Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

The University of Alaska Anchorage student body consists of over 20,000 students. Undergraduate and graduates are broken into the following ethnic categories: 60 percent whites, 13 percent American Indian/Alaskan Native, 7 percent Asian and Latino, 4 percent African- American, 6 percent “ethnicity unknown” and 3 percent mixed race.

African-Americans and Latinos do not have a semester history class offering at UAA main campus specific to their ethnicity, while many others do. UAA provides classes in both Western and Eastern Asian Civilization, U.S. History, Women’s Studies, China and Alaska history. But the history department fails for minority students by only hosting Black History at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson campus in the evening, and it isn’t offered every semester.

By offering African American & Latino History as a general education humanities requirement at the University of Alaska Anchorage main campus, students will be provided with cultural experience by gaining an educational perspective on the social, economic, intellectual and political conditions of a people that have been deeply a part of American history.

The purpose of humanities courses is to give students incentives in studies that provide learning opportunities regarding the human condition by encouraging an analytical and critical approach to philosophy, language, religion, art, theater and music. Because of the importance of learning about these different people and cultures, I propose that the university not only offer an African-American and Latino history class, but require it for undergraduates.

Mabil Duir

English and Political Science Major