The Journal of African American History

The Journal of African American History is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes scholarship on African American history. The Journal of African American History includes research and reviews.

Articles from Vol. 90, No. 3, Summer

Commentary: Send in the Clowns ... Please!
African American youth, particularly black males, are targets in American society. It is almost as if they have had a bull's-eye painted on their backs at a young age, even before they are sent off to school. The circles must be iridescent and magnetic...
Edna Beatrice Chappell McKenzie, Ph.D
Vivacious, effervescent, generous--these are the words that come to mind when we think of Dr. Edna Chappell McKenzie who passed away on 26 June 2005. Dr. McKenzie's smile was legendary, as was her seriousness about things that were important to her....
From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: Toward a Nexus of Ideas
The most radical ideas often grow out of a concrete intellectual engagement with the problems of aggrieved populations confronting systems of oppression. (1) The preceding quotation from historian Robin D. G. Kelley captures the manner through...
In Search of the "Revolutionary Generation": (En)gendering the Golden Age of Rap Nationalism
In the 1988 Public Enemy release "Party for Your Right to Fight" rap nationalist and lead lyricist Chuck D ushered in a new moment in Hip Hop history when he defiantly stated: "Power, equality and we're out to get it, I know some of you ain't with...
Introduction: Hip Hop in History: Past, Present, and Future
Over the past three decades, Hip Hop has developed as a cultural and artistic phenomenon affecting youth culture around the world. For many youth, Hip Hop reflects the social, economic, political, and cultural realities and conditions of their lives,...
Message in the Music: Political Commentary in Black Popular Music from Rhythm and Blues to Early Hip Hop
"Music is a powerful tool in the form of communication [that] can be used to assist in organizing communities." Gil Scott-Heron (1979) This essay examines the content of political commentaries in the lyrics of Rhythm and Blues (R & B) songs. It...
"Of All Our Studies, History Is Best Qualified to Reward Our Research": Black History's Relevance to the Hip Hop Generation
Each generation, depending on its problems and needs, must select and arrange the specific facts which form the best system for its own inspiration and guidance. It is because the past is a guide with roads pointing in many directions that each generation...
Oppositional Consciousness within an Oppositional Realm: The Case of Feminism and Womanism in Rap and Hip Hop, 1976-2004
Hip Hop is an oppositional cultural realm rooted in the socio-political and historical experiences and consciousness of economically disadvantaged urban black youth of the late 20th century. (1) By numerous accounts, Hip Hop originated in the South...