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African American Studies

The Discipline and Its Dimensions

Series:

Nathaniel Norment, Jr.

African American Studies: The Discipline and Its Dimensions is a comprehensive resource book that recounts the development of the discipline of African American Studies and provides a basic reference source for sixteen areas of knowledge of the discipline: anthropology, art, dance, economics, education, film, history, literature, music, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, political science, science and technology, sports and religion. African American Studies defines bodies of knowledge, methodologies, philosophies, disciplinary concepts, contents, scope, topics scholars have concerned themselves, as well as the growth, development, and present status of the discipline. African American Studies validates that African American Studies is a unique and significant discipline—one that intersects almost every academic discipline and cultural construct—and confirms that the discipline has a noteworthy history and a challenging future. The various bodies of knowledge, the philosophical framework, methodological procedures, and theoretical underpinnings of the discipline have never been clearly delineated from an African-centered perspective.

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1. Introduction to African American Studies

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction to African American Studies

What you do for yourself depends on what you think of yourself. And what you think of yourself depends on what you know of yourself. And what you know of yourself depends on what you have been told.

—Ghanaian proverb

We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.

—Carter G. Woodson

Education is the medium by which a people are prepared for the creation of their own particular civilization and the advancement and glory of their own race.

—Marcus Garvey

One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

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