African American Studies

As an African American Studies minor, you will explore the experiences of African Americans using theory and methodology originating in the field while engaging in community-based research and learning opportunities available at Illinois College and across Central Illinois.


  • This minor is designed for students interested in African American culture and the educational, social, political, and economic development of people of African descent in the United States.
  • The African American Studies faculty offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum and mentorship from faculty in History, English, Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Global Studies. 
  • Under the newly-funded NEH project, Reimagining African American Studies at Illinois College, our program focuses on community engagement, transformative research, and innovative programming that allows students to apply the knowledge acquired in our courses to solutions for social, political, and economic problems impacting the African American community.  
  • The African American Studies program will connect you with unique internship and research opportunities at numerous sites, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Garvey Tubman Arts and Research Center, and the Jacksonville African American History Museum.
  • Students will gain hands-on experience working with the National Park Service on the construction of its newest unit, New Philadelphia National Historic Park. Illinois College is one of two research institutions of the Freedom Corridor, the academic and educational arm of New Philadelphia National Park. 

Upcoming Events

This two-day conference begins with a Freedom Corridor Reception and Celebration on Friday, February 2nd, at 6 p.m. at the Sibert Theatre at Illinois College. The conference continues on Saturday, February 3, 2024, with plenary sessions, a lunchtime student presentation, and a closing reception. The conference is free, but registration is required. The registration form includes lodging information for the host hotel, Hampton Inn Jacksonville. Zoom access details will be provided within the registration confirmation.

Freedom Corridor Conference