Black studies emerged from the tumultuous social and civil rights movements of the 1960s and empowered African Americans to look at themselves in new ways and pass on a dignified version of Black history. However, it also enriched traditional disciplines in profound and significant ways. Proponents of Black and ethnic studies confronted the false notion that scholarly investigations were objective and unbiased explorations of the range of human knowledge, history, creativity, artistry, and scientific discovery. As they protested against hegemonic notions like universal psychology and re-evaluated canonical texts in literature, a new model of academic inquiry evolved: one committed to serving a range of populations, that critiqued traditional politics, culture, and social affairs, and worked with activist energy for the transformation of the existing social order. With an all-star cast of contributors, The Black Studies Reader takes on the history and future of this multi-faceted academic field. Topics include Black feminism, cultural politics, Black activism, lesbian and gay issues, African American literature and film, education, and religion. This authoritative collection takes a critical look at the current state of Black studies and speculates on where it may go from here.

chapter 3|6 pages

theorizing black studies

The Continuing Role of Community Service in the Study of Race and Class

chapter 4|6 pages

how the west was one

On the Uses and Limitations of Diaspora

chapter 5|18 pages

womanist consciousness Maggie Lena Walker and the Independent Order of Saint Luke

Maggie Lena Walker and the Independent Order

chapter 8|10 pages

black women and the academy

chapter 10|26 pages

military rites and wrongs

African Americans in the U.S. Armed Forces

chapter 11|14 pages

justifiable homicide, police brutality, or governmental repression?

The 1962 Los Angeles Police Shooting of Seven Members of the Nation of Islam

chapter 12|24 pages

some glances at the black fag

Race, Same-Sex Desire, and Cultural Belonging

chapter 13|16 pages

the color purple

Black Women as Cultural Readers

chapter 14|18 pages

black talk radio

Defining Community Needs and Identity

chapter 15|14 pages

chasing fae The Watermelon Woman

and Black Lesbian Possibility

chapter 16|4 pages


chapter 19|16 pages

dyes and dolls Multicultural Barbie and the Merchandising of Difference

Multicultural Barbie and the Merchandising

chapter 20|20 pages

african signs and spirit writing

chapter 22|14 pages

black bodies/gay bodies

The Politics of Race in the Gay/Military Battle

chapter 23|14 pages

hormones and melanin

The Dimensions of “Race,” Sex, and Gender in Africology; Reflexive Journeys

chapter 24|16 pages

can the queen speak? Racial Essentialism, Sexuality, and the Problem of Authority

Racial Essentialism, Sexuality, and the Problem

chapter 26|12 pages

desegregation experiences of minority students

Adolescent Coping Strategies in Five Connecticut High Schools

chapter 28|24 pages

talking about race, learning about racism

The Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom

chapter 31|10 pages

teaching haitian vodou