20 January 2013
The Importance and Struggles of the Black Studies Movement
The development of African American Studies or Black Studies provides an interesting and significant aspect to the history of the struggles of black men and women. As a multidisciplinary academic concentration, it serves to analyze the history, politics, and culture of African-based societies and communities. This relatively new study has encountered an assortment of challenges within and outside of its educational premises. The difficulty in branching and managing this field is living proof of the ongoing black movement. These concerns should be made aware to bring about solutions to promote the importance of this interdisciplinary area of research. Before explaining the contemporary issues and possible solutions concerning the education of Black Studies, it is essential to present a small overview of the history of how black studies came about. The earliest evidence of African American Studies was promoted by a determined white group of Quaker educators during the seventeenth century. In fact, they even created a well-developed, long-lasting school specifically for blacks to teach them “to be capable of discharging the duties of equal and total citizenship” (Crouchett, 189). As stated in a reading called the “Early Black Studies Movements” by Lawrence Crouchett, black studies were taught through the visions of Quakers who promoted the idea of “teaching black folk about their history, culture, and contributions” (190). In addition to these structured teachings, the initial African Americans, which included free blacks and slaves, also attempted to spread knowledge; however, most of their early methods were less formal and was sometimes carried through word-of-mouth. The reason why these early black preachers secretly taught other black folks about African history could be because of how traditional African societies viewed the concept of...