Shortcomings in Wilson’s “Chronicle of Higher Education” article on the state of Black studies programs

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African American Studies


This article criticizes Robin Wilson's Chronicle of Higher Education article of April 22, 2005, on Black studies titled, "After 35 Years on Campuses, Black-Studies Programs Struggle to Survive." It contends that Wilson's article presents a blend of truths, half-truths, and outright distortions. Contrary to Wilson's insinuations, Black studies is a liberal arts degree program open to and meant for any interested student of whatever background. The creation of Black studies was not meant to preclude Black students from pursuing degrees in scientific areas. A Black studies major tends to "jell" with and also serves as an important background for a variety of other careers. The fact that some traditional disciplines have now found it worthwhile to introduce peripheral courses on the Black experience, in their quest to be inclusive, cannot serve as a substitute for a holistic, systematic, and coherent approach to the study of that experience.

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