Essay on African American Academic Discipline Studies

1305 Words6 Pages
The Origin, Development, and Purpose of
Africana Studies as an Academic Discipline


African American Studies is a change agent for the ideology of Black Americans. Black studies as an academic discipline serves to reorient the perspective of African Americans in an effort to regain a sense of pride and cultural identity stolen by white society.

Ever since the Europeans forcefully brought Africans west, black people have struggled with a loss of their true culture and identity. The vulnerability of a displaced and victimized race subjected them to view conformity and assimilation as a panacea for racism, discrimination, and oppression. It wasn't until the 1960s that students began to realize and protest the
…show more content…
Black Power, the idea of “…African Americans controlling the social, political, and economic institutions in their community,”3 coined by Stokely Carmichael, harvested the support of blacks across America as they saw that “integration is the illusion of inclusion.”4 The idea of “Black Power” was meant “…to start bringing black people together under a slogan that everyone understood.”5 “Students began to challenge the meaning and purpose of education and forced colleges and universities to reexamine their role and function in American Society… (They) demonstrated that education should and did serve to enlighten a people relative to their civil rights and social justice.“6

The birth of first department for Africana Studies took place on the campus of San Francisco State College on February 1, 1968 during a “five-month strike by a campus-wide, multiracial coalition of thousands of students and faculty members.”7 Dr. Nathan Hare was called in by college president, S. I.Hayakawa, to write a proposal and become the first coordinator of the new Black studies program. Prior to Dr. Hare’s acceptance of Hayakawa’s offer, he had been a professor at Howard University. At Howard, he joined with “militant” student leaders to create a Black University Manifesto, which said, “…the Negro University…should be overhauled and
Get Access