For this assignment you are asked to critique the contemporary relevance and/or explanatory ability of one of the key theories mentioned below this paragraph. In many ways, this assignment mirrors the instructional prompt given for your class discussion on Kawaida Philosophy.
Key Theories: Epistemic Violence, Two Cradle Theory, Crusian Paradigm, Adaptive Vitality School, (Black Sociology), Pathological/Pathogenic School (Black Sociology), Africana Womanist Literary Theory, Black Aesthetic (Real and Relevant Black Art), Cross Model of Nigresence.
Definition and Context: This is not a research assignment; it is a reflective essay. Please do not consult or refer to any sources outside of the journal articles/chapter essays, lecture slides and class readings for this course. Within the body of the essay, students should select one of the theories listed above and identified in the PowerPoint presentations or the Karenga text. In addition to identifying how Karegna defines and explains the term or theory, students should define the term more broadly by putting the term in their own words and placing it in a familiar context using examples from one or more of the journal articles/book chapters or class readings for this course. Note: Please do not cite or reference a journal article that you have or plan to submit for one of your three article review assignments. Students must discuss the theory at a critical level. Critical discussion includes your opinion of the items mentioned, but also includes your ability to reference material from class readings, online PowerPoint presentations and class discussions.
When discussing the contemporary relevance and explanatory ability of the theory that you have taken under investigation, please limit your discussion to the unit of analysis the theory claims to describe. For example, the Pathological/Pathogenic School of Thought (Chapter Six) is a paradigm that views the Black family as dysfunctional and provides reasons for that dysfunction. The paradigm does not purport to explain the athletic prowess (or lack thereof) of the Dallas Cowboys football team. Similarly, the Cross Model of Nigresence (Chapter Ten) emerges out of psychology and seeks to describe/explain the stages an African American goes through in gaining an awareness of and appreciation for his/her racial identity. The theory does not attempt to explain why some African Americans (or other groups) might decide to abuse drugs or alcohol.
Essay Length and Structure: Each student is required to an essay that is a minimum of five (5) pages (approx. 1,250 words) critiquing the social practicality of a key theory, philosophy or concern in African American Studies. Students should use a thesis statement to guide their discussion. Essays will be counted off for incorrect punctuation and poor grammar use. Essays must be typed, double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. Do not use block quotes. Employ quotes from other texts as little as possible. Format your citations using either the American Psychological Association (APA) or Chicago Manual of Style guidelines.
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