African American Studies

Abstract African American Art

What is African American Studies?

African American Studies focuses on the lived experiences of those of African descent.  This discipline applies theory and knowledge produced by African American communities to describe the critical events, histories, cultures, intellectual traditions, contributions, lived-experiences and social struggles of Black people with a particular emphasis on the emergence of an African American culture and the creation of black liberation ideology and practices. 

Learn more at: This is African American Studies 

The site includes information about the discipline, current ideological concerns and an opportunity to engage in social justice initiatives that aim to better the lives of African Americans.  


African American Studies at LAVC

At LAVC, many courses are offered in African American Studies for both general education credit and for satisfying lower division transfer requirements. All courses are UC and CSU transferable and certificate in African American Studies may be earned. For more information, see the College Catalog.

Keidra Morris
(818) 947-2486
Office Location
Behavioral Sciences Building

Office Hours

Email for availability

Sociology & Ethnic Studies

Social and Behavioral Sciences



A certificate in African American Studies provides students with theoretical frameworks through which they are able to explore, examine, and analyze the experience of African Americans in the United States. Students will build skills in communicating with diverse audiences and examining multiple sources of information and data. This degree equips students to enter a multi-ethnic workforce and more effectively work toward social justice. Students who earn this degree will be well prepared for careers in non-profit organizations, education, social work, human services, health care, law and/or policy, planning and development.


African American Studies Certificate

Umoja Black Scholars & Black Student Union

The African American Studies program works collaboratively with Umoja Black Scholars and the Black Student Union.  Students have an opportunity to excel academically while community-building and working towards the betterment of the African American community.  Please follow Umoja Black Scholars and the Black Student Union on Instagram to find out more information.  You can also visit the Umoja Black Scholars page on our site.

Umoja Black Scholars InstagramBSU Instagram


African American Studies Faculty


Keidra Morris, Ph.D.
Department Chair



Phone: (818) 947-2486
Office: BSC 111D

Adjunct African American Studies Faculty

Click below for a list of adjunct faculty. For a complete list of LAVC faculty search the LAVC Directory.

Name Contact
Jessica Lee
Antwann Simpkins

Faculty Profiles

Click below to learn about the African American Studies faculty.

Photo of Keidra Morris
  • M. A. in African American Studies, UCLA
  • PhD in English, UCLA
  • Teaches African American History (Afro Am 4 and 5) and African American Literature (Afro Am 20)
  • Areas of Interest: Black feminist thought; the construction of race in American literature; African Diaspora literature; Caribbean literature
  • Role in the department - Department Chair
  • Fun Fact -



Photo of Jessica Lee
  •  B. A. in African American Studies and B. A. in English, UC Irvine

  • M.A. in African American Studies and M. A. in English, UCLA 

  • Courses taught: African American Studies 4 and 5

  • Areas of interest: Afrofuturism, Middle Passage and Slavery Studies, Black Women's Literature and Film 

  •  Role in department: Department of Sociology and Ethnic Studies Adjunct Representative 

  • Fun Fact: I want to teach and be Deputy Editor at Vogue


Photo of Antwann Simpkins
  • C. Phil, Sociology - UCLA

  • MA, Sociology - UCLA

  • MA, African American Studies - UCLABA, African American Studies - Phi Beta Kappa - Morehouse College

  • Courses Taught: African American Studies 002; African American Studies 004; African American Studies 005

  • Areas of Interest:  Social Movements, Carcerality, Race, Law, Black Feminist Thought, African American History & Politics

  • Fun Fact: GO GATORS!