obtain a greater understanding and appreciation of Black women resistance throughout the Americas. *A maroon is a formerly enslaved person who resides beyond official colonial authority after fleeing from their enslaver.
PED 145 Black & Puerto Rican Dance 
1 credit, 2 hours 
The student will perform the basic movements of Black and Puerto Rican dance. The student will have the opportunity to explore creative movement. This course will meet for two hours per week for one semester. Offered in English and Spanish.