Expanding the History of the Black Studies Movement: Some Prefatory Notes

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With a beginning remarkably different than conventional academic disciplines, Black Studies emerged on the American college campus amidst Black Power protests and student demands. Now more than forty years old, Black Studies exists as an established discipline constituted by a robust scholarly discourse, an ever-expanding body of innovative interdisciplinary literature, hundreds of collegiate programs at the undergraduate level, a growing number of graduate and doctoral programs, and some of the world's most well-known intellectuals. This introduction-and special issue of the Journal of African American Studies-explores the origins and history of the Black Studies Movement in the United States. Our aim in this volume is to bring the political history to the forefront. Based on historical detail and deep archival research, the works ground the history of Black Studies in the radical Black politics of the late 1960s and 1970s, while emphasizing local materiality and ideological developments. The contributions in this special issue recover some of the names (and faces) of Black Studies' founders, offering a range of perspectives on the movement to establish the field both within and without the American academy. © 2011 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.


1960s, African Diaspora Studies, African-American Studies, Africana Studies, Black Campus Movement, Black Colleges, Black Power Movement, Black Radicalism, Black Student Movement, Black Studies, Student activism, Student protest

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