The mission and goal of Africana Studies is the development of cultural grounding, academic excellence, and social responsibility. Building the Basics: A Handbook for Developing Academic Excellence in Africana Studies focuses on the goal of developing students academically. Throughout students’ academic career, they will take a variety of courses and learn the course content. Many students enter higher education at different levels of preparation. Regardless of content or preparation, students should always build and develop the basics.
Building the Basics provides students with strategies, tips, and approaches to maximize learning. The handbook discusses the basics of working at home, critical thinking and questioning, skilled and critical reading, scholarly writing, working collaboratively in groups, and studying for quizzes and examines. Each chapter begins with guiding questions and key terms to prime students for what is to come in the chapter. In addition, each chapter concludes with activities for students. Building the Basics offers pragmatic strategies and approaches to master the fundamentals every student needs to enhance student learning in pursuit of academic excellence.
Building the Basics: An Introduction
Growing and Developing Scholars
Chapter 1 The Basics on Working at Home: Online, Hybrid, Studying, Reading, Writing, and Beyond
Working at Home
Class and Study Time
Plan Study Breaks
Clarity on Task
Do Your Own Work
Stay in Communication
Chapter 2 Building the Basics on Critical Thinking and Critical Questioning in Africana Studies
African Deep Thought
African-Centered Critical Questions
Chapter 3 Building Skilled and Critical Reading in Africana Studies
Nonfiction and Fiction Readings in Africana Studies
Critical Questions for Africana Scholars
Textbooks in Africana Studies
Chapter 4 Building Scholarly Writing in Africana Studies
Types of Scholarly Writing Assignments
Critical (Analytical) Essays
Summary and Analysis
Ten Writing Tips
Chapter 5 Building Collaborative Group Projects in Africana Studies: In-Class Small Group Activity, Presentations, and Debates
Short In-Class Small Group Activities:
Chapter 6 Building Good Strategies for Taking Tests and Quizzes in Africana Studies
Types of Assessments
Short Answer Questions
Building and Refining the Basics: A Conclusion
Dr. M. Keith Claybrook, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at CSU, Long Beach where he teaches classes on history and the social sciences. He is also co-advisor of the Africana Studies Students Association and the Black Student Union. In the spring of 2016, Claybrook completed his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies with a Certificate in Africana Studies from Claremont Graduate University. His dissertation is entitled, Student Engagement, Cultural Politics, and the Black Students Movement: A Case Study in Los Angeles, 1965- 1975 where he argues that student activism is an intellectually and academically relevant activity linking concepts learned in the classroom to the real world. He also completed a Masters in General Education with a concentration in Multi-Cultural Education from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) researching the impact of European education on African identity and consciousness comparing the historical experiences of African people and their descendants in Tanzania, Ghana, and the United States. He also earned to Bachelors of Arts degrees at LMU in African American Studies with a concentration in History and a History degree with a concentration Africa.
Dr. Claybrook regularly attends conferences such as the National Conference of Black Studies National conference, the African Heritage Studies Association, Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus conference, and other conferences where he has presented on a diversity of topics including the Black Students Movement, educational history, identity and consciousness, reparations, Hip Hop, and pedagogy. He has also published book reviews, journal articles, encyclopedia entries, and book chapters on these topics such as Building the Basics: A Handbook for Pursuing Academic Excellence in Africana Studies, “David L. Horne: A Living Example of a Pan African Leader Scholar- Activist,” “Black Power, and Black Students, and the Institutionalizing of Change: Loyola Marymount University, 1968- 1978”.
Dr. Claybrook lent his expertise on “Today in L.A.” on NBC4, KJLH’s “Front Page with Dominque DePrima,” KPCC- NPR on “AirTalk with Larry Mantle,” and several other television and print media outlets.