The introduction of African American Studies in the curriculums has had a lot of support as well as disapprovals regarding the content coverage. This paper forms an analysis of the challenges and the right Trans or multi-disciplinary approaches required to contribute to growth and development of the studies.
The first challenges the researchers of these studies have to face include the Geographical boundaries. Evidently, most analysis and writings of the studies have dealt with the African Americans in the United States thus losing the discipline’s global significance.
This come within reach of truth shuts the historical, social and cultural influences of African heritage outside the U.S.A. The studies ought to apply distinctive and appropriate analytical techniques that assist in studying of specific circumstances that captures and accounts for experiences of all the major societies of the African Diaspora especially outside the American setting. (Green, 2001)
Secondly, the worldview of African-American studies need well representation and understanding. African worldview consists of values and believes of people with African decent to shape their inter-personal relationship. There studies ought to dwell upon the relationship of people and the environment without denying the wide variation regarding values and believes that assist to distinguish them from people of different origin. According to Irele (2001), the notion regarding African worldview entails the mode of expression for the shared values or believes without uniformly basing the studies upon particular system or a set of practices.
The challenge most Africana researchers and writers have to tackle today entails ways of combating a notion that “traditional African beliefs are historical relic of pre-modern life.” (Irele, 2001) A lot of writing has distorted experience of African Americans. The procedure of examining the extent of evolution involving variants of African origin would be a strategy to addressing of the human problems among people of African origin without confinement to a specific region.
There is need for a more accurate understanding of the complexity involved in the experiences of the African people. This is a measure to understand the history and contemporary efforts of people. They are shaping their destiny, as opposed to the perception that Africa-Americans are people who wait to consume the western ideas or products.
The paradigm of unity is an important aspect of the African-American studies and many writers/researchers have taken it as a major contributor to the social studies discipline. It is an important feature that offers periodical perspective of the Black people. The adequacy of the paradigm requires great thoughts due to the flow required in a text and the fact that the aspect requires constant updating thus continuous research findings.
In line with Green (2001), there is need to introduce and embrace the interdisciplinary approach of teaching the subject by enabling a foundation that supports major expansions especially in the upper division of the graduate or undergraduate level of studies. The current curriculum follows the department based structure of the academic organization especially in most higher institutions of education that have familiar chapters like the history, social science, or politics.
The conventional wisdom is not enough to acquaint the readers with all the required detail. The alternative ways such as hypothesis and other data sourcing procedures that assist in interpreting experiences not considered within the boundaries of the subject.
There is a wide distinction between the various approaches used for instructing scholars with respect to the Africana studies. People must differentiate between interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary procedures of blending or integrating theories of a study. Multidisciplinary process of studying entails a conscious effort to examine the subject matter using various approaches either sequentially or in a parallel format.
For instance, a research topic tackled by various contributors form different disciplines. On the other hand, interdisciplinary approach entails blending of theories and methods from various disciplines of an individual study. Both the methods are reactive in relation to the boundaries set by the traditional disciplines.
Today, people should decide to adopt trans-disciplinary approach that rejects the existing disciplinary boundaries to diversify the subject and synthesize various approaches of understanding the world to acquire extra information. This is a big challenge because the current trends of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches continue to shape the Africana studies as a study subject lacking progressive interpretation of the culture. (Green, 2001)
There have been great omissions of literature concerning women in the past African-American studies. Current research studies ought to address appropriate strategies to enhance the contributions or manifests of women. The contribution should not be gender biased but treated in parallel by fully integrating the women side of events rather than picking their study as an add-on to that of male.
Women have widely contributed to the liberation struggle and today it is evident that they equally and possibly playing the role of leadership in a better way especially in areas pertaining education, maintenance of the family, working and politics.
Lastly, the biggest challenge requires clear articulation concerns the name used for the studies. Various titles vary from Blacks studies, African studies, Afro-American studies, Africana, Africa-logy and the most common African American studies. The terms are different and possibly portray different meaning while they cater for the same discipline. Lingual perceptions of suffixes and prefixes bring about wide differences and the unmodified topic gives people too much room to diversify the studies beyond the requirements.
Green, Charles. (2001). Manufacturing powerlessness in the black Diaspora: inner-city youth and the new global frontierWalnut Creek, CA: AltaMira press Publishers
Irele, Abiola. (2001). The African imagination: literature in Africa & the Black Diaspora.
Oxford; New York: Oxford University press Publishers