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The History of Black Studies

The History of Black Studies

by Abdul Alkalimat

A peerless reference guide to the history of Black Studies from one of the discipline's founders

A surge of African American enrolment and student activism brought Black Studies to many US campuses in the 1960s. Sixty years later, Black Studies programmes are taught at more than 1,300 universities worldwide. This book is the first history of how that happened.

Black Studies founder and movement veteran Abdul Alkalimat offers a comprehensive history of the discipline that will become a key reference for generations to come. Structured in three broadly chronological sections - Black Studies as intellectual history; as social movement; and as academic profession - the book demonstrates how Black people themselves established the field long before its institutionalisation in university programmes.

At its heart, Black Studies is profoundly political. Black Power, the New Communist Movement, the Black women's and students' movements – each step in the journey for Black liberation influenced and was influenced by this revolutionary discipline.

Abdul Alkalimat is a founder of the field of Black Studies and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. A lifelong scholar-activist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, he has lectured, taught and directed academic programs across the US, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and China. His activism extends from having been chair of the Chicago chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, to a co-founder of the Black Radical Congress in 1998.

'Abdul Alkalimat is one of the most rigorous and committed Black radical thinkers of our time'

- Barbara Ransby, award-winning author of 'Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement'

'Magisterial [...] The most comprehensive history of the field of Black Studies. This landmark book will become a standard in the history of our field.'

- Molefi Kete Asante, Professor at the Department of Africology, Temple University

'Abdul Alkalimat, one of the pioneers of Black Studies, has done a great service by providing a powerful, expansive, and compelling history of the field'

- Keisha N. Blain, award-winning author and co-editor of the #1 New York Times Bestseller '400 Souls'

‘This is Alkalimat’s magnum opus […] a focal point for scholarship on the history of Africana thought in the academy. It is required reading for Black Studies scholars and intellectual historians’

- Fabio Rojas, Virginia L. Roberts Professor of Sociology Indiana University

‘A visionary and a documentarian, Alkalimat has been a major figure in the Black Studies movement since its modern inception. This landmark book is indispensable’

- Martha Biondi, author of ‘The Black Revolution on Campus’

'Stunning [...] a precious guide to a forgotten past as well as a valuable tool for future battles over the political direction of education against racism'

- Paul Gilroy, author of 'There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack'

'A must-read chronicle of one of the most significant developments in US social movements, making more visible the role of Black women who have too often been footnotes in this history. Even veteran pioneers and Black Studies comrades will be wowed!'

- Beverly Guy-Sheftall, the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College

List of Figures
List of Tables
1. The Academic Disciplines
2. The Historically Black Colleges and Universities
3. The Political Culture of the Black Community
4. The Freedom Movement
5. The Black Power Movement
6. The Black Arts Movement
7. The New Communist Movement
8. The Black Women’s Movement
9. The Black Student Movement
10. Disrupting
11. Building Consensus
12. Building Institutions
13. Establishing the Profession
14. Theorizing
15. Norming Research

Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745344225
eBook ISBN: 9780745344249

150mm x 230mm