African American Studies

African American Studies

African American Studies

African American Studies

Synopsis

This book is intended for use with undergraduate/ beginning graduate students in African American Studies, American Studies and Ethnic Studies. Readers are presented with foundational content in the discipline. Section I focuses on the historical development of the field and the diverse theoretical perspectives utilized in African American Studies. Section II examines African American Studies' commitment to community service and social activism, and includes exclusive interviews with acclaimed actor/activist Danny Glover and renowned scholar, Manning Marable. Section III presents international perspectives, with chapters written by a former United States ambassador and a British scholar who has taught Black Studies in the US and the UK. Section IV includes selected areas of scholarship: Oral History as an important research methodology, illustrated with a powerful first person account of torture experienced by a member of the San Francisco 8 whose legal case garnered international attention; African American Philosophy; African Aesthetics (song and dance); perspectives on Womanism, Black Feminism and Africana Womanism with a focus on literature; and African American Religion. The book concludes with African American Studies' strengths and challenges and demonstrates that it is vital, transformative and sustainable for universities and communities. Chapters included in this volume represent the diverse, expansive nature of African American Studies and its characteristic interdisciplinarity. Key features:
• Each chapter is original, and commissioned specifically for this book, with scholars from diverse areas of the field of African American Studies.
• Includes two exclusive interviews: with Danny Glover, acclaimed actor and activist and with Manning Marable, one of the best known 'public intellectuals' in Black Studies in the US
• Promotes many different 'voices', including a powerful first person description by one man of the torture he endured by US authori

Excerpt

Jeanette R. Davidson’s volume marks a valuable moment for recognition of the status that African-American Studies has achieved as a body of knowledge and a field of studies. This is a book about accomplishments in African American Studies and, in some cases, about recognizing that fundamental cultural issues do not get resolved so much as reframed. This book marks a point of maturity in which, for the first time, it is possible to see African American Studies—with nearly half a century of history behind it—in the act of renewing itself for the twenty-first century.

This renewal is strengthened by the presence in this volume of figures synonymous with innovative inquiry. Molefi Asante is the principal figure who has defined Afrocentricity in African American Studies. The actor and director Danny Glover reflects on African Americans in film and the arts. Manning Marable, Charles Jones, and Nafeesa Muhammad explore the dimension of social activism that is inextricable in African American Studies, and they are joined by a cadre of talented scholars who investigate the arts and social thought in a manner in keeping with the Black intellectual tradition.

This volume also shows that, beneath the interpretation of the social sciences and the arts in African American Studies, is a deeper concern. This volume demonstrates that the great power of African American Studies has never been limited to its choice of areas to investigate, but includes a commitment to critique the relationship of race and power in America—the relationship of the African American community and American society at large. From the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself (1845) through the recent work of bell hooks and . . .

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