Definition Essay of African American Studies

Topics: African American, African diaspora, Afro-Latin American Pages: 3 (816 words) Published: March 18, 2011
There are many different ways to explain or expound upon any definition of a study. I am going to attempt to propose a series of definitions of African American Studies. There will be the main definition from the text book, a definition from an encyclopedia, a definition from a different African American Studies professor, and to conclude I would like to define African Studies to show the contrast between African American Studies and African Studies. To have a complete understanding of African American Studies, it’s necessary to have a diverse selection of definitions, so one can make their own opinion of what African American Studies amounts to.

From the textbook “Africana Studies” a thorough definition is comprised. It states, “[African Studies is] a broad field or area of studies which combines several disciplines in the arts, the humanities, and the social-behavioral sciences for the sole purpose of studying and understanding Africa and its people from all facets-their origins, history, culture, experiences, achievements, contributions, aspirations, and even human and physical environment.” (pg. 6 Africana Studies) To paraphrase, this is saying that African studies focuses on disciplines, and on the background of Africans, in order to have a better understanding. The text gives a very detailed definition of African Studies that covers not only what it is but the purpose as well. To in words, “Bring the community to the university, and the university to the community.” I believe this to be a very well evaluated definition.

I also found browsing an online encyclopedia another definition, this one for African American Studies. It states, “[African American Studies] is a subset of Black studies or Africana studies. It is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to the study of the history, culture, and politics of African Americans. Taken broadly, the field studies not only the cultures of people of African descent in the United States, but the...
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