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What is African American History?

Pero Gaglo Dagbovie

ISBN: 978-0-745-66081-3 March 2015 Polity 180 Pages


Scholarship on African American history has changed dramatically since the publication of George Washington Williams’ pioneering A History of the Negro Race in America in 1882. Organized chronologically and thematically, What is African American History? offers a concise and compelling introduction to the field of African American history as well as the black historical enterpriseÑpast, present, and future. Pero Gaglo Dagbovie discusses many of the discipline’s important turning points, subspecialties, defining characteristics, debates, texts, and scholars. The author explores the growth and maturation of scholarship on African American history from late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries until the field achieved significant recognition from the ‘mainstream’ U.S. historical profession in the 1970s. Subsequent decades witnessed the emergence and development of key theoretical approaches, controversies, and dynamic areas of concentration in black history, the vibrant field of black women’s history, the intriguing relationship between African American history and Black Studies, and the imaginable future directions of African American history in the twenty-first century.

What is African American History? will be a practical introduction for all students of African American history and Black Studies.

1 What is a Social Movement? 1

2 The Study of Social Movements 26

3 What is a Political Movement? 49

4 What is a Cultural Movement? 72

5 What Do Social Movements Do? 94

6 Researching Social Movements 118

7 Where are Social Movements Headed? 139

References 161

Index 180

"Pero Gaglo Dagbovie is the preeminent scholar of the history of the Black History Movement.  His original and provocative perspectives on African American History and pioneering studies of the role of Black Women in the evolution of the field encouraged us all to interrogate and contemplate the meanings of African American History. His work has significance not only to Black Americans but to all people who have wrestled with exclusion from standard narratives of their societies. What is African American History? is another much anticipated contribution to our ongoing investigations and analyses of the meaning, significance, and consequence of African American History."
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University