The Department of Africana Studies (AFST) provides students of all ethnic, national and cultural backgrounds the necessary tools to understand, critically evaluate, analyze and interpret events and phenomena that structure the experiences, possibilities and dynamics of the people of African descent in the United States, Africa and its Diasporas. AFST students are offered a broad array of courses addressing cultural, economic, historical, political, psychological and sociological issues that affect peoples of African descent from diverse disciplinary and comparative perspectives. Africana Studies at UMBC offers a rigorous and challenging academic program that prepares students to think and write critically and clearly, engage in research and service, argue persuasively, and effectively solve problems. AFST adopts an interdisciplinary approach that is sensitive to the interests and outlook of the people of African descent and their contributions to the interdependent global world through human development and civilization, arts and the sciences.