, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 143-151

Views and Commentaries: Struggling with the Past: Some Views of African-American Identity

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Identity has been, and remains, central to African-American struggles with inequalities in the United States. In this paper I address various portrayals of African-American identity, and consider how these views of the past articulated with contemporary struggles. These portrayals range both in time and authorship, and include the views of former slaves, black intellectuals, and archaeologists. Taken together, they reflect the dynamic nature of identity, as well as the shifting importance of Africa as a root of identity and source of strength in struggles, past and present.