This article is concerned with the sociopolitics of African-American archaeology. The intent here is to prompt archaeologists to think more about how our research affects black Americans today, and therefore why it is necessary that they be encouraged to take an interest in archaeological endeavors. The success or failure of our attempts to establish ties with black communities depends on us. The main emphases of this article are, therefore, focused on raising our level of awareness to the challenges we face, and increasing understanding as to the variable histories and perspectives that the diverse and knowledgeable black American public possesses and will hopefully share with archaeologists.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Agbe-Davies, Anna 1995 African American Archaeology in the Public Eye. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The Society for Historical Archaeology Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Washington, DC.
Andes, Jennifer 1993 First-Hand Reflections: Local Man Source for Many Historians. The Daily Press, 17 March. Williamsburg, VA.
Ayau, Edward Halealoha 1995 Rooted in Native Soil. Federal Archaeology 7(3):30–33. Departmental Consulting Archeologist and Archeological Assistance Program, National Park Service, Washington, DC.
Blakey, Michael L. 1995 The Unity of Past and Present: Understanding the New York African Burial Ground Phenomenon. Paper presented at the University of California Faculty Seminar Series, Berkeley, CA.
Boyd, Bentley 1994 CW Auctions Slaves: Re-enactment Provokes Emotional Debate. The Daily Press, 11 October Al–2. Williamsburg, VA.
Carmichael, Stokely, and Charles V. Hamilton 1970 Black Power: Its Need and Substance. In What Country Have I?: Political Writings by Black Americans, edited by Herbert J. Storing, pp. 165–181. St. Martin’s Press, NY.
Clarke, David L. 1979 Analytical Archaeologist. Academic Press, NY.
Clawson, Michelle Carr 1994 In a Different Tongue. Colonial Williamsburg 17(2):32–33.
Fairbanks, Charles H. 1984a The Kingsley Slave Cabins in Duval County, Florida, 1968. Conference on Historic Sites Archaeology Papers, 1973 7:62–93.
1984b The Plantation Archaeology of the Southeastern Coast. Historical Archaeology 18(1): 1–14.
Ferguson, Leland 1992 Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Early African America, 1650–1800. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Franklin, Maria 1996 Owners and Stewards, and Innocent Bystanders: Archaeologists and the Past as Property. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The Society for Historical Archaeology Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Cincinnati, OH.
Gable, Eric, Richard Handler, and Anna Lawson 1992 On the Uses of Relativism: Fact, Conjecture, and Black and White Histories at Colonial Williamsburg. American Ethnologist 19(4):791–805.
Gathercole, Peter, and David Lowenthal (Editors) 1990 The Politics of the Past. Unwin Hyman, London.
Genovese, Eugene D. 1970 The Influence of the Black Power Movement on Historical Scholarship: Reflections of a White Historian. In In Red and Black: Marxian Explorations in Southern and Afro-American History, edited by Eugene D. Genovese, pp. 230–255. Pantheon, NY.
Gero, Joan M. 1985 Socio-politics and the Woman-at-Home Ideology. American Antiquity 50(2):342–350.
1989 Producing Prehistory, Controlling the Past: The Case of New England Beehives. In Critical Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology, edited by Valerie Pinsky and Alison Wylie, pp. 96–116. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Gero, Joan M., David M. Laacy, and Michael L. Blakey (Editors) 1983 The Socio-Politics of Archaeology. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Gero, Joan M., and Margaret W. Conkey (Editors) 1991 Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.
Hall, Martin 1984 The Burden of Tribalism: The Social Context of Southern African Iron Age Studies. American Antiquity 49(3): 455–467.
Handsman, Russell G., and Mark P. Leone 1989 Living History and Critical Archaeology in the Reconstruction of the Past. In Critical Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology, edited by Valerie Pinsky and Alison Wylie, pp. 117–135. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Harding, Vincent 1986 Responsibilities of the Black Scholar to the Community. In The State of Afro-American History: Past, Present, and Future, edited by Darlene Clark Hine, pp. 277–291. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge.
Harrington, Spencer P. M. 1993 Bones and Bureaucrats: New York’s Great Cemetery Imbroglio. Archaeology 46(2):28–38.
Henley, Laura A., Ann M. Palkovich, and Jonathan Haas 1983 The Other Side of Alexandria: Archeology in an Enduring Black Community. In Approaches to Preserving a City’s Past, pp. 41–44. Alexandria Urban Archeology Program, Alexandria, VA.
Hill, Retha 1995 Coming to Grips with Painful Past. Washington Post, 2 April:B3. Washington, DC.
Jones, Charisse 1995 Bringing Slavery’s Long Shadow to the Light. New York Times, 2 April:A1, A3.
Kintigh, Keith W. 1996 SAA Principles of Archaeological Ethics. Society for American Archaeology Bulletin 14(3):5, 17. Mark Aldenderfer, Newsletter Editor. Santa Barbara, CA.
Klesert, Anthony L., and Shirley Powell 1993 A Perspectiveon Ethics and the Reburial Controversy. American Antiquity 58(2):348–354.
Layton, Robert (Editor) 1989 Who Needs the Past?: Indigenous Values and Archaeology. Unwin Hyman, London.
Leeds, Jeff 1994 Blacks Protest Excavation Team. Washington Post, 18 January:D–4.
Leone, Mark P. 1973 Archaeology as the Science of Technology: Mormon Town Plans and Fences. In Research and Theory in Current Archaeology, edited by Charles Redman, pp. 125–150. Riley and Sons, NY.
1984 Critical Theory in Archaeology. Paper presented at State University of New York, Binghamton.
1992 A Multicultural African-American Historical Archaeology: How to Place Archaeology in the Community in a State Capital. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA.
Little, Barbara J. 1994 People with History: An Update on Historical Archaeology in the United States. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 1 (1):5–40.
Lynott, Mark J., and Alison Wylie (Editors) 1995 Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990s. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC.
McDaniel, George W. 1982 Hearth and Home: Preserving a People’s Culture. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA.
McDonald, Bradley M., Kenneth E. Stuck, and Kathleen J. Bragdon 1992 “Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are”: An Ethnohistorical Study of the African-American Community on the Lands of the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, 1865–1918. Report prepared by William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Submitted to Atlantic Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Yorktown.
McKee, Larry 1994 Is It Futile to Try and Be Useful?: Historical Archaeology and the African-American Experience. Northeast Historical Archaeology 23:1–7.
McManamon, Francis P. 1991 The Many Publics for Archaeology. American Antiquity 56(1): 121–130.
Messenger, Phyllis Mauch 1995 Public Education and Outreach. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990s, edited by Mark J. Lynott and Alison Wylie, pp. 68–70. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC.
Naranjo, Tessie 1995 Thoughts on Two Worldviews. Federal Archaeology 7(3): 16. Departmental Consulting Archeologist and Archeological Assistance Program, National Park Service, Washington, DC.
Nicholson, David 1995 The Costs of Cultural Blackmail: Shutting Down the Slavery Exhibit Only Denies Our Suffering and Triumph. Washington Post, 24 December:C2.
Orser, Charles E., Jr., and Brian M. Fagan 1995 Historical Archaeology. HarperCollins College, NY.
Pinsky, Valerie, and Alison Wylie (Editors) 1989 Critical Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Potter, Parker B., Jr. 1991 What Is the Use of Plantation Archaeology? Historical Archaeology 25(3):94–107.
1994 Public Archaeology in Annapolis: A Critical Approach to History in Maryland’s Ancient City. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Powell, Leah Carson 1996 Traditional Narratives and Oral History. In Home Herafter: An Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Analysis of an Historic African-American Cemetery (41GV125), edited by Helen D. Dockall, Joseph F. Powell, and D. Gentry Steele, pp. 231–219. Reports of Investigation 5. Center for Environmental Archaeology, Texas A&M University, College Station.
Powell, Shirley, Christine E. Garza, and Aubrey Hendricks 1993 Ethics and Ownership of the Past: The Reburial and Repatriation Controversy. In Archaeological Method and Theory, edited by Michael B. Schiffer, pp. 1–42. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Pyburn, K. Anne, and Richard R. Wilk 1995 Responsible Archaeology Is Applied Anthropology. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990s, edited by Mark J. Lynott and Alison Wylie, pp. 71–76. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC.
Ruffins, Fath Davis 1992 Mythos, Memory, and History: African American Preservation Efforts, 1820–1990. In Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture, edited by Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven D. Lavine, pp. 506–611. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Schmidt, Peter R., and Thomas C. Patterson (Editors) 1995 Making Alternative Histories: The Practice of Archaeology and History in Non-Western Settings. School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, NM.
Spector, Janet D. 1993 What This Awl Means. Historical Society Press, St. Paul, MN.
Stone, Peter, and Robert Mackenzie (Editors) 1990 The Excluded Past: Archaeology in Education. Unwin Hyman, London.
Tilley, Christopher 1989 Archaeology as Socio-political Action in the Present. In Critical Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology, edited by Valerie Pinsky and Alison Wylie, pp. 104–116. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Trigger, Bruce G. 1989 A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Worl, Rosita 1995 NAGPRA: Symbol of a New Treaty. Federal Archaeology 7(3):34–5. Departmental Consulting Archeologist and Archeological Assistance Program, National Park Service, Washington, DC.
Wrolstad, Mark 1994 Re-examining a Past Built on Slavery. Atlanta Journal/ Atlanta Constitution, 13 March:M6. Atlanta, GA.
Wylie, Alison 1983 Comments on the Sociopolitics of Archaeology: The Demystification of the Profession. In The Sociopolitics of Archaeology, edited by Joan M. Gero, David M. Lacy, and MichaelL Blakey, pp. 119–130. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
1985 Putting Shakertown Back Together: Critical Theory in Archaeology. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 4:133–147.
1989 Introduction: Socio-political Context. In Critical Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology, edited by Valerie Pinsky and Alison Wylie, pp. 93–95. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
1991 Gender Theory and the Archaeological Record: Why Is There No Archaeology of Gender. In Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory, edited by Joan M. Gero and Margaret W. Conkey, pp. 31–54. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.
1996 Ethical Dilemmas in Archaeological Practice: Looting, Repatriation, Stewardship, and the (Trans)formation of Disciplinary Identity. Perspectives on Science 4(2): 154–194.
Zimmerman, Larry 1994 Sharing Control of the Past. Archaeology 47(6):65, 67–68.
1995 Regaining Our Nerve: Ethics, Values, and the Transformation of Archaeology. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990s, edited by Mark J. Lynott and Alison Wylie, pp. 64–67. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC.
About this article
Cite this article
Franklin, M. “Power to the people”: Sociopolitics and the archaeology of black Americans. Hist Arch 31, 36–50 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03374229