Historical Background In the broadest historical cultural sense, the antecedents of Black Studies can be traced to the homelands from which the Africans enslaved in the Americas were taken. More pointedly, though, from captivity and the Middle Passage onward, the roots of Black Studies run deep into the history of people of African descent in North America. These roots can be traced through a three-centuries-long activist-intellectual tradition that is evidenced both in and outside the academy. This liberation tradition has three prongs: (1) the discovery, assembling and disseminating of factual historical data pertaining to what Black people have undergone and achieved; (2) the use of education and knowledge to defend and vindicate the race against its detractors; and (3) the production and application of prescriptive concepts, theories, programs and movements aimed at resolving or alleviating Black group problems. Throughout their history African Americans have exemplified this tradition through a myriad of activities that Black Studies embraces and is an extension of.