Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
In "'Black' or 'African American': What's in a Name?" Johnny Washington reminds us that on the appropriate name for Americans of African descent has been ongoing, with varying degrees of intensity, for a long time. In illustrating the ancientness of the debate, he referred to precedents of the current irruption. He observed that "Booker T. Washington advanced the ethnic identity debate" in the 1890s. He also pointed to twentieth century contributions to the labelling crisis by W. E. B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Alain Locke, and Stokely Carmichael. Yet, neither the debate nor the labels themselves are the core concern for Washington's article. Rather, with emphasis on Locke's concept of race in a social culture context and C. I. Lewis's thesis on linguistic and sense meaning, philosophy and linguistics are the primary concerns of the article. The debate and the labels serve as incidental pegs for the analysis. Though still in the exploratory stage, the author's juxtaposing of the debate against linguistic and philosophical theories is both interesting and illustrative.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1990