Afr.ican American Studies and
African American Studies
a discipline rather young compared to the traditional
disciplines in the academy. Its beginnings are usually attributed to the late 1960s
Black Power Movement era, when students
United States were demanding courses related to the African experience in America;
however, its early stages
back to the late nineteenth century. African-American
scholars produced ground-breaking scholarship at the time, including
(1899), Alain Locke's
1915, historian Carter
Woodson established the Association for the Study
while also founding the first academic journal dedicated to the African American ex -
perience. In what Manning Marable terms the "conceptual period"
from Reconstruction through the Great Depression, over one hundred public and
private colleges were established for African descended peoples.
African American Studies has
its focus people
African descent, primarily in
the Western Hemisphere, though Africa and the diaspora are generally included.
the early stages
the discipline's growth, the term "Black Studies"
until the 1980s when the designation
"African-American Studies" became more
commonplace, although most programs and departments would have used African
American Studies to broadly mean the study
African descended peoples in the
United States and abroad; however,
more programs, centers, institutes, and de-
partments emerged, some being called "Black Studies,"
and African American
Studies," ''Africana Studies," and "Pan-African Studies," there arose the need to be
more specific in scope. These terms will be used interchangeably
terms and concepts:
Africana, Afrocentricity, Afrology, Pan-African,
Black Studies, Diaspora, interdisciplinary, HBCU,
Crow, Black Panther, Black
Power, the Ford Foundation,