Black Intellectual Thought in Modern America: A Historical Perspective

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Brian D. Behnken, Gregory D. Smithers, Simon Wendt
University Press of Mississippi, 2017 - African American intellectuals - 244 pages

Contributions by Tunde Adeleke, Brian D. Behnken, Minkah Makalani, Benita Roth, Gregory D. Smithers, Simon Wendt, and Danielle L. Wiggins

Black intellectualism has been misunderstood by the American public and by scholars for generations. Historically maligned by their peers and by the lay public as inauthentic or illegitimate, black intellectuals have found their work misused, ignored, or discarded. Black intellectuals have also been reductively placed into one or two main categories: they are usually deemed liberal or, less frequently, as conservative. The contributors to this volume explore several prominent intellectuals, from left-leaning leaders such as W. E. B. Du Bois to conservative intellectuals like Thomas Sowell, from well-known black feminists such as Patricia Hill Collins to Marxists like Claudia Jones, to underscore the variety of black intellectual thought in the United States. Contributors also situate the development of the lines of black intellectual thought within the broader history from which these trends emerged. The result gathers essays that offer entry into a host of rich intellectual traditions.

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About the author (2017)

Brian D. Behnken is associate professor in the Department of History and the US Latino/a Studies Program at Iowa State University. He is author of Fighting Their Own Battles: Mexican Americans, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas and, with Gregory D. Smithers, Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito. Gregory D. Smithers is professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is author of several books, including Native Southerners: Indigenous History from Origins to Removal; Slave Breeding: Sex, Violence, and Memory in African American History; and The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity. Simon Wendt is associate professor of American studies at Goethe University of Frankfurt. He is author of The Spirit and the Shotgun: Armed Resistance and the Struggle for Civil Rights; editor of Warring over Valor: How Race and Gender Shaped American Military Heroism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries; and coeditor of several books, including Globalizing Lynching History: Vigilantism and Extralegal Punishment from an International Perspective.

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