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Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A Peoples College Primer

Rating: 4 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Larry Menyweather-Woods (Faculty), Jul 16, 2011

Though I have not used this particular material written and upgraded to present an Introduction to Black Studies, Dr. Alkalimut's research and consistent historical methodology presents to readers an excellent study tool based on resources which are dependable and accountable. The material presented contains data which is verifiable and withstands the tests of historians who contemplate rewriting the history of the American experience of enslaved Africans.  This is a concise presentation of a displaced people and their journey in a land where dreams became nightmare and were deferred as a collective group unlike others who arrived on vessels based on voluntary circumstance.  No group in American history have had the identical experience which has resulted in stolen identity, stolen culture, and after wars remain collective bound by invisible barriers which has hinder the collective body from achieving.  Alkalimut meticulously outlines the development of Black culture in America from 1619 to the present.  His points are relevant, making the observations necessary which pinpoint the areas which paint a most powerful, prolific picture of the making of a Nation within a Nation.  His words characterizes and challenges the political and historical pundits which dare to manipulate the truth of the American experience and would on every turn make the journey less than the reality it was.  For example, though 14 years in the making, this work is a response to the revisionist thoughts of those who seek to place America and the Christian faith in a more favorable light than the reality of the times. The writing serves as an excellent starting point for serious students of the uniqueness of the Black Experience in America.  It responds well to questions such as, why is American slavery considered worst then slavery in Africa or other countries?  It even answers the question to those who would place slavery today on the same level as the Atlantic slave experience.  Each chapter explores and uncovers information which has been displaced, carefully sharing the thoughts of individuals who have carefully analyzed the various historical movements which demonstrated the growth of enslaved Africans from their arrival to present day inclusive of major movements referenced in Moynihan's study, A National Call to Action: The Negro Family. This report has been used by White and Black intellectuals to describe the weakness of the Black Family, describing the Black Family as being a deficit due to the number of female head of household.  However, though Moynihan warned of the questionability of his data sets, those interpreting his report have missed the obvious concerns Moynihan was attempting to portray, namely, the impact of racism, the impact of the failure of White America and intellectual Blacks who did account for factors.  Two major points observed by Moynihan was the difference of interpreting terminology between Blacks and Whites, e.g., understanding liberty and freedom.  This focuses on the hermeneutical initiative being used by the scholar and world view.  An excellent teaching tool which would be strengthen with lesson tools added.

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes