Association for Bahá’í Studies Conference

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Toward a protagonist-centered Black history

In this presentation, I propose the adoption of a protagonist-centered historiographic framework that transcends the instrumentalist reductionism so prevalent in the field of African Diaspora History, and embraces a Black self that is whole and valuable in itself, and not merely a means to a positional end. This proposed framework draws extensively on the concepts of self and society elaborated in the messages of the Universal House of Justice and responds to its call for developing approaches to academic discourse that can supplant the materialist conceptions so vehemently stigmatized by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as being fertile ground for the growth of oppression and conflict.