The subject of Black history in America became an accepted academic discipline in the 1960s, and became one of the most popular fields of study in the 1970s. This popularity continued in the 1980s and on into the 1990s. And this historical scholarship has and continues to throw much light on the history of Blacks in America. But what the historiography over the last few decades has not done has been to clarify who Black people have been and who they presently are in America. Are they Africans, Afro-Americans, African Americans, Blacks, blacks, Black Americans, or black Americans? This question and these many possible identities for Black people in America, all of which are in use, indicate, emphatically, that historical research and writing have not cleared up this matter.
Indeed, Black historiography has added to the disrupted and confused thinking, because all of these identities appear in it, with some individual writings evidencing almost all of these identities. The question is then raised: How should Black history be described? Another question is, What is the identity of Black people in America? This book endeavors to answer these two questions; namely, by arguing, based on historical evidence and sociological analysis, that Black people are to be described as Black, Blacks, and Black Ameri-