Growing up, Rebecca Francis seldom saw anyone who looked like her in the history books. Few black men. Fewer black women, reports the Houston Chronicle. "It was a completely Eurocentric viewpoint," she said. Francis, who is biracial, enrolled in African-American studies at the University of Houston to get the other side of the story. And she has, in classes where the topics range from the birth of civilization to hip-hop star Mos Def. But she and her classmates also have found that African-American studies is no longer just about social action and personal exploration.
Over the past 40 years, the field has grown into a full-fledged academic discipline with its own textbooks, scholarly journals and tenured faculty members.
The nation's first African-American studies programme began at San Francisco State University in 1968. The University of Houston established its programme the following year. Programmes have come and gone since then. Charles E Jones, president of the National Council for Black Studies, says there are about 325 programmes at universities across the United States, down from a high of 450 in the 1970s.
Full report on the Houston Chronicle site
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