NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1098504
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
The Third Culture--A Conversation about Truth and Reconciliation: An African Americanist's Reflection on the "Two Cultures" Debate in Post-Modern Society
Wright, Josephine R. B.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n1 Win 2007
C. P. Snow launched the "Two Cultures" debate in 1959 during the Cold War era. While lamenting a widening gulf in communication between scientists and literary theorists, he championed the supremacy of scientific inquiry over canonical Western European literary traditions of his day. Globalization has forced many academics in the United States to (re)think how they prepare students today for leadership in a world overwhelmingly populated by peoples of non-European ancestry. At stake in this debate is the political contention over culture--specifically, whose culture is more valued than others and whose culture will be privileged in contemporary society. Such a topic should command greater attention within the academy, if we as educators hope to promote better understanding by students of diverse peoples and cultures around the world. One marker of globalization has been the widespread exportation of African-American music from the United States, a phenomenon documented as early as the antebellum period. Most black American musical traditions before 1960 evolved historically within a defined social-political framework of racial oppression, and any attempt to isolate the music from these realities obfuscates its connection to a collective history that all Americans at some level share. (Re)examination and "interrogation" of accessible historical documents (often selectively suppressed in standard American textbooks) help promote a "Third Culture." Such inquiry lays bare the irony/contradiction of excluding widely exported repertories of music, arguably the principal representations of what is uniquely "American," from Western canonical traditions. This paper examines from such historical perspective two of black America's gifts to the world: the Negro spiritual and the blues.
Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A