This book concludes by describing how black history is presented as an angry intruder in the midst of a placid academic field marked by order, discipline, and rigor. Black history barges onto the field in an undisciplined and chaotic manner, and forces recognition from the history establishment. Compared to other areas of scholarly inquiry, its methods are less rigorous, its scope less encompassing, and the important sources are largely confined to the twentieth century, perhaps with the exception of material on slavery. For most people, this history thrives on white guilt and feeds on black anger. The basic intellectual trends that predominate today in African American history and literature, ranging from skillful critiques of American race relations designed to accentuate black humanity, to an engagement with Africa and the wider world, are rooted in the complex realities of the social, political, and economic conditions of the nineteenth century.
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