Black Studies as Human Studies: Critical Essays and Interviews

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SUNY Press - Education - 191 pages
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In Black Studies as Human Studies, Joyce A. Joyce brings black studies back to its beginning, demonstrating that the humanities lie at the intellectual and pedagogical center of black studies. She proposes that by agreeing on a core set of values and looking at the works of black writers from historical and contemporary periods, these values are manifested in a history of protest, the hegemony of racism, and the issues of gender discrimination and homophobia. Interviews with Sonia Sanchez, Askia ToureŒ, and Amiri Baraka, who formed the faculty of the first black studies program at San Francisco State College (now University) in 1968, give agency to the creative writers and humanitarians who have worked in black studies for decades and corroborate Joyce’s position on the essential, but not exclusive, role the humanities play in black studies. Praising the interdisciplinary nature of black studies, Joyce demonstrates its role as a human science and the moral responsibility of the teacher and the scholar to address what it means to be human and the possibilities for societal transformation.

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Joyce A. Joyce is Professor of Women’s Studies and African American Studies at Temple University. She is the coeditor (with Arthur P. Davis and J. Saunders Redding) of The New Cavalcade: African American Writing from 1760 to the Present and the author of Ijala: Sonia Sanchez and the African Poetic Tradition; Warriors, Conjurers, and Priests: Defining African-Centered Literary Criticism; and Richard Wright’s Art of Tragedy.

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