By Kemayo Kamau

First released in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Additional resources for Emerging Afrikan Survivals: An Afrocentric Critical Theory (Studies in African American History and Culture)

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S. economy and politics is extremely important. As the narrator’s attempts at leadership are controlled by others who do not have his or his group’s best interest in mind, his efforts can not be successful. 10 Cruse could be talking about Ellison’s narrator when he comments, As long as the Negro’s cultural identity is in question, or open to selfdoubts, then there can be no positive identification with the real demands of his political and economic existence. Further than that, without a cultural identity that adequately defines himself, the Negro cannot even identify with the American nation as a whole.

History is used within a broad scope in this context. It necessarily includes political, psychological, and sociological phenomena. Berry and Blassingame’s Long Memory and Franklin and Moss’ From Slavery to Freedom survey an African American history that encompasses their cultural and artistic con-tributions to the United States. S. mainstream, consistently have struggled to express and enhance their human potential. The struggle is ongoing but, in view of such trials and tribulations as the group has experienced, has been successful.

While the political similarities between those emancipated in 1863 and their African counterparts who were still in the throes of European colonization did not as closely parallel the twentieth century phenomena of Civil Rights and the achieving of independence for many African nations, the issue of African heritage was still important to the identity construction of 1860s African Americans. What admittedly compounded the problem of identity and conceptions of Africa was the extent to which Americans, including many blacks, had been inculcated with the notion that whiteness was not only more acceptable but also more beautiful and alluring… Recognizing the importance of developing self-pride and racial consciousness in their people, some black spokesmen thought the aftermath of slavery a propitious time to question the premium placed on white, Western standards of beauty.

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