Africana Studies

Afrikan Heritage House


Lord-Saunders (Afrikan Heritage House), is a Program House on the Oberlin College campus for students interested in learning about and celebrating Africana cultural traditions. This residence hall is closely connected with the Africana studies department and other related programs. The House also serves as a resource for educating the larger Oberlin College community on histories, traditions, and contemporary issues pertaining to the black community.


How is Lord Saunders Afrikan Heritage House different than other spaces?

Afrikan Heritage House is a community. Often referred to simply as "the House" or "A-House," this space offers a warm and friendly atmosphere grounded in Africana cultural traditions. It is a place where students can interact with Africana faculty outside of the classroom, learn about various identities within the black community, discuss issues important to the black community, as well as find support and camaraderie with fellow students and staff.

Who else lives in Afrikan Heritage House?

A-House accommodates about 70 students, along with two resident assistants, and the faculty in residence.

It’s more than a place to call residence hall ...

Various educational and cultural programs, planned by either A-House staff or students, take place on a regular basis. Some recent events include a Community Paint Session, No Talent-Talent Show, Soul Session Open Mic, Black Alumni Panel Discussion, Sisters of the Yam Brunch, Capoeira Angola performance, and an artist talk featuring a Cleveland-based African American visual artist.

We provide student-led writing and science tutoring hours each week. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday in our adjacent dining hall and features dishes from culinary traditions throughout the African Diaspora. Dinners in A-House give students a chance to hang out and relax, while listening to music and enjoying good food.

Afrikan Heritage House also features a sound editing lab, science study space, and a library.


Annual Events

  • Kuumba Week: This is a celebration of black creativity that includes opening and closing dinners with music and dancing, as well as cultural programs such as dance workshops, open mic events, and artist talks.
  • Kwanzaa Celebration: Our celebration of Kwanzaa features a candle-lighting ceremony, guest speakers, live music, dance performances, and a community dinner. 
  • Black History Month: This celebration begins and ends with opening and closing dinners in A-House, where Soul Train lines have been known to occur. Throughout the month, we offer educational and cultural programs in the House and around campus such as teach-ins, panel discussions, lectures, and live performances.