African American Communication
Examining the Complexities of Lived Experiences
Now in its third edition, this text examines how African Americans personally and culturally define themselves and how that definition informs their communication habits, practices, and norms.
This edition includes new chapters that highlight discussions of gender and sexuality, intersectional differences, contemporary social movements, and digital and mediated communication.
The book is ideally suited for advanced students and scholars in intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, African American/Black studies, gender studies, and family studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. African American Identity 3. African American Communication Competence and Language/Communication Styles 4. African American Relationships and Cultural Identity Negotiation 5. African American Communication and Contemporary Social Movements 6. Conclusions
Ronald L. Jackson II (PhD, 1996, Howard University) is Immediate Past President of the National Communication Association and Professor of Culture and Media in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. He is author of Scripting the Black Masculine Body in Popular Media and 75 other publications found in several peer-reviewed outlets such as Howard Journal of Communication, Journal of Black Studies, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Journal of Communication, and the International and Intercultural Communication Annual. Dr. Jackson’s theory work includes the development of two paradigms coined cultural contracts theory and Black masculine identity theory. He has published 14 books including the 2014 International Comic-con Will Eisner award winning book Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (with Sheena Howard). He has recently released a coedited book with Kimberly Moffitt and Simone Puff entitled Gladiators in Suits about the acclaimed primetime TV show Scandal.
Amber L. Johnson (PhD, 2006, The Pennsylvania State University) is a scholar/artist/activist focusing on narratives of identity, protest, and social justice in digital media, popular media, and everyday lived experiences. As a polymath, their mixed-media artistry involves working with metals, recycled and reclaimed goods, photography, poetry, percussion, and paint to interrogate systems of oppression. Dr. Johnson is an award winning Associate Professor of Communication and Social Justice at Saint Louis University. Notable awards include the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, the Lilla A. Heston award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies, the Faculty Excellence Award for Diversity and Social Justice, and a presidential citation for social justice work within and beyond the Communication discipline. Dr. Johnson has published over 40 articles and chapters in several journals including Qualitative Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Text & Performance Quarterly. Dr Johnson is also the creator of The Justice Fleet ™, a mobile social justice museum that fosters healing through art, dialogue and play. Dr. Johnson’s forthcoming book, A Great Inheritance, uses memoir to highlight healthy forms of love and support for trans and nonbinary folks alongside young adult fiction to speculate on gender futurity as a site of liberation.
Michael L. Hecht (PhD, 1976, University of Illinois) is President of REAL Prevention LLC and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. He has edited and authored books on prejudice and communication, adolescent relationships and drug use, nonverbal communication, and interpersonal communication and has authored numerous articles and chapters on topics such as communication effectiveness, interethnic communication, identity and communication, communication and emotion, and communication in a social context. Dr. Hecht has been the principal investigator on a series of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health on preventing drug abuse and risky sexual behaviors as well as promoting HPV vaccination. These studies have examined ethnic and gender identity and produced multicultural, school-based prevention materials that have been disseminated nationally and internationally through community partners such as Planned Parenthood, 4-H clubs, and D.A.R.E. America.
Sidney A. Ribeau (PhD, 1979, University of Illinois) is Professor of Communication in the Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Commuications, and Past President of Howard University and President Emeritus Bowling Green State University, positions he held for approximately 20 years combined. He has published in a number of scholarly journals including the Journal of Black Studies, Negro Educational Review, Communication Monographs, and International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Ribeau writes for periodicals and newspapers and has lectured at Chautauqua and the Smithsonian Institutes. He has taught courses on African American culture, public speaking, interpersonal communication, African American rhetoric, and intercultural communication.
"This new edition of the landmark African American Communication: Exploring Identity and Culture by Jackson, Johnson, Hecht, and Ribeau maintains its position in the field as the classic work on this subject. Eagerly awaited this edition sets the standards for all future works in this field." — Molefi Kete Asante, Author of The Afrocentric Manifesto and Founding Editor, Journal of Black Studies
"This truly remarkable volume weaves a cogent, multidisciplinary narrative that advances our understanding of the complexities and cultural contexts that characterize both the coherence and variations of communication behaviors of African American people. The authors’ detailed attention to theory and research from communication and several other social science disciplines provides a firm foundation for rejecting uni-dimensional, simplistic and often stereotypical expositions on the nature of African American communication." — Orlando Taylor, Past President, National Communication Association
"In a world where civil discourse and cross-cultural awareness is at a premium, this third edition of African American Communication comes at just the right time. African American Communication is a sophisticated, comprehensive scholarly primer on African American communication and identity written from within the culture for any reader seeking deeply nuanced historical and contemporary understandings of Blackness." — Robin R. Means Coleman, Texas A&M University, Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity/Professor of Communication
"In its third edition, the authors offer insightful, punctilious, and unapologetic perspectives on a myriad of variables that define the modern day lived experiences of African Americans, including cultural identity, intra/interracial relationships, identity negotiation, and digital media activism. This must-read book does not disappoint in providing a rich, informed, and timely cultural analysis of African American communication." — Eletra Gilchrist-Petty, Author of Contexts of the Dark Side of Communication
"African American Communication remains the most comprehensive resource focusing on the cultural and structural factors that constitute human interaction. It is essential reading for anyone interested in how communication functions to express, represent and transform Black identities." — Mark C. Hopson, author of Notes from the Talking Drum: Exploring Black Communication and Critical Memory in Intercultural Communication
"This work is a must-read for those interested in understanding African American communication as a process, a perspective, and a construct that influences our everyday interactions in the world. It easily captures the uniqueness of a culture, while keenly addressing its complexity, nuance, and need for continuous exploration." — Kimberly R. Moffitt, Associate Professor and Chair, Language, Literacy & Culture Ph.D. Program, University of Maryland Baltimore County