Critical Reflections on Black History

Critical Reflections on Black History

Critical Reflections on Black History

Critical Reflections on Black History

Synopsis

Wright presents this collection of six essays on aspects of black history. Each essay is based upon a critical historical methodology that is comprised of, among other things, a racial analysis, an intersectional analysis, rigorous logic, conceptual integrity, and a critical analysis of ideas, words, and images. Critical of the romantic approach to the subject, Wright seeks to uncover a deeper analysis, knowledge, and truth regarding aspects of black history, even when it involves the presentation of material and viewpoints that some might find objectionable. He predicates these pieces on the idea that history is still a valuable subject, firmly rejecting the postmodern view that it has lost its validity.

Excerpt

Recent years have seen the publication of numerous books and articles that have offered evaluations of the state of Black history. Those writings are a response to the expansive development of Black history and its recognition and acceptance as an important area of study in American history. Those who have provided evaluations have done so not only to offer critical commentary about scholarship and the field, but also to suggest ways in which they think that the scholarship and area of study can be embellished and improved. The evaluation, for the most part, has been favorable, and I concur. But I must also hasten to add that I do not think that Black historical writing is as critical as it could be and, in my view, should be.

This is actually a criticism that could be leveled against any historical writing in America. White American historians have always found it difficult to plunge into the great depths of American history and deal with its deep irrationalities, pathologies, and tragedies. For many years white male historians wrote American history as if only white men lived in America and made history here. They said or implied that neither white women nor Black people nor other people of dark hue made history in the country. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s, many decades after the establishment of professional historical writing in America, that the generality of white male historians were convinced otherwise, owing to the plethora of historical studies on the people in America that white male historians had consistently excluded or obscured.

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