Teaching is the most common end result for those who intend to receive a degree in African American studies. Regardless of the level of teaching one decides to embark on, it is important to note that research is an ever present factor. This article puts the difficulty one might face attempting to present African American struggles in education in a scholarly context. It can only be helpful to the student to be privy to the struggles they might face far before the time presents itself.
As an African American studies major, most of one’s curriculum is based in history. So it is important to be able to contextualize history. When one considers that the main prospect for an African American studies major is to be a teacher this ability to contextualize becomes especially important. Even if teaching is not what one would consider their forte, they should still be in a position to understand where African Americans have been and how these things have lead to the position they are in today.
For anyone interested in studying African Americans, they must be aware that black people have a entirely different experience than their counterparts not of African descent. There have been studies to suggest that this experience is one completely separate from that of gender or age barriers. One must consider this when studying the writings that they inevitably will in regards to that of black scholars, and, if they are black themselves, their own writing as well.
These are terms that, during your coursework and research, must be familiar to you in order to further your success and understanding.
As an African American studies major there are less likely to be organizations that embrace your specific major and more likely to be organizations that embrace African American culture. This is more than likely the case, whether the student is at a Predominately White Institution or a Historically Black College or University. It stands to reason that this is because African American studies is a social science, and a lot of the curriculum is the culture.
National Council of Negro Women–
Organization dedicated to addressing the issues and the experience of what is now referred to as the black woman.
Society of Collegiate Black Men–
An organization dedicated to community service and the building up of character of the black man. Intended to mold men able to be of greater aid and service to their own communities.
Manager of corporate diversity programs-
Many corporations recognize the systematic disadvantage that African Americans have had historically. They, a a result, look to purposefully diversify their workforce. Such a task leads to this job title, which incorporates not only the diversification of a work force, but cultural sensitivity in the work place as well. This is ideal for the person who is not interested in teaching and enjoys the consistency of a corporate job.
Media Relations Specialist-
As referenced in the previous job description, it is important to many companies to refrain from offending the many different cultures that are familiar with their brand, but it is even more important to market themselves to these consumers as well. The most common way to do this is mass media. The specialist would moderate communication between the company and the public on mediums such as social media and television.
Foreign diplomats are well versed in other cultures. They represent their nation in dealings with other nations. They also use their unique point of view to moderate international dealings as well.
The most common research method that a major can expect to use is archival and survey, as mentioned on the website for the Department of African American Studies at Howard University. Neither archival or survey methods of research have a more accepted way of citation. In both cases, it is only suggested that one consult their teacher or publisher for preference. It is also suggested that in both cases as much information as possible is included the citation for anyone who would like to view your sources.