California State University, Long Beach
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Author of the Month

The Handbook of Black Studies

Molefi Kete Asante, Professor, African American Studies, Temple University;
Maulana Karenga, Professor, Black Studies

Book cover art

Printed in 2007 by Sage Publishing, The Handbook of Black Studies seeks to bring together in one volume some of the best research and scholarship in Africana Studies (Black Studies) by both new and established scholars who have had a major impact on the development of the discipline. Along with this distinguished group of contributors, Professor Karenga examines various aspects of the field. Organized into four parts, the text explores historical and cultural foundations, philosophical and practical bases, critical and analytical concepts, and the future of the field. It examines the emergence and development of Black Studies, as a discipline and is designed to be a standard reference work. It covers the mission, meaning, and methodology in the field of Black Studies with some suggestions about its future directions in a concluding chapter written by Karenga. The text explores philosophical and conceptual initiatives in Black Studies through the examination of theoretical and methodological issues as well as research practices among Africana Studies scholars. It seeks to provide a comprehensive, Pan-African approach to the field without being limited to just one area of the African world. Thus, Black Studies is presented and pursued in a world context. The text is offered as a valuable resource of intellectual rigor, uniqueness and interest dealing with an important modern discipline whose practitioners and interests cross many disciplinary and geographical borders. The volume ends with a discussion of the philosophical and pedagogical relevance of nomenclature for the discipline given the ongoing discourse around the various names used to define the discipline, i.e., Black Studies, Africana Studies, African American Studies, Pan-African Studies, Africology and African Diaspora Studies.  It is aimed primarily at the twin audiences of scholars and graduate students. “It is a way of expanding and deepening discussion in the discipline,” said Karenga. “It is also an aid to instruction and to critical development of discourse in the discipline between teachers and students.” Karenga is the creator of the pan-African holiday Kwanzaa and author of such works as Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture;  Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics; and Introduction to Black Studies, considered by many to be the standard introductory text in the discipline and used in more than 200 universities throughout the country.