Response Essay #3
The emergence of Africana Studies as a formal discipline within the academy was not a matter of chance. Rather, it resulted from the collective and concerted efforts of students and faculty across the U.S.
Using information presented in the readings – and perhaps some of your own outside research – review the origin of the first department of Africana/Black Studies at San Francisco State College (now, San Francisco State University). There is one link below. However, you will probably want to search up other sources.
Next, for comparison, select an African-American Studies department at any U.S. college or university, and consider the reasons that led to the establishment of that department as well. (You may do this by performing your own web/Google search of such departments).
In your essay, address the following questions:
In 1857, Frederick Douglass poignantly wrote, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” American author and feminist race scholar Audre Lorde is the author of The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. Consider the meaning of these quotes/titles as you answer the following questions.
1. In your own words, articulate the factors and demands that led to the establishment of Black/Africana Studies as a formal academic field of study in academia.
2. How was the movement of Black/Africana Studies connected to the historical struggle for African-American liberation?