Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts in Humanities (DAH)


African American Studies, Africana Women's Studies, and History

First Advisor

Viktor Osinubi, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Timothy Askew, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel Black, Ph.D.


This study examines the role of Afrocentric curricula in higher education. Using four HBCU institutions (Dillard University, Hampton University, Howard University, and Spelman College) as a case study, the researcher selected the institutions on the basis of program quality and geographical spread. Program quality means the institutions must be accredited; geographical spread implies that the institutions must represent different parts of the country where HBCUs are concentrated. A mixed methods approach was used to analyze the data gathered from each institution’s course catalog during the 2011-2012 school year. The purpose was to determine if curricula dedicated to the black experience existed. The study found that all of the four institutions offered Afrocentric curricula. However, the courses vary in terms of their breadth, scope, and function. The conclusion drawn from the findings suggests that although the offering of Afrocentric curricula supports the goal of African-centeredness at each HBCU, the offerings are not widespread enough to bolster the HBCUs’ goal of dedication to leadership in the black community as mentioned in the institutions’ mission statements. In an attempt to address the gap between the HBCUs’ mission statements and what the collected data demonstrated, the researcher offered curriculum recommendations designed to enhance the effectiveness of the HBCUs as they promote black leadership in the community.