Sasha-kay Harriott


Black Aesthetics

Dr. Greg Carr

Working definition of Black Aesthetics

Through the central acts of translation and recovery, Africana Studies seeks to theorize on the basis of long-view genealogies of African intellectual work. This process has been captured by only a handful of thinkers over the arc of existence of the field, largely because of the difficulty of acquiring the requisite linguistic skills (Carr).

There are five different types of intellectual approaches to the study of African life and experiences. The Black Radical Tradition Approach, links ideas of “African cultural unity” to the material contexts and circumstances of Western racialization and racial hierarchy. (Carr) “It is the task of the radical critic to illuminate what is repressed and excluded by the basic mechanisms of a given social order. It is the task of the politically engaged radical critic to side with the excluded and repressed: to develop insights gained in confrontation with injustice, to nourish cultures of resistance, and to help define the means with which society can be rendered adequate to the full breadth of human potentialities (Morse).”

The Emic/Etic Approach takes the examination of language, cultural contact, and localized meaning-making as the basis for understanding historical and contemporary African

however. but seeks to generate the theories. Some of its strength lies in its appreciation of the particularity of the context being studied. In my opinion this approach shows the impact of Western culture as an equal cultural exchange but also . and reliability-standards necessary to establish academic legitimacy for their study of African people (Carr). an impact of cultural exchange occurs. 1999). This approach also shows the link of classical African practices with that of the adaptation and migration of the African people. 1990). is sometimes referred as deductive. & Lickel. This approach looks at African culture as not being impacted from that of Western. The Alternative Epistemology Approach shares the attitude of the Black Radical Tradition approach toward long-view genealogies of meaning-making among African people. methods. whether from specific to general or vice versa thus rejecting the idea of long-view genealogies African historical and cultural meaning-making. Linking the practices of classic Africans to current Africans is what develops the unbroken arc. and the development of more general cross-cultural concepts (Morris. however. Both approaches seem to rely heavenly on comparing and developing (Carr). moving from specifics such as the native member’s cultural beliefs and behavior to the general population. The emic approach is referred to as inductive. Leung. Ames. The Unbroken Genealogy Approach emphasizes the idea that modalities of African meaning-making are central to the study of contemporary African social. and its potential to uncover unexpected findings (Headland. political and cultural life (Carr). in its respect for local viewpoints. One of the strengths of the etic approach is that it allows for comparison across contexts and populations. moving from general to specific. Etic. This approach applies outside theories and perspective to what is being studied.

From the music of hip and r&b to the stories still told one can clearly see African influence. Simply because I believe that African culture derives from that of African culture the way black people act now is linked and connected to the cultural ways of classic Africa. which can be shown from the beginning of time with hieroglyphs in Egypt. Africans had an identity prior to slavery. In my opinion I do agree that Africana studies should start at the time when black people came on the planet. starting from the beginning and coming forward. Based on my cultural background and intellectual knowledge my approach to what Africana Studies is would be the Unbroken Genealogy. I believe that one picks an approach based on personal reasons and philosophies towards that of Western culture and African culture. Just as how African culture was . defining Africana Studies in multiple concepts. The west is seen as the point of departure for theorizing large-scale African identity (Carr). I also believe that a single culture does not take over another but yet infuses with it making a cultural exchange. All five approaches take on different intellectual stand points. I also believed that’s based on one’s connection and interaction with each culture a theory and approach will be selected. where they start at that moment. The west however can be seen as a point of departure for theorizing large-scale African identity simply because when Africans came to the West they lost their identity of who they were and was set on retracing their steps to find that out. The Sui Generis Approach takes the “modern era” that of the construction of “the west” as an organizing set of cultural logics (Carr). This approach starts when black people come on the planet.the idea that African culture never lost its roots and can be connected back any time. But. but not when they came on the west. In my opinion.

In regards to small business and trade. Progressives: thinkers who believe that the first priority of Black Studies is to protect equality in the American Society. Liberals: the thought of full responsibility on that of the individual as separate from that of the government. Which lead to Conservatives thinking. To categorize the political impulses of thinkers doing work in the name of “Black Studies”. government should help to pursue the goals of the people with limited access. Grand Theorists: advance an overall explanation of phenomena and experience as part of a political act of PanAfrican struggle and liberation (Carr). They are thinkers who emphasize self-determining political spaces. An individualistic relationship to pre-existing traditional institutions habits . I believe the government should have no say. With different approaches comes different way of thinking. I believe that economic factors should be to an extent the government’s responsibility. It takes the individual to start change. The state should not be able to control every income of that of an individual because the state is not sure what an individual need and there circumstances. without the saying of Martin Luther King and numerous individuals who spoke up and took a stand to the unfair treatment of African Americans during slavery and other significant individuals throughout history change would never occur. but where Blacks are now in regards to the respect and rights. western culture was also impacted by African culture. The mixing of two cultures is always an exchange. Defenders of the African Way are advocates for the African people. I believe if the thoughts of Liberals. Neo-Liberals: stress economics factors in the government versus the people.impacted by western culture. Thus. If everything is going great within the government a significant change would not occur as long as profit is steadily coming in. there are seven different ways of “representative thinking” (Carr). not looking back at Africa as a whole. too much individuals handling a state’s money increase the chances of theft and misplacement. In my opinion.

Neo-Conservatives: Display moderate to deep political and intellectual conservatism. However. Urban Dictionary defines Black Aesthetics as “the result of Afro-American desire for self-determination and nationhood that resurfaced in the form of artistic expression in the 1960s. With an abundant of different approaches and thinkings in response to African Studies or Black Studies.E. W.” I agree with the definition in urban dictionary. often as formerly liberal thinkers (Carr). our movement our history our being on this planet. I do not agree with the Black Aesthetic beginning in 1960.and conditions (Carr). I believe that Black Aesthetics hold a different meaning depending on one’s complete outlook of life. there are many different intellectual scholar definition of what Africana Studies truly is. Nonetheless. It is unified in its embrace of all members of the African diaspora. the Black Aesthetic serves as a corrective means to help black people out of polluted mainstream Americanism.B DuBois and Booker T. Washington preached about building African Americans long time before. although also characterized by varying rhetoric among poets of the Black Arts project. Before famous poets such Langston Hughes were expressing selfdetermination. . Black Aesthetics to me simply mean Africans as a whole.

N. M. K. K.) (1990). Calif: Sage Publications Morris. Chuck (1999): Capitalism. Marxism.. Leung. and the Black Radical Tradition. Morse. W. 178-191 Headland. 1999). (Eds. Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. 25:1. Vol. T.. Pike. Emics and etics: The insider/outsider debate. Newbury Park. 781-796. v.. Spring 1999 . Views from inside and outside: Integrating Emic and Etic Insights about Culture and Justice Judgment. Greg (2011): What Black Studies Not: Moving from Crisis to liberation in Africana Intellectual Work.. Ames. M. 7..3 no. L.1. B. Academy of Management Review. Socialism and Democracy. Harris. & Lickel. (January 01..Reference: Carr. D. 24(4). Frontiers of anthropology.

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