Title page for ETD etd-11252010-134921

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Keatts, Quenton
Author's Email Address qkeatts@vt.edu
URN etd-11252010-134921
Title A Discourse Analysis of the Centered and Critical Scholar-Activism of Martin Luther King Jr.
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Agozino, Onwubiko Committee Chair
Graves, Ellington T. Committee Member
Harrison, Anthony Kwame Committee Member
Hertel, Bradley R. Committee Member
  • Critical
  • Africana Studies
  • Afrocentric
  • Scholar-Activism
  • Martin Luther King
  • Jr.
  • Centered
Date of Defense 2010-11-12
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this project is to investigate the often neglected research concerning the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his scholar-activism. This project is intended to look for evidence of intellectual leadership within King’s writings in an effort to classify King within the Scholar-Activist paradigm in Africana Studies. Further, the aim is to examine Martin Luther King, Jr. from the critical and centered Scholar-Activist paradigm of Africana Studies based on an analysis of his writings to determine whether his works should be included in or excluded from the canon of Africana Studies.

Molefi Asante, Maulana Karenga, and Terry Kershaw, three of the most respected scholars in the field of Africana Studies, seemingly ascribe differing levels of status to King’s accomplishments and value within African American history (Asante, 1990; Karenga, 2002). Such a debate grounds this project. Does King measure up to the Scholar-Activist paradigm? Whether he does or does not, should the paradigm be expanded and redefined to include King, or is it acceptable as is? King’s six book length writings demonstrate a consistency of themes, which include eight major foci: (1) Economic Justice; (2) Racial Equality/Integration; (3) Existentialism; (4) Social Activism/Service; (5) Theology/Activism; (6) Revolution/Leadership; (7) Black Ideology/Liberation/Black Theology; and (8) Anti-Militarism/Anti-Poverty. This author concludes that diversity of methodological approaches within Africana Studies is normal and that King’s writings should be considered for inclusion into its canons. King meets all of Terry Kershaw’s requirements for inclusion in the scholar-activist paradigm.

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