African-American Studies The aspect of African-American Studies is key to the lives of African-Americans and those involved with the welfare of the race. African-American Studies is the systematic and critical study of the multidimensional aspects of Black thought and practice in their current and historical unfolding (Karenga, 21). African-American Studies exposes students to the experiences of African-American people and others of African descent. It allows the promotion and sharing of the African-American culture. However, the concept of African-American Studies, like many other studies that focus on a specific group, gender, and/or creed, poses problems.
In From Slavery to Freedom (2007), it was said that “the transition from slavery to freedom represents one of the major themes in the history of African Diaspora in the Americas” (para. 1). African American history plays an important role in American history not only because the Civil Rights Movement, but because of the strength and courage of Afro-Americans struggling to live a good life in America. Afro-Americans have been present in this country since the early 1600’s, and have been making history since. We as Americans have studied American history all throughout school, and took one Month out of the year to studied African American history. Of course we learn some things about the important people and events in African American history, but some of the most important things remain untold which will take more than a month to learn about.
For blacks, the history of higher education typically points to segregated education. Before the Civil War, the social system promoted the belief that blacks wouldn’t get return on their time spent in higher education. Brown and Ricard (2007) noted that most North institutions were reluctant to allow black enrollment in colleges and universities, and in the South, where slaveholder’s were still powerhouse businessmen, slaves would never be allowed to become more educated than their owners. The reluctance of the White leaders to allow blacks to formally be accepted into higher education programs held blacks back from achieving what many aspired to, and were fully capable of, experience.
The year was 1915, Carter G. Woodson had recently traveled from Washington D.C to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation. This gave him and thousands of other African Americans the ability to appreciate displays highlighting the progress African Americans had made since the abolishment of slavery. This occasion inspired Woodson and four others to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now Association for the Study of African American Life and History or ASALH). This organization’s purpose was to recognize and promote the accomplishments and history of African Americans that often went unnoticed. In 1916, Woodson created The Journal of Negro History in hopes that it would familiarize people with the findings and achievements of African Americans. But Woodson wanted more; he wanted all people to celebrate and be aware of the great things African Americans had and were accomplishing. He wanted both whites and blacks to have strong, positive affiliations. Woodson decided the best way to accomplish these things was to create Negro Achievement Week.
Imagine this; the year is 1836. You are a 17-year-old student interested in learning more about the world around you; however, such an opportunity won’t come your way because you are black. Due to this fact you have no hope of furthering your education past the reading, writing, and arithmetic their slave masters taught your parents. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. The minds of many African American’s go to waste due to individual ignorance of their people and thus of themselves. Historically Black Colleges and Universities were put into effect to educate the black mind and eliminate the ignorance. The discussion of whether Historically Black Colleges and Universities are still necessary in the 21st century has taken place in recent years. Within the discussion many debate that due to the fact that the world is no longer like it was in the 1800’s, the time period in which Historically Black Colleges and Universities were created, the purpose of them no longer exists. However, the cultural significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities seems to be overlooked by those who argue their importance and relevance in a time where blacks have the option of attending predominantly white institutions (PWIs). The purpose and grounds on which Historically Black Colleges and Universities were developed are still being served. The need to increase efforts to not only rouse, but support Historically Black Colleges and Universities is necessary now more than ever in order to preserve our past, fulfill the purpose of our present, and ensure our future.
America have a long history of black’s relationship with their fellow white citizens, there’s two authors that dedicated their whole life, fighting for equality for blacks in America. – Audre Lorde and Brent Staples. They both devoted their professional careers outlying their opinions, on how to reduce the hatred towards blacks and other colored. From their contributions they left a huge impression on many academic studies and Americans about the lack of awareness, on race issues that are towards African-American. There’s been countless, of critical evidence that these two prolific writers will always be synonymous to writing great academic papers, after reading and learning about their life experience, from their memoirs.
Black Power, the seemingly omnipresent term that is ever-so-often referenced when one deals with the topic of Black equality in the U.S. While progress, or at least the illusion of progress, has occurred over the past century, many of the issues that continue to plague the Black (as well as other minority) communities have yet to be truly addressed. The dark cloud of rampant individual racism may have passed from a general perspective, but many sociologists, including Stokely Carmichael; the author of “Black Power: the Politics of Liberation in America”, have and continue to argue that the oppressive hand of “institutional racism” still holds down the Black community from making any true progress.