Black Studies as Human Studies

Critical Essays and Interviews

By Joyce A. Joyce

Subjects: Higher Education, Cultural Studies, African American Studies
Series: SUNY series, INTERRUPTIONS: Border Testimony(ies) and Critical Discourse/s
Paperback : 9780791461624, 191 pages, November 2004
Hardcover : 9780791461617, 191 pages, November 2004

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Table of contents





1. Teaching African-American Literature to White Students

2. Who Shall Teach African-American Literature?

3. A Lesson in Race-Transcending Pedagogy: Finding Forrester

4. Richard Wright and Bigger Thomas in the Twenty-First Century

5. Richard Wright and Democracy

6. Sonia Sanchez and the African/African-American Literary Tradition: An Anxiety of Confluence

7. Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander: Renaissance Black Woman of the Twentieth Century

8. Ayi Kwei Armah's Osiris Rising: Challenge to the African-American Studies Female Intellectual

9. Black Studies, Black History Month, and Current Events

10. Reversing the Tradition: A Review of Rebecca Alpert's Like Bread on a Sedar Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition


11. Interviews with Amiri Baraka, Askia Touré, and Sonia Sanchez


12. Coda: Completing the Circle

Works Cited


Explores the interdisciplinary dimensions of black studies.


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.

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.