What is the future of
African American Studies?
The development of African American Studies has increased awareness of the contributions of African Americans to the civilizations of the world. Over the course of the past thirty years, the institutionalization of African American Studies has resulted, in some cases, the disassociation of African American intellectuals (faculty and students) from the African American Community. This situation can be changed if we utilize the talents of African American intellectuals to fulfill the mission, scope and purpose of African American Studies. We must be concerned that several generations of young people have missed out on accessing the knowledge available through African American Studies. African American Studies must become an active agent and participant in educating, organizing and empowering children, families, and communities to improve their lives; African American Studies must (re)focus and (re)direct its efforts. Those of us in the discipline must ask ourselves some hard and true questions:
- What is African American Studies?
- What is the purpose of African American Studies?
- What does it mean to be African-centered? Afrocentric?
- What should be the criteria for determining the academic standards and viability of African American Studies programs?
- Is there a need for the nation-wide standardization of course content?
- What is the role of White scholars in African American Studies?
- What are the intersecting socio-political variables of race, gender, class, and socio-orientation in African American Studies?
- How do we develop inter-relationship between ideology, pedagogy, and methodology in the development of undergraduate and graduate programs?
- What is the relationship between African American Studies and the expanding role of science and technology?
- What are the global dimensions of African American Studies as it relates to Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the rest of the African diaspora?
- What should be the responsibility and relationship of African American Studies with the African American community outside of the university?
- What is the future of African American Studies?
If you have thoughts on these questions, feel free to email us your responses at email@example.com
The Department of African American Studies
1115 Polett Walk
810 Gladfelter Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Header images from Digital Schomberg