When you purse a minor in African-American studies, you will examine, analyze, and interpret the experiences and traditions of people of African descent. In order to complete the minor, you must complete 20 hours of coursework designated as appropriate. Four of the 20 required hours will be fulfilled through the completion of HIST 3170 Afro-American Heritage. The remaining 16 hours may be fulfilled through any courses approved by the director that dedicate at least 25 percent of semester coursework to African-American studies. Courses may be taken in any sequence and vary from year to year.

Minor in African-American Studies

Requirements for the minor: In order to complete a minor in African-American Studies, the student will complete 20 hours of coursework designated as appropriate to the program.

Students must complete:

HIST 3170 African-American Heritage (4 sem. hours).

This course will explore the history and culture of African-Americans from the Colonial era to the Civil Rights decades of the mid-20th century. Careful attention will be paid to the Atlantic slave trade, slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, the “Great Migration” of 1915–40, and the civil rights movements of the 1950s and ’60s. Offered in alternate years.

Students must also complete another 16 hours. The remaining 16 hours may be fulfilled through any courses approved by the Director that dedicate at least 25 percent of semester coursework to African-American Studies. Some courses are pre-approved, such as those detailed below. Others vary semester to semester.

SOAN 3600 African Americans and Latinos (4 sem. hours).

This course will provide an exploration of the historical and contemporary experiences of African Americans and Latinos in the United States by examining the nature and dynamics of racial and ethnic relations in various institutions. Specific focus will be given to patterns of migration and incorporation along with an overview of how these groups contribute to and shape U.S. social landscape and institutions. The class starts with an overview of the contemporary experiences of African Americans and Latinos by engaging in various theoretical explanations and end with an extensive look at how members of these groups interact with and influence social policy.

HIST 2120 History of Mississippi (4 sem. hours).

The course examines Mississippi's history through its geography, demography, economy, politics, and culture. The interactions of these categories and their collective impact on contemporary issues in the state will be explored at length. Special emphasis will be placed on the positions of power that the migration to the state brought to bear among competing indigenous nations, between those nations and white migrants, and the interactions of white and black Mississippians through the institutions of slavery, the process of emancipations, and the struggle for equality.

PLSC 2300: Politics of the American South (4 sem. hours).

This course examines the electoral, historical, economic, social, and cultural variables in the American South as well as the vast changes that have occurred in southern politics in the past century. Course readings, lectures, and discussions will focus on governing institutions, individual politicians, and party structures in what is perhaps the nation's most politically unique region. Offered occasionally.

SOAN 2120 The Many Dimensions of Poverty (4 sem. hours).

An introductory course examining American poverty as a problem for individuals, families, and societies. This course examines historical and contemporary conceptualizations and measurements of poverty, causes of poverty, and the legal, political, and social implications of poverty for society. Offered every year in the spring semester.

SOAN 2140 Crime and Prisons (4 sem. hours).

This course will center around two general topics: (1) Crime, Criminality, and Criminological Theories and (2) Prison, Detention, and Mass Incarceration. Under each topic, students will utilize a sociological perspective to examine the nature of crime, the creation of crime and criminals, and the past and contemporary penal system.

  • Louwanda Evans

    Louwanda Evans

    Assistant Professor of Sociology
    Director, African-American Studies

    601.974.1386 | Email


    BA, MA, University of Texas-Arlington; PhD, Texas A&M University

    Louwanda Evans joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2012. In the program, Louwanda teaches Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods & Statistics, The Many Dimensions of Poverty, and numerous other courses that focus on social inequality and criminology. Her newest course on poverty is directly connected to the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, an interdisciplinary program housed at Washington & Lee University that focuses on the eradication of poverty. This course also serves as the gateway course through which several Millsaps students enter a summer internship housed throughout the nation.

    Louwanda joined Millsaps because of the great opportunities it offers students to learn and grow though community engagement. Her teaching philosophy is one in which everyone takes responsibility for learning. Her courses center on conceptual discussions in which students engage the material in a way that creates deeper connections between sociological concepts and the real world. At Millsaps, "I have the opportunity to bring students into the local community to understand the connections between our social lives and our social outcomes. " In the classroom, Louwanda believes in the reciprocity of learning and that all students have a voice. "I believe that everyone has a responsibility in the classroom and that all perspectives and voices are valued, not just my voice. "