Maurice Jackson

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Black studies must extend beyond the limits prejudice has placed on knowledge of black people.

Maurice Jackson is Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies and Affiliated Professor of Performing Arts (Jazz) at Georgetown University.


"Toward a Sociology of Black Studies" (1970)[edit]

"Toward a Sociology of Black Studies," Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2 (December 1970), pp. 131-140
  • Black studies, simply put, is the systematic study of black people. In this sense black studies differs from academic disciplines which stress white experience by being based on black experiences. Black studies is an examination of the deeper truths of black life. It treats the black experience both as it has unfolded over time and as it is currently manifested. These studies will examine the valid part that black people have played in man's development in society. In so doing, black studies will concentrate on both the distinctiveness of black people from, and their interdependence with, other people. To develop this kind of knowledge, black studies must extend beyond the limits prejudice has placed on knowledge of black people.
    • p. 132
  • The content of black studies is to be relevant, meaningful, and significant to black people. Black studies is to give insights into the historical and contemporary roles of black people, with the objective of improving life in the black community. It can be assumed that improvement of the black life will be an improvement of the lives of other people as well. ... The model that is being generated here is analogous to that of medical scientist-medical doctor. In short, there will be a closer relationship between the pure and applied roles of science, with a greater stress on application of knowledge.
    • p. 134
  • Black studies does not adhere to the requirement that black people can be studied only in a larger context. It assumes that black people can be studied on their own terms-that their behavior can be evaluated with respect to the standards and requirements prevalent within the black community, whether or not they are the same as in the white community.
    • p. 137

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