Dr. Kim Butler, who leads Rutgers’s Africana Studies program, says that while we usually teach history and social studies in discreet, testable units, events are complex and interconnected. Slavery throughout the Americas was central to the development of capitalism. Dr. Butler describes how working class students often can’t choose a liberal arts education because they have to focus on getting jobs.


00:00-00:50 Intros

00:50-05:23 What Africana Studies is

05:23-07:28 Relationship of slavery and capitalism

07:28-10:47 Why all students should take Africana Studies

10:47-14:21 How high schools could do a better job of teaching about the African diaspora

14:21-18:30 Learning about the Western Hemisphere

18:30-22:22 Importance of learning writing skills

22:22-25:57 Impact of “teaching to the test”

25:57-27:39 “Teaching to the test” v. a freer engagement with new ideas

27:39-34:49 Liberal arts education and workforce development

34:49-36:49 Potential impact of Movement for Black Lives on students

36:49-37:57 Critical importance of educators

37:57-39:45 Outro


Click here to see the full transcript of this interview. 


Soundtrack by Podington Bear

Image from richmond.edu