African American Scholarly Contributions to Non-Black Ethnic Studies: A Bibliographic Essay

By Fikes, Robert, Jr. | The Western Journal of Black Studies, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

African American Scholarly Contributions to Non-Black Ethnic Studies: A Bibliographic Essay


Fikes, Robert, Jr., The Western Journal of Black Studies


As discussed previously by this researcher, African Americans have investigated and published scholarly books on foreign peoples and cultures since the 1880s. Less well-documented are instances of them writing as principal authors and editors of publications on ethnic minority groups in this country other than those of African lineage which this essay addresses using selected examples. This bibliographic essay compartmentalizes the contributions black scholars have made to four racialized ethnic groups in the United States and their interdisciplinary fields taught at colleges and universities across the nation various named but fitting in the categories of Asian American Studies, Latino American Studies, Native American Studies, and Whiteness Studies. Additionally, this essay features general works by black authors that address situations involving two or more ethnic groups and, under a different heading, works that demonstrate how African Americans and one other minority race have affected each other.

General/Multi-Ethnic Works

Perhaps the most ambitious approach to studying racial and ethnic groups in the United States is to attempt a broad survey that reflects on the situation of these groups, typically demonstrating in what respects they differ and tying together the threads of their common experiences in some fashion. An African American researcher who has done this repeatedly is conservative economist and Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas Sowell. Of his numerous books are some that deal generally with ethnicities in the United States, namely: Race and Economics (David McKay Co., 1975), Essays and Data on American Ethnic Groups (Urban Institute, 1978), Markets and Minorities (Basic Books, 1981), and Ethnic America: A History (Basic Books, 1981).

Others blacks who have contrasted multiple American ethnicities in scholarly studies include social worker Sheila E. Henry, Cultural Persistence and Socio Economic Mobility: A Comparative Study of Assimilation Among Armenians and Japanese in Los Angeles (R & E Research Associates, 1978); George Henderson, another prolific author and administrator at the University of Oklahoma, Social Work Interventions: Helping People of Color (Bergin & Garvey, 1994) and, as editor, Understanding and Counseling Ethnic Minorities (Thomas, 1979); University of Pittsburgh historian Laurence A. Glasco, Ethnicity and Social Structure: Irish, Germans, and Native-Born of Buffalo, N.Y., 1850-1860 (Arno Press, 1980); Houston A. Baker, former Modern Language Association president, editor of Three American Literatures: Essays in Chicano, Native American, and Asian American Literatures for Teachers of American Literature (Modern Language Association of America, 1982); Nathaniel Norment Jr., "Contrastive Analyses of Organizational Structures and Cohesive Elements in Native and ESL, Chinese, English, and Spanish Writings" (Ph.D., diss., Fordham University, 1984); Clint C. Wilson, Minorities and Media: Diversity and the End of Mass Communication (Sage Publications, 1985); and Milton D. Morris, Immigration--The Beleaguered Democracy (Brookings Institution, 1985).

J. Owens Smith adroitly answered why European immigrants found it much easier to escape the slums than African Americans in The Politics of Racial Inequality: A Systematic Comparative Macro-Analysis From the Colonial Period to 1970 (Greenwood Press, 1987); public health expert Lovell A. Jones, who has published papers on the heath status of Latinos and Asian Americans (Chinese and Vietnamese), Minorities and Cancer (Springer-Verlag, 1989); political scientists Bryan O. Jackson and Michael B. Preston, editors, Racial and Ethnic Politics in California (IGS Press, 1991); E. Percil Stanford, editor, Diversity: New Approaches to Ethnic Minority Aging (Baywood Pub. Co., 1992); Talmadge Anderson, "Comparative Experience Factors Among Blacks, Asian and Hispanic Americans: Coalition or Conflicts?" in Journal of Black Studies, 23 (September 1992); Wellesley College political science professor Wilbur C. …

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