Unlike in many other disciplines, the lived experience and identity of the author are very important in AFAM
. It would be difficult, in this field, to dismiss the personal because AFAM
doesn’t exist without questioning knowledge production, without noting that knowledge is not
objective and that Eurocentric disciplinary knowledge comes out of a particular time and place. So acknowledgment of personal perspectives or identity or position is a part of how this field understands knowledge constructions. Indeed, AFAM
literally began with personal experience, with slave narratives. Some of our first historical information about Black folks is from those stories, and it’s in them that we first start to get a glimpse of what society was like for African Americans and other marginalized groups. Those narratives, written from an African American perspective, are the only way that some original truth or experience can be found. Even if you’re not African American or Black and you’re in this field, you still can’t erase the personal because that identity situates you.
You do have to be careful with personal experience, though. Any evidence you bring forward must be part of a larger conversation, not something that only relates to you.