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by mekfox Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:16 am

This was a tough question for me. It's talking about the transnational approach employed by the African American historians. The problem is that the passage doesn't give us much information about this. The first paragraph give us the name of the historians and why they adopted the transnational approach, but that's about it. Then in the last paragraph, the author says that the black historians' method was similar to a nationalist approach. So I don't what to think of this transnational approach.
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Re: Q23

by giladedelman Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:13 pm

You're right that the author believes the transnationalist approach to resemble a form of nationalism; in fact, that's what he spends all of paragraph four talking about! So we have an entire paragraph devoted to the author's description of these transnationalist African American historians. Basically, his point is that these historians constructed a sort of idealized, unified African past and homeland for African Americans.

That's why (E) is correct. We would expect a study embodying this approach to be interested in some kind of unifying African influence, and that's what this answer choice describes: the extent to which African American cultures use traditions that were common to various African tribes, that is, stemming from a common African source.

(A) is incorrect because there is no talk of European and U.S. histories contradicting each other.

(B) is likewise out of scope; the passage doesn't discuss treatment of minorities vs. territorial ambitions.

(C) is out because it has nothing to do with the historians' transnational approach, that is, their focus on the connections between African American and African culture.

(D) mentions emigrationist sentiment, which does come up earlier in the passage, but its connection to U.S. foreign policy has nothing to do with the transnationalist approach.

Does that clear this one up for you?
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Re: Q23

by CarolineL560 Fri May 04, 2018 2:32 pm

I quickly ruled out A, C, and D but was really torn between B and E, and ultimately chose B. My thinking was that the transnationalist approach was about reconstructing a collective identity by finding common threads among a group of people that are now scattered internationally, and the African American instance of that was just one application of that approach. Meaning, that approach could be applied to other regions/countries than African ones. B gets at that, defining the characters of these related nations by finding common threads in how they were, not where they were. E on the other hand seemed like a trap answer choice because it did mention African Americans at that same time period but was focused on how they incorporated African traditions. It's a common thread but didn't strike me as reconstructing a common identity.

Can anyone address this and help me out?
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Re: Q23

by MayaM405 Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:27 am

I chose B as I saw it as a counterpoint to the mainstream nationalism as discussed in the passage (mostly in lines 26-34).

I thought E was out of scope because as I read it, paragraph four is referring to nationalism, not transnationalism. As such, it can't really be used in support for any answer choices for this question which leaves E unsupported. Are these two ideas supposed to be considered similarly? Or is it because both of these topics include the same subject employing the approach?

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Re: Q23

by ohthatpatrick Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:27 pm

Where in the passage would we look for explication of "the transnational approach" employed by these black historians?

P1 just explains that they HAD an approach, but not what it was.
P2 explains WHY they had a transnational approach, but not what it was.
P3 explains what the mainstream approach is, and why they didn't like it.
P4 is where we finally get a description of the transnational approach, line 43 says "most early black historians were themselves engaged in ..."

Ironically, the description of the transnational approach is "in a way a sort of nation building". We have buzzwords like
- forming a collective identity
- reconstructing a glorious African past
- trying to unite the spread-out scattering of black people around the world under one shared identity

It sounds like, if you were liking (B), you're not doing enough to think about what lines these questions are testing before diving into the answers.

The 'imperialism' discussion in the 3rd paragraph isn't directly about the transnational approach. It is why transnationalists don't like the mainstream approach, so it's fair to infer that the transnational approach would NOT glorify anything that ventures on imperialism. But it's too brand new to throw out the idea that they would define the US's national character by focusing on treatment of minorities.

Why would they even be trying to define the national character of the US or trying to define the national character of European nations?

They're project was to write the history of black people scattered throughout the globe, not to write the history of contained, clearly drawn sovereign nations.

It sounds like you had a confused understanding of what the 4th paragraph was doing. It wasn't saying, "You know earlier how we said these guys had a transnational approach? Well they ALSO had a nationalist approach .."

The 4th paragraph was saying, "you know earlier how we said these guys has a transnational approach? Well, ironically, a lot of it resembled a nationalist approach, except instead of being focused on a COUNTRY as a nation, it was focused on making a nation out of the transnational population of black people worldwide."

Hope this helps.