HOW DO WE SITUATE THE WAYS IN WHICH SCHOLARS STUDY THE BLACK EXPERIENCE?

HOW DO WE SITUATE THE WAYS IN WHICH SCHOLARS STUDY THE BLACK EXPERIENCE?

Department of Afro-American Studies
Intro to Africana Studies II
AFRO 006:[1] Section 1
Fall 2014 | Three Credits
CRN: 81802
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:10-3:30pm|Alain L. Locke Hall 105
Course Syllabus
 

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Instructor: Joshua Myers, Ph.D.
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:40-2:00pm or by appointment
Office: Founders Library 337
 
 
“Likewise, we do not say we know the truth: we are the truth; we are the living black experience and, therefore, We are the primary sources of information.” –June Jordan, “Black Studies: Bringing Back the Person”[2]
 
“…there is every reason to believe that the first truth a people needs is the truth about themselves and the nature and possible meaning of their own existence. And when a community shares the African heritage of three-dimensional historical existence, when past, present, and future are in constant, sometimes ecstatic, conversation, then each dimension of the people’s being must be addressed. For the people are their fathers and mothers.  They are their children. Just as they are themselves.” –Vincent Harding, “The Vocation of the Black Scholar[3]
 
 
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the discipline of Africana Studies—a discipline which constitutes the contemporary arc of an extensive tradition of Africans Studying. This means intellectual work approached under this umbrage denotes the active, living, genealogy of African deep thought.[4] Here we study, trace, and enliven the certain “ideals of life” that African people have contributed to the world in order to illuminate not only where humanity has been, but where it might go.[5] Clearly, such a discussion must include African and African descended people, but it must also be approached on their own cultural terms. The latter is what separates Africana Studies as a discrete knowledge complex, by emphatically employing and recognizing its distinct intellectual genealogy, its organizing logic, and its unique methodologies for extracting meaning from existence. Such techniques recognize the cultural unity of Africa, while understanding its improvisational nature, with an eye toward (re)establishing African ideas as a point of departure for understanding all phenomena. From this orientation, this course will examine the lives of a number of recognizable thinkers of African descent involved in the reclamation of African humanity in the face of the hegemony of European modernity—or the contemporary the tradition of Africans Studying. We will explore the explosion of this conversation in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States (though it was neither begun at this point nor not limited to the US) leading to the birth of Black Studies departments in 1968.
 
Course Objectives:

  1. Provide an in-depth and comprehensive introduction to the discipline of Africana Studies: its history, traditions, perspectives, aims, and future directions.

 

  1. Explore the development of an intelligentsia of African and African descended thinkers and the evolution of their ideas.

 

  1. Expose students to the dynamism inherent in studies of the Africana experience, while developing a working bibliography of these studies of the Africana experience.

 

  1. Develop a community of thinkers and junior scholars that would attempt to contribute to a process of rethinking and reorienting what it means to do intellectual work within the discipline.

 
Ground Rules of African Intellectual Work:
Our intellectual space will be governed largely by a set of guidelines that seek to recreate safe spaces to engage Africana thought and relevant discourse and scholarly productions that are enlivened by its centrality. These rules were developed by educators associated with the Freedom Schools in 2003, and are in use in a number of courses/programs throughout the world.[6] They are:
 

  1. Be Present: Presence means that by virtue of our being here, we are capable and endowed with the ability to do intellectual work. It is the initial step needed in order to capture our intellectual energies toward being and doing. Vertical presence means bringing awareness of the long-arc of Africana humanity in order to inform a topic or discussion. Horizontal presence means bringing to the space an awareness of the contemporary situations and how they manifest in particular topics or issues.[7]

 

  1. Read and Write: The active component of intellectual work. Presence is not enough; in order to justify our being here, we must engage (listen to) with what has been said, in order to contribute (inscribe) our original contributions to the ongoing conversation. Africana Studies intellectuals must consistently read and re-read and write and re-write to understand and build upon our presence.[8]

 

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  1. Speak to After: Lastly, the objective of intellectual work is to be able to produce contributions that not only speak to our intellectual memories and our current situations, but to “after,” or the future. Work should be approached to ensure such a quality, that it is lasting. [9]

 
Required Texts:
BIONDI, MARTHA. The Black Revolution on Campus. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012.
 
HOLLOWAY, JONATHAN SCOTT. Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris, Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph J. Bunche, 1919-1941. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2002.
 
Recommended Texts:
KELLEY, ROBIN D.G. AND EARL LEWIS, eds. To Make Our World Anew: Volume Two: A History of African Americans since 1880. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
 
NORMENT, JR., NATHANIEL, ed. The African American Studies Reader. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.
 
Instructional Methods and Tools:

  1. We will employ the use of the lecture and discussion model.

 

  1. We will also use Blackboard to disseminate some reading materials and to archive certain assignments.

 

  1. This course makes use of the resources of Howard University Libraries.

 
Course Requirements and Evaluation:
 
Mbongi Forms (20) (20 pts.)
The term “mbongi” is from the Kongo group of West Central Africa and means literally, “house without rooms.”[10] In traditional Bantu societies, the mbongi (or boko, lusanga, yemba, and/or kioto) is the center for the study of cultural and social issues.[11] Our meetings every week will constitute such a space, where engagement with Africana is open and free. Our “house without rooms” will for our time together be our encounter with the course materials. Students will be required to complete weekly Mbongi forms in order to gauge their engagement with the reading material and classroom experience. These forms will also serve as a way to provide feedback to the instructor in terms of course content, questions, etc. They essentially serve the purpose of gauging your classroom participation, and should be completed during or immediately after our class period. These must be turned in at the end of class each session. Please see the appendix for the sample form.
 
Review Essays (2) (30 pts. total)
For this assignment you will produce two original reviews of the required texts (i.e. Biondi’s and Holloway’s books) for this class. The objective of your essay will be to develop an analysis around the impact, relevance, and continued importance of one or more ideas (concepts) advanced in each text. This review should consist of an 1) introduction of your essay, inclusive of a coherent thesis statement, followed by 2) a summary and reconstruction of the author’s use of the concept you are reviewing and analyzing, 3) a series of paragraphs that discuss its impact and relevance within the context of outside scholarship and world events, and 4) a conclusion which outlines implications for further research. You will be judged on your ability to construct a thesis and your ability to support that argument. For example, you may want to argue that one of the texts, in that it shows that racial oppression was a factor in academia in the 1940s, helps us better understand the impact of race today. Whatever idea you choose to focus upon[12], you must first show that it is garnered from the text, by reconstructing the author’s presentation of it, and then using outside sources, provide support for your contentions. I expect no less than five additional sources (books, scholarly articles, and magazine/newspaper articles will be given the highest weight) for these essays. The essays should be 8-10 pages in length. If you are unsure about a topic idea or want to discuss your essays with me, you are welcome to do so. I also encourage utilizing the resources of the Writing Center (Locke Hall, first floor). Please see the Writing Rubric below for more details on how you will be evaluated and for formatting guidelines.
 
Due Dates:
Confronting the Veil Essay – October 22, 2014
The Black Revolution on Campus Essay- December 4, 2014
 
E-185 Library Project (20 pts.)
Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African and American Studies at Duke University, recently wrote a short blog piece about his experiences of being immersed in the collected resources of “The Black Section.” E-185 is the Library of Congress catalog section for sources related to the African American experience. Neal’s blog post showed that before there were search engines, e-resources, and other technological advances, one had to spend considerable time in the stacks. For him and many others of earlier generations, one’s consciousness and awareness of an extended intellectual tradition began in these sorts of spaces.[13] Here at Howard, we are blessed to house a major repository of the important conversations that have been had around the broad Africana experience in both the world-renowned Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and among the stacks in Founders Library, as well as other libraries, not to mention the walking libraries (elders). This project will introduce you to the wide array of ideas, experiences, and wisdom found within the stacks of E-185 (as well as other sections) of the library. It is aimed at orienting you to the world of library research. It may be completed in groups.
 
Option #1
The first option requires you to complete the following activities:

  1. Visit the E-185 section of Howard University’s Founders Library.
  2. Select at random three books that you have never read.
  3. For each book, write down the call number, the author, title, date of publication, place of publication, and publisher.
  4. Read at least the preface and introduction of each text.
  5. Summarize the main thesis of the author. Note any similarities between our course content (lectures, reading, etc.) and ideas that may be present in the text.
  6. For each text, select a footnote or reference and write down one other source that the author deems important to his or her analysis.
  7. Using library resources, locate that source and briefly summarize its main thesis.
  8. Collect your findings and then create a narrative about your experiences: What did you learn? Were there any books that you came across that you have never heard of? Do you think that you would have come across these sources without utilizing library resources? How was this project different from using search engines to conduct research?

 
Option #2

  1. Select a topic covered in a particular week.
  2. Using library sources, locate the section of the library which houses resources similar to that topic. [One way to do this is to locate that week’s reading in the library; similar sources will be housed on the same shelf].
  3. Select three of these resources.
  4. For each book, write down the call number, the author, title, date of publication, place of publication, and publisher.
  5. Read at least the preface and introduction of each text.
  6. Summarize the main thesis of the author.
  7. Discuss the similarities and differences between this author’s ideas and/or thesis and the ideas and/or thesis of the author selected in our course’s reading materials.
  8. Collect your findings and create a narrative about your experiences: What did you learn? Were there any books that you came across that you have never heard of? Do you think that you would have come across these sources without utilizing library resources? How was this project different from using search engines to conduct research?

 
Option #3

  1. Visit the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center’s Website: http://library.howard.edu/msrc
  2. Browse the collections and/or catalog (the manuscript division, the library division, the Oral History collection, and the HU archives).
  3. Select a collection or archive that is of interest to you and/or one that might be relevant to our course content. (Examples: E. Franklin Frazier Papers, Howard University Faculty Archives [Library Division], archives of The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History)
  4. Make an appointment with the Center to view these materials.
  5. Upon viewing the materials, develop narrative about your experiences: What did you learn? What was it like to engage in primary research? What unique insights did you uncover about your topic that would have likely not been evident in secondary research?

 
You must complete each step in order to receive an “A” (20 points). You will be docked a letter grade (3 points) for each step you fail to complete.
 

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Take Home Final Exam (30 pts.)
In the place of a formal final exam, the instructor will provide a comprehensive exam to be completed outside of the classroom. The content will be culled directly from the readings and will be ten essay-based questions. The take-home final
 
Extra Credit: Create! (10 pts.)
For extra credit, students can choose to develop a public presentation of the concepts and ideas explored in this class. You are not limited to what media you may choose. For instance, you could write a series of blog entries, develop a program on campus, conduct a Youtube.com interview, or write a Hilltop editorial. The only requirement is that it be disseminated publicly, that is, beyond the classroom. You are free to work in groups or individually. The event/presentation must occur on or before December 4, 2014. Please provide documentation or proof of your work.
 
Extra Credit: Annotated Bibliography (5 pts.)
For extra credit, you may also complete an annotated bibliography. The parameters for the sources you may choose will be the subject matter/topic for a certain week. For instance, you may decide to choose sources bearing upon the topic of Week 7: “Politics, Race, Nationalism: The Work of Ralph J. Bunche” You will need to read and summarize at least ten sources with respect that specific topic. The annotation should be between 5-7 sentences and should summarize the main idea, but also the contribution to scholarship made by the
 
Extra Credit: Events (2 pts.)
Throughout the semester, I will be announcing relevant events happening on campus. You may attend these events for extra credit. You must write a one-page summary, discussing both the nature of the event (what happened) and linking it to our course (its relevance to a topic discussed or read in class). All of these will be due on or before December 4, 2014.
 
 

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Writing Rubric:
 
Your review essays will be judged based on the following criteria.
 
Grade of A (15 points)
The paper was easy to follow with introduction, body, and conclusion. There were solid transitions. There was a clearly stated thesis statement with coherent supporting arguments. There was an attempt to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle. No major spelling, grammar, and formatting errors.[14] The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were superior. The paper was supported with an impressive use of outside sources. The paper demonstrated an extensive engagement with previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of B (13 pts.)
The paper demonstrated an attempt at clear organization with minimal flaws. Some transitions. There was a clearly stated thesis statement with supporting arguments and minimal flaws. There was an attempt to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle.  There were few minor spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were good. Good engagement: The paper utilized many outside sources to advance arguments, and demonstrated a strong engagement with previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of C (11 pts.)
Satisfactory organization: The paper lacked a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. There was little use of transitions. Satisfactory argument: Thesis statement was there, but not clear and/or supporting arguments were present with minor theoretical flaws. There was a poor attempt to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle. There were several minor spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were satisfactory. Satisfactory engagement: The paper used sources, and demonstrated a tenuous engagement with the previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of D (10 pts.)
Little organization: The paper was poorly organized with no intelligible elements. There were no transitions. Little argument: There was a very poorly stated thesis statement or very poorly constructed arguments. There was no to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle. There were several major spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were fair. Little engagement: The paper used questionable sources (Wikipedia, non-academic internet websites) and did not seek to engage previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of F (7 pts.)
No organization: There was no attempt to organize the paper. No argument: There was no thesis statement and/or no supporting arguments. There were many major spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were poor or not readily discernible. No engagement: The paper did not engage any outside material.
 
Grading Scale:
A= 90-100 pts.; B= 80-89 pts.; C=70-79 pts.; D= 60-69 pts.; F= < 60 pts.
 
Assignment Submission:
All assignments will be due by 5:00PM of the scheduled due date. Please submit all assignments in person or to my office in Founders 337. In addition, please upload your assignments (with the exception of Mbongi forms) to Blackboard under the appropriate heading. You must do both, not one or the other. I cannot guarantee receipt of email submissions, so please do not email your assignments.
 
Late Assignment Policy:
Late assignments will be docked two points, per day late (per class session). The due dates are listed in the “Course Requirements and Evaluation” and the “Course Schedule” section. If your assignment is late due to an emergency, you must provide documentation to that effect to avoid the late penalty.
 
Revision Policy:
Students may request appointments to discuss their papers. At this point the instructor will offer an opportunity and determine a date to submit a revision that will replace the score of the original attempt. The second attempt must show improvement based upon the issues indicated in the comments received on the initial attempt. If applicable, the instructor will refer you to the Writing Center to ensure that you receive additional feedback and instruction. An appointment with the Writing Center may be a condition of the acceptance of a revision.
 
Incompletes:
If a particular hardship befalls you and you are not able to complete the last quarter (i.e. you have already completed 75% of the work) of the coursework assigned, you may be given a grade of “I.” All incompletes require the drawing up of a contract and the completion of the work by the end of the semester following the one in which the grade was given. Please note, you must have completed the majority of the coursework to activate this policy.
 
American with Disabilities Act (ADA):
Howard University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students.  In accordance with this policy, students who need accommodations due to a disability should contact the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services, Dr. Elaine Borne Heath (202-238-2420), as soon as possible after admission to the University or at the beginning of each semester.  If you need a special accommodation required by the American Disabilities Act, please document and discuss your disability with me during the first two weeks of classes.
 
 
Course Schedule:
 
Week 1: August 26-28
and
Week 2: September 2-4
Introducing the Black Experience: Disciplinary Definitions and Postures
 
Discussion Points: How do we situate the ways in which scholars study the Black experience? What makes Africana Studies unique? What are the roles that Africana Studies scholars have played and continue to play in understanding, commenting upon, and contributing to social change in spaces where Black people find themselves? How do we link what is done in the classroom to this larger objective?
 
Core Concepts: Africana Studies, race, culture, modernity, scholarship, liberation
 
Key Figures and Institutions: W.E.B. Du Bois, Alexander Crummell, Vincent Harding, American Negro Academy, Institute of the Black World
 
Assigned Readings:

  • E.B. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races,” in African-American Social and Political Thought, 1850-1920, ed. Howard Brotz (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008), 483-492. [Via Blackboard]
  • Vincent Harding, “The Vocation of the Black Scholar and the Struggles of the Black Community,” in Education and Black Struggle: Notes from the Colonized World, ed. Institute of the Black World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Review, 1974), 3-29. [Via Blackboard]
  • Greg Carr, “What Black Studies is Not: Moving From Crisis to Liberation in Africana Intellectual Work,” Socialism and Democracy 25 (March 2011): 178-191. [Via Blackboard]

 
Recommended Readings:

  • Nathaniel Norment, “Introduction,” in The African American Studies Reader,Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. xxvii-l.
  • James B. Stewart, “The Field and Function of Africana Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 44-52.
  • Daudi Ajani ya Azibo, “Articulating the Distinction Between Black Studies and the Study of Blacks: The Fundamental Role of Culture and the African-Centered Worldview,” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 525-546.
  • Winston Van Horne, “Africology: A Discipline of the Twenty-First Century,” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 411-419.

Week 3: September 9-11
On the Intellectual Genealogy of African America
 
Discussion Points: What are the central characteristics of African American intellectual genealogies? How did they emerge and what have been their social and political commitments? What were the circumstances that shifted a focus on race leadership toward a focus on labor and political economy? What were the paradoxes of such a shift?
 
Core Concepts: intellectual genealogy, intellectual work, race leadership, social & political thought, “the Veil,” social science, labor politics
 
Key figures and institutions: Kelly Miller, Alexander Crummell, W.E.B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Amenia II, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Negro Academy
 

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Assigned Reading:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 1-34.

 
Recommended Readings:

  • James R. Grossman, “A Chance to Make Good, 1900-1929,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 67-130.
  • Joe William Trotter, Jr., “From a Raw Deal to a New Deal?: 1929-1945,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 131-166

 
Week 4: September 16-18
Black Washington, Black Howard
 
Discussion Points: What made Washington, DC a unique space for the development of Black intellectual genealogies? How did Howard University uniquely contribute to this development? What kinds of activism concerned Blacks during this period? How did it dovetail with the intellectual character of Black social scientists of the period? What was the impact of the New Deal on how African American thinkers understood and grappled with racial oppression?
 
Core Concepts: Black Washington, social milieu, intellectual-activist community, social movements, student activism, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), The New Deal, communism, cultural renaissance
 
Key figures and institutions: Mary Church Terrell, Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Alain Locke, Sterling Brown, Charles Hamilton Houston, John A. Davis, The New Negro Alliance, Lionel Flourant, The Liberal Club, The Hilltop, Joint Committee on National Recovery, Howard Conference of 1935, National Negro Congress (NNC), Harold Ickes
 
Assigned Readings:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 35-83.

 
Recommended Readings:

  • James R. Grossman, “A Chance to Make Good, 1900-1929,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 67-130. (cont.)
  • Joe William Trotter, Jr., “From a Raw Deal to a New Deal?: 1929-1945,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 131-166. (cont.)
  • Robert L. Harris, “The Intellectual and Institutional Foundations of Africana Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 395-400.

 
Week 5: September 23-25
Abram Harris and the Economic Meaning of Race
 
Discussion points: How did Abram Harris’s biography contribute to his development as a scholar? What were the commitments of his intellectual work in economics? How did Harris contribute to understandings of race? What were some of the strategies that he recommended to Black organizations? How were they received and what was the impact of this reception on Harris’s career?
 
Core concepts: Economics, racialism/racial thinking, economic class, legal strategy vs. economic strategy, organized labor, economic cooperatives, capitalism, Marxism
 
Key figures and institutions: Abram Harris, W.E.B. Du Bois, Walter White, NAACP, National Urban League, the Harris Committee
 
Assigned Readings:
Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, pp. 84-122.
 
Recommended Readings

  • James R. Grossman, “A Chance to Make Good, 1900-1929,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 67-130. (cont.)
  • Joe William Trotter, Jr., “From a Raw Deal to a New Deal?: 1929-1945,” in To Make Our World Anew, eds. Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 131-166. (cont.)
  • Ronald Bailey, “Black Studies in Historical Perspective” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 302-311.

 
Week 6: September 30- October 2
Race, Culture, and Social Problems: The Sociological Praxis of E. Franklin Frazier
 
Discussion Points: How did E. Franklin Frazier’s upbringing and training prepare him to undertake the study of sociology? What were Frazier’s original contributions to our understanding of the sociology of race? In what ways did Frazier’s work seek to contribute to Black social change? What has been the impact of Frazier’s ideas on Black sociology?
 
Core Concepts: Sociology, anthropology, race relations cycle, Africanisms, cultural survivals, social problems, the Negro problem, urban culture, Southern culture, family studies, nationalism
 
Key Figures and Institutions: E. Franklin Frazier, Melville Herskovits, Robert Park, Franz Boas, Charles Johnson, Tuskegee University, Fisk University, Atlanta University, University of Chicago,
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 123-156.

Recommended Readings:

  • Russell L. Adams, “African American Studies and the State of the Art,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 126-144.

 
Week 7: October 7-9
Politics, Race, Internationalism: The Work of Ralph J. Bunche
 
Discussion Points: What was the link between Ralph Bunche’s early life and education and his choice of vocation? How did Bunche approach the question of race in pursuit of the study of political science? How did Bunche’s international scope uniquely shape his intellectual work? What kinds of activism did Bunche’s work support? How did this dovetail with his later work?
 
Core Concepts: Political Science, politics, internationalism, imperialism, colonialism, African Studies, public intellectual, democracy
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Ralph J. Bunche, Gunnar Myrdal, National Negro Congress, University of Cape Town, Republican Program Committee, United Nations
 
Assigned Readings:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 157-194.

 
Recommended Readings:

  • Clair Drake, “Black Studies and Global Perspectives,” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 600-611.

 
Week 8: October 14-16
A New Mission: The Transition Toward Black Studies
 
Discussion Points: What are the enduring legacies of the generation of Black thinkers to which Abram Harris, E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche belong? How did continuing racial contexts affect and determine their work and the impact of their ideas about race? What was their relationship to the “Black revolution” of the 1960s? How did it manifest among Black students?
 
Core Concepts: intellectual legacy and tradition, Civil Rights movement, Black student movement, Black power, ideology, Marxism, cultural nationalism, feminism
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Abram Harris, E. Franklin Frazier, Ralph Bunche, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Black Student Unions (BSUs)
 
Assigned Readings:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 195-218.
  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 1-12.

 
Recommended Readings

  • DeVere E. Petony, “The Case for Black Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 9-15.
  • James Turner and C. Steven McGann, “Black Studies as an Integral Tradition in African-American Intellectual History,” Journal of Negro Education 49 (Winter 1980): 52-59.

 
 
Week 9: October 21-23
Black Student Power: Theorizing Late 1960s Campus Movements
 
Discussion Points: What were the social origins of the Black student activists on college campuses in the late 1960s? How did they impact the kinds of consciousness that they exhibited? In what sectors of the American university was Black student power rooted? What were issues students at HBCUs concerned about?
 
Core Concepts: student activism, racial liberalism, Black Power, nationalism, token integration, curricular relevance
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Malcolm X, Charles Hamilton, Stokely Carmichael, Adrienne Manns, Ewart Brown, Michael Harris, Anthony Gittens, James Nabrit, Cleveland Sellers, Howard University, Texas Southern University, South Carolina State University, Merritt College
 
Film Showing: Color Us Black
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 13-42.

 
Recommended Reading:

  • James Turner, “Black Students and their Changing Perspectives,” Ebony (August 1969): 135-140.
  • Vincent Harding, “Black Students and the Impossible Revolution,” Journal of Black Studies 1 (September 1970): 75-100.
  • Vincent Harding, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Earl Lewis, “We Changed the World,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp.167-264.

 
Confronting the Veil Essay Due- October 22
 
 
Week 10: October 28-30
And
Week 11: November 4-6
Sites of Struggle: Black Student Power in The Bay Area, Chicago, and New York
 
Discussion Points: Who were the central players in the various student upheavals in The Bay Area, Chicago and New York? What were the similarities and differences in demands across these spaces? How effective were student organizers in reaching them? What is the continued relevance of their struggles for Blacks and higher education?
 
Core Concepts: Black Studies, self-determination, autonomy, open admissions
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Jimmy Garrett, Jerry Varnado, George Murray, Hari Dillon, S.I. Hayakawa, Nathan Hare, Askia Toure, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Glover, James Turner, Sterling Stuckey, Lerone Bennett, C.L.R. James, Eva Jefferson, John Bracey, Charles Hurst, Standish Willis, Larry English, Askia Davis, Orlando Pile, Toni Cade Bambara, Barbara Christian, Black and Puerto Rican Solidarity Community, For Members Only, Afro-American Student Union, Black League of Afro-American Collegians, Third World Liberation Front, Experimental College, SEEK, San Francisco State University, Northwestern University, Malcolm X College (Crane Junior College), Brooklyn College, City College of New York
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 43-141.

 
Week 12: November 11-13
The Continuing Struggles at HBCUs
 
Discussion Points: How did the Black student movement continue at HBCUs after the initial surge? What was unique about the ways in which administrations and law enforcement sought to control them? What is the idea of the Black University? What has been this idea’s legacy?
 
Core Concepts: Black University, outside control, higher education reform, violent repression
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Vincent Harding, Stokely Carmichael, Harold Cruse, Maulana Karenga, Russell Adams, Andrew Billingsley, Acklyn Lynch, Nelson Johnson, Bernie Dingle, Fred Prejean, Student Organization for Black Unity, Students United, Howard University, Jackson State University, Voorhees College, Southern University, North Carolina A&T State University
 
Guest Lecture: TBA
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 142-173.

 
Recommended Reading:

  • Nick Aaron Ford, “The Black College as Focus for Black Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 664-674.
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, “Into the Fire: 1970 to the Present,” in To Make Our World Anew,Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 265-341.

 
 
Week 13: November 18-20
And
Week 14: November 25
The Reception and Larger Scope of the Black Studies Movement
 
Discussion Points: What is a counterrevolution? How did the struggles to craft a discipline contribute to the decline in influence of Black Studies after its initial creation? What is the Black perspective and how did it shape Black Studies conversations? How were Black Studies programs governed and how were faculty chosen? What has been the role of funding bodies and philanthropic organizations in Black Studies and how did they shape its production of knowledge? What were the forms of Black Studies off-campus? What was the rationale for expanding Black Studies to the community?
 
Core Concepts: counterrevolution, autonomy, incorporation, governance, methodology, theoretical perspective, disciplinarity, think-tank, African-centered education, revolutionary nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Maoism, Marxist-Leninism
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Ewart Gunier, Martin Kilson, Nelson George, Owusu Sadauki, Bertha Maxwell, Gertrude Wilks, Mary and Robert Hoover, James B. Stewart, John Henrik Clarke, C. Eric Lincoln, Vincent Harding, Gerald McWorter, William Strickland, Ford Foundation, Harvard University, National Council for Black Studies, Institute of the Black World, Black Heritage, Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Nairobi Schools, Youth Organization for Black Unity
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 174-240.

 
Week 15: December 2-4
Disciplinarity and Discontent: Africana Studies’ Theoretical & Methodological Debate
 
Discussion Points: What are the key components of a discipline? Why are they necessary? How has Africana Studies developed disciplinarily? What have been the key outcomes of Africana Studies’ forty-six year institutionalization?
 
Core Concepts: methodology, disciplinarity, Afrocentricity, Black Women’s Studies, African Diaspora Studies
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Molefi Asante, James B. Stewart, Greg Carr, Toni Cade Bambara, Deborah Gray White, St. Clair Drake, John Henrik Clarke, James Turner, Combahee River Collective, African Heritage Studies Association, Temple University
 
Video Lecture: Greg Carr, “What Black Studies is For Now,” Temple University, Spring 2012.
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 241-278.

 
Recommended Reading

  • Greg Carr, “Toward an Intellectual History of Black Studies: Genealogy and Normative Theory,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 438-452.
  • Molefi Asante, “The Afrocentric Metatheory and Disciplinary Implications,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 506-518.
  • Maulana Karenga, “Black Studies and the Problematic of Paradigm,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 356-368.
  • Valethia Watkins, “New Directions in Black Women’s Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 229-240.

 
E-185 Library Project Due- December 2
The Black Revolution on Campus Essay Due- December 4
 
 
Appendix:
 
A: Further Reading
These works should be used to broaden your understanding of the discipline of Africana Studies and the topics discussed this course.
 
General and Biographical Works:
 
Blackwell, James E. and Morris Janowitz, eds. Black Sociologists: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974.
 
Bradley, Stefan. Harlem vs. Columbia: Black Student Power. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009.
 
Ferguson, Roderick. The Reorder of Things: The University and its Pedagogies of Minority Difference. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.
 
Glasker, Wayne. Black Students in the Ivory Tower: African American Student Activism at the University of Pennsylvania, 1967-1990. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.
 
Harris, Abram L. and William Darity, Jr., eds. Race, Radicalism, and Reform. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1989.
 
Henry, Charles P. Ralph Bunche: Model Negro or American Other?  New York: New York University Press, 1999.
 
Mealy, Rosemari. Activism and Disciplinary Suspensions/Expulsions at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): A Phenomenological Study of the Black Student Sit-In Movement1960-1962. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2013.
 
Miller, Eben. Born Along the Color Line: The 1933 Amenia Conference and the Rise of a National Civil Rights Movement. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
 
Moten, Fred. In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
 
Platt, Anthony M. E. Franklin Frazier Reconsidered. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
 
Robinson, Cedric J. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.
 
Singh, Nikhil Pal. Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.
 
Smith, Charles U., ed. Student Unrest on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Tallahassee, FL: Florida A&M, 1994.
 
Thorpe, Earl E. Black Historians: A Critique. New York: Morrow, 1958.
 
Warren, Nagueyalti. Grandfather of Black Studies : W.E.B. Du Bois. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2011.
 
White, Derrick. The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2012.
 
Williamson, Joy Ann. Radicalizing the Ebony Tower: Black Colleges and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi. New York: Teachers College Press, 2008.
 
Williams, Zachery R. In Search of Talented Tenth: Howard University Public Intellectuals and the Dilemmas of Race, 1926-1970. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
 
Wilson, Francille Rusan. The Segregated Scholars: Black Social Scientific and the Creation of Labor Studies, 1890-1950. Charlottesville, VA: The University of Virginia Press, 2006.
 
 
Critical Works/Articles on Africana Studies and Related Topics
 
Armah, Ayi Kwei, The Eloquence of the Scribes: A Memoir on the Sources and Resources of African Literature. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh, 2006.
 
–. Remembering the Dismembered Continent. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh, 2010.
 
Asante, Molefi Kete. Kemet, Afrocentricity and Knowledge. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1990.
 
–. The Afrocentric Idea. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1998.
 
Ba, Amadou Hampate. “The Living Tradition.” In General History of Africa, Volume 1: Methodology and African Prehistory, edited by Joseph Ki-Zerbo, 166-205. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1981.
 
Baker, Houston. Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
 
Carruthers, Jacob Intellectual Warfare. Chicago: Third World Press, 1999.
 
–. Science and Oppression. Chicago: Kemetic Institute, 1972.
 
Ford, Nick Aaron. Black Studies: Threat or Challenge? Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1973.
 
Ford Foundation, Inclusive Scholarship: Developing Black Studies in the United States. New York: The Ford Foundation, 2007. (available online http://www.fordfoundation.org/pdfs/library/inclusive_scholarship.pdf)
 
Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
 
Kershaw, Terry. “Afrocentrism and the Afrocentric Method.” Western Journal of Black Studies 16 (Fall 1992): 160-168.
 
Harney, Stefano and Fred Moten.  The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. Brooklyn, NY: Minor Compositions, 2013.
 
Hill-Collins, Patricia. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge, 1991.
 
Mudimbe, V.Y. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1988.
 
Obenga, Theophile. African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330 BC. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh Books, 2004.
 
Otabil, Kwesi. The Agonistic Imperative: The Rational Burden of African Centeredness. Bristol, IN: Wyndham Hall Press, 1994.
 
Outlaw, Lucius T. On Race and Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 1996.
 
Oyewumi, Oyeronke. The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
 
Stewart, James B. Flight: In Search of Vision. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2004.
 
Taylor, Clyde. The Mask of Art: Breaking the Aesthetic Contract—Film And Literature. Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1998.
 
Thiong’o, Ngugi wa. Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance. New York: Basic Civitas, 2009.
 
Histories of Africana Studies
Harris, Jr., Robert L. “The Intellectual and Institutional Development of Africana Studies.” In Three Essays: Black Studies in the United States, edited by Robert L. Harris, Jr., Darlene Clark Hine, and Nellie McKay,7-14. New York: the Ford Foundation, 1990.
 
Rogers, Ibram. The Black Campus Movement: Black Studies The Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
 
Rojas, Fabio. From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
 
Rooks, Noliwe. White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.
 
Woodyard, Jeffrey Lynn. “Evolution of a Discipline: Intellectual Antecedents of African American Studies.” Journal of Black Studies 22 (December 1991): 239-251
 
Textbooks in Africana Studies
 
Alkalimat, Abdul. Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A People’s College Primer. Chicago: Twenty First Century Publications, 1974. [available online eblackstudies.org]
 
Anderson, Talmadge and James B. Stewart. Introduction to African American Studies: Transdisciplinary Approaches and Implications. Baltimore, MD: Inprint Editions, 2007.
 
Karenga, Maulana. Introduction to Black Studies. Los Angeles, CA: Sankore, 2010.
 
Textbook Histories of African/Black Experience
 
Franklin, John Hope and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. From Slavery to Freedom. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
 
Shillington, Kevin. History of Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
 
White, Deborah Gray, et al., Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans. New York: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2013.
 
Edited Volumes
Aldridge, Delores and E. Lincoln James, eds. Africana Studies: Philosophical Perspective and Theoretical Paradigms. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, 2008.
 
Aldridge, Delores and Carlene Young, eds. Out of the Revolution Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2000.
 
Anderson, Talmadge, ed. Black Studies: Theory, Method, and Cultural Perspectives. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1990.
 
Asante, Molefi Kete and Maulana Karenga, eds. Handbook of Black Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005.
 
Azevedo Mario, ed. Africana Studies: A Survey of Africa and the African Diaspora. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.
 
Bates, Robert, V.Y Mudimbe, and Jean F. O’Barr, eds. Africa and the Disciplines: The Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and the Humanities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
 
Blassingame, John W. New Perspectives on Black Studies. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1971.
 
Bobo, Jacqueline, Claudine Michel, and Cynthia Hundley, eds. The Black Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2004.
 
Carruthers, Jacob H. and Leon C. Harris, eds. The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization African World History Project: The Preliminary Challenge. Los Angeles: CA, 1997.
 
Davidson, Jeanette, ed. African American Studies. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2010.
 
Gomez, Michael, ed., Diasporic Africa: A Reader. New York: NYU Press, 2006.
 
–. Not Only the Master’s Tools: African American Studies in Theory and Practice. Boulder: Paradigm, 1995.
 
Hayes, Floyd, ed. A Turbulent Voyage: Readings in African American Studies. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2000.
 
Conyers, Jr., James L., ed. Africana Studies: A Disciplinary Quest for Both Theory and Method. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, 1997.
 
Marable, Manning. Dispatches From the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
 
–. The New Black Renaissance: The Souls Anthology of Critical African American Studies. Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2005.
 
Norment, Nathaniel, ed. The African American Studies Reader. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.
 
Olanyian, Tejumola and James H. Sweet, eds. The African Diaspora and the Disciplines. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.
 
Robinson, Armstead L. Craig C. Foster, and Donald H. Ogilvie, eds. Black Studies in the University: A Symposium. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1969.
 
Turner, James. ed. The Next Decade: Theoretical and Research Issues in Africana Studies. Ithaca, NY: Africana Studies and Research Center, 1984.
 
 

  1. Some Key Figures in Africana Studies

 
Throughout the course we will discuss those figures and communities of discourse that figured prominently in what could be considered early iterations of Africana Studies (pre-1968). In addition to these, the following are key figures directly associated with the discipline since its institutionalization in 1968 and their institutional affiliation(s).
 
 
Russell Adams, Howard University
Delores Aldridge, Emory University
Elizabeth Alexander, Yale University
Abdul Alkalimat, University of Illinois
Ernest Allen, UMass-Amherst
Talmadge Anderson, Washington State University (deceased)
Molefi Kete Asante, Temple University
Mario Beatty, Howard University
Martha Biondi, Northwestern University
Andrew Billingsley, Howard University
John W. Blassingame, Yale University (deceased)
John Bracey, UMass-Amherst
Greg Carr, Howard University
Sundiata Cha-Jua, University of Illinois
John Henrik Clarke, Hunter College (deceased)
Alan Colon, Dillard University
James L. Conyers, University of Houston
St. Clair Drake, Stanford University (deceased)
Stephanie Evans, Clark Atlanta University
Nick Aaron Ford, Morgan State University (deceased)
Henry Louis Gates, Harvard University
Eddie Glaude, Princeton University
Vivian Gordon, SUNY Albany (deceased)
Perry Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
Vincent Harding, Iliff Theological Seminary (deceased)
Nathan Hare, San Francisco State University (formerly)
Robert Harris, Cornell University
Charles P. Henry, UC Berkeley (formerly)
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University
Nathan Huggins, Harvard University (deceased)
Charles Jones, University of Cincinnati
Rhett Jones, Brown University
Maulana Karenga, Cal State Long Beach
Terry Kershaw, University of Cincinnati
Manning Marable, Columbia University (deceased)
Claudine Michel, UC Santa Barbara
William Nelson, Ohio State University (deceased)
Nathaniel Norment, Temple University (formerly)
Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., Vanderbilt University
Cedric Robinson, UC Santa Barbara
Noliwe Rooks, Cornell University
Tricia Rose, Brown University
Clovis Semmes, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Amilcar Shabazz, UMass-Amherst
James B. Stewart, Penn State
Curtis Stokes, Michigan State University
Bill Strickland, UMass-Amherst
Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University
Darwin T. Turner, University of Iowa (deceased)
James Turner, Cornell University
Winston Van Horne, UW-Milwaukee
Corey D.B. Walker, Winston-Salem State
Valethia Watkins, Howard University
Shirley Weber, San Diego State University
Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary
Vernon Williams, University of Indiana
Tukufu Zuberi, UPenn
 
 
C: The Study of Human Experiences: Conceptual Categories 
 
“African people have produced the same general types of institutions for understanding and ordering their worlds as every other group of human beings. Though this should be obvious, the fact that we must go to great lengths to recognize and then demonstrate it speaks to the potent and invisible effect of the enslavement and colonization of African people over the last 500 years.” –Greg Carr[15]
 
The study of the African experience is the study of human beings. The following conceptual chart is derived from the School District of Philadelphia’s Lessons in Africana Studies and provides a general way of understanding how one can begin the process of looking at human group experiences. This tool can aid in conceptualizing and understanding the genealogies of Africans you will encounter throughout this course and can be applied to human groups regardless of the time period and location being discussed.
 

Social Structure Governance Ways of Knowing Science and Technology Movement and Memory Cultural Meaning-Making
What is/are the social structures(s) in place for the people discussed? How did the Africans organize themselves during this period? What kinds of systems did Africans develop to explain their existence and how did they use those systems to address fundamental issues of living? What types of devices were developed to shape nature and human relationships with animals and each other during this period and how did it affect Africans and others? How did/do African remember this experience? What specific music, art, dance, and/or literature/orature did Africans create during this period?

Source: Greg Carr, “Teaching and Studying the African(a) Experience,” in  Lessons in Africana Studies (Philadelphia: The School District of Philadelphia, 2005), 17.
 
Department of Afro-American Studies
AFRO 006: Intro to Africana Studies II
Mbongi Form
 
University education is one of the supreme privileges of life. It is not designed primarily to increase one’s power to make money, but to enable one, by study and reflection, to arrive at a clear notion of the nature and possibilities of human life in the individual and in the world; and to develop one’s competence to advance the possibilities of human life with maximum effectiveness and internal satisfaction while at the same time understanding, appreciating and cooperating constructively with the work of others. The teachers, the books, the libraries, and day- by-day contacts and discussions with fellow students who are stimulating equals in research and discovery—all these are resources of a major kind. Association with them, maximum effort to contribute one’s share to them—together make up one of the great adventures of life.  –Mordecai Wyatt Johnson
 
Week:____    Name:_____________________________________________________________
Week assessment (1-10): _____
Dr. Myers’ teaching effectiveness (1-10): ______
Your preparation level (1-10): ______
Summarize this week’s session’s topic, in one paragraph:
 
 
 
 
What contemporary topic was discussed this week:
 
What historical topic was discussed this week:
 
Indicate, by region, some material (concepts, figures, events) read this week:
 

Africa United States Europe/Asia Latin America/Caribbean

Other (indicate):
 
List two new things you thought about during this week’s intellectual work:
 
 
What could Dr. Myers have done better to assist your learning experience this week?
 
 
What could you have done to improve the learning experience this week?
 
 
[1]. This course fulfills the University African-American cluster requirement. Please note: The official name of this course as listed in BisonWeb and the University curriculum is “Intro to Afro-American Studies II.” There are no prerequisites.
 
[2]. June Jordan, “Black Studies: Bringing Back the Person,” in New Perspectives on Black Studies, ed. John W. Blassingame (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971), 36.
 
[3]. Vincent Harding, “The Vocation of the Black Scholar and the Struggles of the Black Community,” in Education and Black Struggle: Notes from the Colonized World, ed. Institute of the Black World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Review, 1974), 8-9.
 
[4]. “Deep Thought” refers to the “philosophizing” tradition of African people throughout history. See the work of Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr: Divine Speech: A Historiographical Reflection of African Deep Thought From the time of the Pharaohs to the Present (London: Karnak House, 1995), 15.
 
[5]. For a discussion on the role that “ideals of life” play in the contribution of “races” to humanity. See W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races,” in African-American Social and Political Thought, 1850-1920, ed. Howard Brotz (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008), 485. We will discuss this in Week 1 going into Week 2.
 
[6]. See Greg Carr, “Africana Cultural Logics and Movement Building: A Brief Essay and Study Bibliography,” Research Essay for Children’s Defense Fund Advanced Service and Advocacy Workshop for HBCU Student Leaders (Clinton, TN: Children’s Defense Fund, 2003). Carr and others have developed the “Pathway to Djehuty” program within the Philadelphia Freedom Schools, an extra-academic program, which begins the process of (K-12) academic enrichment utilizing Africana intellectual foundations.
 
[7]. Attendance is mandatory. Students’ attendance will be evaluated through the weekly mbongi forms to be discussed in the “Course Requirements and Evaluation” section.
 
[8]. See the “Course Requirements and Evaluations” sections for writing expectations. As Gerald Horne, a key Africana Studies political historian has stated, “You learn to write by reading.” This course will therefore approach good writing (or in the Kemetic sense, mdw nfr, good speech) through “good reading.” How we contribute to the discussion of theory and methodology in Africana Studies and economic thought will be read, discussed, and then linked to how we write. See Gerald Horne, “Opening Address” (paper presented at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center “Preservation as Practice” Two Day Symposium, Howard University, Washington, DC, January 25, 2010). On the Kemetic concept of mdw nfr (good speech), see Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr, 40.
 
In addition, the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment has recently launched a Writing Matters campaign. In keeping with this initiative, I offer the following: Writing is an essential tool for thinking and communicating in virtually every profession. Therefore, in this course I expect you to produce writing that is not only thoughtful and accurate, but also organized, clear, and consistent with the rules of Standard English. If your writing does not meet these standards, I may deduct points or ask you to revise (See below). For assistance with your writing go to the student section of the Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) website: http://www.cetla.howard.edu/wac/students.aspx.
 
[9]. It should go without saying, that such contributions must be yours. However, we must clarify our meaning of plagiarism. According to the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University:
 
Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s words and ideas as your own. This misrepresentation is a breach of ethics that seriously compromises a person’s reputation. Professional careers have been ruined by revelations of plagiarism. Researchers, therefore, must scrupulously acknowledge sources to give proper credit for borrowed materials. The following rules should be observed to make sure that the distinction between your own words and ideas and those of others is justly maintained. (Of course, submitting a paper that is completely the work of another person is plagiarism in its most extreme form.)
 

  • Words, phrases, and sentences of another person should be enclosed in quotation marks and cited in the proper form.
  • Paraphrases and summaries of the ideas of others should be properly cited. These paraphrases and summaries should not represent merely the rearrangement of sentence elements but should be rewritten in your style.
  • Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be introduced with the name of the writing being cited.
  • Every item cited in your paper (i.e., all sources of others’ words and ideas) should appear in the bibliography in the proper form.

 
Citations should contain all the information required by standard conventions and specifically indicate the location of the material cited. Page numbers should be checked for accuracy before a paper is submitted; the reader must be able to find the source of the material quote, paraphrased, or summarized. If you plagiarize all or part of an assignment, you can expect severe penalties, ranging from failure in that assignment to being recommended for a hearing before a judiciary body of the University. In most cases, a letter will be placed in your permanent file.
 
[10]. The mbongi is both a physical and intellectual space, or “common shelter” which constitutes many traditional African functions: law and order, cultural education, maintenance of social and political life, conflict resolution, the council of elders, and more. Intellectual work within the mbongi seeks to extend and preserve that which allows the community (village, federation, etc.) to function properly. The mbongi serves this function by encompassing a space where everyone is allowed to speak, but at the same time being required to speak with authority and clarity. This space serving all of these important functions, necessitates its status as a “think tank” which develops the best ways of knowing and keeping the traditions which characterize the group and order thought. Privacy has no place in the mbongi, as the traditional Kongo dictum states, “What you think belongs to you, what you say belongs to the public.”  There are many terms among the Bantu speakers of the region, including boko, yembalusanga, and kioto. Finally, discussions about the mbongi have been advanc
Department of Afro-American Studies
Intro to Africana Studies II
AFRO 006:[1] Section 1
Fall 2014 | Three Credits
CRN: 81802
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:10-3:30pm|Alain L. Locke Hall 105
Course Syllabus
 
Instructor:
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:40-2:00pm or by appointment
Office: Founders Library 337
 
 
“Likewise, we do not say we know the truth: we are the truth; we are the living black experience and, therefore, We are the primary sources of information.” –June Jordan, “Black Studies: Bringing Back the Person”[2]
 
“…there is every reason to believe that the first truth a people needs is the truth about themselves and the nature and possible meaning of their own existence. And when a community shares the African heritage of three-dimensional historical existence, when past, present, and future are in constant, sometimes ecstatic, conversation, then each dimension of the people’s being must be addressed. For the people are their fathers and mothers.  They are their children. Just as they are themselves.” –Vincent Harding, “The Vocation of the Black Scholar[3]
 
 
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the discipline of Africana Studies—a discipline which constitutes the contemporary arc of an extensive tradition of Africans Studying. This means intellectual work approached under this umbrage denotes the active, living, genealogy of African deep thought.[4] Here we study, trace, and enliven the certain “ideals of life” that African people have contributed to the world in order to illuminate not only where humanity has been, but where it might go.[5] Clearly, such a discussion must include African and African descended people, but it must also be approached on their own cultural terms. The latter is what separates Africana Studies as a discrete knowledge complex, by emphatically employing and recognizing its distinct intellectual genealogy, its organizing logic, and its unique methodologies for extracting meaning from existence. Such techniques recognize the cultural unity of Africa, while understanding its improvisational nature, with an eye toward (re)establishing African ideas as a point of departure for understanding all phenomena. From this orientation, this course will examine the lives of a number of recognizable thinkers of African descent involved in the reclamation of African humanity in the face of the hegemony of European modernity—or the contemporary the tradition of Africans Studying. We will explore the explosion of this conversation in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States (though it was neither begun at this point nor not limited to the US) leading to the birth of Black Studies departments in 1968.
 
Course Objectives:

  1. Provide an in-depth and comprehensive introduction to the discipline of Africana Studies: its history, traditions, perspectives, aims, and future directions.

 

  1. Explore the development of an intelligentsia of African and African descended thinkers and the evolution of their ideas.

 

  1. Expose students to the dynamism inherent in studies of the Africana experience, while developing a working bibliography of these studies of the Africana experience.

 

  1. Develop a community of thinkers and junior scholars that would attempt to contribute to a process of rethinking and reorienting what it means to do intellectual work within the discipline.

 
Ground Rules of African Intellectual Work:
Our intellectual space will be governed largely by a set of guidelines that seek to recreate safe spaces to engage Africana thought and relevant discourse and scholarly productions that are enlivened by its centrality. These rules were developed by educators associated with the Freedom Schools in 2003, and are in use in a number of courses/programs throughout the world.[6] They are:
 

  1. Be Present: Presence means that by virtue of our being here, we are capable and endowed with the ability to do intellectual work. It is the initial step needed in order to capture our intellectual energies toward being and doing. Vertical presence means bringing awareness of the long-arc of Africana humanity in order to inform a topic or discussion. Horizontal presence means bringing to the space an awareness of the contemporary situations and how they manifest in particular topics or issues.[7]

 

  1. Read and Write: The active component of intellectual work. Presence is not enough; in order to justify our being here, we must engage (listen to) with what has been said, in order to contribute (inscribe) our original contributions to the ongoing conversation. Africana Studies intellectuals must consistently read and re-read and write and re-write to understand and build upon our presence.[8]

 

  1. Speak to After: Lastly, the objective of intellectual work is to be able to produce contributions that not only speak to our intellectual memories and our current situations, but to “after,” or the future. Work should be approached to ensure such a quality, that it is lasting. [9]

 
Required Texts:
BIONDI, MARTHA. The Black Revolution on Campus. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012.
 
HOLLOWAY, JONATHAN SCOTT. Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris, Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph J. Bunche, 1919-1941. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2002.
 
Recommended Texts:
KELLEY, ROBIN D.G. AND EARL LEWIS, eds. To Make Our World Anew: Volume Two: A History of African Americans since 1880. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
 
NORMENT, JR., NATHANIEL, ed. The African American Studies Reader. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.
 
Instructional Methods and Tools:

  1. We will employ the use of the lecture and discussion model.

 

  1. We will also use Blackboard to disseminate some reading materials and to archive certain assignments.

 

  1. This course makes use of the resources of Howard University Libraries.

 
Course Requirements and Evaluation:
 
Mbongi Forms (20) (20 pts.)
The term “mbongi” is from the Kongo group of West Central Africa and means literally, “house without rooms.”[10] In traditional Bantu societies, the mbongi (or boko, lusanga, yemba, and/or kioto) is the center for the study of cultural and social issues.[11] Our meetings every week will constitute such a space, where engagement with Africana is open and free. Our “house without rooms” will for our time together be our encounter with the course materials. Students will be required to complete weekly Mbongi forms in order to gauge their engagement with the reading material and classroom experience. These forms will also serve as a way to provide feedback to the instructor in terms of course content, questions, etc. They essentially serve the purpose of gauging your classroom participation, and should be completed during or immediately after our class period. These must be turned in at the end of class each session. Please see the appendix for the sample form.
 
Review Essays (2) (30 pts. total)
For this assignment you will produce two original reviews of the required texts (i.e. Biondi’s and Holloway’s books) for this class. The objective of your essay will be to develop an analysis around the impact, relevance, and continued importance of one or more ideas (concepts) advanced in each text. This review should consist of an 1) introduction of your essay, inclusive of a coherent thesis statement, followed by 2) a summary and reconstruction of the author’s use of the concept you are reviewing and analyzing, 3) a series of paragraphs that discuss its impact and relevance within the context of outside scholarship and world events, and 4) a conclusion which outlines implications for further research. You will be judged on your ability to construct a thesis and your ability to support that argument. For example, you may want to argue that one of the texts, in that it shows that racial oppression was a factor in academia in the 1940s, helps us better understand the impact of race today. Whatever idea you choose to focus upon[12], you must first show that it is garnered from the text, by reconstructing the author’s presentation of it, and then using outside sources, provide support for your contentions. I expect no less than five additional sources (books, scholarly articles, and magazine/newspaper articles will be given the highest weight) for these essays. The essays should be 8-10 pages in length. If you are unsure about a topic idea or want to discuss your essays with me, you are welcome to do so. I also encourage utilizing the resources of the Writing Center (Locke Hall, first floor). Please see the Writing Rubric below for more details on how you will be evaluated and for formatting guidelines.
 
Due Dates:
Confronting the Veil Essay – October 22, 2014
The Black Revolution on Campus Essay- December 4, 2014
 
E-185 Library Project (20 pts.)
Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African and American Studies at Duke University, recently wrote a short blog piece about his experiences of being immersed in the collected resources of “The Black Section.” E-185 is the Library of Congress catalog section for sources related to the African American experience. Neal’s blog post showed that before there were search engines, e-resources, and other technological advances, one had to spend considerable time in the stacks. For him and many others of earlier generations, one’s consciousness and awareness of an extended intellectual tradition began in these sorts of spaces.[13] Here at Howard, we are blessed to house a major repository of the important conversations that have been had around the broad Africana experience in both the world-renowned Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and among the stacks in Founders Library, as well as other libraries, not to mention the walking libraries (elders). This project will introduce you to the wide array of ideas, experiences, and wisdom found within the stacks of E-185 (as well as other sections) of the library. It is aimed at orienting you to the world of library research. It may be completed in groups.
 
Option #1
The first option requires you to complete the following activities:

  1. Visit the E-185 section of Howard University’s Founders Library.
  2. Select at random three books that you have never read.
  3. For each book, write down the call number, the author, title, date of publication, place of publication, and publisher.
  4. Read at least the preface and introduction of each text.
  5. Summarize the main thesis of the author. Note any similarities between our course content (lectures, reading, etc.) and ideas that may be present in the text.
  6. For each text, select a footnote or reference and write down one other source that the author deems important to his or her analysis.
  7. Using library resources, locate that source and briefly summarize its main thesis.
  8. Collect your findings and then create a narrative about your experiences: What did you learn? Were there any books that you came across that you have never heard of? Do you think that you would have come across these sources without utilizing library resources? How was this project different from using search engines to conduct research?

 
Option #2

  1. Select a topic covered in a particular week.
  2. Using library sources, locate the section of the library which houses resources similar to that topic. [One way to do this is to locate that week’s reading in the library; similar sources will be housed on the same shelf].
  3. Select three of these resources.
  4. For each book, write down the call number, the author, title, date of publication, place of publication, and publisher.
  5. Read at least the preface and introduction of each text.
  6. Summarize the main thesis of the author.
  7. Discuss the similarities and differences between this author’s ideas and/or thesis and the ideas and/or thesis of the author selected in our course’s reading materials.
  8. Collect your findings and create a narrative about your experiences: What did you learn? Were there any books that you came across that you have never heard of? Do you think that you would have come across these sources without utilizing library resources? How was this project different from using search engines to conduct research?

 
Option #3

  1. Visit the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center’s Website: http://library.howard.edu/msrc
  2. Browse the collections and/or catalog (the manuscript division, the library division, the Oral History collection, and the HU archives).
  3. Select a collection or archive that is of interest to you and/or one that might be relevant to our course content. (Examples: E. Franklin Frazier Papers, Howard University Faculty Archives [Library Division], archives of The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History)
  4. Make an appointment with the Center to view these materials.
  5. Upon viewing the materials, develop narrative about your experiences: What did you learn? What was it like to engage in primary research? What unique insights did you uncover about your topic that would have likely not been evident in secondary research?

 
You must complete each step in order to receive an “A” (20 points). You will be docked a letter grade (3 points) for each step you fail to complete.
 
This project will be due on or before: December 2, 2014.
 
Take Home Final Exam (30 pts.)
In the place of a formal final exam, the instructor will provide a comprehensive exam to be completed outside of the classroom. The content will be culled directly from the readings and will be ten essay-based questions. The take-home final will be due on or before December 11, 2014.
 
Extra Credit: Create! (10 pts.)
For extra credit, students can choose to develop a public presentation of the concepts and ideas explored in this class. You are not limited to what media you may choose. For instance, you could write a series of blog entries, develop a program on campus, conduct a Youtube.com interview, or write a Hilltop editorial. The only requirement is that it be disseminated publicly, that is, beyond the classroom. You are free to work in groups or individually. The event/presentation must occur on or before December 4, 2014. Please provide documentation or proof of your work.
 
Extra Credit: Annotated Bibliography (5 pts.)
For extra credit, you may also complete an annotated bibliography. The parameters for the sources you may choose will be the subject matter/topic for a certain week. For instance, you may decide to choose sources bearing upon the topic of Week 7: “Politics, Race, Nationalism: The Work of Ralph J. Bunche” You will need to read and summarize at least ten sources with respect that specific topic. The annotation should be between 5-7 sentences and should summarize the main idea, but also the contribution to scholarship made by the text. Due December 4, 2014.
 
Extra Credit: Events (2 pts.)
Throughout the semester, I will be announcing relevant events happening on campus. You may attend these events for extra credit. You must write a one-page summary, discussing both the nature of the event (what happened) and linking it to our course (its relevance to a topic discussed or read in class). All of these will be due on or before December 4, 2014.
 
 
Writing Rubric:
 
Your review essays will be judged based on the following criteria.
 
Grade of A (15 points)
The paper was easy to follow with introduction, body, and conclusion. There were solid transitions. There was a clearly stated thesis statement with coherent supporting arguments. There was an attempt to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle. No major spelling, grammar, and formatting errors.[14] The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were superior. The paper was supported with an impressive use of outside sources. The paper demonstrated an extensive engagement with previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of B (13 pts.)
The paper demonstrated an attempt at clear organization with minimal flaws. Some transitions. There was a clearly stated thesis statement with supporting arguments and minimal flaws. There was an attempt to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle.  There were few minor spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were good. Good engagement: The paper utilized many outside sources to advance arguments, and demonstrated a strong engagement with previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of C (11 pts.)
Satisfactory organization: The paper lacked a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. There was little use of transitions. Satisfactory argument: Thesis statement was there, but not clear and/or supporting arguments were present with minor theoretical flaws. There was a poor attempt to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle. There were several minor spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were satisfactory. Satisfactory engagement: The paper used sources, and demonstrated a tenuous engagement with the previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of D (10 pts.)
Little organization: The paper was poorly organized with no intelligible elements. There were no transitions. Little argument: There was a very poorly stated thesis statement or very poorly constructed arguments. There was no to embrace and operationalize a methodological and philosophical principle. There were several major spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were fair. Little engagement: The paper used questionable sources (Wikipedia, non-academic internet websites) and did not seek to engage previously written work on the subject.
 
Grade of F (7 pts.)
No organization: There was no attempt to organize the paper. No argument: There was no thesis statement and/or no supporting arguments. There were many major spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. The mechanics (style, language, flow, etc.) were poor or not readily discernible. No engagement: The paper did not engage any outside material.
 
Grading Scale:
A= 90-100 pts.; B= 80-89 pts.; C=70-79 pts.; D= 60-69 pts.; F= < 60 pts.
 
Assignment Submission:
All assignments will be due by 5:00PM of the scheduled due date. Please submit all assignments in person or to my office in Founders 337. In addition, please upload your assignments (with the exception of Mbongi forms) to Blackboard under the appropriate heading. You must do both, not one or the other. I cannot guarantee receipt of email submissions, so please do not email your assignments.
 
Late Assignment Policy:
Late assignments will be docked two points, per day late (per class session). The due dates are listed in the “Course Requirements and Evaluation” and the “Course Schedule” section. If your assignment is late due to an emergency, you must provide documentation to that effect to avoid the late penalty.
 
Revision Policy:
Students may request appointments to discuss their papers. At this point the instructor will offer an opportunity and determine a date to submit a revision that will replace the score of the original attempt. The second attempt must show improvement based upon the issues indicated in the comments received on the initial attempt. If applicable, the instructor will refer you to the Writing Center to ensure that you receive additional feedback and instruction. An appointment with the Writing Center may be a condition of the acceptance of a revision.
 
Incompletes:
If a particular hardship befalls you and you are not able to complete the last quarter (i.e. you have already completed 75% of the work) of the coursework assigned, you may be given a grade of “I.” All incompletes require the drawing up of a contract and the completion of the work by the end of the semester following the one in which the grade was given. Please note, you must have completed the majority of the coursework to activate this policy.
 
American with Disabilities Act (ADA):
Howard University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students.  In accordance with this policy, students who need accommodations due to a disability should contact the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services, Dr. Elaine Borne Heath (202-238-2420), as soon as possible after admission to the University or at the beginning of each semester.  If you need a special accommodation required by the American Disabilities Act, please document and discuss your disability with me during the first two weeks of classes.
 
 
Course Schedule:
 
Week 1: August 26-28
and
Week 2: September 2-4
Introducing the Black Experience: Disciplinary Definitions and Postures
 
Discussion Points: How do we situate the ways in which scholars study the Black experience? What makes Africana Studies unique? What are the roles that Africana Studies scholars have played and continue to play in understanding, commenting upon, and contributing to social change in spaces where Black people find themselves? How do we link what is done in the classroom to this larger objective?
 
Core Concepts: Africana Studies, race, culture, modernity, scholarship, liberation
 
Key Figures and Institutions: W.E.B. Du Bois, Alexander Crummell, Vincent Harding, American Negro Academy, Institute of the Black World
 
Assigned Readings:

  • E.B. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races,” in African-American Social and Political Thought, 1850-1920, ed. Howard Brotz (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008), 483-492. [Via Blackboard]
  • Vincent Harding, “The Vocation of the Black Scholar and the Struggles of the Black Community,” in Education and Black Struggle: Notes from the Colonized World, ed. Institute of the Black World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Review, 1974), 3-29. [Via Blackboard]
  • Greg Carr, “What Black Studies is Not: Moving From Crisis to Liberation in Africana Intellectual Work,” Socialism and Democracy 25 (March 2011): 178-191. [Via Blackboard]

 
Recommended Readings:

  • Nathaniel Norment, “Introduction,” in The African American Studies Reader,Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. xxvii-l.
  • James B. Stewart, “The Field and Function of Africana Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 44-52.
  • Daudi Ajani ya Azibo, “Articulating the Distinction Between Black Studies and the Study of Blacks: The Fundamental Role of Culture and the African-Centered Worldview,” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 525-546.
  • Winston Van Horne, “Africology: A Discipline of the Twenty-First Century,” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 411-419.

Week 3: September 9-11
On the Intellectual Genealogy of African America
 
Discussion Points: What are the central characteristics of African American intellectual genealogies? How did they emerge and what have been their social and political commitments? What were the circumstances that shifted a focus on race leadership toward a focus on labor and political economy? What were the paradoxes of such a shift?
 
Core Concepts: intellectual genealogy, intellectual work, race leadership, social & political thought, “the Veil,” social science, labor politics
 
Key figures and institutions: Kelly Miller, Alexander Crummell, W.E.B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Amenia II, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Negro Academy
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 1-34.

 
Recommended Readings:

  • James R. Grossman, “A Chance to Make Good, 1900-1929,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 67-130.
  • Joe William Trotter, Jr., “From a Raw Deal to a New Deal?: 1929-1945,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 131-166

 
Week 4: September 16-18
Black Washington, Black Howard
 
Discussion Points: What made Washington, DC a unique space for the development of Black intellectual genealogies? How did Howard University uniquely contribute to this development? What kinds of activism concerned Blacks during this period? How did it dovetail with the intellectual character of Black social scientists of the period? What was the impact of the New Deal on how African American thinkers understood and grappled with racial oppression?
 
Core Concepts: Black Washington, social milieu, intellectual-activist community, social movements, student activism, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), The New Deal, communism, cultural renaissance
 
Key figures and institutions: Mary Church Terrell, Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Alain Locke, Sterling Brown, Charles Hamilton Houston, John A. Davis, The New Negro Alliance, Lionel Flourant, The Liberal Club, The Hilltop, Joint Committee on National Recovery, Howard Conference of 1935, National Negro Congress (NNC), Harold Ickes
 
Assigned Readings:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 35-83.

 
Recommended Readings:

  • James R. Grossman, “A Chance to Make Good, 1900-1929,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 67-130. (cont.)
  • Joe William Trotter, Jr., “From a Raw Deal to a New Deal?: 1929-1945,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 131-166. (cont.)
  • Robert L. Harris, “The Intellectual and Institutional Foundations of Africana Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 395-400.

 
Week 5: September 23-25
Abram Harris and the Economic Meaning of Race
 
Discussion points: How did Abram Harris’s biography contribute to his development as a scholar? What were the commitments of his intellectual work in economics? How did Harris contribute to understandings of race? What were some of the strategies that he recommended to Black organizations? How were they received and what was the impact of this reception on Harris’s career?
 
Core concepts: Economics, racialism/racial thinking, economic class, legal strategy vs. economic strategy, organized labor, economic cooperatives, capitalism, Marxism
 
Key figures and institutions: Abram Harris, W.E.B. Du Bois, Walter White, NAACP, National Urban League, the Harris Committee
 
Assigned Readings:
Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, pp. 84-122.
 
Recommended Readings

  • James R. Grossman, “A Chance to Make Good, 1900-1929,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 67-130. (cont.)
  • Joe William Trotter, Jr., “From a Raw Deal to a New Deal?: 1929-1945,” in To Make Our World Anew, eds. Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 131-166. (cont.)
  • Ronald Bailey, “Black Studies in Historical Perspective” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 302-311.

 
Week 6: September 30- October 2
Race, Culture, and Social Problems: The Sociological Praxis of E. Franklin Frazier
 
Discussion Points: How did E. Franklin Frazier’s upbringing and training prepare him to undertake the study of sociology? What were Frazier’s original contributions to our understanding of the sociology of race? In what ways did Frazier’s work seek to contribute to Black social change? What has been the impact of Frazier’s ideas on Black sociology?
 
Core Concepts: Sociology, anthropology, race relations cycle, Africanisms, cultural survivals, social problems, the Negro problem, urban culture, Southern culture, family studies, nationalism
 
Key Figures and Institutions: E. Franklin Frazier, Melville Herskovits, Robert Park, Franz Boas, Charles Johnson, Tuskegee University, Fisk University, Atlanta University, University of Chicago,
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 123-156.

Recommended Readings:

  • Russell L. Adams, “African American Studies and the State of the Art,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 126-144.

 
Week 7: October 7-9
Politics, Race, Internationalism: The Work of Ralph J. Bunche
 
Discussion Points: What was the link between Ralph Bunche’s early life and education and his choice of vocation? How did Bunche approach the question of race in pursuit of the study of political science? How did Bunche’s international scope uniquely shape his intellectual work? What kinds of activism did Bunche’s work support? How did this dovetail with his later work?
 
Core Concepts: Political Science, politics, internationalism, imperialism, colonialism, African Studies, public intellectual, democracy
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Ralph J. Bunche, Gunnar Myrdal, National Negro Congress, University of Cape Town, Republican Program Committee, United Nations
 
Assigned Readings:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 157-194.

 
Recommended Readings:

  • Clair Drake, “Black Studies and Global Perspectives,” in The African American Studies Reader, ed. Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 600-611.

 
Week 8: October 14-16
A New Mission: The Transition Toward Black Studies
 
Discussion Points: What are the enduring legacies of the generation of Black thinkers to which Abram Harris, E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche belong? How did continuing racial contexts affect and determine their work and the impact of their ideas about race? What was their relationship to the “Black revolution” of the 1960s? How did it manifest among Black students?
 
Core Concepts: intellectual legacy and tradition, Civil Rights movement, Black student movement, Black power, ideology, Marxism, cultural nationalism, feminism
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Abram Harris, E. Franklin Frazier, Ralph Bunche, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Black Student Unions (BSUs)
 
Assigned Readings:

  • Jonathan Holloway, Confronting the Veil, 195-218.
  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 1-12.

 
Recommended Readings

  • DeVere E. Petony, “The Case for Black Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 9-15.
  • James Turner and C. Steven McGann, “Black Studies as an Integral Tradition in African-American Intellectual History,” Journal of Negro Education 49 (Winter 1980): 52-59.

 
 
Week 9: October 21-23
Black Student Power: Theorizing Late 1960s Campus Movements
 
Discussion Points: What were the social origins of the Black student activists on college campuses in the late 1960s? How did they impact the kinds of consciousness that they exhibited? In what sectors of the American university was Black student power rooted? What were issues students at HBCUs concerned about?
 
Core Concepts: student activism, racial liberalism, Black Power, nationalism, token integration, curricular relevance
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Malcolm X, Charles Hamilton, Stokely Carmichael, Adrienne Manns, Ewart Brown, Michael Harris, Anthony Gittens, James Nabrit, Cleveland Sellers, Howard University, Texas Southern University, South Carolina State University, Merritt College
 
Film Showing: Color Us Black
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 13-42.

 
Recommended Reading:

  • James Turner, “Black Students and their Changing Perspectives,” Ebony (August 1969): 135-140.
  • Vincent Harding, “Black Students and the Impossible Revolution,” Journal of Black Studies 1 (September 1970): 75-100.
  • Vincent Harding, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Earl Lewis, “We Changed the World,” in To Make Our World Anew, Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp.167-264.

 
Confronting the Veil Essay Due- October 22
 
 
Week 10: October 28-30
And
Week 11: November 4-6
Sites of Struggle: Black Student Power in The Bay Area, Chicago, and New York
 
Discussion Points: Who were the central players in the various student upheavals in The Bay Area, Chicago and New York? What were the similarities and differences in demands across these spaces? How effective were student organizers in reaching them? What is the continued relevance of their struggles for Blacks and higher education?
 
Core Concepts: Black Studies, self-determination, autonomy, open admissions
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Jimmy Garrett, Jerry Varnado, George Murray, Hari Dillon, S.I. Hayakawa, Nathan Hare, Askia Toure, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Glover, James Turner, Sterling Stuckey, Lerone Bennett, C.L.R. James, Eva Jefferson, John Bracey, Charles Hurst, Standish Willis, Larry English, Askia Davis, Orlando Pile, Toni Cade Bambara, Barbara Christian, Black and Puerto Rican Solidarity Community, For Members Only, Afro-American Student Union, Black League of Afro-American Collegians, Third World Liberation Front, Experimental College, SEEK, San Francisco State University, Northwestern University, Malcolm X College (Crane Junior College), Brooklyn College, City College of New York
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 43-141.

 
Week 12: November 11-13
The Continuing Struggles at HBCUs
 
Discussion Points: How did the Black student movement continue at HBCUs after the initial surge? What was unique about the ways in which administrations and law enforcement sought to control them? What is the idea of the Black University? What has been this idea’s legacy?
 
Core Concepts: Black University, outside control, higher education reform, violent repression
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Vincent Harding, Stokely Carmichael, Harold Cruse, Maulana Karenga, Russell Adams, Andrew Billingsley, Acklyn Lynch, Nelson Johnson, Bernie Dingle, Fred Prejean, Student Organization for Black Unity, Students United, Howard University, Jackson State University, Voorhees College, Southern University, North Carolina A&T State University
 
Guest Lecture: TBA
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 142-173.

 
Recommended Reading:

  • Nick Aaron Ford, “The Black College as Focus for Black Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 664-674.
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, “Into the Fire: 1970 to the Present,” in To Make Our World Anew,Robin D.G. Kelley and Earl Lewis, pp. 265-341.

 
 
Week 13: November 18-20
And
Week 14: November 25
The Reception and Larger Scope of the Black Studies Movement
 
Discussion Points: What is a counterrevolution? How did the struggles to craft a discipline contribute to the decline in influence of Black Studies after its initial creation? What is the Black perspective and how did it shape Black Studies conversations? How were Black Studies programs governed and how were faculty chosen? What has been the role of funding bodies and philanthropic organizations in Black Studies and how did they shape its production of knowledge? What were the forms of Black Studies off-campus? What was the rationale for expanding Black Studies to the community?
 
Core Concepts: counterrevolution, autonomy, incorporation, governance, methodology, theoretical perspective, disciplinarity, think-tank, African-centered education, revolutionary nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Maoism, Marxist-Leninism
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Ewart Gunier, Martin Kilson, Nelson George, Owusu Sadauki, Bertha Maxwell, Gertrude Wilks, Mary and Robert Hoover, James B. Stewart, John Henrik Clarke, C. Eric Lincoln, Vincent Harding, Gerald McWorter, William Strickland, Ford Foundation, Harvard University, National Council for Black Studies, Institute of the Black World, Black Heritage, Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Nairobi Schools, Youth Organization for Black Unity
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 174-240.

 
Week 15: December 2-4
Disciplinarity and Discontent: Africana Studies’ Theoretical & Methodological Debate
 
Discussion Points: What are the key components of a discipline? Why are they necessary? How has Africana Studies developed disciplinarily? What have been the key outcomes of Africana Studies’ forty-six year institutionalization?
 
Core Concepts: methodology, disciplinarity, Afrocentricity, Black Women’s Studies, African Diaspora Studies
 
Key Figures and Institutions: Molefi Asante, James B. Stewart, Greg Carr, Toni Cade Bambara, Deborah Gray White, St. Clair Drake, John Henrik Clarke, James Turner, Combahee River Collective, African Heritage Studies Association, Temple University
 
Video Lecture: Greg Carr, “What Black Studies is For Now,” Temple University, Spring 2012.
 
Assigned Reading:

  • Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus, 241-278.

 
Recommended Reading

  • Greg Carr, “Toward an Intellectual History of Black Studies: Genealogy and Normative Theory,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 438-452.
  • Molefi Asante, “The Afrocentric Metatheory and Disciplinary Implications,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 506-518.
  • Maulana Karenga, “Black Studies and the Problematic of Paradigm,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 356-368.
  • Valethia Watkins, “New Directions in Black Women’s Studies,” in The African American Studies Reader, Nathaniel Norment, Jr., pp. 229-240.

 
E-185 Library Project Due- December 2
The Black Revolution on Campus Essay Due- December 4
 
 
Appendix:
 
A: Further Reading
These works should be used to broaden your understanding of the discipline of Africana Studies and the topics discussed this course.
 
General and Biographical Works:
 
Blackwell, James E. and Morris Janowitz, eds. Black Sociologists: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974.
 
Bradley, Stefan. Harlem vs. Columbia: Black Student Power. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009.
 
Ferguson, Roderick. The Reorder of Things: The University and its Pedagogies of Minority Difference. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.
 
Glasker, Wayne. Black Students in the Ivory Tower: African American Student Activism at the University of Pennsylvania, 1967-1990. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.
 
Harris, Abram L. and William Darity, Jr., eds. Race, Radicalism, and Reform. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1989.
 
Henry, Charles P. Ralph Bunche: Model Negro or American Other?  New York: New York University Press, 1999.
 
Mealy, Rosemari. Activism and Disciplinary Suspensions/Expulsions at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): A Phenomenological Study of the Black Student Sit-In Movement1960-1962. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2013.
 
Miller, Eben. Born Along the Color Line: The 1933 Amenia Conference and the Rise of a National Civil Rights Movement. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
 
Moten, Fred. In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
 
Platt, Anthony M. E. Franklin Frazier Reconsidered. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
 
Robinson, Cedric J. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.
 
Singh, Nikhil Pal. Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.
 
Smith, Charles U., ed. Student Unrest on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Tallahassee, FL: Florida A&M, 1994.
 
Thorpe, Earl E. Black Historians: A Critique. New York: Morrow, 1958.
 
Warren, Nagueyalti. Grandfather of Black Studies : W.E.B. Du Bois. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2011.
 
White, Derrick. The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2012.
 
Williamson, Joy Ann. Radicalizing the Ebony Tower: Black Colleges and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi. New York: Teachers College Press, 2008.
 
Williams, Zachery R. In Search of Talented Tenth: Howard University Public Intellectuals and the Dilemmas of Race, 1926-1970. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
 
Wilson, Francille Rusan. The Segregated Scholars: Black Social Scientific and the Creation of Labor Studies, 1890-1950. Charlottesville, VA: The University of Virginia Press, 2006.
 
 
Critical Works/Articles on Africana Studies and Related Topics
 
Armah, Ayi Kwei, The Eloquence of the Scribes: A Memoir on the Sources and Resources of African Literature. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh, 2006.
 
–. Remembering the Dismembered Continent. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh, 2010.
 
Asante, Molefi Kete. Kemet, Afrocentricity and Knowledge. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1990.
 
–. The Afrocentric Idea. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1998.
 
Ba, Amadou Hampate. “The Living Tradition.” In General History of Africa, Volume 1: Methodology and African Prehistory, edited by Joseph Ki-Zerbo, 166-205. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1981.
 
Baker, Houston. Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
 
Carruthers, Jacob Intellectual Warfare. Chicago: Third World Press, 1999.
 
–. Science and Oppression. Chicago: Kemetic Institute, 1972.
 
Ford, Nick Aaron. Black Studies: Threat or Challenge? Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1973.
 
Ford Foundation, Inclusive Scholarship: Developing Black Studies in the United States. New York: The Ford Foundation, 2007. (available online http://www.fordfoundation.org/pdfs/library/inclusive_scholarship.pdf)
 
Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
 
Kershaw, Terry. “Afrocentrism and the Afrocentric Method.” Western Journal of Black Studies 16 (Fall 1992): 160-168.
 
Harney, Stefano and Fred Moten.  The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. Brooklyn, NY: Minor Compositions, 2013.
 
Hill-Collins, Patricia. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge, 1991.
 
Mudimbe, V.Y. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1988.
 
Obenga, Theophile. African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330 BC. Popenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh Books, 2004.
 
Otabil, Kwesi. The Agonistic Imperative: The Rational Burden of African Centeredness. Bristol, IN: Wyndham Hall Press, 1994.
 
Outlaw, Lucius T. On Race and Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 1996.
 
Oyewumi, Oyeronke. The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
 
Stewart, James B. Flight: In Search of Vision. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2004.
 
Taylor, Clyde. The Mask of Art: Breaking the Aesthetic Contract—Film And Literature. Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1998.
 
Thiong’o, Ngugi wa. Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance. New York: Basic Civitas, 2009.
 
Histories of Africana Studies
Harris, Jr., Robert L. “The Intellectual and Institutional Development of Africana Studies.” In Three Essays: Black Studies in the United States, edited by Robert L. Harris, Jr., Darlene Clark Hine, and Nellie McKay,7-14. New York: the Ford Foundation, 1990.
 
Rogers, Ibram. The Black Campus Movement: Black Studies The Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
 
Rojas, Fabio. From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
 
Rooks, Noliwe. White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.
 
Woodyard, Jeffrey Lynn. “Evolution of a Discipline: Intellectual Antecedents of African American Studies.” Journal of Black Studies 22 (December 1991): 239-251
 
Textbooks in Africana Studies
 
Alkalimat, Abdul. Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A People’s College Primer. Chicago: Twenty First Century Publications, 1974. [available online eblackstudies.org]
 
Anderson, Talmadge and James B. Stewart. Introduction to African American Studies: Transdisciplinary Approaches and Implications. Baltimore, MD: Inprint Editions, 2007.
 
Karenga, Maulana. Introduction to Black Studies. Los Angeles, CA: Sankore, 2010.
 
Textbook Histories of African/Black Experience
 
Franklin, John Hope and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. From Slavery to Freedom. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
 
Shillington, Kevin. History of Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
 
White, Deborah Gray, et al., Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans. New York: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2013.
 
Edited Volumes
Aldridge, Delores and E. Lincoln James, eds. Africana Studies: Philosophical Perspective and Theoretical Paradigms. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, 2008.
 
Aldridge, Delores and Carlene Young, eds. Out of the Revolution Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2000.
 
Anderson, Talmadge, ed. Black Studies: Theory, Method, and Cultural Perspectives. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1990.
 
Asante, Molefi Kete and Maulana Karenga, eds. Handbook of Black Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005.
 
Azevedo Mario, ed. Africana Studies: A Survey of Africa and the African Diaspora. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.
 
Bates, Robert, V.Y Mudimbe, and Jean F. O’Barr, eds. Africa and the Disciplines: The Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and the Humanities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
 
Blassingame, John W. New Perspectives on Black Studies. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1971.
 
Bobo, Jacqueline, Claudine Michel, and Cynthia Hundley, eds. The Black Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2004.
 
Carruthers, Jacob H. and Leon C. Harris, eds. The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization African World History Project: The Preliminary Challenge. Los Angeles: CA, 1997.
 
Davidson, Jeanette, ed. African American Studies. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2010.
 
Gomez, Michael, ed., Diasporic Africa: A Reader. New York: NYU Press, 2006.
 
–. Not Only the Master’s Tools: African American Studies in Theory and Practice. Boulder: Paradigm, 1995.
 
Hayes, Floyd, ed. A Turbulent Voyage: Readings in African American Studies. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2000.
 
Conyers, Jr., James L., ed. Africana Studies: A Disciplinary Quest for Both Theory and Method. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, 1997.
 
Marable, Manning. Dispatches From the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
 
–. The New Black Renaissance: The Souls Anthology of Critical African American Studies. Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2005.
 
Norment, Nathaniel, ed. The African American Studies Reader. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.
 
Olanyian, Tejumola and James H. Sweet, eds. The African Diaspora and the Disciplines. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.
 
Robinson, Armstead L. Craig C. Foster, and Donald H. Ogilvie, eds. Black Studies in the University: A Symposium. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1969.
 
Turner, James. ed. The Next Decade: Theoretical and Research Issues in Africana Studies. Ithaca, NY: Africana Studies and Research Center, 1984.
 
 

  1. Some Key Figures in Africana Studies

 
Throughout the course we will discuss those figures and communities of discourse that figured prominently in what could be considered early iterations of Africana Studies (pre-1968). In addition to these, the following are key figures directly associated with the discipline since its institutionalization in 1968 and their institutional affiliation(s).
 
 
Russell Adams, Howard University
Delores Aldridge, Emory University
Elizabeth Alexander, Yale University
Abdul Alkalimat, University of Illinois
Ernest Allen, UMass-Amherst
Talmadge Anderson, Washington State University (deceased)
Molefi Kete Asante, Temple University
Mario Beatty, Howard University
Martha Biondi, Northwestern University
Andrew Billingsley, Howard University
John W. Blassingame, Yale University (deceased)
John Bracey, UMass-Amherst
Greg Carr, Howard University
Sundiata Cha-Jua, University of Illinois
John Henrik Clarke, Hunter College (deceased)
Alan Colon, Dillard University
James L. Conyers, University of Houston
St. Clair Drake, Stanford University (deceased)
Stephanie Evans, Clark Atlanta University
Nick Aaron Ford, Morgan State University (deceased)
Henry Louis Gates, Harvard University
Eddie Glaude, Princeton University
Vivian Gordon, SUNY Albany (deceased)
Perry Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
Vincent Harding, Iliff Theological Seminary (deceased)
Nathan Hare, San Francisco State University (formerly)
Robert Harris, Cornell University
Charles P. Henry, UC Berkeley (formerly)
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University
Nathan Huggins, Harvard University (deceased)
Charles Jones, University of Cincinnati
Rhett Jones, Brown University
Maulana Karenga, Cal State Long Beach
Terry Kershaw, University of Cincinnati
Manning Marable, Columbia University (deceased)
Claudine Michel, UC Santa Barbara
William Nelson, Ohio State University (deceased)
Nathaniel Norment, Temple University (formerly)
Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., Vanderbilt University
Cedric Robinson, UC Santa Barbara
Noliwe Rooks, Cornell University
Tricia Rose, Brown University
Clovis Semmes, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Amilcar Shabazz, UMass-Amherst
James B. Stewart, Penn State
Curtis Stokes, Michigan State University
Bill Strickland, UMass-Amherst
Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University
Darwin T. Turner, University of Iowa (deceased)
James Turner, Cornell University
Winston Van Horne, UW-Milwaukee
Corey D.B. Walker, Winston-Salem State
Valethia Watkins, Howard University
Shirley Weber, San Diego State University
Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary
Vernon Williams, University of Indiana
Tukufu Zuberi, UPenn
 
 
C: The Study of Human Experiences: Conceptual Categories 
 
“African people have produced the same general types of institutions for understanding and ordering their worlds as every other group of human beings. Though this should be obvious, the fact that we must go to great lengths to recognize and then demonstrate it speaks to the potent and invisible effect of the enslavement and colonization of African people over the last 500 years.” –Greg Carr[15]
 
The study of the African experience is the study of human beings. The following conceptual chart is derived from the School District of Philadelphia’s Lessons in Africana Studies and provides a general way of understanding how one can begin the process of looking at human group experiences. This tool can aid in conceptualizing and understanding the genealogies of Africans you will encounter throughout this course and can be applied to human groups regardless of the time period and location being discussed.
 

Social Structure Governance Ways of Knowing Science and Technology Movement and Memory Cultural Meaning-Making
What is/are the social structures(s) in place for the people discussed? How did the Africans organize themselves during this period? What kinds of systems did Africans develop to explain their existence and how did they use those systems to address fundamental issues of living? What types of devices were developed to shape nature and human relationships with animals and each other during this period and how did it affect Africans and others? How did/do African remember this experience? What specific music, art, dance, and/or literature/orature did Africans create during this period?

Source: Greg Carr, “Teaching and Studying the African(a) Experience,” in  Lessons in Africana Studies (Philadelphia: The School District of Philadelphia, 2005), 17.
 
Department of Afro-American Studies
AFRO 006: Intro to Africana Studies II
Mbongi Form
 
University education is one of the supreme privileges of life. It is not designed primarily to increase one’s power to make money, but to enable one, by study and reflection, to arrive at a clear notion of the nature and possibilities of human life in the individual and in the world; and to develop one’s competence to advance the possibilities of human life with maximum effectiveness and internal satisfaction while at the same time understanding, appreciating and cooperating constructively with the work of others. The teachers, the books, the libraries, and day- by-day contacts and discussions with fellow students who are stimulating equals in research and discovery—all these are resources of a major kind. Association with them, maximum effort to contribute one’s share to them—together make up one of the great adventures of life.  –Mordecai Wyatt Johnson
 
Week:____    Name:_____________________________________________________________
Week assessment (1-10): _____
Dr. Myers’ teaching effectiveness (1-10): ______
Your preparation level (1-10): ______
Summarize this week’s session’s topic, in one paragraph:
 
What contemporary topic was discussed this week:
 
What historical topic was discussed this week:
 
Indicate, by region, some material (concepts, figures, events) read this week:
 

Africa United States Europe/Asia Latin America/Caribbean

Other (indicate):
 
List two new things you thought about during this week’s intellectual work:
 
 
What could Dr. Myers have done better to assist your learning experience this week?
 
 
What could you have done to improve the learning experience this week?
 
 
[1]. This course fulfills the University African-American cluster requirement. Please note: The official name of this course as listed in BisonWeb and the University curriculum is “Intro to Afro-American Studies II.” There are no prerequisites.
 
[2]. June Jordan, “Black Studies: Bringing Back the Person,” in New Perspectives on Black Studies, ed. John W. Blassingame (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971), 36.
 
[3]. Vincent Harding, “The Vocation of the Black Scholar and the Struggles of the Black Community,” in Education and Black Struggle: Notes from the Colonized World, ed. Institute of the Black World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Review, 1974), 8-9.
 
[4]. “Deep Thought” refers to the “philosophizing” tradition of African people throughout history. See the work of Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr: Divine Speech: A Historiographical Reflection of African Deep Thought From the time of the Pharaohs to the Present (London: Karnak House, 1995), 15.
 
[5]. For a discussion on the role that “ideals of life” play in the contribution of “races” to humanity. See W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races,” in African-American Social and Political Thought, 1850-1920, ed. Howard Brotz (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008), 485. We will discuss this in Week 1 going into Week 2.
 
[6]. See Greg Carr, “Africana Cultural Logics and Movement Building: A Brief Essay and Study Bibliography,” Research Essay for Children’s Defense Fund Advanced Service and Advocacy Workshop for HBCU Student Leaders (Clinton, TN: Children’s Defense Fund, 2003). Carr and others have developed the “Pathway to Djehuty” program within the Philadelphia Freedom Schools, an extra-academic program, which begins the process of (K-12) academic enrichment utilizing Africana intellectual foundations.
 
[7]. Attendance is mandatory. Students’ attendance will be evaluated through the weekly mbongi forms to be discussed in the “Course Requirements and Evaluation” section.
 
[8]. See the “Course Requirements and Evaluations” sections for writing expectations. As Gerald Horne, a key Africana Studies political historian has stated, “You learn to write by reading.” This course will therefore approach good writing (or in the Kemetic sense, mdw nfr, good speech) through “good reading.” How we contribute to the discussion of theory and methodology in Africana Studies and economic thought will be read, discussed, and then linked to how we write. See Gerald Horne, “Opening Address” (paper presented at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center “Preservation as Practice” Two Day Symposium, Howard University, Washington, DC, January 25, 2010). On the Kemetic concept of mdw nfr (good speech), see Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr, 40.
 
In addition, the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment has recently launched a Writing Matters campaign. In keeping with this initiative, I offer the following: Writing is an essential tool for thinking and communicating in virtually every profession. Therefore, in this course I expect you to produce writing that is not only thoughtful and accurate, but also organized, clear, and consistent with the rules of Standard English. If your writing does not meet these standards, I may deduct points or ask you to revise (See below). For assistance with your writing go to the student section of the Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) website: http://www.cetla.howard.edu/wac/students.aspx.
 
[9]. It should go without saying, that such contributions must be yours. However, we must clarify our meaning of plagiarism. According to the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University:
 
Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s words and ideas as your own. This misrepresentation is a breach of ethics that seriously compromises a person’s reputation. Professional careers have been ruined by revelations of plagiarism. Researchers, therefore, must scrupulously acknowledge sources to give proper credit for borrowed materials. The following rules should be observed to make sure that the distinction between your own words and ideas and those of others is justly maintained. (Of course, submitting a paper that is completely the work of another person is plagiarism in its most extreme form.)
 

  • Words, phrases, and sentences of another person should be enclosed in quotation marks and cited in the proper form.
  • Paraphrases and summaries of the ideas of others should be properly cited. These paraphrases and summaries should not represent merely the rearrangement of sentence elements but should be rewritten in your style.
  • Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be introduced with the name of the writing being cited.
  • Every item cited in your paper (i.e., all sources of others’ words and ideas) should appear in the bibliography in the proper form.

 
Citations should contain all the information required by standard conventions and specifically indicate the location of the material cited. Page numbers should be checked for accuracy before a paper is submitted; the reader must be able to find the source of the material quote, paraphrased, or summarized. If you plagiarize all or part of an assignment, you can expect severe penalties, ranging from failure in that assignment to being recommended for a hearing before a judiciary body of the University. In most cases, a letter will be placed in your permanent file.
 
[10]. The mbongi is both a physical and intellectual space, or “common shelter” which constitutes many traditional African functions: law and order, cultural education, maintenance of social and political life, conflict resolution, the council of elders, and more. Intellectual work within the mbongi seeks to extend and preserve that which allows the community (village, federation, etc.) to function properly. The mbongi serves this function by encompassing a space where everyone is allowed to speak, but at the same time being required to speak with authority and clarity. This space serving all of these important functions, necessitates its status as a “think tank” which develops the best ways of knowing and keeping the traditions which characterize the group and order thought. Privacy has no place in the mbongi, as the traditional Kongo dictum states, “What you think belongs to you, what you say belongs to the public.”  There are many terms among the Bantu speakers of the region, including boko, yembalusanga, and kioto. Finally, discussions about the mbongi have been advanced by the African thinker, Kimbwandede Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau, who is both a native of the region and an initiate of this institution.  On the “house without rooms” and privacy ideas, see Kimbwandede Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau, African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo: Principles of Life and Living (Brooklyn, NY: Athelia Henrietta Press, 2001), 59-61. See also his extended work, which details the uses and functions of the mbongi, Mbongi: An African Traditional Political Institution (Atlanta, GA: GA: Afrikan Djeli Publishers, 2007).
 
[11].  Fu-Kiau, African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, 62.
 
[12]. A method for choosing one would be to select from the weekly discussion points below.
[13].  See Mark Anthony Neal, “Love In the Stacks: Some Thoughts on Black History Month,” Huffington Post, February 4, 2013, http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2613223
[14]. Please see the following guidelines for formatting your essays:
Formatting Guidelines:
Font: Please use a modern true type font, size 12. Examples are Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, Trebuchet MS, and Baskerville.
Spacing: 2.0 or double.
Margins: One inch margins are required
Header and Footer: Please place all pertinent information (name, date, assignment) in the header on the first page. Place page numbers in either the header or footer. Do not place this information within the body of your document.
Style: Please use Chicago style formatting for this course. See http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
Miscellaneous: Title pages, report covers, and other presentation accouterments are not necessary and will not contribute to the evaluation of your work. Please staple your assignments!
[15]. Greg Carr, “Teaching and Studying the African(a) Experience,” in  Lessons in Africana Studies (Philadelphia: The School District of Philadelphia, 2005), 12.
ed by the African thinker, Kimbwandede Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau, who is both a native of the region and an initiate of this institution.  On the “house without rooms” and privacy ideas, see Kimbwandede Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau, African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo: Principles of Life and Living (Brooklyn, NY: Athelia Henrietta Press, 2001), 59-61. See also his extended work, which details the uses and functions of the mbongi, Mbongi: An African Traditional Political Institution (Atlanta, GA: GA: Afrikan Djeli Publishers, 2007).
 
[11].  Fu-Kiau, African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, 62.
 
[12]. A method for choosing one would be to select from the weekly discussion points below.
[13].  See Mark Anthony Neal, “Love In the Stacks: Some Thoughts on Black History Month,” Huffington Post, February 4, 2013, http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2613223
[14]. Please see the following guidelines for formatting your essays:
Formatting Guidelines:
Font: Please use a modern true type font, size 12. Examples are Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, Trebuchet MS, and Baskerville.
Spacing: 2.0 or double.
Margins: One inch margins are required
Header and Footer: Please place all pertinent information (name, date, assignment) in the header on the first page. Place page numbers in either the header or footer. Do not place this information within the body of your document.
Style: Please use Chicago style formatting for this course. See http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
Miscellaneous: Title pages, report covers, and other presentation accouterments are not necessary and will not contribute to the evaluation of your work. Please staple your assignments!
[15]. Greg Carr, “Teaching and Studying the African(a) Experience,” in  Lessons in Africana Studies (Philadelphia: The School District of Philadelphia, 2005), 12.

 

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