Essay on Development of African American Studies

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Development of African American Studies

Scholars have dedicated their time and attention to furthering the discipline of African American Studies and can define the field with many different definitions. Through looking at the origins and development in the study we can see how it became a legitimate academic field. As we study the writings of the African American intellect, it will fully explain the importance of the discipline. Their work will justify the study of cultural and historical experiences of Africans living in Africa or the African Diaspora. When examining the scholar’s arguments we can develop our own intellectually informed rationalization of the field of African American Studies.

The intellectual development of
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The final movement took place at San Francisco State College and was organized by the college’s Black Student Union in 1966. They demanded that Black Studies become a department offered at their school and they were dedicated to achieving it. After two years of strikes, demands, and negotiations the movement was successful and San Francisco State College became the first to offer a Black Studies Program and Department. (Karenga)

Scholars in the subject of African American Studies define it many different ways along with a variation of names. Black Studies defined by Maulana Karenga, defined the field as the systematic and critical study of the multidimensional aspects of Black thought and practice in their current and historical unfolding. (Karenga) Robert Harris uses the term Africana Studies and says it is the multidisciplinary analysis of the lives and thought of people of African ancestry on the African continent and throughout the world. (Harris) The focus of the field described by Russell Adams is the experience, problems and the prospects of individuals or groups wherever they may be is Africana. It centers on examining the historical records of Black people in Africa or the western hemisphere. (Adams)Even though there are many ways of titling and describing African American Studies, the overall focus and heart of the field remains the same universally. As Maulana Karenga uses the term social responsibility,
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