African American Experience Essay

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Five Concepts that Shape the African American Experience
It is argued that “the African-American experience” has been shaped by multiplicity of factors. Scholars and students have identified such factors as race, culture, identity, community, and power and agency as the primary factors that have shaped the African-American experience. Barbara Fields in her article, “Ideology and Race in American History,” analyzes the role that race has played in shaping the African-American experience. Joseph E. Holloway’s “Africanisms in American culture,” gives an analysis on how culture has contributed to the African American experience. W.E.B Du Bois argues in his article, “of our spiritual strivings,” that the role of identity in shaping the African-American experience cannot be overlooked. Likewise, Kimberle Crenshaw in, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex,” has argued that, to some extent, identity has shaped the African-American experience. According to Michael Dawson in his article, “A model of Black Utility and Linked Fate,” the community in which the African-Americans find themselves contributes immensely to their experience. I examine how the concepts of race, culture, identity, community, and power have shaped the African-American experience. Further, I examine whether these concepts illuminate or obscure the African-American experience. Finally, I give a summary of my key points before making conclusions to my essay.
Race has been defined as an ideological construct and a historical product. Barbara Fields gives a basic definition of race as, “the notion of race, in its popular manifestation, is an ideological construct and thus, above all, a historical product” (Fields, 150). This definition ma...

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...ace, culture, identity, community and power in the American society.

Works Cited

1. Fields, Barbara, J “Ideology and Race in American History,” in Kousser, J. Morgan and James M. McPherson, eds., _Region, Race, and Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of C. Vann Woodward_, Oxford, 1982: 143-177.
2. Holloway, Joseph, E “Africanisms in American Culture_. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.
3. Du Bois, W.E.B. “Of Our Spiritual Strivings “_The Souls of Black Folk_. New York: Dover Publications, 1994.
4. Crenshaw, Kimberle, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” The University Of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989.
5. Dawson, Michael, “A Model of Black Utility and Linked Fate, _Race and Class in African-American Politics,” The Princeton University Press, 1994.
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