#55 - March 2011

Vol. 25, No. 1
What Is African American Studies: Its Focus, and Future?
Edited by: 
John H. McClendon III & Yusuf

The purpose of this special issue of Socialism and Democracy is to show the relevance of a left perspective to the broad field of African American Studies. As will be apparent, we hold strongly differing views as to how such a...

John H.
McClendon III

Originally, this special issue of Socialism and Democracy had as its focus to demonstrate the continued relevance of socialism and Marxism to African American Studies (AAS). As we complete this issue, we are witnessing, from...


John H.
Bracey, Jr.

In assessing the state of African American Studies from its origins as the academic wing of the Black liberation movements of the 1960s to the onset of the presidency of Barack Obama, it may be helpful to consider Max Weber’s classic...

De Anna Reese and Malik

In his 1968 presidential address to the Organization of American Historians, Thomas Bailey stated, “False historical beliefs are so essential to our culture.... How different our national history would be if countless millions of our...



What is Africa to me
Copper sun or scarlet sea,
Jungle star or jungle track,
Strong bronzed men, or regal black
Women from whose loins I sprang
When the birds of Eden sang?...

John H.
McClendon III

Materialist philosophical inquiry into African American Studies falls within the orbit of the philosophy of African American Studies. The philosophy of African American Studies is, in turn, both a subfield of philosophy and a discipline...


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene 5



The Riddles of Revolutionary Fanonism – Much More Than Marxism in Blackface: Fanon’s Critical Modification of Marxism in the Anti-Imperialist Interests of Africa and Africans, Among the Other Wretched of the Earth

It is...

Rose M.


The current period of global capitalist crisis presents daunting challenges for struggles against transnational capital, white supremacy, and global heteropatriarchy.1 A complex...



Following Melanie Bush's "Un-Pledging Allegiance: Waking up from the ‘American’ Dream" (M. Bush 2008), I argue here that the central task of Africana Studies in the 21st century is to...


Introduction: What is Africana Studies?

Africana Studies is an academic extension of what Cedric Robinson has called “The Black Radical Tradition.”2 This tradition is notable for emerging out of a...


This essay is concerned with the epistemic and ideological crises in African American Studies. It is grounded in the possibilities emerging from an intersection of Du Boisian historical phenomenology and dialectical logic.1...


Throughout the twentieth century, most progressive scholars have argued against the utility of a Marxist perspective in analyzing racial oppression in the United States. These scholars and critics reject the Marxist notions that racial...


In debating the question “Whence Black Studies?” the framework within which we define our history and ourselves is critically important. I originally engaged the intellectual battle over internal colonialism theory because the dominant...

Review Essays

Reviewed by Robeson Taj Pl

Marc Gallicchio, The African American Encounter with Japan and China (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

Gerald Horne, Race War!: White Supremacy and the...

Reviewed by Charles L.

Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

A free thinking race conscious and class-conscious black working-class socialist,...

Reviewed by Gerald

“In spite of all that has been done to us, we who have been described so often, are now describing.” – James Baldwin1

The publication of a paperback edition of Baldwin’s Harlem: A Biography of...

Book Reviews

Reviewed by Leonore

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2010).

This book is not for everyone. I have a specific audience in mind—people who care deeply...

Reviewed by David

Safiya Bukhari, The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind (New York: Feminist Press, 2010).

Safiya Bukhari could...


John H. Bracey, Jr. has taught Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1972. During the 1960s, he was active in the Civil Rights, Black Liberation, and other radical Movements in Chicago....