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African American Studies Department Offering Course On Ferguson

The Penn State community saw a series of events resulting from the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last fall. After a grand jury’s decision to not indict his shooter, Darren Wilson, college campuses across the nation experienced a week of “Die-In” protests” and demonstrations in response to the verdict.

As a result, the African American Studies Department will offer a one-credit course focused on the events that transpired in Ferguson. Titled AF AM 397A: “The Fire This Time: Understanding Ferguson,” the course registration is open as of Monday, Feb. 23 and will begin on March 16. The course will explore and analyze the case, from the facts to the protests that occurred throughout the country.

Dr. Paul Taylor of the Philosophy Department will be the primary instructor of the course with several faculty members offering their perspectives and expertise on the various disciplines they represent. Faculty members of the African American, Women Studies, Criminology, Psychology, and the Communication Arts and Sciences department will assist Taylor in their own segments related to their respective disciplines.

Currently, the class’s 50 seats are full, so you’ll unfortunately have to watch list it if you’re interested in taking the class. According to Dr. Annemarie Mingo, a professor in the Women’s Studies and the African American Studies department (who also happens to teach a course on the political TV drama “Scandal”), she hopes that the class will provide a strong framework for a full three-credit course in the fall.

This class won’t constitute Penn State’s first discussion about Ferguson. In response to severe social media backlash last fall, a forum was hosted by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Black Caucus in an effort to help people understand the reasoning behind why people were protesting and how Mike Brown wasn’t just an isolated incident.

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About the Author

Steffen Blanco

Steffen is a senior majoring in Criminology & Sociology and hails from East Stroudsburg, PA (Poconos). When he's not taking photos, you can find him at either the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, taking long walks with his Pokemon, or playing video games (League/Overwatch) Just follow him on Twitter/Instagram (@SteffenBlanco) or shoot an email to [email protected] if you have any questions.

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