The new director of the Black studies program at the City College (CCNY) of the City University of New York (CUNY) is eager to get the word out about some of the new directions the program is headed.

Dr. Cheryl Sterling, CCNY’s newly appointed director of Black studies, already has a calendar of events scheduled for this year’s Black History Month and wants to make sure the community knows that they are welcome to take part in all of the events.

Sterling says she has a vision for the Black studies department that will make it a center for studies about African and African Diaspora peoples. It will “promote greater linkages and cultural understandings across all the diasporas, including the often neglected Latin American, European and Arab-Asian worlds.”

“My goal for the program is to make Black studies transnational in its scope,” she said. “We must encompass the Central American and Latin American Diasporas, the world of Afro-Europeans, and really bring into focus Afro-Indian and Afro-Arab lives to expand our understandings of the roles of Afro-descended around the world.”

In the next few weeks, there will be:

  • Feb. 13 lecture by fiction author Daniel Black
  • Feb. 20 WHCR radio station live broadcast of the discussion “From Dred Scott to Trayvon Martin: What is the Law to Black America?” with constitutional law professor Gloria J. Browne-Marshall
  • Feb. 21: The first ever Pan-African Cultural Show
  • Feb. 26: A talk focusing on “Economic Prosperity in Afro-Latin Communities” by Jose Francisco Avila, founder of the New Horizon Investment Club.

Additionally, on every Tuesday night in February, the Black studies program will be showing a film. For the full calendar of programming, visit

Sterling comes to CUNY by way of New York University, where she held dual appointments in Africana studies and the Global Liberal Studies Program. Sterling has a master’s degree in African literature and sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon, and a Ph.D. in African literature and languages from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research extends from West Africa to the Caribbean and Brazil. Her book, “African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity” (Palgrave MacMillan 2012), historicizes the Afro-Brazilian diaspora and challenges the nation’s concepts of racial harmony by looking at the African-based religious tradition of “Candomblé,” carnival presentations, plays, poetry and hip-hop.