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African American Studies

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African American Studies Second Edition

Edited by Jeanette R. Davidson

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Edinburgh University Press is one of the leading university presses in the UK. We publish academic books and journals in our selected subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, combining cutting-edge scholarship with high editorial and production values to produce academic works of lasting importance. For more information visit our website: edinburghuniversitypress.com

© editorial matter and organisation Jeanette R. Davidson, 2010, 2021 © the chapters their several authors, 2021 First edition published by Edinburgh University Press in 2010. Edinburgh University Press Ltd The Tun – Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson’s Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ Typeset in 11/13 Sabon by IDSUK (DataConnection) Ltd, and printed and bound in Great Britain. A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 4744 8773 3 (hardback) ISBN 978 1 4744 8775 7 (webready PDF) ISBN 978 1 4744 8774 0 (paperback) ISBN 978 1 4744 8776 4 (epub)

The right of Jeanette R. Davidson to be identified as the editor of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI No. 2498).

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Contents

Acknowledgements Foreword Notes on Contributors 1 Introduction Jeanette R. Davidson

viii x xiii 1

I HISTORY AND CONTEXT OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 2 Danny Glover: Memories from 1968 Jeanette R. Davidson 3 Pedagogy and Decolonization: Historical Reflections on Origins of Black Studies in the United States Ben Keppel 4 Toward Radical Pan-African Pedagogy and Civic Education Greg Graham 5 The “Field and Function” of Africana Studies: Insights from the Life and Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois James B. Stewart

17

26 38

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II AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: THEORIES AND METHODOLOGIES 6 African American Studies: Discourses and Paradigms Perry A. Hall

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7 Afrocentricity and Africology: Theory and Practice in the Discipline Molefi Kete Asante

84

8 Revisiting White Privilege: Pedagogy in Black Studies Tim Davidson and Jeanette R. Davidson

99

9 Social Science Research in Africana Studies: Ethical Protocols and Guidelines Serie McDougal III

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CONTENTS

10 Africana Studies and Oral History: A Critical Assessment Leslie M. Alexander and Curtis J. Austin

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III SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, SERVICE LEARNING AND ACTIVISM 11 Africana Studies and Community Service: Using the STRENGTH Model Jeanette R. Davidson and Tim Davidson 12 Africana Studies and Civic Engagement Kevin L. Brooks

141 157

13 Danny Glover and Manning Marable: Activism Through Art and Scholarship Jeanette R. Davidson

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14 Contemporary Women of the African Diaspora: Identity, Artistic Expression and Activism Ebony Iman Dallas, Marie Casimir and Jeanette R. Davidson

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IV SELECTED AREAS OF SCHOLARSHIP IN THE DISCIPLINE 15 He Wasn’t Man Enough: Black Male Studies and the Ethnological Targeting of Black Men in Nineteenth-Century Suffragist Thought Tommy J. Curry

209

16 Reading Black Through the Looking Glass: Decoding the Encoding in African Diasporic Literature Georgene Bess Montgomery

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17 Diversity and Representations of Blackness in Comic Books Grace D. Gipson

238

18 Black Athletes and the Problematic of Integration in Sport Jamal Ratchford

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19 African American Music: The Ties That Bind Alphonso Simpson Jr.

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20 Afrofuturism and the Question of Visual Reparations Tiffany E. Barber

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21 The Black Studies Movement in Britain Kehinde Andrews

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Index

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To Liam Yun Davidson May we make a better tomorrow for you and for all children.

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Acknowledgements

I give my sincere thanks to the chapter authors and interviewees in this text. They are committed to the mission of Black Studies, and dedicated to their students. They know that their scholarly works not only teach and inspire students who are hungry for knowledge about the discipline and the riches of their research, but also that they have the serious responsibility to challenge faulty belief systems, confront anti-Black status quo societal norms and patterns of behavior, direct positive change, promote scholarship and activism and, in the best case scenario, transform lives. I give special honor to the legacy of greatness granted to us in this text by Manning Marable and Perry Hall, now ancestors to whom we owe a tremendous debt for their wisdom, their clarity of thought, and pristine writing. The National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) deserves a ‘shout-out’ for always being there to sustain us as we continue the struggle on our respective campuses. My appreciation for students at the University of Oklahoma, in African and African American Studies, is deep. I have been honored to be their teacher for eighteen years (fifteen of these years as program director) and I count on their energy, their inspiration and their belief that our work is vital to their personal and collective futures and to the relevance of the academy. A few students and former students read chapters as I received them from the authors, and cheerfully gave me their feedback: Miles Francisco; Blayke Hughes; Carlos Jackson; Sam McCann; Tori Mongo; Mia Mukes; Jamelia Reed; Tara Richards; Tyler Rivera; and Marcelias Sutton. Thank you for always keeping it real! Special thanks must be given for the assistance from everyone at Edinburgh University Press: to Michelle Houston, whose enthusiasm always feels so reinforcing and sustaining, and to Jane Burkowski, Emma Caddy, James Dale and Ersev Ersoy for their invaluable help in bringing this work to print. I also thank my friend and colleague R. C. Davis, Neustadt Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, editor of World Literature Today and managing editor of the Ethnic Studies Series, in which the first edition of African American Studies was published. Thanks go to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Wrobel, David L. Boren, Professor and Merrick Chair of Western American History, for ensuring that I had some “release time” to write; to my friend and colleague Professor Daniela Garofalo, Professor of English and Director of the Center for Literary Studies, who has opened a door for me to host campus- and community-wide Black

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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literature reading groups, which brings me great joy; and to the many other valued colleagues, also from the University of Oklahoma, who brighten each day. As always, my deepest appreciation goes to my husband Tim Davidson, whose scholarly help in extensive reviewing of many contributions to this volume, over and above co-authorship of two chapters, was much more than I ever should have asked. I also greatly value the imagery in the original art by Zach Davidson, whose cover for the first edition drew readers to the book and whose new cover for the second edition of African American Studies promises the same attraction. Thank you Tim, and both our sons Zach and Corey Davidson, and daughter-in-law Yunjin La-mei Woo, all racial justice warriors in your respective spheres of influence, for the love, support, encouragement and validation that you give me every day of my life. Finally, thank you to my mum and dad, Elizabeth and J. James Carlisle, who first taught me about all that is righteous and good and that matters in life. Jeanette R. Davidson

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Foreword

Something spectral is haunting the world—the truth that is Africana Studies. All the powers of the old White supremacist guard have entered into a solemn alliance to exorcise this specter: Donald Trump and Charles Murray, Breitbart and Fox News, Neo-Nazis and Federal Bureau of Investigation police-spies. They hurl attacks against African American Studies and try to stigmatize it to no avail—like a terrible swift sword against anti-Black racism, our truth is marching on. The book before you is not like any other textbook. It is a weapon of struggle in an army that stretches back in modern times to William Edgar Burghardt Du Bois, Sadie T. M. Alexander, Carter Woodson, Anna Julia Cooper and other vanguard scholars who earned their doctoral degrees. It introduces you to a discipline that has grown from the exertions of scholars and students just like you who refused to accept the master narratives of racism, supremacy and domination. It is, as the author of one of the chapters in this volume has said, a science of liberation. Black Studies is and has always been the intellectual arm of the movement for Black lives. Danny Glover, whom the world knows as a great actor and humanitarian, was a college student in 1968, who was drawn into the struggle to open colleges and universities to African American students and to make the education they received there relevant to their lives and truthful to their experiences. Jeanette R. Davidson’s important interview with him lays an excellent foundation to help you grasp what our discipline is all about. The decolonization of institutions of higher education in the United States is not a rhetorical exercise in high theory. It is about real problems and real people finding ways to solve those problems. All of the essays throughout this book work to redefine and reimagine not just what we teach, but how and why we teach what we do. As you read about the discourses and paradigms, and the theories that guide our disciplinary practices, remember that we are about world-making, and we utilize the most scientific research methods available to us. See and learn that we are about developing new ways to serve communities that are strong and resilient, but also under siege. As this book comes out, the world is in a pandemic known as Covid-19. Researchers know the race and ethnicity for 97 per cent of the cumulative deaths in the United States, and it is clear that Covid-19 mortality is inequitably impacting African American communities. The facts

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show continued wide disparities by race, most dramatically for African Americans and Indigenous Americans. As Covid-19 steals Black and brown lives, the question is not only why, but how we stop the deaths. Africana Studies is born from community struggles and civic engagement, and it must ever be so long as our communities are the most vulnerable, the most beleaguered and the most susceptible to harm, whether from the systemic violence of the police and racial capitalism, or from viruses and other diseases. Some of the most brilliant scholar-activists in the world today have contributed to this text. Collectively they introduce you to a discipline that is unique, that has grown mature, but is still quite revolutionary. We are not like those philosophers of old who were content only to interpret the world, in various ways. We do that, but we also know and accept that the point of it all is to transform the world. A day will come when no-knock warrants and the killing of someone like Breonna Taylor or the pressing of a knee on the neck of someone for nearly nine minutes until only a lifeless body remains, as happened to George Floyd, are a thing of the past. A day will come when the violence of hunger and food insecurity, of racial profiling and the presumption of guilt, of mass incarceration and attacks on Black queer and trans folk, of children in schools that fail them, when all these unacceptable realities are no more. And when that day comes the world will have to acknowledge that Africana Studies led the way to change. It is our discipline that activates and supports all the other arts and sciences to see that Black lives matter. Before economists began to study reparations as a policy solution to the wealth gap that afflicts African Americans, Africana Studies heard and made the call for reparations. Before epidemiologists discovered that Black and brown workers were overrepresented in the ranks of essential workers and suffered from risk factors at a higher rate than Whites, Africana Studies was already there. If you listen carefully you will see how African American Studies relates in many profound ways to other academic fields of study. We are not a ghetto, unless, as the musical group WAR once sang, “The World is a Ghetto.” So read, enjoy and relate the essays presented here to your life, your surroundings and your other studies. Draw connections and be empowered to change the world. As Anna Julia Cooper once wrote, “an authentic portrait, at once aesthetic and true to life,” that presents the person of African descent as a free human being, “not just the humble slave of Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” but a person, “divinely struggling and aspiring yet tragically warped and distorted by the adverse winds of circumstance, has not yet been painted . . . that canvass awaits the brush of the colored man himself,” the woman of African descent herself. Fifty years ago, the women and men who dared to approach that canvas gained a foothold in the academy that is called African American Studies (among other names). This book places before you scholarship from artists and scientists who work in that space that the great mass movements of Black folk demanded and helped to create. Their scholarship contributes to the painting of that authentic portrait of Black lives. Yes, Black lives matter. We

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will no longer need to say that when the revolution comes to our institutions and cultures. African American Studies works for that moment, and the essays that follow will guide you into how we work to radically transform the world. Dr. Amilcar Shabazz President, National Council for Black Studies Professor of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Notes on Contributors

Leslie M. Alexander Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University. Kehinde Andrews Ph.D. is Professor of Black Studies in the School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University, England. Molefi Kete Asante Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Temple University. Curtis J. Austin Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University. Tiffany E. Barber Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies, University of Delaware. Kevin L. Brooks Ph.D. is Academic Specialist for Diversity and Civic Engagement for the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University. Marie Casimir M.A. is Adjunct Instructor in the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, University of Oklahoma and a movement artist, organizer, Founder/Director of Djaspora Productions and Co-Founder of the Instigation Festival. Tommy J. Curry Ph.D. is Professor of Philosophy and holds a Personal Chair in Africana Philosophy and Black Male Studies in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ebony Iman Dallas M.F.A. is Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Art and Design, Oklahoma City University, and formerly Adjunct Instructor in the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, University of Oklahoma. She is the founder of Afrikanation Artists Organization. Jeanette R. Davidson Ph.D. ACSW is Professor in the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, University of Oklahoma.

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Tim Davidson Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma. Grace D. Gipson Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University. Danny Glover is an acclaimed actor in blockbuster movies, films that focus on the African and African American experience, and in television and theater projects. He is known for his lifelong efforts as an activist and has received numerous awards for humanitarianism and advocacy efforts. Greg Graham Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, University of Oklahoma. Perry A. Hall Ph.D. was Associate Professor in the African and Afro-American Studies Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Professor Hall passed away on 19 April 2020. Ben Keppel Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of History, University of Oklahoma. Manning Marable Ph.D. was the M. Moran Weston and Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of History and Public Affairs, and Director of the Center for Contemporary Black History, Columbia University. He won (posthumously) the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Serie McDougal III Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies, California State University, Los Angeles. Georgene Bess Montgomery Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of English, Clark-Atlanta University. Jamal Ratchford Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Race, Ethnicity and Migration Studies Program, Colorado College. Alphonso Simpson Jr. Ph.D. is Program Director of African American Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. James B. Stewart Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus in Labor and Employment Relations, African and African American Studies and Management and Organization, Pennsylvania State University.

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1

Introduction Jeanette R. Davidson

The story of African American Studies is one of strength, resilience, accomplishment and empowerment. African American Studies scholars have, and will continue to have, unique and far-reaching contributions within universities— intellectually, aesthetically, spiritually, politically and culturally. At the same time, in many ways, African American Studies exemplifies the quintessential story of race in America, with all the challenges, power dynamics and hardfought successes too long in coming. As with the larger national context, so goes it for African American Studies. We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. With a history reaching back to Black intellectual education pioneers like W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary McLeod Bethune, E. Franklin Frazier and many others, inside the field of education and in other professional arenas, and reaching beyond to scholars, activists and artists in Africa and the Diaspora, African American Studies has a remarkable foundation.1 Building on that foundation, professors and students and people from the community, in the late 1960s, demanded that education within the ivory towers become relevant to Black students (and other students of color), with their efforts coming to fruition in the birth of formal Black Studies.2 Since then, African American Studies has continued to grow. In measurable ways, this development, in scholarship, curriculum building and creative production has been extraordinary. To understand African American Studies, one must understand the historical context, the ongoing political and institutional struggle existing for programs and departments. One must also recognize how those dynamics have shaped curricula, the development of varied theoretical perspectives and world views, faculty composition and the institutional prestige accorded to the discipline. African American Studies departments and programs have from their inception been under intense scrutiny. While the discipline has gained “good

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press,” and some would argue has experienced a “second Renaissance,” obstacles like racial bias and White supremacy have often prevailed in universities and have influenced external perceptions of academic legitimacy. Today the African American Studies discipline’s status has gained tremendous ground in universities within the United States, even where previously unwelcome. Universities are now responding to changes in the world, albeit some still with great reluctance. Appreciating that Black Studies is important for all people, not only for scholars and students of African descent, Cornel West notes that the heart of African American Studies was never solely for African Americans but “was meant to try to redefine what it means to be human.”3 Many (not all) departments and programs have endured, even thrived, and, in spite of the extraordinary challenges, faculty scholars have transformed the learning experience for students of all races by envisaging new paradigms, forcing a reexamination and new understanding of history and past works, and creating substantial bodies of knowledge, literature and the arts. Over time, universities have been positively impacted by African American Studies and they will continue to change for the better because of the value of the discipline. Much has happened in the ten years since the first edition of this text was published. The impact of systemic racism has become all the more engrained and pernicious: mass incarceration; legal inequities; health disparities; racial re-segregation in education; unfairness in housing, employment and all aspects of life have been affected; all the while White supremacy has run rampant. The backlash following the election of the country’s first Black president has perhaps been worse than our worst nightmares, bringing to the fore, for the whole world to witness, the ugliness of the United States’ “original sin.” Greed, and the love of power, and White domination have been laid bare. With the increased use of cell-phone videos as evidence, the American public has been forced, like it or not, to view what people of African descent have been seeing and saying all along about racist killings and modern-day lynchings. Most recently the inhumane deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have caught the attention of the world. At the same time, the overrepresentation in deaths of people of African descent (and other people of color) impacted by Covid-19 has further illustrated the unquestionable, institutional racial inequality experienced still to this day. It is not a stretch to suggest that within the recent crowds of protesters in support of Black Lives Matter must be students who have been taught in our discipline. Students from our classes can be expected to have insights into history, understand and speak the language that critiques White supremacy, have a commitment to the greater good of the populace, and understand the nature of struggle, the power of protest, the need for action and policy and political changes that are transformative. They know too of the remarkable value, and strengths, and accomplishments, and the contributions to this country by people of African descent, and the need for liberation so that this society can reach its promise and full potential.

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Some of the major articulators currently prominent in print and television media are from our ranks and our classrooms too: Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry and Ibram X. Kendi, amongst many others, speak our truth to power on a daily basis as they remind all of us of the powerful words of James Baldwin, of the challenges in raising Black sons in America, and about becoming antiracist adults and raising anti-racist children.4 So our struggle must continue. We must stay strong and grow in our influence for good in our respective educational institutions, even when those with administrative power endeavor to “water down,” minimize, and commodify our scholarship, our teaching and our service to our communities, though all the while they are paying lip service to “diversity and inclusion” and racial equity. All the while they are still making sure that they, White men and women, are maintaining (sometimes with the help of a co-opted Black mouthpiece) the power on our campuses. All the while they are resisting our student activists. All the while they are denying students, of all racial backgrounds, an honest education. We need to maintain our confidence and diligence in our transformative work that challenges the status quo, decolonizes the curriculum and seeks our own and our students’ liberation. This volume introduces students and scholars to the large and rich area of inquiry and scholarship known as African American Studies (also called Black Studies, Africana Studies, African and African American Studies, Africology, Diaspora Studies and Pan-African Studies). It is designed for use with undergraduate students in African American Studies Programs, American Studies and Ethnic Studies Programs as well as beginning graduate students in these fields of study. It will also be of use to faculty members and progressive university administrators as they work together to strengthen African American Studies in their respective institutions of learning. The volume exemplifies African American Studies’ characteristic of promoting many different voices. Alexander and Austin, for example, give voice to “ordinary” people in their chapter: Bea Jenkins, picking cotton, who speaks from the heart about her anguish over Emmett Till’s death and Harold Taylor speaking about the invisible wounds wrought upon him through torture, all while he maintains that he will keep working for his people. Theirs are the voices that are not heard often enough in the history books, though they offer invaluable insights to the reader. The voices of artists, committed to being proactive in challenging injustices in the world, are also heard in the interviews with actor–activist Danny Glover, painter Ebony Iman Dallas and dancer Marie Casimir. We hear the world-renowned Glover, who has lived a life pursuing values established in him as a “child” of the Civil Rights Movement, as he voices his purposeful desire to share “the people’s stories”: stories of people about whom you would not normally hear; stories about people transforming from ordinary to extraordinary; important stories about relationships and living; and of people transcending against the odds. We hear Dallas and Casimir, Diaspora women

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from a different generation than Mr. Glover, speak of their endeavors as contemporary artists and activists in the United States, as well as in their other homes in Somalia and Haiti respectively. We hear the voices too of great scholars, like Molefi Asante, our new ancestor Perry Hall,5 and James Stewart, who have known what it was like to push for Black Studies “back in the day,” and recall an early interview with Manning Marable, a brilliant “public intellectual” in his time, committed to sharing Black Studies with the public. These voices of long experience in the field are juxtaposed with those of more recent scholars, including Tommy Curry, who has made very recent history by taking Black Studies to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland; Georgene Bess Montgomery, a past President of the National Council of Black Studies, who gives insight into culturally correct analysis of literature; Grace Gipson, who introduces us to a new area of scholarship on race, gender and comic books; Tiffany Barber, who expounds on Afrofuturism, and many others representing various areas of expertise and longevity in Black Studies.

Part I: History and Context of African American Studies Part I investigates various aspects of history and context for students learning for the first time about the origins of Black Studies. Often students, from all backgrounds, have been failed by the K–12 system in the United States, and have been taught little if anything about Black history, beyond knowing that there was slavery in the past and that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I have a dream” speech. In the spirit of Sankofa, much of this text honors the idea of looking back to see and learn from where we have come, at the same time as we move forward. Thus, in this first section, and elsewhere throughout the text, there are frequent references to educational pioneers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and to scholars, activists and students of the 1960s, to all of whom we owe an immeasurable debt. In the chapter “Memories of 1968” (previously in “Reflections on the Journey” in the original edition of this text), Danny Glover, internationally acclaimed actor, activist and former student at San Francisco State College, describes the social and political environment of San Francisco at the time the first Black Studies program was established. In this exclusive interview, Glover gives an in-depth account of his activities, and those of his peers, when together with external community supporters they fought for Black Studies to be added to the curriculum. This retrospective view of events, by someone who was actually there and involved, gives us a bird’s eye picture of one of the major sites of struggle in the educational landscape at the time. Ben Keppel’s chapter, “Pedagogy and Decolonization: Historical Reflections on Origins of Black Studies in the United States,” examines some of the early, informal beginnings of the discipline from multiple vantage points, set within the larger American and global contexts of colonization and decolonization.

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Keppel’s focus on selected individuals like Houston A. Baker and Lorenzo P. Greene and their efforts within schools and communities; on the brilliant writing and oratory of James Baldwin and Malcolm X; and on the revolutionary activities and educational philosophies of the iconic Kwame Ture and Angela Davis, give a flavor of the drive for and organic expressions of Black Studies, prior to what is seen as the formal movement for curriculum change within colleges and universities. The chapter by Greg Graham, “Toward Radical Pan-African Pedagogy and Civic Engagement,” focuses on the author’s contention that Pan-Africanism is in dire crisis, despite the fact that it is of the utmost importance for African and African-descended peoples. Making reference to the works of C. L. R. James and Frantz Fanon, he makes the case for a guiding Pan-African pedagogy and civic education in the struggle for a more human world. Graham argues that obstacles in the way, at this point in time, are the neoliberal model of the nation-state, as exemplified by South Africa, and the radical individualism that it fosters. One of the great stalwarts of Black Studies, James B. Stewart, in his chapter “The ‘Field and Function’ of Africana Studies: Insights from the Life and Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois,” passes on classic, essential knowledge about Du Bois, this intellectual giant of a researcher, teacher, scholar and activist, whose legacy to the discipline is hard to match. Following a brief biography of Du Bois, Stewart focuses on ten themes to highlight major contributions he made to the discipline, including areas of debate and controversy. This chapter serves not only as an excellent introduction to students about Du Bois’ contributions but also highlights how his vision is still relevant to Africana Studies in the twenty-first century.

Part II: African American Studies: Theories and Methodologies Part II introduces readers, first, to different theoretical perspectives, and second, to research methodologies as utilized in Africana Studies. Set in context, and within the developmental frame of Black Studies, theory is also presented as central and inextricably linked to history. As with the history and context of Africana Studies discussed in Part I, the content of these chapters is foundational knowledge for students of the discipline. Clearly there is no ‘one way’ to conceptualize African American Studies. Ronald Bailey highlights, “We do not have to be the same or think the same to carry on collective work aimed at one or more common objectives. And we do not have to have the same objectives.”6 Thus, Perry Hall’s chapter, “African American Studies: Discourses and Paradigms,” presents a picture of the range and differences of intellectual and ideological perspectives in the field, and the variations in paradigms and theoretical perspectives, past and present. Reflecting on history, societal contextual factors and the evolution of African American Studies, Hall speaks from a long history of experience in the field. Following a

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discussion of the integrationist/inclusionist frameworks, underlying epistemological issues, Black Feminist discourse, Black Marxism and Black Nationalist discourses on race and class, the Afrocentric paradigm and Gender and Women’s Studies perspectives, he presents the “transformationist” approach, which he describes as a “range of alternative perspectives.” Elsewhere Hall has indicated that such an approach is helpful in the way it “connects and contextualizes classical and contemporary African American experiences to the wider, global human experiences.”7 Hall concludes with a discussion of Africana Critical Theory and the evolving issues that shape the field of discourse in which African American Studies scholars work. While Hall’s chapter illustrates the diversity of approaches taken in African American Studies, it is reasonable to say that one approach that has garnered a giant share of attention is that of Afrocentricity. This bears testament to the tremendous impact of Afrocentricity and the work of Molefi Kete Asante in the field of African American Studies. Molefi Kete Asante’s chapter, “Afrocentricity and Africology: Theory and Practice in the Discipline,” presents a clear and straightforward discussion of the philosophical paradigm of Afrocentricity. He highlights its origins as theory and practice, rooted in an intellectual idea written from activism, observations and notions of social transformation, and discusses in detail its emphases on the centrality and agency of the African person. Important constructs and characteristics of Afrocentricity are delineated and assertions corrective to common misunderstandings about the approach are presented. Throughout the chapter, Asante, the foremost articulator of Afrocentricity in the world, references Afrocentric scholars past and present, and clarifies, alongside his discussion of the importance of their work, that it is consciousness and orientation rather than race per se that defines them. Thus he dispels the misconceptions that Afrocentric scholars must be African or of African descent, or that all Black scholars are Afrocentric. Over the last decades, understanding Whiteness, or White privilege, or White supremacy, has been discussed in a number of disciplines, generally by scholars who center Whiteness, through a Eurocentric lens, while disparaging its unfair outcomes. In the chapter “Revisiting White Privilege: Pedagogy in Black Studies” by Tim Davidson and Jeanette Davidson, the authors argue that, in Black Studies, it is vitally important to examine and analyze White privilege from an Afrocentric perspective; that is, to center people of African descent and to understand how White privilege impacts the lived experience of Black people. Looking back to brilliant works by W. E. B. Du Bois, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison, the authors illustrate how structures of White privilege persist, and have resulted in centuries-long social inequalities and suffering endured by people of African descent. A strong activist message is presented to students to engage in personal and collective social justice activities that push toward systemic change. This chapter includes the poignant story of Terence Crutcher, killed by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2016, after encountering car

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trouble on his way home from an evening college class. A brief description and analysis of the violence enacted upon Mr. Crutcher underscores the continuing deadliness of White privilege for Black citizens. In this section of the text, it is also recognized that a number of different methods of research investigation are utilized in Africana Studies. These are critical for scholars whose aim is to conduct valid research, and to generate theory, and to reach for historical truths, and for all of us as consumers of knowledge. Two chapters illustrate appropriate research methodology for students and researchers in the discipline. Serie McDougal’s chapter, “Social Science Research in Africana Studies: Ethical Protocols and Guidelines,” focuses directly on how to conduct empirical social science research in a way that is respectful and affirming to Africana populations. Specifically, he highlights the importance of conducting research that is of value to Africana communities, and he outlines protocol and guidelines to follow in order to ensure protection for research participants and to result in culturally valid research outcomes that will add to Africana Studies’ bodies of knowledge and practice. Leslie M. Alexander and Curtis J. Austin, in “Africana Studies and Oral History: A Critical Assessment,” describe and explain the importance and indispensable value of oral traditions to African people, throughout history, in telling stories and expressing their social, cultural and political realities. Alexander and Austin contend that oral history is just as significant today, and argue that oral history methods should be central to Africana History and Africana Studies. The authors present a searing first-person account of torture from Harold Taylor, a freed member of the San Francisco 8,8 and make a compelling case that access to such living history is likeliest to be made using the methodology they suggest.

Part III: Social Responsibility, Service Learning and Activism Part III calls to the forefront the traditional emphasis placed on the link between social responsibility, community service, social activism and the academy in Black Studies. This has been a defining characteristic articulated in the discipline and should remain so. Though debated by some scholars,9 it is generally understood to be indispensable to Black Studies scholarship. In Beyond Black and White, Manning Marable expresses his view in no uncertain terms: It is insufficient for black scholars to scale the pristine walls of the academic tower, looking down with calculated indifference on the ongoing struggles of black people. We must always remember that we are the product and beneficiaries of those struggles, and that our scholarship is without value unless it bears a message which nourishes the hope, dignity and resistance of our people.10

While a focus on praxis threads through this whole volume, the chapters in Part III particularly highlight African American Studies’ responsibility to

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communities. Today most undergraduate students who have elected to major, double-major or minor in African American Studies state that they are motivated to be of service and to give back to their communities. Some aim to do so as academics and researchers in the field, while others voice desires to serve as culturally competent journalists, or social workers, lawyers and teachers, doctors and public servants. These chapters champion service to the community as an essential ingredient of African American Studies. In the chapter “Africana Studies and Community Service: Using the STRENGTH Model,” Jeanette Davidson and Tim Davidson present a focus on student service learning within the community. This chapter demonstrates how Tim Davidson’s original model fits seamlessly with long-standing messages of hope, problem-solving and change in Africana Studies. Built around an easy-to-remember acronym, the model consists of eight strength-based and solution-oriented principles, and has proven useful in helping students think through their volunteer activities and analyses of community engagement. Case illustrations are presented after discussion of each of the model’s principles, and quotes from well-known historical and contemporary figures highlight how Africans and African Americans have characteristically utilized their strengths in the face of incredible odds. Kevin L. Brooks’ chapter, “Africana Studies and Civic Engagement,” notes the emphasis placed on social responsibility by the National Council for Black Studies and the historical origins of the links between Africana/Black Studies and working with communities, as he highlights the importance of civic engagement activities to the discipline. Brooks focuses particularly on the utility of African-centered womanism approaches for conceptualizing and designing university courses for students embarking on civic engagement activities, and presents an example of students and the work they developed around an annual conference for girls and young women. In “Danny Glover and Manning Marable: Activism Through Art and Scholarship” I return to interviews conducted for the first edition of this text. In this second part of the interview with Danny Glover (see Chapter 2 for the first part) he talks passionately about his commitment to social justice and shows clearly that his art and activism are inseparably merged in his life. Inspired initially by his parents, who fought for Civil Rights, and artists/activists of note, like Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Paul Robeson, he speaks of storytelling as important to his process as an actor, film-maker and activist as well as his civic engagement in matters of social justice. The interview with Manning Marable presents the insights of one of the foremost Black intellectuals of recent times. He insists that Black Studies must be for the public and illustrates this in his discussion of efforts he has made, and examples of scholars of the past. Linking his belief that Black Studies must open new vistas of understanding and serve the public, he discusses the importance of advocacy and the pursuit of social justice. This, he believes, should entail involving ourselves in political projects with the goal of providing solutions to

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real problems experienced by Black people in their daily lives in the United States and the Diaspora, such as the incarceration of excessive numbers of Black men and women, inadequate health care and poverty. Marable makes it clear that the interdisciplinary approach of Black Studies is best suited for these complex tasks at hand. In the chapter by Dallas, Casimir and Davidson, “Contemporary Women of the African Diaspora: Identity, Artistic Expression and Activism,” we learn about the two artists, Ebony Iman Dallas, a painter, and Marie Casimir, a dancer. Both have experience as instructors in African and African American Studies, while fully active in their performance as artists. This chapter focuses on the lives of the two as they explore the complexity and convergence of different cultural aspects of their respective identities, their artistic endeavors in different parts of the United States, East Africa and Haiti, their social activism, and their teaching in Black Studies classrooms.

Part IV: Selected Areas of Scholarship in the Discipline It is impossible to present a fair representation of recent African American Studies scholarship in any single volume. The strength of the selections made for Part IV lies in their differing areas of subject focus, stylistic variation, and their varied pedagogical approaches and theoretical viewpoints. They thus point to the diverse and expansive nature of Black Studies, albeit within a small sample. At the same time, these chapters illustrate certain areas of convergence in substance and approach, illustrating the characteristic interdisciplinarity of writers in the Black intellectual tradition. At the end of the day students should move in the direction of having a broad and inclusive, if not altogether holistic knowledge of Black Studies. These chapters will help guide students to think critically and will encourage them to look forward to delving more into various areas of Black Studies curricula. In “He Wasn’t Man Enough: Black Male Studies and the Ethnological Targeting of Black Men in Nineteenth-Century Suffragist Thought” Tommy J. Curry challenges any Pollyannaish ideas that readers may have about White woman suffragists. In this chapter he goes into fine detail about prominent suffragists who were deliberate and ruthless in their demonization of Black men as rapists, deserving of being lynched, and most specifically as not worthy of being given the right to vote. Suffragists’ portrayals of Black men as genetically inferior, unintelligent, brutish and misogynistic—to the extent that they were even described as worse to Black women than their White enslavers—Curry demonstrates, were vehemently racist and contrived, all while they endeavored to be side by side in power with their White men. Curry calls for scholars in Black Studies to investigate more deeply the too often overlooked sexual vulnerabilities of Black men, past and present, and to better understand the works of Black nineteenth-century male scholars who too often have been misunderstood.

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Georgene Bess Montgomery’s chapter, “Reading Black Through the Looking Glass: Decoding the Encoding in African Diasporic Literature,” highlights the importance of understanding literary texts by properly applying culturally specific theories in their analyses. While she acknowledges that other approaches may be helpful, she stresses that any analysis employing only these will never be sufficient to understand correctly, and in full, any African Diasporic work. Using the Ifa Paradigm, Georgene Bess Montgomery presents an analysis of the short story “The Youngest Doll” by Rosario Ferré as illustration. Grace D. Gipson’s chapter, “Diversity and Representations of Blackness in Comic Books,” presents a detailed overview of the history and development of representations in comic books inclusive of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and identity. She describes the ongoing challenges to develop diverse and intersectional characters, the writers and artists creating these works, and the growing scholarship in this field of study. Beginning with a focus on the need to reset the standards, she guides us step by step through the transformation of comic books full of stereotypes and derogatory images to comics with a growing number of characters illustrating Black life, challenges, hopes and aspirations, as well as science fiction fantasies. As an historian with a special expertise in sport, Jamal Ratchford takes us on a journey through the past, right up to the present, in his chapter, “Black Athletes and the Problematic of Integration in Sport.” Ratchford discusses challenges related to race, class, gender and sexual orientation, set in their historical context, and discusses the struggle even to have sport recognized as an analytical venue for these areas of focus in American life. Ratchford discusses White male identity and resistance to Black competitors, focusing on the color line, and the fight for inclusion in sports where segregation had been the rule of the day. This chapter offers insights into resistance against societal ills and protest by Black athletes across the decades, up to Colin Kaepernick and his very public stance against police brutality. In “African American Music: The Ties That Bind,” Alphonso Simpson follows the historic path of African musicians, and then African American musicians, within the United States. Focusing first on work songs, spirituals and ragtime, he then moves on to the genres of jazz, blues, gospel, rhythm and blues and soul music, concluding with a discussion of “old style” rap. Throughout, he makes clear the indisputable contribution to the United States, and to the world, of music with origins in the continent of Africa. Simpson makes clear the emotional, physical and psychological despair out of which this music often emerged and the spiritual triumph and musical genius it represents. “Afrofuturism and the Question of Visual Reparations,” by Tiffany E. Barber, begins with a focus on the movie Black Panther, set in the fictive Wakanda, and highlights the popularization of Afrofuturism. She goes on to illustrate various ways that, over time, writers and film-makers have conceptualized Afrofuturism, its links to African American past, present and future, and the convergence of

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a multiplicity of ideas and themes, including identity, representation, otherness, marginalization, liberation and redemption. The author delves into a discussion of Afrosurrealism and Afro-pessimism, and reminds the readers of the creative legacy of past Black British and African American film-makers, and of more recent provocative contemporary work. This chapter offers a view into an exciting area of scholarship in Black Studies, on Blackness, racial politics, belonging (and not belonging), resistance, hope and even refusal to redeem the future. The final chapter, Kehinde Andrews’ “The Black Studies Movement in Britain,” reminds readers of the global nature of the discipline, as he relates the recent story of creating a degree program in Birmingham, England. Couched in the language of struggle, Diaspora, the fight for liberation, transformative knowledge and practices, decolonizing the curriculum, community and adherence to the principles of Black Studies, Andrews illustrates the discipline’s commitment to social responsibility and advocacy. He describes how Black Studies in Britain is rooted in the community, with its objective being not to change the university but to use its resources to support liberation struggles off campus and thereby subvert it from the outside, for the common good. Andrews states with conviction that what differentiates Black Studies from other scholarship that focuses on Black or African content is Diaspora, liberation and community.

Opening Reflection: African Symbols and African American Studies Africa is to African American Studies much as oxygen is to the study of life on earth; the second would not exist without the first.11 Put another way, Africa is at the heart of what we do in Africana Studies. And so it is that I often start my Introduction to African and African American Studies course not only with an overview of the work for the semester, but with a discussion of selected Adinkra symbols12 and their meanings and value in Akan. Thus, students are immersed in the historical, and philosophical, and oral values of these traditional symbols, my hope being that these new scholars in our discipline will be inspired and motivated and even guided13 in their thinking throughout the course. Students gain a sense of how aesthetically pleasing these symbols are (and yes, sometimes our first group exercise includes a drawing and “tattoo” session) and start to ponder the principles of behavior, co-operation, initiative, historical events and allusions, social and religious norms, political and judicial elements expressed therein.14 Our focus, too, includes how we might relate our Africana discipline to these Ghanaian symbols as we find ourselves positioned generally within large Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) that, even though they do not know it, need African knowledge and wisdom from the past linked to present realities. African American Studies is positioned today to contribute greatly to the overall mission of the academy. The following six Adinkra symbols hold important communicative value to the discipline, with their ancient cultural

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expressions, holding meaning for current complex paradigms and world views. They remind us to move forward in this twenty-first century with a spirit of peace and determination. 1. Sankofa—meaning “go back to fetch it”—is a powerful reminder that it is necessary to learn from the past in order to build for the future. The symbol depicts a bird turning its head backward, with its long beak turned in the direction of its tail feathers, representing among several meanings the idea that a person should collect all the data and wisdom of previous learning experiences to strengthen the quest for knowledge in the present and future. This most popular symbol represents reflection and vision and captures an individual and a collective sense of spirit and identity for people of African descent. Sankofa reminds us to value our rich heritage of wisdom and knowledge.

2. The spiders’ web—Ananse Ntontan—is a symbol of wisdom, creativity and craftiness in the face of life’s complexities. Here the spider demonstrates how something small can use its resources to survive and create something good from its ingenious design. This reminds us that even if we are marginalized in some university systems, being small does not mean we are unable to fulfill our destiny as a discipline. 

 

3. Funtummireku-Dɛnkyɛmmireku is the popular Ghanaian symbol of a twoheaded crocodile with a common stomach. It is a symbol for unity in diversity. Its application includes the idea that even though members of a group are different, they can still achieve mutual goals, be unique and creative, and function as a collective. This reminds us to embrace our theoretical breadth and divergent paradigms as a discipline, recognizing our diverse points of view and our common purpose.

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4. Mate Masie is a symbol indicating that what is heard has been understood and will be retained, therein representing the importance of listening to teaching and incorporating that wisdom into everyday life. This prompts us that we need to hold on to what we study and then translate that knowledge into a better world.



5. The symbol Nkyinkyin literally means “twisting” and is a symbol for toughness and adaptability, reflecting the Akan people’s admiration of the ability to withstand hardship and recognizing that a change of strategies is sometimes the best way to improve outcomes. This encourages us to be strong but not to be inattentive to the need to adapt to the twenty-first-century challenges for our discipline.

6. Tabono is an oar used in a canoe. The symbol refers to how a steady oar will inspire confidence and how, if the canoe is to stay upright in difficult waters, the paddler will need to be persistent and strong. This is to provoke in us a firm resolve and steadiness as we move our discipline forward.

Notes 1. For a few examples, see: W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk [first published 1903] (New York: Penguin Books, 1989); and The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (New York: International Publishers, 1965). Also, Stephanie Y. Evans, “Mary McLeod Bethune’s Research Agenda: Thought Translated to Work,” African American Research Perspectives 12 (2008), 22–39; and James B. Stewart, “Social Science and Systematic Inquiry in Africana Studies,” in Afrocentric Traditions: Africana Studies, vol. 1, ed. J. Conyers Jr. (London: Transaction Publishers, 2005); and James B. Stewart, “The

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2. 3. 4.

5.

6. 7.

8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13.

14.

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JEANETTE R. DAVIDSON Legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois for Contemporary Black Studies,” Journal of Negro Education 53 (1984), 296–311. See Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, trans. Mercer Cook (New York: L. Hill, 1974). See Perry A. Hall, In the Vineyard: Working in African American Studies (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1999). Cornel West, The Cornel West Reader (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 1999), 542. See Eddie S. Glaude, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2020); Imani Perry, Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Boston: Beacon Press, 2019); Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist (New York: Penguin Random House, 2019) and Antiracist Baby (Kokila, Penguin Random House, 2020). Perry Hall, brilliant colleague and friend, and author of Chapter 6 of this text, “African American Studies: Discourses and Paradigms,” passed away on 19 April 2020. Ronald W. Bailey, “Black Studies in the Third Millennium: Reflections on Six Ideas That Can Still (and Must) Change the World,” Souls, Summer (2000), 88. Perry A. Hall, “African American Studies: Discourses and Paradigms,” in African American Studies, ed. J. R. Davidson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010). See www.freethesf8.org/. See Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Manning Marable, “A Debate in Activism in Black Studies,” in Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience, ed. Manning Marable (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 186–91. Manning Marable, Beyond Black and White: Transforming African-American Politics (London: Verso, 1995), 112. See “Africa and its Importance to African American Studies,” by Tibor P. Nagy, in Chapter 7 of the first edition of this text. W. Bruce Willis, The Adinkra Dictionary: A Visual Primer on the Language of Adinkra (Washington, DC: The Pyramid Complex, 1998). See J. E. T. Kuwornu-Adjaottor, Geotge Appiah, and Melvin Nartey, “The Philosophy Behind Some Adinkra Symbols and Their Communicative Values in Akan,” Philosophical Papers and Review 7.3 (April 2016). Ibid. 23.

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Danny Glover: Memories from 1968 Jeanette R. Davidson

When the origins of formal Black Studies in the United States are described, the strike by the students beginning in 1968 at San Francisco State College has to be included. Here we have the unique inside story from one of these students, Danny Glover, now long distinguished actor and renowned activist, known across the world. His memories span the historic, social, political, cultural and geographic context in which the students undertook their momentous actions. Of significance was the students’ absolute commitment to Black communities, and their creative genius in linking with artists and young movement leaders of the day, who gave public voice to their struggle. Glover also addresses the question of what Black Studies stands for today and conceptualizes universities as places to challenge empire and power. Student activists may read this chapter and ponder their leadership strategies; whom to choose as their allies; the elders with whom they might consult; the artists who speak their values, whom they could invite to campus; and their demands; as well as their overall vision of a forward-looking, progressive, inclusive, respectful, transformative campus, with the purpose and mission of decolonized curricula. This chapter includes the first part of a longer interview by the author with Mr. Glover, conducted for the first edition of this text, published in 2010.

On Student Days JRD – I’d like to begin our interview by asking you about back in the 60s so that we can cover your experience of the history of the student movement at San Francisco State College.1 I know you were involved in the efforts for Black Studies so I want you to recall the genesis of the student action and your collective motivations and goals and your hopes. You’ve talked before to me about the “collective vision.”

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DG – I think there are very unique circumstances which bring people together at any moment and, without a doubt, for an historic moment. It was not only what happened with the students at San Francisco State, but what was happening in the community surrounding the area. And that’s the moment at the center. Most of my activity took place within and around specific communities. We had a distinct Hispanic community, a distinct Asian community and two distinct African American communities. One was Hunter’s Point and the other Fillmore, now called Western Addition. All of those communities intersect in some way. San Francisco State was unique also because, being a teachers college, in order to provide opportunities for work-study for students, they had tutorial programs. What I think happened, and was important, was that the BSU (Black Student Union) was able to recognize, even though we were a small minority on the campus, the inherent power that lies within the structure that existed. That was the first thing. Also, because San Francisco is strategically located . . . the whole space [was] created for organizing and because of its history people came to San Francisco to return to school. Men and women from SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)2 came there. Men and women from other places around the country came at that particular time. We were there, where all these forces met, the disintegration of the Civil Rights Movement, the new activism around Black Empowerment and the Black Power Movement. All these things seemed to intersect historically at that particular moment in time. And then there was San Francisco’s uniqueness as a bastion for culture as well. So here you have in the midst of San Francisco this alternative culture, often referred to in so many books in the 60s. One, you have an enormous political framework. It starts back with people like Harry Bridges.3 Harry Bridges was a socialist, and leader of one of the most radical unions, ILWU, the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union. You have a progressive outlook in terms of the union. Harry Bridges, in 1934, in the midst of a strike, went to Black churches in the Bay area and said, “If you don’t become ‘scabs’ in the strike, if you help us and win this strike with us, I will make sure that Black people, Black men, will be on the jobs when we win the strike.” That’s the kind of forward thinking that helped. All these kinds of things happening in San Francisco and is the historic legacy for all of this. You know that Paul Robeson, Martin Luther King, all of them, spent a great deal of time in San Francisco. There’s a legacy . . . that’s an incubator of ideas and thoughts that were generated in San Francisco, and the Bay Area. The Free Speech Movement with Mario Savio and Berkeley.4 So that’s the kind of thing, that’s the kind of energy that I was part of, that Wayne [Thompson]5 came into, John Bowman6 was part of, and all the other people who came here. That was the place where all these things were happening. And San Francisco State, because it was a working-class college, and because of the history, and because, I think, we were arrogant— arrogant and everything else—was a unique breeding ground for us. That’s how we had the overlay for the activities that were happening—what we read,

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what we did, how we tried to insert ourselves in community activities, how we became a part of that. Our motto was that, whatever we were learning in college, our responsibility was to take it back to the community. The disintegration of the Black community because of gentrification and redevelopment, all those things played roles in the battles being waged. Battles around education were being waged, battles around housing were being waged and battles around job creation were being waged and inserted into this mixture. I also think about San Francisco as unique—geographically. It’s a very small space. Within a space of forty-nine square miles, seven miles one way, seven miles the other way, all of this was happening, so there were unique elements to this particular process. If you’re in a city like New York, it doesn’t happen the same way. If you’re in a place that has at the most 700,000 people— then you have another place—Oakland has 400,000 people. So, in the midst of all this, there are just over a million people in this defined area. A third of the population of Oakland is Black. Only about 10 percent, at the most 12 percent, of the population of San Francisco was, is, African American. So, all these things were happening at the same time. Going on were the counter culture, the Civil Rights Movement, the Movement of Black Power, as it resonated in San Francisco. What I’m saying, considering all the other places, whether Detroit, Chicago, and what was happening, it was a pretty liberal place. So all those things gave rise to the ideas and the expression of those ideas. That was a changing point in time in 1967. After basically taking over the associated student budget, we did two things. In the spring of 1967 we brought out Amiri Baraka7 to start what he called a Community Communication Program. All of a sudden San Francisco became the center point, the apex of all these things, all activities happening culturally around the earth, around the country. Because what we’d done was pulled a coup. We’d brought the most influential voice in Black culture at that time, to our school, in the spring of 1967 and housed him there for six months. Whatever we said, what we wanted to do in the community—we took to another level. Other poets came, and people like Ed Bullins8 the playwright, “wannabe” poets, and Huey P. Newton.9 I heard Huey P. Newton read at the Black House10 in 1967. All of them gravitated to this spot near here. In the fall of that year, we brought out Nathan Hare.11 We made the agreement with Summerskill,12 the university president, a liberal president, to bring out Nathan Hare. So all of a sudden, he began the Black Studies program. Mind you, only the Black Studies program. There was a quantum leap when we had to begin to talk about an Ethnic Studies13 program too. It was not a process that initially was a part of our vision of ourselves, but a process we found ourselves growing into. There were internal struggles that happened—an internal struggle changed the Negro Associated Student Union to the Black Student Union. The internal struggles and the absolute taking of power in a sense, through ways of organizing, through ways of manipulation, and everything else. All those things helped.

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JRD – Can you talk a little bit about the organization? I mean how did you organize? DG – Well, if you were to look at the functional part of the BSU, the true part of the BSU, outside of the twelve members of the central committee, its core may have been, at its initiation, another two dozen people. And there were people who were loosely associated with it and others who were not as associated. There were people who were fancied with the idea. They had all the paraphernalia and all the looks, and everything else, but at the beginning, that was the kind of core we had. We did two things: first of all, we began to expand in terms of the activities that we did, what we brought about, the activities around the BSU, the activities of bringing people there. We brought Baraka out there and we’d brought all these things together. We brought musicians out there too. We brought Huey P. We brought Hugh Masekela.14 We had this place we would use and there were times a lot of money was circulating. We had guys who were emerging as film-makers around there. All these things were happening. It was a very rich moment. For being young and having that rich and diverse [an environment] was incredible. So that became the foundation that we began to build on. I think that, on the one hand, the strike was a bold move. The strike [1968] came about mainly because Nathan Hare’s contract was not renewed. Once that came about, that started a chain of events which essentially made the strike inevitable. Also, with all due respect, we got carried away with the idea of it all. I mean we can look back on this in retrospect and see some of the good ideas that we had. But let’s just say, in our naivety as young men and young women, there was a certain degree of arrogance and pompousness as well. You know, what happens with all youth. That’s what happens, that’s what makes being young and everything so exciting. You believe you’re invincible and that you can change the world. JRD – Right, and you were challenging people who were in the academy . . . and often people in the academy are very arrogant and elitist. I mean it took a lot of courage as well as arrogance. DG – We all exist within a framework, a social framework. If you were going to be at San Francisco State, you had an anti-war movement happening. You had a counter culture happening right there. You can imagine that we were still under that climate. Remember, we were only a decade after the McCarthy Era,15 which was a very repressive era. You had people coming back and, as a student teacher, you didn’t choose San Francisco State unless you wanted to be bold to some extent. I think what contributed to what we felt and what we tried to do were, like I said, all kinds of movements that were happening. That’s what we walked into. Of course, we didn’t know the breadth of that. I think that the administration was also poised to respond to this particular potential expression, you know. Before we’d had Watts,16 we’d had urban riots too. That was the kind of landscape that we inherited and we tried to exploit.

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JRD – Did some students end up having to pay a price for doing what they did? DG – Well, I imagine that several students paid a price, whether that was spending time incarcerated. Some students’ lives were altered. For some students, their actions caused friction and created a distance between their parents and their family. Remember, you are dealing with, also, a number of Black students who represented the first generation to go to college. Of course a lot of that stuff we don’t know, but some of them may have acquired records which influenced their employment life, what was happening in their life. I think those things did happen. I remember one brother, a student from Nigeria, was deported. His father was a general in the Nigerian army. I’m sure that caused a scandal for the family and everything. I know the long-range effects of the strike on peoples’ personal relationships, romantic relationships perhaps were made even more difficult because of the strike. JRD – Can you talk a little bit about the relationship between the students and the Black Panthers?17 DG – One of the more interesting dynamics that came out of this was particularly that relationship. The Black Panther Party had emerged as the key voice in the Black community. Initially, I think people were attracted often to the romanticism attached to the party, the idea of one’s struggle. I knew the Black Panther Party in California. I attended some of their meetings in the spring and in the summer of 1966. I can’t remember now how I may have been approached. Part of me, part of us, were dealing with the loss of Malcolm in some way and the anger with that loss and finally were finding some sort of expressive response to that. So, I think, two things happened, particularly when they came in with guns to the California State Assembly and posted themselves while the State Assembly was in session. Young people saw that. People were impressed by that. For those who were impressionable, it was just so symbolic at that particular point in time. So we all were attracted to the idea of the Black Panther Party. And then of course, when you have such a dynamic force, there’s always an attempt to figure out how you’re going to contend for space. There is only so much space, so how are you going to contend for the space? The bold, courageous position that they took inspired and influenced a lot of people. Certainly, in our space, we had created something which was just as bold on the campus. Two things happened with the Black Panther Party, in how the relationship emerged between the Black Panther Party and the BSU. A number of the leaders in BSU had been involved in the Civil Rights Movement. They had been a part of SNCC and had come back and migrated to San Francisco after five years of engagement with SNCC. Some of the brothers had very close ties with the leadership of SNCC. It had had its own break-up, where it was based on tactics. There’s a very long article, on a very long conversation that Dr. King has, explaining the second march to Selma where he was battling with James Forman18 and also Stokely Carmichael19 over the use of Black

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Power. The split-up with SNCC happened over whether there were going to be White people or not in leadership roles and whether White people were going to be involved as members of SNCC in the struggle. All these things were precursors to this particular moment. So when SNCC was now taking another avenue, of course it was certainly attracted to the relationship possible with the Black Panther Party. Our relationship with SNCC, by virtue of members in the BSU who had come back to San Francisco State, put us directly in line, and eventually the relationship that was formed—pre-strike, during the strike and post-strike—would be with the Black Panther Party. Of course there were many roles the students could play, like helping to proofread the newspaper. Many of us played some role in that, like maybe contributing an article to the Black Panther Party paper. The Black Panther Party began to incorporate its programs. I was involved in the Free Breakfast for Children Program in 1968. There was a Catholic church where we provided free breakfast to young kids in the community. So those were the kinds of relationships that began to evolve. The strike itself was another case, because the community was always out at the campus. Those are the kinds of relationships, the kinds of things I think you don’t often see. I think it was a very strategic relationship. We often had political education classes. Part of that was the fact we all had been reading Fanon,20 Marx, Chairman Mao. We read books; we had political education classes together. After the Bobby Hutton21 murder, the arrest of Huey P. Newton, we often participated in protests, marching outside the courthouse. Now, we’re talking about only a short period of time. And when we talk about the BSU, we’re only talking about a short period of time. Students come to school; they don’t have a lifetime on this campus. We’re talking about that period of 1967, I think the spring of 1967, both inviting Baraka then securing Nathan Hare, through the strike, and through the spring of 1970. So we’re talking about three years. Yeah, but it was an intense three years. You know, a bunch of us had been on trial all the summer of 1969 on charges around the strike. So it was an intense three years. But in that three-year period so many things were happening. From the relationships that we developed to the strike itself and the formation and the evolution of the Ethnic Studies program. JRD – I saw you a few months ago at the National Conference in Black Studies (NCBS)22 and you were with some of your fellow students from SFSU. From what you know about contemporary Black Studies departments and programs, do you think we’ve reached some of the goals, some of the hopes that you had back in the 60s? DG – It’s hard to say, because my involvement, specifically with the Black Studies department, has been one of an indirect involvement from the time that I left SFSU. It’s very interesting, because I was talking to a politician who comes out of this very progressive atmosphere as well. She said, “One of the problems I’m having now, I get a lot of students who come out of

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college and come in here, but they don’t know anything about organizing.” In a sense she says some students from Black Studies programs have a lot of the names down and they know all the history and everything and that programs may have become more of a seat for understanding. I think from what I understand and feel, that Black Studies should be a place that not only is able to reconstruct our social political past, and all its warts and everything else, but also understand the critical, political, social dynamics that play out today. The relationship between the past and the present with some sort of inference and emphasis placed upon the future as well, so that the program itself is a dynamic process, not a stagnant process. And I think it’s not the [Black Studies] department itself, it’s the clampdown of the university itself. As much as the university should be a space, a place in which empire or power is challenged, whatever that power is . . . If a power is challenged, the question then comes, where does the Black Studies program stand within that? I don’t believe it can be a place that is without a position in the struggle. When I’m saying position, I don’t mean a rhetorical position. I mean that it has to be a position in which it challenges and questions. And a lot of that challenge is going to be in service of movement-building. It should be building movements . . . movement of ideas. JRD – When we last saw each other, you said you wanted to talk about some revisionist history occurring! Could you clarify what you meant by that, please? DG – Well, I think, certainly there’s a history that always forms, places itself as a part of a revisionist history. It’s the history that diminishes people’s contribution. That’s the first part. They either deny that contribution or have amnesia about the contributions or talk about its relevance, or consider it to be irrelevant. Then there’s the other kind of history. Ourselves. We’re removed forty years from the strike and none of our memories are that great. I think we have the capability of over-embellishing what we actually did. What we actually did and what we could have done, perhaps are two different things. What we actually did, I think it is remarkable. The theory was quite extraordinary. I think we were quite extraordinary in that sense. Whether we were remarkable in its application is a whole other thing. But the idea, I think, was pretty spectacular. I know that, in some sense, I think about how I’ve grown and I often reflect on what I might have done . . . if I had done something else, how I might have grown differently. But, yeah, we have to give ourselves credit. And there’s plenty of credit. But we have to be truthful about that as well. I think we have to distinguish between the work we think we did and the work we actually did. But that’s a whole other discussion too. And it’s a discussion that we all fall into. We are all repositories of these stories, and within the stories, we tend to overlap reality with fantasy . . . It’s like everybody’s going to tell you they were scared when they went to jail (laughter). The role we can be most beneficial in is to be able to dismantle our own thoughts about what happened and

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in doing so have an opportunity to use that as a platform of envisioning, to complete the work. If we knew what this was, even if it’s a sketchy framework or even though they’re “half-baked” ideas we can have the opportunity now, with what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown, to add some new dynamic. We can tell our story. And we can say “these are the things that we could have done.” Imagine if there hadn’t been an active Asian American Student Union or an active La Raza Hispanic group . . . Imagine what would have happened to us. We wouldn’t have had the allies to build the coalition that we built had that not been the case. We did have the foresight, even though we were pulled dragging and screaming into it, to realize that in order to make this strike more effective, and as it became more effective, as it became a headline, to be able to embrace these other ideas and embrace these coalitions. We did have the foresight to do that and that’s to our credit too. Because it began, certainly not as battle for Ethnic Studies, but it began solely, in a very narrow way, as a battle for Black Studies. Interview of Danny Glover (May 2008) by Jeanette R. Davidson

Notes 1. The first Black Student Union (BSU) was formed on the campus of the San Francisco State College. BSU, along with Third World Liberation Front, formed a student-led strike along with faculty and community activists. 2. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was established in 1960. 3. Harry Bridges (1901–90) was an Australian American leader of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He was prosecuted during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s by the U.S. government and was convicted by a federal jury when accused of lying about Communist Party membership. The conviction was later set aside. The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies was established in his honor in 1992 at the University of Washington, Seattle. 4. Mario Savio (1942–96) was born in New York. He was a political activist and key member of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. 5. Wayne C. Thompson (1946–2008) was born in Oklahoma. He was a community activist for social justice throughout the U.S., Mozambique, Haiti and elsewhere. He and Danny Glover were close friends from the 1960s. 6. John Bowman of Oklahoma was a community activist and long-time close friend of Danny Glover and Wayne C. Thompson. He was a member of the San Francisco 8. 7. Amiri Baraka (1934–2004), from Newark, New Jersey was an acclaimed author of over forty books of essays, drama, poetry, music history and criticism; political activist; Professor Emeritus, State University of New York, Stony Brook and Poet Laureate of New Jersey. 8. Ed Bullins (1935–) is a playwright, educator and activist. 9. Huey P. Newton (1942–89) was born in Louisiana. He was a co-founder of the Black Panther Party.

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10. Black House was a cultural and political organization. Active participants included Ed Bullins, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and others. 11. Nathan Hare (1933–) was born in Oklahoma. He was the first person to coordinate a Black Studies program at San Francisco State College in 1968. 12. John Summerskill was President of San Francisco State College 1966–8. 13. The establishment of Asian American Studies, Black Studies, La Raza Studies, Native American Studies in Ethnic Studies began in 1968–9 when students of the Black Student Union and Third World Liberation Front, staff and faculty, as well as members from the larger Bay Area community, organized and led a series of actions to protest systematic discrimination, lack of access, neglect and misrepresentation of histories, cultures and knowledge of indigenous peoples and communities of color within the university’s curricula and programs. 14. Hugh Masekela (1939–2018) was born in Witbank, South Africa. He was a trumpeter, singer, composer and bandleader in the genres of jazz and Afrobeat. 15. The McCarthy Era, named after Joseph McCarthy, was a period of intense anticommunism which occurred in the United States from 1948 to about 1956, when the government of the United States actively persecuted the Communist Party U.S.A., its leadership and others suspected of being communists. 16. The Watts Riots of 1965 refers to a large-scale riot which lasted six days in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California in August 1965. The riots spawned upon the arrest of a young African American motorist being pulled over by a White patrolman, for suspicion of driving intoxicated. A crowd of onlookers watched as he was being arrested and tensions rose between the police and the crowd. The community of Watts rioted in protest of poor living conditions, bad schools and unemployment. 17. See texts on the Black Panther Party by two authors in this volume: Curtis J. Austin, Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2006); and Charles Jones, The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered] (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1998). 18. James Forman (1928–2004) was an American Civil Rights leader active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Party and the International Black Workers Congress. 19. Stokely Churchill Carmichael (1941–98) was a Black activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. He was the first leader for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later served as the leader of the Black Panther Party. He later became affiliated with the Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist movements. 20. Frantz Fanon authored Black Skins, White Masks (New York: Grove Press, 1967). Originally published in French, Peau Noire, Masques Blancs (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1952). 21. Bobby Hutton, at age 16, was the youngest member of the Black Panther Party. The Oakland Police killed him after he surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to prove that he was unarmed. 22. African American scholars who wanted to formalize the study of the African World experience and to meet the need of the developing discipline of Africana/ Black Studies established NCBS in 1975. Today it is the leading organization of Black Studies professionals.

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3

Pedagogy and Decolonization: Historical Reflections on Origins of Black Studies in the United States Ben Keppel

An Academic Tradition of Elevating White over Black Scholarship Why, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, did universities around the United States begin to establish programs in “Black Studies,” or “Afro-American Studies?” Historian Nathan Huggins, speaking to us from the pages of one of the first anthology textbooks created to support this addition to the nation’s curriculum or culture, wrote: Most people think that American history is the story of white people, and that is why black people, in recent years, have been demanding a history of their own . . . Except for the necessary discussion of Afro-Americans in slavery and some treatment of immigrants, the taught history of the United States has been that of the Anglo-Saxons and Northern Europeans . . . The pronoun ‘we’, so often used in school textbooks, has never really included the nonwhite reader.1

This enforced absence from the nation’s cultural lesson plans was pervasive. Looking back at his youth in the 1940s–50s, Houston A. Baker Jr., a distinguished African American literature scholar, described how the so-called “colored library” of his youth reinforced the totality of whiteness in the nation’s official self -identity: . . . I read the entire sports collection, which consisted of books in white high schools and colleges, or white major leagues. I read pioneering stories until the sound “Westward Ho!” rang in my ears twenty four hours a day; all the pioneers, of course, were white; all the Indians, and even the beasts in the field were “dark.” I read biographies of American heroes and grew so inspired that I set up my own garage workshop in an attempt to emulate the performances of young

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Tom Edison and young Sam Morse. This was the world of the library until the great event occurred—the white library downtown was opened to “colored people”! . . . It did seem strange to me that the colored library and the white library had the same pioneer books.2

African Americans were actively present in the very same culture that Huggins and Baker described, and they were not only making history, they were, thanks largely to the efforts of Carter G. Woodson,3 writing it down so that it could be read by any interested person (which at that time was a primarily African American public).4 That the institutional preservation of Black history can be so easily traced back to one individual and his very small staff of traveling salesmen, whose income derived entirely from how many of Woodson’s self-published volumes they could sell on any given day, reveals a great deal about the 1930s. Indeed, there was virtually no institutional support within the American historically White intellectual and cultural establishment for African American Studies. As a young scholar, Lorenzo P. Greene worked as a salesman for Associated Publishers (the book production and distribution arm of Carter Woodson’s Association for the Study of Negro Life and History). During his days of selling books and interacting with people in Black communities, Greene kept field notes in his diary that provide important evidence about the intensity of interest among African Americans, including those with and without formal education. They wanted to hear their story, including that part which had its origins on the continent of Africa. For example, in one of Greene’s fifteen-minute educational trainings to the “little tots” at a Tulsa elementary school on 30 September 1930, he conveyed how educators and students interacted to include what the national educational system was working quite systematically to leave out: Black history, culture, and experience. Greene’s field note reads: No one could have desired a more appreciative audience. I told them the facts about the Negro in Africa and entertained them with stories from African Myths. Then the teacher asked whether they had any questions to propound. Did they? They just bombarded me with queries, and intelligent ones, too. This is more than any adult gathering has done . . . on the trip . . . They asked how the African lived, fought, went to school, what kind of clothes they wore and why, the nature of the climate, the resources, whether the Africans had presidents or kings, why the white man owns so much of Africa, and a host of others . . . Miss Goodwin and Miss Jackson were elated. The children went out beaming. They shook my hand and asked me to come again . . . I felt . . . elated that I was able to hold the attention of these children.5

This field note serves as one example that “African American Studies” existed in the United States long before it began to enter the historically White university in the1960s and early 1970s.

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Decolonization Comes Home (“Free in ’63”) Decolonization, in theory, is linked to furtherance of independence and freedom for a national body that once was colonized by another nation. To be decolonized implies full civil rights and full representation. The American Revolution of 1776 is celebrated as such in terms of liberation from British rule and economic, political and national self-determination. However, while decolonizing, the newly “freed” United Sates also asserted its White European racial heritage as its core identity, despite the fact that the country was heavily populated by indigenous peoples and an ever growing number of stolen and enslaved Africans and their descendants. For dozens of African countries, decolonization (from a variety of colonizing nations— e.g. Spain, Britain, Portugal, France)—did not occur until some 200 years later in the mid to late 1950s and 1960s. African decolonization in the twentieth century occurred after the continent had been extensively exploited of resources and labor, and the revolutions in those African countries were typically characterized by economic and social infrastructure collapse or struggle. Twentieth-century decolonization on the continent of Africa was around the same period as the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, in the decade when Black Studies finally gained a foothold in the Academy.6 For example, 1963 lives in the collective memory of the United States as a year of climactic and violent confrontations over racial oppression in Birmingham, Alabama (including the death of four little girls in a church bombing); the assassination of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers; and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. At the time, many who were active in the Civil Rights Movement recognized 1963 as the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s final Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, a powerfully symbolic moment marking the third year of the U.S. Civil War, and declaration of the freedom of 3 million enslaved people of African descent. The new slogan for the biggest and best-remembered Civil Rights demonstration of the entire Civil Rights era, the March on Washington, was “Free in ’63.”

James Baldwin on African Americans as Colonized People In the context of the intellectual life of the United States, the most important event of that storied year was the publication of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Baldwin projects the violence of day-to-day experiences of African Americans in the 1960s against the backdrop of the global decolonization movement, while at the same time holding out a hope that, at long last, the United States might actually prove itself to be the first example of a democratic society that could finally make the anti-colonial “revolutions real and minimize the human damage.”7 Baldwin left no doubt that, in 1963, he believed African Americans to be a colonized people. The existence of Harlem in New York City, and other

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northern areas generally referred to as ghettoes, expressed in starkest terms the intentionality of those in power in the United States for it to be a “White” country. As he told his nephew, “This innocent country set you down in a ghetto in which . . . it intended for you to perish precisely because you were black and for no other reason.”8 His painstaking description of the role of the police in that section of Manhattan leaves no doubt that they, like French troops in Tunisia or Algeria, were an occupying army, there to contain and dominate a population that might rise up at any moment, no matter how self-destructive the consequences might be.9 He presented similar themes, often with powerful effect before university audiences in the United States and Britain, to those enunciated by Malcolm X. With his powerful words, Baldwin entered a discussion that had already been under way in the United States since the last days of the Second World War. American leaders had been focused on how decolonization would unfold during the Cold War as competition for dominance and resources escalated with the Soviet Union. By the late 1950s, as the African continent took center stage in this global struggle, the concern grew more urgent. What were the implications of decolonization and armed revolution in the world that was still “out there,” but closing in fast on the United States? In the first televised debate in the presidential election of 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy spoke quite vividly to his concern that subjugated people in Latin America, Asia and Africa could “look to America to see how we are doing things” and declared that it was “the obligation of our generation” to finish the work of decolonization in a constructive way that truly led to liberation and stability for people around the world and prosperity and security for the United States as a global leader.10 Ironically, as Baldwin was well aware, Black people had yet to experience liberation, civil rights or human rights in the United States.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Decolonization as Resisting Oppression Martin Luther King Jr., born right after the Harlem Renaissance (in 1929, the year in which the stock market crashed, followed by a Great Depression), came of age as the Second World War gave way to broader global decolonization. King was alert to the fact that anti-colonial struggles around the world could also serve as teachable moments in the United States, where Civil Rights activists struggled against White supremacy and hegemony that were demonstrated in war, race, poverty, education, housing and all matters in society’s infrastructure. While candidate John Kennedy was focused on decolonization as an urgent feature of a longer contest between the United States and the Soviet Union, King was particularly concerned that White citizens resist the narrowly self-interested temptation to see decolonization as a mortal threat. Without minimizing the disruptions that were under way, King fought vigorously against the notion (popular in the United States at the time) that “the

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deepest of deep rumblings of . . . discontent in Asia . . . risings in Africa, the nationalistic longings of Egypt and the racial tensions of America” were . . . “all indicative of the deep and tragic midnight which encounters our civilization.” Rather, King argued, “Far from representing retrogression or tragic hopelessness, the present tension represents the necessary pains that accompany anything new.”11 As a student of Mahatma Gandhi and of the nonviolent independence movement in India, King, in 1957, also saw a vital lesson to be learned in the decolonizing process of Ghana on the African continent: Ghana has something to say to us. It says to us first, that the oppressor will never voluntarily give freedom to the oppressed . . . Freedom is never given to anybody . . . Privileged classes never give up their privileges without strong resistance . . . It also says another thing. It reminds us of the fact that a nation or a people can break loose from oppression without violence.12

Malcolm X on Civil Rights as Human Rights for Oppressed People Between late 1963 and his own assassination in February of 1965, Malcolm X brought the colonial discourse home and illuminated its implications for the United States. For African American college students seeking change on their campuses and in society, in the 1960s, there was a very good chance that they either read or heard on a vinyl record Malcolm’s “Message to the Grassroots,” a speech delivered in late 1963, only a few weeks prior to his public break with the Nation of Islam. In that address, Malcolm argued with great force that the decolonization struggle was not a modern-day extension of a train of events set in motion by the separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain, but, rather, it was the remedy for a colonial regime being continued in and by the United States. In order to see the analytical relevance of colonialism and decolonization to the lives of African Americans living in, before and after 1963, Black Americans had to understand how their late nineteenth-century and twentieth-century colonial rulers had perceived them—as a problem, and an unwelcome presence: We all agree . . . that America has a very serious problem. The only reason she has a problem is [that] she doesn’t want us here. And every time you look at yourself . . . you represent a person who poses such a serious problem because you’re not wanted . . . What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences . . . we’re all black people, so-called Negroes, second-class citizens . . . ex-slaves . . . You didn’t come here on the “Mayflower.” You came here on a slave ship . . . And you were brought here by the people who came here on the “Mayflower” [by] the so-called Pilgrims, or Founding Fathers.13

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With Malcolm X’s analysis, Black Americans were no longer to be viewed as some still unresolved part of the United States process of decolonization—an exception to the general experience of citizenship in that North American republic that could be remedied by bargaining for rights some 400 years later, after norms of the political infrastructure were so deeply enshrined. The belated process of decolonization had to be broadened to internationalize the condition of Black Americans: Expand the civil rights struggle to the level of human rights, take it into the United Nations, where your African [and Asian] brothers can throw their weight on your side . . .14

Malcolm X argued further that if peaceful agitation could not gain progress, another kind of acceleration—common to liberation struggles all over the world—would find its way to the United States: It was stones yesterday, Molotov cocktails today; it will be hand grenades tomorrow, and whatever else is available the next day. The seriousness of this situation must be faced up to.15

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. died young, and so did others who were important to the foundation of Black Studies in the ways they were building more rigorously elaborate systems for thinking about a world whose contradictions and conflicts were in plain sight. This group would include Franz Fanon and Patrice Lumumba, to name only two.

Stokely Carmichael on Image-Redefining Black Power Stokely Carmichael (who took the name Kwame Ture in 1969) and Charles Hamilton’s book, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America, published in 1967, reached a mass audience. Read by the light of the debate over where African Americans fit within international colonialism, Carmichael and Hamilton’s analysis of Black life in Chicago (applying Martin Kilson’s descriptions of “indirect rule” in Sierra Leone) identified the institutional roles played by the police, the public schools and certain political figures as bracing reminders of how colonial subjects were controlled and contained under explicit colonial rule.16 Stokely Carmichael began his educational activism in the Freedom Schools organized by SNCC.17 The Freedom School Movement (e.g. in Mississippi) is a good example of Carmichael’s (and others’) efforts to reform the social and political mission of schools,18 and constituted a considerable contribution for K–12 education. The revolutionary pedagogical approach taken in Black Freedom Schools in the mid 1960s was, for instance, intended to enable students,

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themselves, to unlearn for themselves what their society had often roughly schooled them to intuit, if not explicitly understand. As Florence Howe put it, in 1965, in one of the first academic articles (based on field notes and autobiographical reflection) on the Freedom Schools: The Negro school child in Mississippi . . . associates the school he attends, in spite of the color of the teachers and principal, with the white world around him—the police, the White Citizens’ Council, the mayor or sheriff, or the governor of his state. And the child’s instinctive vision of the school is perfectly correct.19

In contrast, empowered students were encouraged to learn in a participatory environment: The idea of the Freedom School turns upside down particularly effectively the conventions of many public school systems that have to do with the role of the teacher . . . The Freedom School teacher is . . . to be present not simply to teach, but rather to learn with the students [emphasis in the original].20

Carmichael and Hamilton described the White-dominated social and educational patterns of schools in the United States in terms of “covert and overt” racism that takes “two closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community.”21 To overcome such individual and institutional racism, and the colonial mindset the system tends to produce, Carmichael and Hamilton called for “black power,” meaning: Black people must redefine themselves, and only they can do that. Throughout this country, vast segments of the black community are beginning to recognize the need to assert their own definitions, to reclaim their history, their culture; to create their own sense of community and togetherness. There is a growing resentment of the word “Negro,” for example, because this term is the invention of our oppressor; it is his image of us that he describes. Many blacks are now calling themselves African-Americans, Afro-Americans, or black people because that is our image. When we begin to define our own image, the stereotypes—that is, lies—that our oppressor has developed will begin in the white community and end there . . . From now on, we shall view ourselves as African-Americans and as black people who are . . . energetic . . . determined, intelligent, beautiful and peace loving.22

Angela Davis on Revolutionary Education to Deconstruct Colonization It testifies to the power of the colonial metaphor that, by the mid to late 1960s and 70s, the demands for a decolonized mind and body politic were central

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to both national political symbolism and the intellectual substance of arguments being advanced for Black Studies programs in the United States. The story of the origins of Black Studies at San Francisco State College is told elsewhere in this text, set in context with the Civil Rights Movement, Free Speech Movement, Anti-Vietnam War Movement and Black Power Movement.23 Consider, also, the autobiographical field notes entered into the historical record by Angela Davis about the effort she helped lead to establish the Lumumba Zapata College at the University of California, San Diego. At the time, Davis was a graduate student in the philosophy department, studying with Herbert Marcuse24 (whose critical social analyses influenced student social movements of the era, particularly in terms of indictments against the excesses of capitalism and warnings against the complacency of consumerism that result in intellectual and spiritual poverty). The student activists working for this addition to the University of California system pictured it located in the beachside resort community of La Jolla, as “ a revolutionary institution . . . expressly devoted to the needs of students from oppressed social groups.”25 It was hoped that 70 percent of the student body would be from African American and Mexican American populations. For Davis, the most unexpected part of the drama surrounding the students’ efforts to set up a new college outside the norms of White institutionalized education was that they succeeded at all. As she writes, “To tell the truth, we had not really expected them [i.e. the administrative leadership and university overseers] to agree so readily to our notion” of a college devoted to students who were not already privileged.26 As it turned out, as a result of negotiations, the name and some of the larger goals of the college in the original student proposal were jettisoned. The original proposals honored revolutionary thinkers (Patrice Lumumba, and Emiliano Zapata) and emphasized revolution theory and deep social change; wanted a board of directors granting equal voting rights to three students, two faculty members and the provost; and featured community outreach, tutors for school-aged children in the area, and broad-based scientific, technological and engineering studies, foreign languages, cultural, economic, public health, urban and rural development, and other curricula intended to promote broader knowledge and social change among marginalized populations and developing countries. The opening sentences of the 14 March 1969 demands for the by-then unnamed third college in the system read: Contradictions which sustained America in the past are now threatening to annihilate the entire societal edifice. Black slave labor laid the basis of the American economy. Mexican-Americans in the Southwest and Black people in the industrial cities and the agrarian South continue to perform the dirty but necessary tasks of building a society of abundance, while systematically being denied the benefits of that society. Therefore, we must reject the entire oppressive structure of America.27

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However, what remained for educational and racial progress in San Diego was nonetheless something quite important. As Davis noted: [Eventually, the new “Third College”] would bring large numbers of Black, Brown and working class white students to the university . . . and [it] would be a real breakthrough to have a college in which students would exercise more control over the education they received.28

Political debate, protest from marginalized groups and resistance from advantaged populations representing the status quo were under way by the end of the 1960s, on the campuses of major universities with multiple colleges and disciplines, and of community or junior colleges. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, for example, was born at Merritt Community College,29 in Oakland, during this era. At many higher education centers where Black Studies was being considered, there were major conflicts over the nature of knowledge, and there was White privileged discourse over the sources of legitimacy for a discipline to be considered intellectually and academically valid, and worthy of inclusion in public institutions.30

Unfinished Work of Pedagogy and Decolonization W. E. B. Du Bois laid out an historical perspective on Black lives, from a Black American educator’s vantage point, with his classic 1896 text The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States. Other rigorous research by Black academic leaders, in various areas around the country, in the first half of the twentieth century, continued to build a (marginalized) intellectual base within Predominantly White Institutions and historical Black colleges. In fact, Black scholarship and a Black intelligentsia had been in play for a long time in various disciplines before the first formal Department of Black Studies was proposed in 1968 by sociologist Nathan Hare and officially established in1969 at San Francisco State College. Strikes, protests, tirelessly rebuffed efforts and sit-ins were necessary before the discipline became officially recognized. By 1971, there was somewhat of a boom in certain universities and colleges in the United States with some level of institutional support as over 500 Black Studies programs or departments came into existence.31 As the Civil Rights Movement continued, and parts of the nation recoiled in horror at the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, formal Black Studies programs did establish entry, even if not a full open-door welcome, at more predominantly White colleges and universities. Reports at the time indicated, however, that “since the big student push for them began” in the mid to late 1960s, the departments and programs that were established were often “beset by problems of financing and staffing.”32 Today, there are an estimated 361 African American Studies programs at predominantly White universities.33

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Despite continuing structural inequalities, people of all kinds who contribute to the field of African American Studies—a field that is so integral to the nation’s history and continued development, now have considerable visibility, some even as present-day public intellectuals.34 Many of the characters at the roots of Black Studies—W. E. B. Du Bois, E. Franklin Frazier, Ida B. Wells, Anna Julia Cooper—are now much more recognized in broader society for their scholarship. The impressive work of Black scholars in all areas of intellectual production, some of whom were until relatively recently dispossessed members of the American intellectual world (e.g. Zora Neale Hurston) are now more fully valued for their important contributions. Before the 1960s, issues of unequal power, internal colonialism and oppression were most famously addressed in fiction (such as Richard Wright’s Native Son or Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man). Because they could be read as only “fiction” (or as a daring yet still subjective rather than objective contribution), they were at least one lane removed from direct contact with the still continuously electrified guardrails of American social and political discourse that ultimately landed W. E. B. Du Bois in jail and drove him into exile. Today, academic work from Black Studies comes in varied formats. When Woodson brought self-published Black literature to the community, or Baldwin, King and Malcolm X called out the unacceptable, colonized, discounted position of African Americans in American society, and demanded further emancipation, and rallied support for full human rights for all citizens, it made a difference to the possibilities of a better, expansive, higher education. When Davis and Carmichael, as activists, advocated for Black Power, revolutionary colleges or Freedom Schools, it was to find solutions that would advance liberation and equality in higher education and society. When Nathan Hare, and James Turner, and Molefi Kete Asante, and Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, and Delores P. Aldridge, and Shirley Weber, and Charles Jones, and Maulana Karenga and James Stewart pushed forward the discipline, it was to claim our space in the academy, against the odds, but they did it anyway. That is why the formal discipline of Black Studies, African American Studies, Afro-American or Africana Studies began in the 1960s and why its work is still required.

Notes 1. Nathan I. Huggins, “Afro-American History: Myths, Heroes, Reality,” in Key Issues in the Afro-American Experience, ed. Nathan I. Huggins, Martin Kilson and Daniel M. Fox (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971), 5. 2. Houston A. Baker Jr., “Completely Well: One View of Black American Culture,” in Key Issues in the Afro-American Experience, 25. Baker is a renowned African American scholar in African American literature. 3. For an excellent biography of Woodson, see Jacqueline Goggin, Carter G. Woodson: A Life in Black History (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993). 4. Ibid.

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5. Lorenzo J. Greene, Selling Black History for Carter G. Woodson: A Diary, 1930–1933, ed. with an introduction by Arvarh E. Strickland (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1996), 156–7. 6. See Seymour Martin Lipset, The First New Nation: The United States in Historical and Comparative Perspective (New York: Basic Books, 1963). Of special relevance to this discussion are pp. 1–90, wherein Lipset invites Americans to try to understand the problems of their nation’s founding and formative development as not that different or historically removed from the struggles to create a unifying national identity faced by the postcolonial nation-builders of the middle and late twentieth century. 7. James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (New York: Dial Press, 1963; First Vintage International Edition, 1993), 91. 8. Ibid. 7. 9. Ibid. 19–20, 48. 10. https://www.jfklibrary.org/asset-viewer/archives/JFKSEN/0912/JFKSEN-0912-001; Folder Title: Transcript of first Kennedy-Nixon debate, Chicago, Illinois, 26 September 1960, p. 10. Date(s) of Materials: 26 September 1960, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (accessed 7 March 2019). 11. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/birth-new-age-addressdelivered-11-august-1956-fiftieth-anniversary-alpha-phi (accessed 20 February 2019). 12. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/birth-new-nation-sermondelivered-dexter-avenue-baptist-church (accessed 20 February 2019. 13. Malcolm X Speaks: Fourteen Speeches and Statements by One of the Outstanding Revolutionary Leaders of the Twentieth Century (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1965, 1989), 4–5. 14. Malcolm X Speaks, 35. 15. Ibid. 49. 16. Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America (New York: Vintage Books, 1967), 10–11. For Kilson’s own finely grained view of African American politics in northern cities, see his essay, “Political Change in the New Ghetto, 1900–1940s,” in Key Issues in the Afro-American Experience. 17. https://snccdigital.org/people/stokely-carmichael/ (accessed 30 July 2019). 18. For a discussion of school desegregation and Freedom Schools as experiments in “home front nation building,” see Ben Keppel, “A Culture Goes to School: An Integrative Revolution in a Developing Country,” in Brown v. Board and the Transformation of American Culture: Education and the South in the Age of Desegregation (Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 2016), 30–63. 19. Florence Howe, “Mississippi Freedom School: The Politics of Education,” Harvard Education Review 35.2 (1965), 144–5. 20. Ibid. 146. 21. Ibid. 4. 22. Carmichael and Hamilton, Black Power, 37–8. 23. See Chapter 2. 24. https://lithub.com/angela-davis-on-protest-1968-and-her-old-teacher-herbertmarcuse/ (accessed 30 July 2019).

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25. Angela Davis, An Autobiography (New York: Random House, 1974; Reprint, New York: International Publishers, 1988), 196. 26. Ibid. 197–8. 27. https://ucsdstudenthistory.weebly.com/lumumba-zapata-movement (accessed 30 July 2019). 28. Ibid. 198. 29. Merritt Community College, Oakland, was home to the first Ethnic Studies as well as the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. 30. For an excellent documentary record of this change, with revealing administrative correspondence, see Sidney F. Walton Jr., The Black Curriculum: Developing a Program in Afro-American Studies (East Palo Alto: Black Liberation Publishers,1969), which is especially informative on the atmosphere at Merritt Community College (Oakland, California). 31. Noliwe M. Rooks, White Money, Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006). 32. M. A. Farber, “Black Studies Take Hold Face Many Problems,” New York Times, 27 December 1970, p. 1, Column 5. On the contemporary situation, see: www. chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-african-american-studies-collegemajor-met-20160905-story.html (accessed 30 July 2019). 33. https://munewsarchives.missouri.edu/news-releases/2009/02.03.09.brunsma. black.studies.anniversary.php.html (accessed 30 July 2019). 34. For example, Marcia Chatelain, Eddie S. Glaude, Ibram X. Kendi, Imani Perry, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson.

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Toward Radical Pan-African Pedagogy and Civic Education Greg Graham

This chapter ventures to restate for the contemporary moment the importance of a guiding Pan-African-oriented pedagogy and civic education in the struggle for a more just and more human world, one that would serve the interests of the communities of concern to the radical praxis that we have come to know by the label Pan-Africanism. As a product of what has been defined as Afro-modernity, Pan-Africanism signals due recognition of a shared historical experience on the part of Africana peoples. That experience has been marked by enslavement, colonial domination, the struggle for freedom and currently by the challenges of statehood and other related forms of political community in the so-called postcolonial context. Pan-Africanism, as I use the term here, represents cognizance of this shared experience, as well as a collective orientation toward the effort to bring into being a better future for people of African origin. Always central to it has been the imperative of African nationhood, either limited to the various state formations that were eventually brought into being through anti-colonial struggle, and thus compromised or expanded in the dream of the more grand African federal unity envisioned by the likes of Marcus Garvey, and later Kwame Nkrumah. The Pan-African pedagogy and civic education I mean to bring into focus is immanent in the writing and activism of Africana thinkers past and present who have undertaken to highlight the importance of the link between Africa and its Diaspora. In the works of these scholars and thinkers, such a pedagogy and focus on civic education becomes ultimately a form of radical praxis. Chief among their endeavors has been the effort to convey to Africana peoples a certain undeniable truth: namely that our destinies are as tangled up as the struggle for our collective humanity. This truth finds itself in need of persistent restatement and emphasis in our contemporary moment when the luster and appeal of the decolonial struggles that fixed enthusiastic Diasporic gazes upon Africa during the twentieth century have by all indications faded from the

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popular, collective Black imagination—with the exception of course of those instances where it persists within intellectual circles and with the nostalgic and political diehards. In the exercise of Africana political theory that follows below, political trends in South Africa, specifically the rise of xenophobic sentiments among Black South Africans toward their fellow Black Africans, are presented as a reflection of Pan-Africanism in dire crisis. An important feature of that crisis has been the inability of the ideology to meaningfully influence the character of public policy in the Rainbow Nation in such a way that the sentiments conducive to it might be fostered throughout the political community, across generations.1 This sort of ideal spread and entrenchment of the Pan-African idea, I suggest, can only be possible as the product of a civic education and pedagogy taken up and prioritized as a mandate at the highest levels in the postcolonial state. Using the work of C. L. R. James, specifically his account of the Haitian Revolution in The Black Jacobins, and of Frantz Fanon, I show that not only are these two related components of the utmost importance for sustaining radical projects of social transformation in hegemonic dispensations hostile to them.2 In order to be effective, the content of any such framework for civic education must be shaped dialectically in tandem with the evolution in consciousness of the political community. This requires, however, some effort to overcome the neoliberal model of the state pervasive across Africa and its Diaspora. The neoliberal state fosters relations between African states, as well as individual outlooks and dispositions, that are inimical to the pursuit of the Pan-African ideal.

The Xenophobic State The spectacle of deadly, anti-African immigrant attacks directed upon their fellow Africans by Black South Africans forgetful of the role that Pan-African solidarity played in the struggle against apartheid encapsulates the urgency that bears upon our contemporary political moment, at least for those of us who still ascribe to such sensibilities. It impresses upon us namely this constant that I have stated elsewhere: that political memory, if not systematically cared for and cultivated, is by its very nature short and dangerously unforgiving.3 The trends in xenophobic violence toward African migrants in South Africa shows that widespread lapses in political memory can at times have horrendous consequences. This is particularly so when human beings are afflicted by the failure of the political association to deliver access to the social as well as material goods that make life in the state worthwhile. As far as the concern with pedagogy and civic education that informs this paper is concerned, I want to suggest that the South African case is further compounded by the abandonment of the vision of the post-independence state as itself a site of radical, transformative learning wherein political participation was envisioned as a transformative and edifying experience. Sadly, the model of the nation-state

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that has been opted for across Africa and its Diaspora is one in which notions of political education conducive to the sort of political remembering necessary to keep Pan-African sensibilities in broad circulation appear outlandish and archaic. The individual citizen that is conceived as the basic building block of the neoliberal state is situated seemingly outside of historical context. He/she can reach back only so far as his/her immediate needs and desires. Witness the disconnect between the average South African and the plight of Africans elsewhere on the continent, and especially those immigrant “others” who reside inside South Africa and are deemed competition for scarce resources. South Africa is useful to consider in light of the stated concern since in so many ways it is the youngest of postcolonial African states, and its path to freedom was so very emblematic, to the extent that its liberation was assisted by the mature Pan-African aspirations of African and African Diasporic state entities as well as non-state actors. The Rainbow Nation, as it came to be labeled, emerged in the wake of many a misadventure in statehood on the African continent. The more positive outcomes in some instances notwithstanding, the misadventures as we know have been marked by developments such as military dictatorships, ethnic strife, economic uncertainty, neocolonial intervention and state failure. It is largely these afflictions by which the postcolonial African state is defined in mainstream scholarship, as well as in popular discourse and perception. As I have indicated elsewhere, one of the tragic developments around postapartheid South Africa is the jarring, inescapable feeling that we have seen it all before.4 It strikes a certain déjà vu, the neocolonial tropes that have marked this particular instance of what Achille Mbembe has labeled the “postcolony.”5 There is for example the manner in which external imperatives shape the character of political economy and thus the distribution of material as well as social goods in South Africa. There is, as well, the way in which all this is accommodated by local political forces that finesse this neoliberal design by assuming ownership of it and thereby infusing it with legitimacy.6 In the South African case this facilitation comes mainly from the governing ANC, whose dominance as the party of national liberation has thus far granted it appeal enough to render the country a veritable one-party state. We find in this case the resurgence not only of this particular limiting tendency of postcolonial African governance, but also, when it is politically convenient, that of the propagation of a narrow view of the community of human beings deemed to be of value and worthy of belonging. As with twentieth century phases of African political history, we encounter in South Africa the stoking of fears and anxieties in the face of the failure of the state to bring about meaningful improvement in the quality of life of its citizens. In short, we encounter, yet again, the move to foster and to manipulate the specter of xenophobia that should look quite familiar to those who bore witness to its spread as a feature of state-to-state relations in post-independence Africa in the mid to late twentieth century. The tit-for-tat expulsions between Ghana and Nigeria beginning with the jettisoning of citizens of the latter from the former in 1969 and followed more than a decade later with the deportation of masses of

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Ghanaian citizens from Nigeria in 1983 and 1985 prefigured current developments in post-apartheid South Africa. The twenty-first-century iterations of xenophobia, and especially of xenophobic violence in the Rainbow Nation speak with the sad poetics of a dream deferred. The hope of a Pan-African future marked by a commonality of historical experience and struggle as well as by a shared orientation toward the future was most certainly shaken in the face of the extreme xenophobic violence that occurred in 2008. They must have appeared to many to have gone up in smoke as dark as that from the searing body of Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave, a Mozambican immigrant burned alive in Ramaphosa in May of that year.7 The murders, the maiming and the displacement, in many instances of refugees already displaced, would peak again in 2015 and four years later in 2019, albeit not to the levels seen in 2008. These flashpoints as well as the upticks in the intervening years are a matter of public record. Likewise was the disappointment and chagrin expressed by observers as well as those invested to varying degrees in the Pan-African project. Achille Mbembe, for example, has seen it fit to raise the matter of the moral debt South Africa owes to the rest of Africa for the sacrifices that were made so that they could attain majority rule. Interestingly enough, he raises this issue faced with the astounding counterargument from many South Africans that they owe the rest of Africa precisely nothing.8 Mbembe discerns in such trends the development of the kind of ethno-racial project of which Fanon warned in The Wretched of The Earth. According to Mbembe, [T]his new form of black nationalism seeks to secede from Africa and its diasporas. It has forged for itself two enemies, an enemy it fears and envies (whiteness or white monopoly capital) and another it loathes and despises (Blacks from elsewhere). In a miraculous turn of events, it believes that xenophobia will create jobs, bring down crime and turn South Africa into an Eden on Earth.9

A quantitative evaluation of the extent of the xenophobic sentiment that has taken root in South Africa is instructive here as we consider what the tendency reflects about the standing of Pan-African sensibilities among ordinary people in the midst of eking out an existence amidst relative scarcity. Research undertaken in 2010 into the attitudes of citizens in response to what were often depicted as “tidal waves” of migrants flooding the country revealed that a representative 63 percent of South Africans believed that the army should be deployed to its borders. An almost equal amount (62 percent) expressed the need to electrify border fences in order to deter illegal immigration. Almost half of the population surveyed (49 percent) believed that foreigners should be made to carry identification cards at all times, while 53 percent held that those who were found to be not contributing to the economy should be deported. As far as justification for the violence meted out to their fellow Africans in 2008 was concerned, 64 percent of Black South Africans polled suggested that

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migrants were the cause of crime in South Africa. The notion that they took jobs from South Africans was used as a rationalization by a representative 62 percent of the population, while the matter of their cultural difference was cited by 60 percent. Finally, the view that, ultimately, Black non-South African migrants did not belong in the country was deployed as an explanation for the attacks by a rather significant 56 percent of the population surveyed in the aftermath of the 2008 xenophobic hostilities.10 There is evidently a disconnect here between the Pan-African ideal that fostered wide-scale African and Diasporic investment in the struggle for South African liberation and the sentiments that have been allowed to fester in the post-apartheid state. The role of state actors in helping to foster such a state of affairs (the entrenchment of this anti-African sentiment) has been called out by scholars and attentive political observers alike.11 Crush and Ramachandran point to the nefarious contribution of as important an agency of the state as the police. The upholders of law and order themselves carry out acts of violence against African immigrants and are lax with the kind of enforcement that would protect this vulnerable group from harm. The atrocities the South African police have committed driven by xenophobia, such as for instance dragging a handcuffed Mozambican immigrant through the street behind a service vehicle, dragging him to death, can be read as in some way symbolic of state-sanctioned laying to waste the idea of fraternity and a shared destiny with the rest of the African continent. Mbembe for his part indicts the ANC for its complicity.12 And rightfully so. In its official responses to anti-immigrant violence the party plays a prominent role in the practice of what Crush and Ramachandran label “xenophobia denialism.”13 This entails a rejection of the idea of deeply rooted, and at times violent xenophobia as a feature of the South African political landscape. In addition, ANC officials as well as other political actors vying for power have been shown to deploy anti-immigrant rhetoric as it suits their political needs.14 I want to use the impact of the South African state’s reluctance to carry out its political and moral obligation to African immigrants as well as the complicity of its agents and representatives in the spread and entrenchment of at times deadly xenophobic attitudes to pivot to the important role that the state indeed has to play in inculcating political attitudes consistent with the Pan-African agenda. If the path beyond the xenophobia lies as much, if not more, with the education of citizens so that they engage in that critical political remembering I pointed to earlier—as much, that is, as it does with the enforcing of laws that protect human life in the political association—then the matter of a Pan-African-oriented pedagogy and civic education and the place of the state in its practice becomes of the utmost importance. In the absence of such a framework for political as well as formal education, genuine Pan-African politics and popular sentiments have clearly failed to take hold in South Africa. They have been upstaged by a national chauvinism that seeks, as Mbembe rightly observes, nothing less than to rip South Africa from the rest of Africa and its Diaspora.

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As thinkers, James and Fanon prove especially useful for such critical consideration. Their respective engagements with important moments in the history of Pan-African revolution—James with the first successful slave revolution in the New World that gives rise to the region’s first Black republic, and Fanon with the watershed of African liberation struggles that brought at the very least nominally free nation-states into being—testifies to the importance of a civic pedagogy to sustaining projects of radical social transformation. We glean from their accounts that such frameworks for political education that will cement citizens to each other and to the national undertaking have to be rooted in the political development of the body politic. By this I mean to indicate that such attempts at enlightenment have to be in step with the state of the political consciousness of the people over time. This is a delicate balance that must be maintained. Such a framework cannot lag behind, lest it become useless and irrelevant. Neither can it venture too far ahead, lest it become dogmatic and potentially oppressive. The framework, in other words, has to be people-centered in a very real, authentic sense.

Pedagogy and the Radical Black Tradition The vision that we find in James’ and Fanon’s work is one for which freedom and political participation in the postcolonial state is necessarily an edifying experience for the formerly colonized. This vision has roots that extend deep into the wellspring of what we understand to be the Black radical tradition, and particularly in its Pan-Africanist contingent and their understanding of what nationhood had to mean for people who had been enslaved and colonized. As far back as the emergence of Sierra Leone and Liberia as Pan-Africanist beacons, we see where the matter of the character and content of education consistent with the vision of a free and independent Africa was given careful attention. The prominence of educators, and thus the salience of education as a matter of concern in the emergence of both Pan-African outposts in the nineteenth century cannot be understated. The role of pioneers like the Reverend Edward Jones, the first principal of Fourah Bay College, the oldest Western institution of higher learning in Sierra Leone and West Africa as a whole, is instructive. Likewise is the important contribution made by Edward Wilmot Blyden as an educator, initially in Sierra Leone, but later, more prominently, in Liberia, where he went on to become Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior and later an Ambassador to Britain and France.15 Liberia, as we know, becomes an independent state as early as 1847. Considered by many the father of Pan-Africanism, Blyden’s radical PanAfrican pedagogy was always oriented toward a nation-building project and envisaged the incorporation eventually of Africa as a whole and people of African descent wherever they were to be found. The production of knowledge and the political implications of a failure by African people to do so on their

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own terms was central to his concern with the place of education in nationbuilding. According to Daniel Paracka Jr., Blyden believed that a European-style education simply prepared the African child to live in a white-ruled society. He consciously desired to counter “what the dominant white man had said in his own way and for his own purposes” about Africa. He was always careful to point out that such a tendency had arisen only through the destructive forces of the slave trade. He noted that while “much has been written about Africa and Africans . . . very little has been written by the African of his country and people.16

From his nineteenth-century standpoint, Blyden recognized as essential for the vision of the Pan-African nation to come the matter of the education of the citizens who would help to make it a reality. Little wonder that subsequently, in the heyday of Pan-African activism in the early twentieth-century collective, widespread education of Africana people was generally deemed an essential component to the project of liberation and uplift. Similarly, for Africans and their descendants forcefully relocated outside the continent, the struggle to attain and to actualize freedom has always entailed as an important feature the pursuit of knowledge as a means of locating the self and the political community in the world. W. E. B. Du Bois’ idea of “Talented Tenth,” who would uplift the race, and Marcus Garvey’s more populist, egalitarian approach to centering education as important to the project of racial salvation stand as examples of this tendency. Likewise does the work and contribution of other activist educators such as Anna Julia Cooper, who was actively involved in the organization of the Pan-African Conference in 1900, where she was a speaker. As an educator and philosopher of education she famously developed an educational framework designed to meet the demands of Black existence in a New World context that was rabidly hostile to the Black presence. In short, Cooper, according to Jane Gordon, “consistently worked to create educational institutions that both employed black people and offered an alternative sense of how to be black in an anti-black world.”17 Her humanistic approach ran afoul of the rigid vocation-driven agenda that became hegemonic when Booker T. Washington and his Tuskegee Institute rose to prominence in the late nineteenth century.18 With the damage to her professional career that came subsequently as retribution, she bore in a real sense the social cost of framing a pedagogy and curriculum geared toward humanizing Black people in a dispensation premised upon their dehumanization.

Pedagogy, Praxis, and Mediation In the mid to late twentieth century the pursuit of freedom in the form of capturing the state apparatus and becoming postcolonial also included an important pedagogical dimension. Anti-colonial scholarship gave due recognition to the problem of transformation which the transition from colonized subjects

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to free citizens would require of those who had for so long been denied such standing in Africa and its Diaspora. The advent of freedom and statehood would, after all, require sweeping change in their perception of reality and in their manner of engaging with the world. Anti-colonial scholarship and activism confronted, in other words, the problem of mediation. The concern, in this instance, had largely to do with the matter of how to convey the formerly colonized into the new understanding of the political that the circumstances of formal, political freedom in a rapidly unfolding neocolonial context demanded. Since the issue at hand was the matter of effecting a transformation in political consciousness, the question of pedagogy was inescapable. In the work of C. L. R. James and Frantz Fanon we discern a radical postcolonial approach to this problem of mediation that draws upon the political community for legitimacy and substance. In keeping with their radical, left-oriented tropes, James and Fanon situate the matter of mediation within what Ato SekyiOtu labels a “dialectic of experience.”19 In both instances, political experience, that knowledge gained from political engagement in the form of active involvement in the fight for national independence, plays the crucial role of raising the consciousness of the colonized subjects who undertake anti-colonial revolution. Likewise does subsequent civil engagement under the auspices of the postcolonial state. James’ account of the tragedy that befell Toussaint L’Ouverture in Haiti was in its own way a warning of the dangers that loomed in those instances where the authoritarian impulse as well as the pressing circumstances of radical change in a hostile global environment did not allow for the development of a robust scheme of political education. In The Black Jacobins James sets the stage for subsequent scholars in the Africana tradition for whom writing about revolutionary struggle becomes at once a form of praxis and at the same time a prescriptive, radical pedagogy. The text stood as praxis to the extent that James situated his 1938 account of Haitian Revolution in direct relation to the struggle for African independence that he and others on the radical left could foresee on the near horizon. The struggle of the Haitian people for emancipation from slavery, and subsequently the war they waged for national independence, which they finally attained in 1804, prefigured for him the challenges that aspiring African states would likely face in their own journey to statehood. James’ anticipation had proven nothing short of prophetic by 1963, when the second edition of the text came to be, right on the heels of the Cuban Revolution and a host of similar decolonial and anti-imperialist undertakings across the African continent. The flurry of radical activity leading up to that moment had in some places produced nation-states from the ruins of colonial arrangement. In other instances, it had at the very least set many firmly on the path to later doing so. The act of writing the text on the topic that he did, in the rather accessible language that he opted to, represented in the grand scheme of things an act of radical epistemic subversion. James presented colonized and racialized subjects on the grand stage of history as decisive actors whose endeavors shifted

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the course of human development in a most profound way. His undertaking was a foil not only to the imperial understandings of progress and historical change that ruled the day. It challenged, as well, notions central to the Marxist framework that constituted his primary ideological point of departure and his critical methodology. James drew on the historical experience of people who were generally a sideshow to the grand design of world history from the point of view of the standard Western gaze and placed them center state. His praxis in this sense was decolonial in its essence. Through his text he became further complicit in what Fanon would later describe as the remarkable transformation of “. . . spectators crushed in their inessentiality into privileged actors, with the grandiose glare of history’s floodlights upon them.”20 In The Black Jacobins, an important moment in the historical experience of people objectified and supposedly devoid of agency is given center stage and expertly deployed to inspire further upsurges by which others like them would affirm their own human subjectivity in the face of dehumanizing social edifices. The pedagogic qualities of the text, evident here in James’ authorial intent, is unmistakable. He sought through his revolutionary text to assist in transforming the light in which his readers saw themselves in the world. This matter of mediation, the process of transforming the consciousness of a political community from one stage to the next, is no trivial matter in the process of revolutionary struggle. We find writing as praxis, and a concern with mediation also explicitly a feature of Fanon’s account of anti-colonial revolution in The Wretched. Reading James’ text through Fanon’s insights is particularly enlightening. James’ recounting of the “[t]he transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before a single white man, into a people able to organize themselves and defeat the most powerful European nations of the day”21 entails as an important feature an account of the transformative impact of their direct engagement in the brutal struggle to attain freedom and their brief enjoyment of the fruits of their labor prior to the final attempt on the part of the French to return them in shackles to the plantations on which they had previously toiled. Like the subjects of Fanon’s The Wretched, the work of revolution, the deathly suffering and toil of bloodstained hands that the destruction of the slave society required, was of immense educational value to the enslaved in St. Domingue. It ruptured him/her into deeper awareness of the shared mortality and vulnerability that marked the human condition occupied in common with those at the helm of the dreadful regime upon which the sun was about to set. By Fanon’s account of anti-colonial revolution in Africa, the native learns through the work of revolution that “his life, his breath, his beating heart are the same as those of the settler. He finds out that the settler’s skin is not of any more value than a native’s skin; and it must be said that this discovery shakes the world in a very necessary manner.”22 The work of revolution in the immediacy of the struggle for national liberation for Fanon takes the form of variously constituted acts of violence against the settler and his/her regime. It is through such active participation, this direct putting of the self on

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the line, so to speak, that a latent national consciousness is stirred and comes roaring to life among the previously subjugated collective. But it so happens that for the colonized people this violence, because it constitutes their only work, invests their characters with positive and creative qualities. The practice of violence binds them together as a whole . . . The groups recognize each other, and the future nation is already indivisible . . . The mobilization of the masses, when it arises out of the war of liberation, introduces into each man’s consciousness the idea of a common cause, of a national destiny, and of a collective history . . .23

More than a century before the people whose struggle Fanon sought to illuminate, the formerly enslaved in St. Domingue had been likewise impacted by their active engagement with the project of effecting their own liberation. Similarly, long before them, the people of St. Domingue had been likewise immediately forced to confront the tragic limitations of the caliber of knowledge imparted by such participation (the knowledge of immediacy, as Fanon designates it).24 It is here especially that the matter of the importance of a suitable program of civic education looms with a certain degree of foreboding in James’ book. An important contributing factor to Toussiant’s fall as James presents it is, after all, the tragic hero’s failure to capture and hold steadfast the collective imagination of the body politic amidst the frenzy of revolt. Toussaint tried but could not get them to understand the immensity of what was at stake in what he was trying to accomplish on their behalf. The story of the Haitian Revolution under his leadership is from the point of view of our guiding concern a saga of the pitfalls that linger when objective circumstances and personal motivations militate against the development of a framework for public education conducive to the task of radical, decolonial, social transformation. James’ account of the people of St. Domingue’s brief stint with constitutional government and civic engagement under Toussaint’s brief but impactful dictatorship is revealing of the inherent shortcomings of the perception of reality that comes to be in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of oppressive regimes. As far as civic engagement and nation-building is concerned, the postcolonial subject on this account is thrown into circumstances that demand a more nuanced and certainly less rigid disposition toward political reality. The Manichean simplicity that governed over the initial uprising in which liberation was conceived simply as turning the social order on its head, so that the slave took the place of the master, is found wanting when the challenges of civic engagement and the balancing of contentious aspirations come to bear. Toussaint’s administration of the rebelling French colony prefigures some of the dilemmas that would mark the postcolonial state in the twentieth century. The specter of militaristic authoritarian rule and state-directed repression of political dissidents all came to bear upon what James labels “The Black Consul.”25 Such ills came to bear as Toussaint appears to have struggled with a problem that would later beset Dessalines and Christophe after him in independent Haiti.

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The problem would later best many a regime in the period after the attainment of independence in Africa and its Diaspora. Toussaint, in short, struggled with the problem of ushering the body politic into a political consciousness that was conducive to what it meant to operationalize their status as a free people. The quintessential actualization of the freedom that they had so earnestly fought for as a collective was of course their existence together in a functional state. In a certain sense, Toussaint’s resort to authoritarianism can be read as his own struggle and failure to come to terms with what the transition away from the despotism of the old slave regime and its understanding of power and authority ought to have meant for genuinely revolutionary endeavor. It is useful for what I wish to convey here to bring into focus the noble intentions that a rather generous and sympathetic James gleans from Toussaint’s administrative undertakings, considered as a whole. By James’ reading of Toussaint’s administration of the marooning French colony, Personal industry, social morality, public education, religious toleration, free trade, civic pride, racial equality, this ex-slave strove according to his lights to lay their foundations in the new State . . . He sought to lift the people to some understanding of the duties and responsibilities of freedom and citizenship.26

Important aspects of the lessons that had to be learnt en masse at this stage had to come from active engagement in the civil sphere. This was limited under the circumstances of the autocratic regime that the revolution and threat of counter-revolution had given rise to. Civic engagement, in this instance, the engagement with what it meant to be free and autonomous in the context of the political association, was at this early episode of the postcolonial state rather limited and yet still a critical part of the political education of the citizen. The revolution itself was in this sense the teacher, but its pedagogic and curricular limitations under the circumstances were evident. The situation definitely called for a more deliberate, carefully designed and structured undertaking as far as the political education of aspiring citizens was concerned. In the context of twentieth-century Pan-African revolution and upheaval we encounter a new measure brought to bear on the task of effecting the transition of political consciousness beyond its limited form in the immediacy of struggle toward that which is required for actively existing within while simultaneously constructing a more just social order. In The Wretched of the Earth, where Fanon uses mainly African anti-colonial struggle to chart the evolution of national consciousness, we come upon the possibilities of active political education as an important component of revolutionary undertaking. One cannot but suspect that the absence of a program of political education was among the things that stood out to James as he waded through the historical material on the fall of Toussaint and the subsequent struggle of genuine revolutionary ideals to remain afloat in Haiti. The ideological and political resources at the disposal of Pan-African struggle in the twentieth century were such that as early

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as 1938, when the first edition of the Black Jacobins appears, it was possible to conceive of political education as a critical part of the kind of radical change that was imagined with anti-colonial struggle. This possibility lay perhaps not so much in James’ Trotskian ideological leanings, as it did in the pathway laid open by that long-standing concern with the pedagogic and the didactic as critical components of the vision of liberation for the pioneers of Pan-Africanism. Carefully designed projects of political education as a component of the struggle for independence and subsequently to keep neocolonialism at bay were certainly the order of the day for nationalist undertakings by 1961, when Fanon’s retracing of the steps along the arduous journey of national consciousness was first published. It is useful for us to consider here, as we think about the matter of political education, that Fanon is rather careful not to merely raise and leave obscure the issue of a revolutionary pedagogy and civic education curriculum, and especially the role of the intellectual in its cultivation and application. To do so would leave room for autocratic and reactionary tendencies to take root and lead many a popular uprising down the very same authoritarian paths from which their participants sought liberation to begin with. A pernicious, top-down program for radical change is quite similar in effect to the absence of such a framework for national education for the previously oppressed in the aftermath of fundamental social change. Both, in short, foster the development of a limiting, parochial nationalism that ensnares the political community and limits its possibilities for healthy, democratic growth. Fanon’s distinction between such nationalism, as he saw it emerge within post-independence African states, and national consciousness, is instructive as we pivot in closing to consider the plight of the post-apartheid South African state. National consciousness represents for Fanon “the allembracing crystallization of the innermost hopes of the whole people . . . the immediate and most obvious result of the mobilization of the people.”27 The political education needed to foster the disposition that it entails must of necessity be shaped by a pedagogy that comes naturally out of the people as a collective. That revolutionary pedagogy in other words must emerge organically, in tandem with the simultaneous growth in the collective consciousness of the people as they orient themselves toward the future they have resolved to share in common. Paulo Freire captures the spirit of this approach well in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. He recalls being led to rewrite his entire initial manuscript to Pedagogy of the Oppressed after reading Fanon’s The Wretched while in exile in Chile.28 In Pedagogy of the Oppressed the process of education ideally becomes less about depositing knowledge into open vessels and more about a dialectical process of journeying along and experiencing the various stages of the development in consciousness among the people. Revolutionary pedagogy becomes concerned with facilitating and accommodating such growth.29 It is this feature that helps to make it genuinely dialectical in character.

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Conclusion Let us end our consideration of this matter of the imperative of a Pan-Africaninfused pedagogy and civic education framework by pivoting back to South Africa, this time with the insights and conceptual tools offered by James and Fanon in mind. The goal of the theoretical exploration undertaken above has been to suggest how such a framework for civic education, when endorsed at the highest level in the political community, could help to mitigate against developments such as the xenophobia rampant in politics and everyday life in the youngest of state formations on the African continent. What we learn from James’ and Fanon’s efforts are mainly, first, the unavoidable pitfalls of a failure to develop institutional mechanisms that might facilitate the growth and perseverance of genuinely decolonial political dispositions. And second, chiefly from Fanon, that the guiding pedagogy of such an educative framework in cases where it is allowed to develop and take root has to be organic in nature. It must progress, that is, in step with the collective consciousness of the body politic in all its rich and variegated plurality. Our present moment is marked by two features adverse to the possibility of a radical Pan-African civic education framework built on such a foundation as indicated above, and furthermore endorsed and thus implemented as a component of national development. (For it is in such a view that a Pan-African agenda for national public education must been seen.) There is, first, the turn after apartheid toward a neoliberal model of the nationstate that by its nature has scarce regard for any sort of Pan-African agenda. Other African nation-states are viewed from this neoliberal standpoint as entities against which one competes to some degree or the other on the global stage. In the grand scheme of things, there is a certain artificiality to the notion of solidarity despite the platitudes and posturing of political figures. Talk of Pan-Africanism across neoliberal regimes rings as hollow as did the hopeful declarations of “African Renaissance” in the immediate wake of post-apartheid South Africa’s coming into being. The second feature that inhibits a state-driven Pan-African educative framework is of course the radical individualism that the neoliberal arrangement must foster in order to be viable. To a certain extent, we might consider the language of xenophobia, this brash concern with the interest only of the immediate, ever-shrinking national community whose parameters of inclusion recede ever dangerously in the manner of the national chauvinism that Mbembe has drawn our attention to, as the language most fitting for the narrow understanding of self and of community that neoliberalism engenders. The path to a broadly implemented Pan-African civic education program for the body politic in the postcolony by which these tendencies might be overcome is tied inevitably to the surmounting of configurations of the state that are by their very make-up inconsistent with the ideals of African unity and solidarity of purpose.

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Notes 1. For many of my young, continental African students at The University of Oklahoma, their first in-depth exposure to Pan-Africanism and its ideals comes with the classes they take in the context of the Western Academy. Hardly ever does it come from the education they have previously received in their respective countries of origin. 2. See C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1989); and Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1963). 3. Greg A. Graham, Democratic Political Tragedy in the Postcolony: The Tragedy of Postcoloniality in Michael Manley’s Jamaica and Nelson Mandela’s South Africa (New York: Routledge, 2018), 98. 4. Graham, Democratic Political Tragedy. 5. Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001). 6. T. D. Harper-Shipman, Rethinking Ownership of Development in Africa (London; New York: Routledge, 2019). 7. Beauregard Tromp, “SA’s Xenophobia Shame: ‘Burning Man’ Case Shut,” Sunday Times, 15 February 2015, www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/lifestyle/2015-02-15sas-xenophobia-shame-burning-man-case-shut/ (accessed 24 May 2020). 8. Achille Mbembe, “Achille Mbembe Writes About Violence in South Africa,” https://alice.ces.uc.pt/en/index.php/uncategorized/achille-mbembe-writes-aboutviolence-in-south-africa/ (accessed 7 June 2020). 9. Achille Mbembe, “Ruth First Lecture 2019,” New Frame, 8 June 2019, www. newframe.com/ruth-first-memorial-lecture-2019-achille-mbembe/ (accessed 7 June 2020). 10. Jonathan Crush and Sujata Ramachandran, “Xenophobic Violence in South Africa: Denialism, Minimalism, Realism,” Migration Policy Series 66 (Cape Town: Southern African Migration Programme (SMP); Waterloo, Ontario: International Migration Research Centre (IMRC), 2014), 19. 11. “Xenophobia puts South Africa’s Moral Authority in Africa at Risk,” The Conversation, 19 September 2019, https://theconversation.com/xenophobia-puts-southafricas-moral-authority-in-africa-at-risk-123613 (accessed 24 May 2020). 12. Mbembe, “Ruth First Lecture 2019.” 13. Crush and Ramachandran, “Xenophobic Violence in South Africa.” 14. Ernest A. Pineteh, “Illegal Aliens and Demons That Must Be Exorcised from South Africa: Framing African Migrants and Xenophobia in Post-Apartheid Narratives,” Cogent Social Sciences 3.1.1391158 (2017); see also Savo Heleta, “Xenophobia and Party Politics in South Africa,” Mail and Guardian, 3 September 2019, https:// mg.co.za/article/2019-09-03-00-xenophobia-and-party-politics-in-south-africa/ (accessed 24 May 2020). 15. Judson M. Lylon, “Edward Blyden: Liberian Independence and African Nationalism, 1903 –1909,” Phylon 41.1 (first quarter, 1980), 36–49. 16. Daniel J. Paracka, The Athens of West Africa: A History of International Education at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone (New York: Routledge, 2003), 91. 17. Jane A. Gordon, “Failures of Language and Laughter: Anna Julia Cooper and Contemporary Problems of Humanistic Pedagogy,” Philosophical Studies in Education 7 (2007), 163–77.

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18. Lewis Gordon, An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 70–1. 19. Ato Sekyi-Otu, Fanon’s Dialectic of Experience (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997). 20. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 36. 21. James, The Black Jacobins, ix. 22. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 45. 23. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 93. 24. Ato Sekyi-Otu, Fanon’s Dialectic of Experience (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996). 25. C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins, 241–68. 26. C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins, 247. 27. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 148; for a useful discussion of Fanon’s idea of national consciousness, see Jane A. Gordon, Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau Through Fanon (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012). 28. M. Horton and P. Freire, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990). 29. Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York; London; New Delhi; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2014).

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The “Field and Function” of Africana Studies: Insights from the Life and Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois James B. Stewart

Introduction W. E. B. Du Bois is undoubtedly one of the most influential scholar activists of the twentieth century. His voluminous body of writing includes historical treatises, novels, poems, plays and essays. Previous research has documented how both his life and writings have provided guidance for contemporary Africana Studies specialists.1 The chapter title references an important essay in which Du Bois outlines a broad vision of the role of Black colleges in promoting Black liberation that is equally appropriate for envisioning a necessary trajectory for Africana Studies in the twenty-first century.2 This chapter summarizes Du Bois’ many contributions to Africana Studies, focusing on ten themes found in his writings of ongoing significance to Africana Studies scholar activists. Discussion of his perspectives on each theme is preceded by a brief biographical summary.3

The Life of W. E. B. Du Bois Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on 23 February 1868, as a teenager Du Bois demonstrated remarkable analytical and writing skills through submissions as a correspondent for New York Age, New York Globe and the Springfield Republican. Du Bois attended Fisk University from 1885–8, and taught in rural schools during the summers. After receiving his B.A. in 1888, Du Bois entered Harvard University as a junior and graduated cum laude in 1890. After attending graduate school at the University of Berlin (1892–4) Du Bois pursued doctoral studies at Harvard while teaching Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University. After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1896 Du Bois took a oneyear position as an Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1897– 1910 he held the position of Professor of Economics at Atlanta University

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and organized the Atlanta University Studies of the Negro Problem, which he sought unsuccessfully throughout much of his life to expand into a centurylong research program. During the first two decades of the twentieth century Du Bois established himself as a major spokesperson in both the domestic and international arenas. On the domestic scene, he was a founder and general secretary of the Niagara Movement (1905–9) and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. In 1910 Du Bois assumed the roles of Director of Publicity and Research and Editor of the NAACP organ, The Crisis. His international activities included service as secretary of the First Pan-African Conference (London, 1900), participation in the First Universal Races Congress (London, 1911), the Second Pan-African Congress (London, Brussels, Paris, 1921) and the Third Pan-African Congress (London, Paris, Lisbon, 1923). Under the auspices of the NAACP he also investigated the treatment of African American troops in Europe during World War I. Du Bois contributed signally to the Harlem Renaissance by making The Crisis a publication outlet for some of the more important literary figures. His own artistic inclinations reached their apex in the 1927 founding of the “Krigwa Players,” a Black theater troupe based in Harlem which staged a major production entitled “Star of Ethiopia.” In 1934 W. E. B. Du Bois was forced to resign from his positions with the NAACP in the wake of controversy about his support for self-help development initiatives, a position deemed inconsistent with the NAACP ideology of racial integration. Subsequently, he served as Chairman of the Department of Sociology at Atlanta University (1934–44), where he founded the journal Phylon in 1940. Between 1944 and 1948 Du Bois served as the NAACP’s Director of Special Research. In this capacity he was instrumental in expanding the scope of the NAACP’s concerns into the international arena. He served as a consultant to the founding convention of the United Nations in 1945 and presided at the Fifth Pan-African Congress (Manchester) that same year. Du Bois brought attention to the situation of African Americans into the halls of the United Nations in 1947 through the document “An Appeal to the World,” which he edited and submitted on behalf of the NAACP. His international interests were also expressed through the Council on African Affairs, which he co-chaired in 1948. Du Bois’ global concerns drew him into the International Peace Movement in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was actively involved in organizing the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace held in New York City in 1949 and attended the 1949 Peace Conferences in Paris and Moscow. Du Bois served as Chairman of the Peace Information Center in 1950 and was a candidate for United States Senator on the ticket of the Progressive Party. His work with the Peace Information Center brought him into conflict with the forces of

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McCarthyism, and during 1950 and 1951 he was indicted, tried and acquitted on charges of being an unregistered foreign agent. Du Bois resumed a visible international profile in the late 1950s with a trip around the world that included significant visits to the Republic of China and the Soviet Union. He joined the Communist Party in 1961 and, in that same year, accepted Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah’s invitation to come to Ghana and produce the long-discussed Encyclopedia Africana. Du Bois became a citizen of Ghana in 1963 and died in Accra on 27 August 1963, the day of the March on Washington. He is now interred at the W. E. B. Du Bois Center in Accra, Ghana.

A Thematic Approach to the Writings of Du Bois As the twenty-first century unfolds, scholars and students in Africana Studies must respond to a variety of new (yet old) challenges. Many of these challenges and the dialogues they have engendered have obvious historical precedents, and Du Bois’ ideas are a particularly salient foundation for contemporary explorations.

Race and Culture There is an ongoing debate regarding Du Bois’ views of race and culture. This debate focuses on the extent to which he adopted a phenotypic (biological) model versus a “cultural” model of race. The controversy centers around contradictory readings of the essay, “The Conservation of Races.” Du Bois argues: Although the wonderful developments of human history teach that the grosser physical differences of color, hair and bone go but a short way toward explaining the different roles which groups of men have played in Human Progress, yet there are differences—subtle, delicate and elusive, though they may be—which have silently but definitely separated men into groups. While these subtle forces have generally followed the natural cleavage of common blood, descent and physical peculiarities, they have at other times swept across and ignored these. At all times, however, they have divided human beings into races, which, while they perhaps transcend scientific definition, are clearly defined to the eye of the Historian and Sociologist. What, then, is a race? It is a vast family of human beings, generally of common blood and language, always of common history, traditions and impulses, who are both voluntarily and involuntarily striving together for the accomplishment of certain more or less vividly conceived ideals of life.4

While there is no question that Du Bois foregrounds biological factors in establishing the origins of “races,” he clearly suggests that history and sociology provide more useful frameworks for examining the construct of race than biology, per se. Consequently, Du Bois’ conception of race is principally

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cultural. In a 1948 essay, Du Bois asserts, “Africans were not simply a physical entity: a black people, or a people descended from black folk but, what all races really are, a cultural group,” and this race “must be conserved for the benefit of the Negro people and for mankind.”5

Identity Dynamics Among African Americans Du Bois’ focus on shared experiences as a foundation for the cultural cohesiveness of a racial group raises the issue of how individuals’ experiences affect the degree of psychological attachment to their culture of origin. Du Bois’ most direct statement on this matter is, of course, his often quoted comments about “psychic duality” or “double-consciousness”: It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness— an American, a Negroe; two souls, two thoughts; two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.6

The intense psychological conflict described in this passage is consistent with the perspective presented in Du Bois’ unpublished novel, “A Fellow of Harvard” (c.1892).7 This novel is, in fact, a loosely veiled autobiographical treatise in which the protagonist finds temporary salvation in an historically Black institution following bad experiences at Harvard University. Du Bois’ novels are, in fact, the richest source of information regarding his perspectives on identity dynamics.8 As an example, in The Quest of the Silver Fleece, the hero, Blessed Alwyn, is a composite representation of Du Bois’ “Talented Tenth.” However, it is only through the guidance provided by the heroine, Zora, an uneducated girl raised in the swamp, that he is eventually able to achieve the liberation of his psyche.9 Similar themes are presented in all of Du Bois’ novels, which span his entire lifetime. For Du Bois the problem of psychic duality emerges principally when individuals develop an uncritical commitment to Western values, and in particular overestimate the efficacy of formal education, before acquiring knowledge about, and an appreciation of, Black culture. That is, alienation from the common experiences of peoples of African descent distorts the process of identity development. In such a situation Du Bois suggests that a process of “psychic liberation” must occur if wholesome psychological functioning is to be achieved. This liberating process requires deep immersion in traditional social structures.

Folk Culture, Elite Culture and Creative Production Du Bois’ emphasis on connections to traditional support systems as a critical ingredient of wholesome socialization raises a question as to what other forces

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also influence socialization. Du Bois ascribed special roles to creative production, leadership and education (broadly defined) in influencing the thinking of peoples of African descent. Du Bois’ “patrician” socialization clearly influenced his views about the most valued forms of cultural production. To illustrate, he argued in 1897 that “for the development of Negro genius, of Negro literature and art, of Negro spirit, only Negroes bound and welded together, Negroes inspired by one vast ideal, can work out in its fullness the great message we have for humanity.”10 Du Bois overtly privileges “products” reflecting the experience of elites. This same bias is evident in his advocacy for a “Black Aesthetic,” i.e. the idea that art must be appropriate for Black culture and its value must be defined according to an indigenous concept of beauty. Du Bois argued in 1925 that there was undoubtedly a certain group expression of Negro art which included essays examining Black life, aspirations and the problems of the color line, autobiographies of former slaves and notable Blacks, poetry, novels, paintings, sculpture, music and plays which emerged organically from the collective experience.11 There are, however, examples of Du Bois’ concurrent appreciation of the important functions of folk culture. “Sorrow songs” are used in The Souls of Black Folk as introductions to the various essays. These songs served as alternative “windows” on the Black experience, and were potential motivators calling people to take action to foster social uplift, by appealing to emotion and innate sensibilities.12 In Dark Princess, A Romance (1928), the protagonist, Matthew Towns, is inspired to sing a “slave song” that establishes his revolutionary credentials at a meeting of representatives of the Third World dedicated to the global liberation struggle of colonized peoples. Moreover, this experience is the catalyst for Towns to reject his earlier socialization and fully dedicate his life to the liberation of the oppressed.13 Thus, Du Bois seems to be implying that the wholesome psychological functioning of Black elites can be enhanced by continuing connection to folk cultural production rituals. The role ascribed to “African conjure women” in his novels is another indicator of the importance Du Bois assigned to folk cultural traditions. The African conjure woman is the cement that binds the psyches of Du Bois’ heroes and heroines, villains and villainesses into a coherent composite entity. In The Quest of the Silver Fleece, this character foretells the eventual liberation of the protagonist from the oppression of his early socialization. In Dark Princess, A Romance, the protagonist’s mother is the protector of the African heritage and her knowledge of African rituals is a catalyst for the eventual reunion of the protagonist and his Asian princess love interest.14

Social Research Methodologies Recognition of the importance of folk cultural production in the lives of peoples of African descent necessitates that meaningful studies preserve cultural

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authenticity. Du Bois privileged history and sociology over other traditional disciplines in terms of capabilities to examine the “deep structure” of African American life and culture, but insisted as early as 1898 that “scientific work must be sub-divided, but conclusions that affect the whole subject must be based on study of the whole.”15 For him, historical analysis involved searching for linkages between the past and the present by integrating science and intuition. Thus, Du Bois wrote in 1905: We can only understand the present by continually referring to and studying the past; when any one of the intricate phenomena of our daily life puzzles us; when there arises religious problems, political problems, race problems, we must always remember that while their solution lies in the present, their cause and their explanation lie in the past.16

Du Bois’ methodological predilections often violated traditional standards of historical research, relying extensively on previously published sources and graduate papers rather than manuscript materials. He was particularly concerned with resurrecting the history of common folk, observing in 1951 that “we have the record of kings and gentlemen ad nauseam and in stupid detail; but of the common run of human beings, and particularly of the half or wholly submerged working group, the world has saved all too little of authentic record and tried to forget or ignore even the little saved.”17 There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating Du Bois’ increasing belief in the complementarity of history and fiction in the analysis and portrayal of the Black experience. In the postscript to the first volume of his trilogy, The Black Flame (1957, 1959, 1961), he lamented that although the work was not history in the strict disciplinary sense, limitations in terms of time and money had forced him to abandon pure historical research in favor of the method of historical fiction “to complete the cycle of history which (had) for a half century engaged (his) thought, research and action.”18 At the same time, Du Bois insisted that the foundation of the book was “documented and verifiable fact” although he freely admitted that in some cases he had resorted “to pure imagination in order to make unknown and unknowable history relate an ordered tale to the reader” and in other cases small changes had been made in the exact sequence of historical events.19 He claimed further that this methodology was superior to the tendency of historians to “pretend we know far more than we do,” provided that the methodology was explicitly acknowledged beforehand.20 The century-long research program proposed by Du Bois was one effort to reconcile the tensions between historical and sociological methods of inquiry. In the early 1940s, while at Atlanta University, Du Bois unsuccessfully attempted to implement this idea through the First Conference of Negro Land-Grant Colleges. While at Atlanta, he founded the journal Phylon in 1940 as an expression of his belief that the immigration of Blacks to America from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries was “the greatest social event of modern history.”21

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Du Bois’ simultaneous collection of broad-ranging micro-level data in different communities to describe the interaction of various social forces was one of the most significant aspects of his methodology and dates back to The Philadelphia Negro (1899).22 This study reflected his belief “that the student of the social problems affecting ethnic minorities must go beyond the group itself. He must specially notice the environment: the physical environment of city, sections and house, the far mightier social environment— the surrounding world of custom, wish, whim, and thought which envelops this group and powerfully influences its social development.”23

Education/Educational Institutions Undertaking the type of major research program proposed by Du Bois necessitated a special type of institutional setting. Du Bois insisted that historically Black institutions should assume responsibility for providing a non-traditional program of instruction for cultivating effective change agents. He saw the need for an Afrocentric curriculum that linked preparation for manual and intellectual labor, integrally including opportunities for direct involvement in pursuing desirable social change. In Du Bois’ words: The university must become not simply a center of knowledge but a center of applied knowledge and guide of action. And this is all the more necessary now since we easily see that planned action especially in economic life is going to be the watchword of civilization . . . starting with present conditions and using the facts and the knowledge of the present situation of American Negroes, the Negro university expands toward the possession and the conquest of all knowledge. It seeks from a beginning of the history of the Negro in America and in Africa to interpret all history; from a beginning of social development among slaves and freedmen in America and Negro tribes and kingdoms in Africa, to interpret and understand the social development of all mankind in all ages. It seeks to reach modern science of matter and life from the surroundings and habits and attitudes of American Negroes and thus lead up to understanding of life and matter in the universe.24

Du Bois’ views on the optimal educational strategy for K–12 instruction are less clear. Near the end of his life Du Bois held out a faint hope that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education might lead to a mitigation of both the psychic conflicts faced by Afro-Americans and the forces of racism. He expressed this view through the protagonist in The Black Flame, Manuel Mansart, who dies shortly after the decision is announced in 1954. On his deathbed Mansart expresses Du Bois’ ambiguous assessment: if for another century, we Negroes taught our children—in our own bettering schools, with our own trained teachers—we would never be Americans but another nation with a new culture. But if beginning now, gradually, all American

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JAMES B. STEWART children, Black and white, European, Slavic and Asiatic are increasingly taught as one—in one tradition and one ideal—there will emerge one race, one nation, one world . . . Am I glad? I should be, but I am not. I dreamed too long of a great American Negro race. Now I can only see a great Human Race. It may be best, I should indeed rejoice.25

Communicating with Non-Academic Audiences While Du Bois placed great faith in formal education as a vehicle for generating knowledge to undergird uplift efforts, he also recognized that other modes of knowledge creation and dissemination would be required to reach the masses. As social organization increases in complexity, a more sophisticated communication network is required. Reminiscing in 1944 about the forces that contributed to his abandonment of the type of pure research reflected in the production of the Atlanta Publications to become editor of The Crisis, Du Bois observed: Gradually and with increasing clarity, my whole attitude toward the social sciences began to change: in the study of human beings and their actions, there could be no . . . rift between theory and practice, between pure and applied science, as was possible in the study of sticks and stones . . . I tried therefore in my new work not to pause when remedy was needed; on the other hand I sought to make each incident and item in my program of social uplift, part of a wider and vaster structure of real scientific knowledge of the race problem in America.26

Du Bois’ first stint with the NAACP provided him with an alternative to higher education for conducting applied research and disseminating findings to large audiences (The Crisis). Both Du Bois’ major theatrical production, Star of Ethiopia, and his novels constituted important outreach efforts. The Brownies’ Book was an equally interesting initiative. The Brownies’ Book, A Magazine for Children of the Sun was published by W. E. B. Du Bois, Jessie Fauset and Augustus Dill from 1920–2. This magazine was preceded by The Children’s Crisis, published every October from 1912–19, which discussed current issues which affected young children and celebrated the achievements of young African American men and women. The goals of The Brownies’ Book reflected an extension of the original goal of The Children’s Crisis, i.e. to develop positive self-esteem, to familiarize readers with the history and achievement of African Americans. Several important figures of the Harlem Renaissance contributed to issues of The Brownies’ Book.27 It is clear, then, that Du Bois employed a wide-ranging strategy in attempting to convey information, cultivate group consciousness and spur political activism among the Black masses. In this regard he is the progenitor of the contemporary Black “public intellectual.”

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Leadership and Social Change Although Du Bois took on the role of a public intellectual, he was always concerned about promoting effective leadership of community organizations. While most of the scrutiny of Du Bois’ views has focused on his construction of the “Talented Tenth,” this is but one dimension of a more expansive theory of leadership. Du Bois held that local leaders were especially critical in defining what he described as the “ideals” of African Americans. These leaders, in Du Bois’ view, “set the tone to that all-powerful spiritual world that surrounds and envelopes the souls of men; their standards of living, their interpretation of sunshine and rain and human hearts, their thoughts of love and labor, their aspirations and dim imaginings—all that makes life life.”28 Presumably, viable leadership candidates had successfully mastered the intricacies of “Western” knowledge. Du Bois believed, perhaps unrealistically, that although the socialization of these individuals was likely to generate psychic duality, the ideology of the “race man” would prevail. Reminiscing in 1948, he noted: I never for a moment dreamed that such leadership could ever be for the sake of the educated group itself, but always for the mass. Nor did I pause to enquire in just what ways and with what technique we would work—first, broad, exhaustive knowledge of the world; all other wisdom, all method and application would be added onto us.29

Du Bois did not formally revise his theory of leadership until 1948, when he offered a modified version of his conception of the “Talented Tenth,” i.e. “The Guiding Hundredth.” He asserted: My Talented Tenth must be more than talented, and work not simply as individuals. Its passport to leadership was not alone learning, but expert knowledge of modern economics as it affected American Negroes; and in addition to this and fundamental, would be its willingness to sacrifice and plan for such economic revolution in industry and just distribution of wealth, as would make the rise of our group possible.30

This expanded conception of leadership clearly reflects the integration of Marxist thought into his original leadership theory. Unfortunately, like the original “Talented Tenth,” the revised leadership model was also highly gendered.

Gender There is substantial disagreement regarding the degree of Du Bois’ attentiveness to gender equity issues. As is the case for most men of his age (and ours!) there was significant divergence between articulation and practice. In his analytical writings Du Bois does not examine gender outside the confines of the examination of Black family dynamics. Having offered that observation, however, Du

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Bois treats gender equity in his fictional writings with a progressivism that few of his peers attained. My examination of the female and male characters in Du Bois’ novels suggests that Du Bois’ heroines are always more adept at achieving a psychic equilibrium and become the major catalysts for final attainment of mental liberation of the principal male character. However, at the same time some of his constructions embody traditional stereotypes, and women are generally not presented independently of their relationships with men.31 Du Bois expressed special concern about the impact of the industrial transformation on the proportion of men and women in urban areas. He argued economic conditions were producing “low wages and a rising economic standard is postponing marriage to an age dangerously late . . . [and] present economic demand [is] draw[ing] the [N]egro women to the city and keep[ing] the men in the country, causing a dangerous disproportion of the sexes.”32 At the same time, he viewed the involvement of Black women in the labor market as a precursor of developments in the larger society rather than as an incomplete adaptation to European mores: “The Negro woman more than the women of any other group in America is the protagonist in the fight for an economically independent womanhood in modern countries.”33

Black Families and Social Organization in Black Communities In 1904 Du Bois hypothesized that every group progresses through a fourstage pattern of development, i.e. the struggle for survival, capacity to store resources for future use, ability to create social capital and transfer it to future generations, and co-operative engagement with other groups.34 For people of African descent this natural process was disrupted by the European slave trade, with disastrous impacts both for Africans remaining on the continent and for those directly experiencing the holocaust of enslavement. For Du Bois, the negative developmental consequences were so devastating that when slavery ended Blacks were ill equipped to function effectively in the evolving politicaleconomic environment. Du Bois believed that robust community institutions were a necessity to combat the forces catalyzing social disorganization. As is the case for most scholars, Du Bois began his exploration by examining the Black family. He saw the brutality of slavery as a major barrier to family formation and effective functioning, with the possible exception of former house slaves. Specifically, he maintained: on the whole it is fair to say that while to some extent European family morals were taught the small select body of house servants and artisans, both by precept and example, the great body of field hands were raped of their own sex customs and provided with no binding new ones. Slavery gave the monogamic family ideal to slaves, but it compelled and desired only the most imperfect practice of its most ordinary morals.35

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At the same time, Du Bois defended adaptive practices developed by African Americans from charges of being less “civilized” than those of Europeans: “The Negro motherlove and family instinct is strong, and it regards the family as a means, not an end, and although the end in the present Negro mind is usually personal happiness rather than social order . . .”36 Naturally, Du Bois also highlighted the critical role of Black churches in producing social stability and providing foundations for uplift. In The Philadelphia Negro he opined: The Negro churches were the birthplaces of Negro schools and of all agencies which seek to promote the intelligence of the masses . . . [c]onsequently all movements for social betterment are apt to center in the churches. Beneficial societies in endless number are formed here; secret societies keep in touch; cooperative and building associations have lately sprung up; the minister often acts as an employment agent; considerable charitable and relief work is done and special meetings held to aid special projects. The race problem in all its phases is continually being discussed, and, indeed from this forum many a youth goes forth inspired to work.37

Du Bois believed that coordinated action among community institutions was a key element of a viable liberation strategy. In 1912 he proposed creation of a planned economic network, which he termed the “Group Economy Movement,” fueled, in part, by the success of Black communities like Durham, North Carolina.38 As late as 1935, Du Bois, influenced by the Rochdale Co-operative Movement, insisted that the continued growth of the “group economy” provided the potential for the creation of a “Negro Nation within the Nation.”39 As Du Bois incorporated Marxist concepts into his world view, he altered his expectations regarding appropriate strategies for Black social organizations. In this context, Du Bois insisted that the establishment of socialist economic structures was wholly consistent with the traditional functioning of Black social institutions.

Pan-African Liberation and International Political Economy Du Bois acknowledged that Black Reconstruction (1935) was his first major piece reflecting the synthesis of his pre-Marxist and Marxist-influenced approaches to historical investigation.40 His endorsement of socialism was designed to position peoples of African descent to function as major actors in an ever changing world order. And he recognized that Blacks were especially vulnerable to exploitation generated by the growth of monopoly capitalism. Class divisions among African Americans prior to World War II were seen by Du Bois as a relatively minor problem, because of the operation of a racial caste system whereby “the Negro leaders are bound to their own group.”41 However, in the post-World War II period he saw the potential for a widening class division among African Americans, such that “When the whole caste structure finally

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does fall, Negroes will be divided into classes even more sharply than now, and the main mass will become a part of the working class of the nation and the world.”42 Reflecting this perspective, Du Bois argued in 1948 that “Negroes are in a quasi-colonial status. They belong to the lower classes of the world. These classes are, have been, and are going to be for a long time exploited by the more powerful groups and nations in the world for the benefit of those groups.”43 Du Bois’ concerns were not restricted to economic exploitation, per se. Writing in 1948, Du Bois identified the “leveling effect of capitalism on cultural diversity” as one of the major threats associated with the progressive expansion of monopoly capitalism: The result of world-wide class strife has been to lead civilization in America and Western Europe toward conformity to certain standards which became predominant in the 19th century. We have refused continually to admit the right of difference. The type of education, the standards and ideals of literature and art, the methods of government must be brought very largely to one single white European standard.44

In a more specific warning, Du Bois raises the specter of the disappearance of a distinctive African American culture: If this [leveling of culture patterns] is going to continue to be the attitude of the modern world, then we face a serious difficulty in so-called race problems. They will become less and less matters of race, so far as we regard race as biological difference. But what is even more important, they will even become less and less matters of conflicting cultures.45

Du Bois’ intellectual assault on the forces of global exploitation and his advocacy for Pan-Africanism had two parallel thrusts. First, he sought to correct what was perceived as the misreading of the history of civilization by articulating the contributions of ancient Africans, including endorsement of the stance that ancient Egyptian civilization was of African origin and that subsequent major civilizations were built substantially on its foundation. Second, he attacked traditional notions of culture and civilization, offering an alternative theory of history that provided a means for understanding the critical role of Africa and peoples of African descent in both the historical and future development of world society.46

Conclusion The themes highlighted in the examination of Du Bois’ thought are designed to correlate with contemporary efforts to design liberation and culturally invigorating strategies for the twenty-first century. Du Bois reminds us that the forces threatening the survival of peoples of African descent operate in a cyclical fashion. In 1909 he declared that the problem facing African Americans had

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“passed through a great evolutionary circle” repeating a cycle in the past that “began with caste—a definite place preordained in custom, law and religion where all men of black blood must be thrust.”47 He further asserted: Today in larger cycle and more intricate detail we are passing through certain phases of a similar evolution. Today we have the caste idea—again not a sudden full-grown conception but one being insidiously but consciously and persistently pressed upon the nation. The steps toward it which are being taken are: first, political disfranchisement, then vocational education with the distinct idea of narrowing to the uttermost of the vocations in view, and finally a curtailment of civil freedom of travel, association and entertainment in systematic effort to instill contempt and kill self-respect.48

As Africana Studies specialists face the modern variants of these persisting find-and-replace manifestations of oppression, Du Bois would insist that we take heart from his assessment: . . . what we can look forward to, and what the racial strife in the United States ought to teach us to look forward to is that it is possible to have in this world a variety of cultural patterns; that men can live and work together in tolerance and mutual appreciation; that by vast and spiritual natural selection out of those different cultures may arise in the future, a more and more unified culture, but never completely unified, which would express and carry out the cultural possibilities of the mass of men.49

And finally, Du Bois would reiterate his 1897 assertion: if the Negro is ever to be a factor in the world’s history—if among the gailycolored banners that deck the broad ramparts of civilization is to hang one uncompromising black, then it must be placed there by black hands, fashioned by black heads and hallowed by the travail of two hundred million black hearts beating in one glad song of jubilee.50

Notes 1. See James Stewart, “The Legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois for Contemporary Black Studies,” The Journal of Negro Education 53 (1984), 296–311. 2. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Field and Function of the Negro College,” Alumni Reunion Address, Fisk University, 1933. Reprinted in H. Aptheker (ed.), The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques 1906–1960 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1973), 83–102. 3. This analysis is an updated and condensed version of James Stewart, “Deciphering the Thought of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Thematic Approach,” previously published in Black American Intellectualism and Culture, A Social Study of African American Social and Political Thought, ed. James Conyers (Stamford: JAI Press, 1999), 57–84.

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4. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races,” American Negro Academy Occasional Papers 2 (1897), reprinted in W. E. B. Du Bois Speaks, Speeches and Addresses 1890–1919, ed. Philip Foner (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1970), 75. 5. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Talented Tenth Memorial Address,” The Boule Journal 15 (October, 1948), 5–6. 6. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Strivings of the Negro People,” Atlantic Monthly 70 (August, 1897), 194–5. 7. W. E. B. Du Bois, “A Fellow of Harvard,” unpublished manuscript housed in The Papers of W. E. B. Du Bois (Microfilming Corporation of America, 1981), Reel 87. 8. See, James Stewart, “Psychic Duality of Afro-Americans in the Novels of W. E. B. Du Bois,” Phylon 44.2 (June, 1983), 93–108. 9. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Quest of the Silver Fleece [first published 1911] (Millwood, NY: Kraus-Thomson Organization, 1974). 10. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races,” 79. 11. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Social Origins of Negro Art,” Modern Quarterly 3.1 (1925), 53–6. 12. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, Essays and Sketches (Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1903). 13. W. E. B. Du Bois, Dark Princess, A Romance [first published 1928] (Millwood, NY: Kraus-Thomson Organization, 1974) 14. Stewart, “Psychic Duality.” 15. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Study of the Negro Problems,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 11 (January, 1898), 12. 16. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Beginning of Slavery,” Voice of the Negro 2 (February, 1905), 104. 17. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Preface,” in A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States, ed. H. Aptheker (New York: The Citadel Press, 1951), xx. 18. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Postscript,” The Ordeal of Mansart [first published 1957] (Millwood, NY: Kraus-Thomson Organization, 1976), 315. 19. Ibid. 20. Du Bois, “Postscript,” 315. 21. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Phylon: Science or Propaganda,” Phylon 5.1 (1944), 7. 22. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1899). 23. Ibid. 5. 24. Du Bois, “The Field and Function of the Negro College,” 95–6. 25. Du Bois, “Postscript,” 317. 26. W. E. B. Du Bois, “My Evolving Program for Negro Freedom,” in What the Negro Wants, ed. Rayford W. Logan (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944), 56–7. 27. For additional information, see Laverne Gyant and James B. Stewart, “Africana Studies for Young People: Reflections, Sounds, Sights, and Color in Ebony Jr! and The Brownies Book,” in James B. Stewart, Flight in Search of Vision (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2004), 221–33. 28. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Development of a People,” International Journal of Ethics 14 (1904), 306–7. 29. Du Bois, “The Talented Tenth Memorial Address,” 5.

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30. Du Bois, “The Talented Tenth Memorial Address,” 8. 31. Stewart, “Psychic Duality.” 32. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Negro American Family, report of a social study made principally by the college class of 1909 and 1910 of Atlanta University, under the patronage of the trustees of the John F. Slater Fund; together with the Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems (Atlanta: Atlanta University Press, 1908), 36. 33. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Gift of Black Folk: The Negro in the Making of America (Boston: The Stratford Co., 1924), 142. 34. Du Bois, “The Development of a People,” 295. 35. Du Bois, The Negro American Family, 21. 36. Ibid. 42. 37. Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro, 207. 38. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Upbuilding of Black Durham,” World’s Work 13 (1912), 334–8. 39. W. E. B. Du Bois, “A Negro Nation Within a Nation,” Current History 42 (1935), 265–70. 40. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Apologia,” The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638–1870 [first published 1896] (New York: Schocken Books,1969), xxxii; W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction, An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880 (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1935). 41. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Negroes and the Crisis of Capitalism,” Monthly Review 12.4 (1953), 483. 42. Ibid. 482–3. 43. W. E. B. Du Bois, “Race Relations: 1917–1947,” Phylon 9.3 (1948), 245. For additional information, see Gerald Horne, Black and Red, W. E. B. Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944–1963 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986). 44. Du Bois, “Race Relations,” 245. 45. Ibid. 46. For more information, see M. Manning Marable, “The Pan-Africanism of W. E. B. Du Bois,” in W. E. B. Du Bois on Race and Culture: Philosophy, Politics and Poetics, ed. Bernard Bell, Emily Grosholz and James Stewart (New York: Routledge, 1996), 193–218. 47. W. E. B. Du Bois, “The Evolution of the Race Problem,” in Proceedings of the National Negro Conference (New York, 1909), reprinted in W. E. B. Du Bois Speaks, Speeches and Addresses 1890–1919, ed. Philip Foner (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1970), 196. 48. Ibid. 197. 49. Du Bois, “Race Relations,” 247. 50. Du Bois, “Strivings of the Negro People,” 7.

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African American Studies: Discourses and Paradigms Perry A. Hall

Background African American Studies (originally “Black Studies”) emerged as a consequence of a quantum leap in the presence of African Americans on predominantly White public and private college and university campuses following the gains of the Black Freedom Movement in the mid 1960s.1 Concurrent external events that profoundly impacted the campus tenure of this cohort included bloody confrontations in Selma, Alabama, the subsequent Voting Rights Act, and the violent deaths of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy; the Black Power and Black Arts movements emerged in the midst of the major civil uprisings in Watts, Detroit and more than a hundred other American cities, while the Vietnam War escalated—as a military event, as a highly divisive social issue and as a phenomenon affecting black folks. The early history of African American Studies is framed with the backdrop of these events.

The Struggle for Black Studies: Discourses of Relevance and Legitimacy Certain attempts to document this early history characterize the motivations of the ensuing campus movements out of which Black Studies emerged as “disillusionment” with the Civil Rights Movement.2 Manifestly, any sense of “disillusionment” clearly stemmed from the conditions Black students found in the newly accessible integrated settings, not from the movement that brought them there—a movement whose spirit, thrust and tactics they embraced in subsequent efforts to transform those conditions. These efforts to historicize the field are also clumsy in their characterization of various elements involved in the creation of the field. Students and activist scholars whose actions usually initiated program activities are invariably tagged with the undefined labels of “nationalist,” “separatist” or “political,” and opposed

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binarily with programs and individuals characterized as more “academic,” or more “savvy” about university standards and procedures.3 By implying that “nationalist” or “political” people could not also be “academic,” or “savvy” (and that “academic” and “savvy” actors were not also “political”), this characterization obscures the epistemological basis of these confrontations while also conflating the multiplicity of perspectives among students and activist scholars who raised their voices against educational practices that erased, silenced and marginalized the histories and humanities of Black peoples. These varying perspectives coalesced around the core insight that the prevailing processes of knowledge production rendered Black humanity invisible, whether absent altogether, or considered only in the marginalized, “othering” context of concerns peripheral to existing disciplines and practices. Activists used a variety of methods to create the space to address these shortcomings, and the circumstances through which these efforts were mediated varied dramatically. At Cornell, Black students (who had received threats from racist vigilantes) were photographed for national magazine covers bearing rifles and ammunition belts.4 A host of situations, while not involving the showing of arms, were nearly as militant and bitter, such as the movements at San Francisco State and Harvard. Some institutions hosted symposia and conferences similar to the one initiated by students at Yale in 1968, while many institutions, especially small liberal arts colleges, instituted courses in Black history, literature and other areas with little fanfare.5 Characterizing programs originating in militant circumstances as “political,” to separate them from those formed in more moderated contexts, does not alter the underlying fact that the impetus—the need for curricular alternatives for studies of Black life—was fundamentally the same for all. While negotiations with academic establishments were always mediated and sometimes distorted by political pressures, the battle to establish Black Studies in the academy was ultimately an epistemological one. In those terms, the fundamental issue was how to determine what constitutes valid knowledge about the subject—the experiences, conditions and aspirations of Black folks. The very premise that there could be an intellectually valid “Black perspective” on these matters was a fundamental challenge to the epistemological foundations on which universities functioned. While it was questioned, even ridiculed, in that period, it now seems evident that this challenge to the universalist contentions of establishment academics has endured and gained legitimacy—establishing an epistemological path followed by women, peoples of color and others whose multicultural voices broaden notions of humanity, modernity and progress.

Black Studies on Campus: Discourses of Inclusion and Self-Definition The spaces established in academia were housed and structured in various ways on campuses across the nation, depending on how other factors figured in the

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negotiations that produced them. Thus, the scope, depth and form of these curriculum changes have varied greatly.6 A great many institutions merely added a few courses in history or literature. Some formed programs by developing new courses and coordinating curricular activities in existing disciplines and departments. This “program” approach—where the erasure of Black humanity is addressed by “inclusion” or “integration” of studies concerning relevant aspects of Black life within existing disciplines and canons of knowledge—was most likely to be favored by university administrators and established academics and was also reinforced in the funding objectives of outside agencies like the Ford Foundation, which attempted as early as 1969 to influence the evolution of the field.7 Not only did this approach require minimal programmatic or structural adjustment, it also required only minimal epistemological adjustment, as it did not favor “the wholesale abandonment of conventional theoretical constructs, but the reformulation of those conceptual frameworks with the greatest potential for illuminating various aspects of the Black experience.”8 Far from seeking to define a new discipline or field, this approach views special courses on, say, Black history and literature, theoretically at least, as temporary and provisional. As articulated by Nathan Huggins, “The question . . . is not whether English departments offer courses in Afro-American literature, but whether works by black authors are taught in courses on American literature.”9 James B. Stewart’s influential 1992 essay labeled this the “value-added” approach.10 Activists among students and scholars who challenged the legitimacy of this approach were likely to press for more autonomous structures, such as the Black Studies departments which were formed at Harvard, Indiana and the Ohio State universities, and the nearly self-contained Institute for Africana Studies at Cornell. Such proposals encountered more resistance from the university establishment, and succeeded only when considerable pressure was brought to bear. Often such outcomes were the result of relatively militant confrontations, giving rise to the application of the labels “political” and “separatist” to describe these campaigns.11

Epistemological Challenge: Discourses of Opposition and Deconstruction In the charged atmosphere of that era, the academy’s resistance to departmental autonomy was expressed (and remembered) in terms of “scholarly integrity” and “academic principles.” The movement’s fundamental premise, however, was that any ostensible “integrity” was surely tainted by systematic neglect and marginalization of Black life. Moreover, the “scholarly integrity” frame obscures the deep and legitimate epistemological basis of these struggles over tools of academic authority. While some were indeed “separatist” in the political sense, the principal “separatism” that united the activist element was the virtual unanimity with which they rejected the possibility that knowledge

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relevant to “Black liberation” could come from the biased disciplinary canons of traditional Western epistemology. They were “separatist” in the same epistemological sense that early sociologists were separatists when they endeavored to create a new discipline to address issues they shared. Thus, although the discourse around African American Studies was often framed in terms of political ideology and/or organizational structure, it was, in fact, a set of underlying epistemological issues—issues of determining what (and who), in fact, constitutes valid knowledge about Black people and Black communities—that united the various groups of the Black Studies movement for whom mere inclusionism and contributionism regarding Blacks was insufficient. The necessary “epistemic renovation” they sought would require totally restructured analytical frameworks to effect a wholesale disruption of Eurocentric “master narratives.” While opposition was virtually unanimous, no single alternative was advocated by all. Efforts to develop alternate paradigms produced lively and creative dialogue among the fledgling discipline’s adherents and practitioners. Alternate paradigms were informed from various strains, mixtures and combinations of nationalism/Pan-Africanism, Marxism/socialism and feminism/womanism. Fundamentally, however, the dialogue tended to be masculinist in tone, and was centered on the tensions generated by nationalist and Marxist “tendencies” in formations like the National Council for Black Studies, the African Heritage Studies Association, the Institute of the Black World and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and through the pages of publications like The Black Scholar, Negro Digest/ Black World, The Journal of Black Studies, the Western Journal of Black Studies, and the Journal of Black Political Economy. (As discussed below, radical feminist discourse such as that generated among the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) and the Cohambee River Collective during the 1970s took place in relative isolation from formations and discourses that comprised the Black Studies movement—though there was overlap—a fact that has continued to affect and reflect the relationship between Black Studies and Black Women’s Studies.) The shared objective of this dialogue was to replace the existing system of thought that conceived no alternatives to the marginalization, “othering” or erasure of Black humanity. Around this shared goal disparate factions forged a level of operational unity and discourse which has led to the competing intellectual frameworks that comprise the terrain of African American Studies today.

Black Marxism and Black Nationalism: Discourses of Race and Class Marxist and socialist approaches became influential in this discourse, using language and methods that proclaimed a “scientific” level of precision to explain the emergence of slavery and racism, and correct the systematic neglect

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among social science disciplines that “expunges from the collective intellectual memory the major pathology of the American political economy as if it never existed,” thus failing “to clarify the issues which embody the essential description and explanation of how the system of capitalist political economy works itself out in the real world.”12 In addition, during the seventies, revolutionary struggles in Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Third World linked easily with domestic radical sentiments, ideas and movements, creating much ground for commonality among Black Studies activists. In this discursive field, the value of Marxist analytical methods was often acknowledged, even admiringly, by the nationalists, who responded with arguments that reflected stylistic appropriation of Marxist rhetoric, symbols and concepts. For example, the nationalist assertion that Pan-Africanism is the “highest form” of nationalism imitates the Marxist–Leninist assertion that imperialism is the “highest form” of capitalism.13 Nationalist/Pan-Africanists sought to formulate frameworks that, like Marxism, could provide a disciplined and “scientific” approach that might potentially organize and unify a system of thought as effective in conceptualizing a liberated Black humanity as the dominant system was in rationalizing its negation. Their appropriation of Marxist rhetoric to examine race and class often reversed the terms—race rather than class becoming the “fundamental contradiction” that “scientific socialism” should address in building Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism. Thus, an early articulation of “Systematic Nationalism” states: As Marx and Engels had done for the economically oppressed, Garvey and Muhammad did for the racially oppressed. That is why the systematic nationalist says socialism to deal with class contradictions; nationalism to deal with race contradictions.14

In sum, while the Black Studies movement was itself a vehicle for cultural nationalist sentiment, the oppositional standpoint of the movement, the influence of leftist thought and the sense of revolutionary consciousness that linked local and international struggles were factors that pushed the movement’s nationalism to the left in the late 1960s and 1970s. Most who considered themselves nationalists agreed with Karenga that “it must be obvious to us by now that capitalism cannot and will not provide for us . . . that we of necessity [must] look further to the left to socialism.”15 And while a few nationalists found fault with capitalism only because it had not yet worked satisfactorily for them, most agreed with Marxist Tony Thomas’ statement that “. . . black liberation and socialism are directly linked, as are racism and capitalism.”16

The Afrocentric Paradigm: Discourses of Ownership and Origin Through the 1980s, however, international revolutionary fronts were undermined or derailed, radical and leftist voices were muted (for an analysis of the

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impact of leftist–nationalist dialogue, see Cedric Johnson’s 2003 critique17), and the need for Black “ownership,” symbolic if not real, amid a rising conservative tide, became pronounced. In Black Studies discourses, this need translated to a commitment to complete freedom from European or “White” categories of thought and analysis. Something as broad and pervasive as the dominant Euro-American modes of thought required a comparably broad and pervasive counter-discourse that reflected images of Black humanity (not another European-derived system of thought). Thus, the early prominence of radical Marxist critiques was eclipsed in the later 1980s by the rise of the form of cultural nationalism known as Afrocentrism. (“Afrocentricity” is the term preferred by Molefi Kete Asante, articulator of the most well-known strain; “Africentricity,” “Afracentricity,” “African-Centered” and “Africology” are terms embraced by others comprising this trend.) With broad support among Black Studies scholars, Afrocentric perspectives have sprouted from the seeds originally sown by some of the movement’s activist founders. The appearance of Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies in 1982 embodied the paradigm’s emergence as Black Studies evolved from a movement to an institutionalized field of inquiry.18 The establishment of the first and largest Black Studies Ph.D. program at Temple University under the leadership of Asante in 1988 was another inflection point for the Afrocentric paradigm and a major landmark for the Black Studies movement. As a lead scholar in this movement Asante has consistently emphasized two themes through the body of his work. First is a central concern with language as a critical linchpin in the construction of knowledge, meaning, identity and culture. Second is the continual reference to African ideas, cultures and histories as backdrops for the alternative construction of knowledge. Ultimately this thrust focuses on the reclamation of the histories, philosophies and monuments of dynastic Egypt (Kemet) as a cornerstone from which the project is to construct an Afrocentric world view with as much historical depth and cultural legitimacy as Eurocentrism. Claiming Egypt as a “classical African civilization,” Afrocentric historiography connects the glory, wisdom and knowledge of Egypt to the development of the rest of Africa, countering or deconstructing ideologically distorted Western historiographies that either cut classical Egypt away from the roots of Western Civilization, and/or cut Egypt itself away from Africa, in terms of cultural and historical ties. Moreover, in this restored historiography it is Egypt, rather than Greece and Rome, that stands as the source of “high culture,” and of Western civilization itself. Afrocentrism’s significant contribution has been its fundamental deconstructive thrust in the dismantling of seminal Eurocentric bias in the historical construction of Western social science and aesthetic studies. Aspiring to fill the need for development of paradigms free of this burden, forms of this “Afrocentric perspective” have been widely embraced as a species of “antidote” to the biases of Eurocentrism. For these and other reasons, Afrocentricity emerged during the 1980s as the most visible alternative to the “integrationist” paradigm, while

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aspiring to be embraced as the central theoretical perspective around which to organize the discipline itself. Indeed, a presumption developed, both inside and outside of the field, that Afrocentricity and African American Studies were synonymous. However, while the deconstructive initiatives of the Afrocentric paradigm may be necessary, its reconceptualizations have not been sufficient to constitute a viable African American Studies disciplinary matrix. The provocative contributions of Afrocentrists certainly have not come without controversy or critical scrutiny. In that regard, James B. Stewart notes that dialogue based on such scrutiny among multiple perspectives maximizes the possibility that useful insights will be produced, because in such a matrix, the prejudices, erasures and silences of any perspective can be challenged or augmented from other perspectives.19 In other words, the presence of alternative perspectives promotes dialogue, which in turn promotes clarity, within the discipline. In this dialogue, the Afrocentric approach has been critiqued for privileging the reconceptualization of the past and renaming of the present over a concrete focus on those disruptions and limiting structures against which descendants of Africa have historically struggled. These perceived inadequacies regarding class, gender and static conceptions of culture, among other issues, have generated critical reflections from others who have been part of the activist discourse.

Gender and Women’s Studies: Discourses on Erasures and Silences Women have been visible, indeed prominent, among Black Studies’ intellectual and organizational leaders, and feminist perspectives, sometimes defined as “womanist” to distinguish them from White feminists’ ideologies, have remained visible in the streams of discourse within the field. However, feminist perspectives have had vexed receptions, and gender issues have posed a particularly significant challenge, in this pattern of discursive evolution. When Michelle Wallace, a founding member of the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO), critiqued masculinist orthodoxy in Civil Rights formations and movements in Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (1979), her views were marginalized, sometimes demonized, as counterproductive foils of the White Women’s Movement.20 For some feminists, it would appear that little alteration of the overall masculinist tone of the discourse had or has been effected. The founding of the NBFO in 1973 and the Cohambee River Collective in 1974 reflect that feminist voices seeking to decenter the masculinist focus of Black Studies Movement discourse (and social and cultural commentary among Blacks generally), and focus on issues affecting Black women, needed to create separate venues. As part of this trend of separate sites for Black feminist discourse, the pioneering 1982 Black Women’s Studies anthology, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies (Gloria T. Hull, et. al.), which embraced the Cohambee River Collective’s “Black Feminist

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Statement” as its second selection, was a project whose support was derived from feminist and Women’s Studies resources. The anthology title suggests that Black women in academia were experiencing great difficulty accessing channels for voicing their concerns within either the Black or the Women’s Studies movements and, like Black women aspiring to leadership roles historically, had to perform singular acts of self-assertion to erase their invisibility. As Deborah King explains, “It is precisely those differences between blacks and women, between black men and black women, between black women and white women that are crucial to understanding the nature of black womanhood.”21 The embedded procedures, customs and habits of thought that led to the exclusion, marginalization and neglect of issues affecting Black women have continued to sustain a separate Black Women’s Studies initiative. Much of the initiative in this discourse has been taken by literary scholars, following the influence of Nellie McKay, Barbara Christian, Audre Lorde, Gloria Hull and Claudia Tate, among others.22 Other scholars challenge and balance residual masculinist biases in the field of African American Studies itself. For example, Deborah King notes the manner in which selective presentation of issues (e.g. school drop-out rates, imprisonment rates, homicide rates, college attendance) suggests that the problems of Black communities focus around the issue of the “decimation of the black male.” While women are rendered either invisible, advantaged or victimizers, she argues that issues especially affecting Black women—domestic abuse, sexual assault, impoverished single-parent families, insensitive welfare policies, AIDS as a leading cause of death—are not necessarily seen as “race” problems in a comparable way.23 King and Patricia Hill Collins are both social scientists who have worked toward developing a theoretical model for the study of gender issues. In addition, bell hooks’ work is guided by the postmodern cultural studies paradigm that incorporates both social and literary studies. These feminist scholars locate Black women’s experiences in a hub where race, class and gender converge, like spokes in a wheel of social constructions, and interact to shape the particulars of Black women’s lives. They consistently point to the inextricable intersectionality of all these forms of oppression, and to the necessity of addressing all dimensions of human oppression. Thus, this body of theory particularizes a “black women’s standpoint epistemology,” at the same time that it universalizes the Black woman’s struggle as the epitome of the human struggle for freedom, dignity and fulfillment.24

Continuity and Change: Discourses of Transformation The foci on interrelationships and complexities that these feminisms embrace are also shared more broadly among those in the field who examine cultural and structural factors that have continually transformed the experiences, identities and communities of Black peoples. While sharing the Afrocentric goal of deconstructing conventional paradigms, these scholars remain cautiously

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aware that the moment that we free our minds from previous conceptual prisons is precisely the moment when we are most vulnerable to new errors. Any new premises, new paradigms and new perspectives must be scrutinized from the same “center” that led us, in the first instance, to challenge the imposed Eurocentric conceptual constructs. The term “transformationist” refers to this range of alternative perspectives which, as Manning Marable notes, are “neither ‘integrationist’ or ‘nationalist,’” but instead recognize “the enduring validity of the ‘double-consciousness’ formulation of W. E. B. Du Bois nearly a century ago.”25 Indeed, more than any other single figure, the work and legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois has served as a foundational framework, and a dominant guide as these scholars have sought alternative frameworks capable of capturing the complex interplay of the particular and the universal, the local and the global, the struggle for both inclusion and self-definition, that characterizes aspects of Black life and culture in an inclusive human universe. In this vein, the works of Du Bois and subsequent thinkers in the tradition of Black radical intellectual discourse like C. L. R. James, Eric Williams, Frantz Fanon and Walter Rodney connect historical and contemporary African and African American experiences to the wider, global, human context that represents 500 years of global transformation that created the postmodern world; a world in which Africa itself (along with most of the rest of the world) has been unalterably changed, and its peoples dispersed in conjunction with the expansion of Eurocentric cultural, economic and political systems to positions of global dominance.26 Transformationist theoretical perspectives have thus inherited some of the Marxian focus on economic, social and structural factors, interrogating of the growth of colonial empires, the role of the slave trade and the expropriation of the technologies of production, destruction and domination as implements of European imperialist expansion that have defined the legacy and impact of racism in the modern world. Following these earlier precedents, and bolstered by the radical scholarship of Cedric Robinson and Angela Davis, among others, these scholars situate standpoints of Black particularity within a lens shaped by tenants of critical theory.

Global Modernity and the Future: Discourses to Reproduce the Field These imperatives to incorporate class, politics, culture, gender, sexuality and other alternative reference points to illuminate structural factors in the systematic transmission and reproduction of forms of inequality and oppression from past to present and future generations have been reflected across a range of contemporary work among scholars in the field.27 Indeed, they have much in common with progressive trends in other areas, such as the collection of articulations of “Critical Race Theory” which first emerged among legal scholars. In as much as the explicit influence of “CRT” has also spread to numerous other disciplines, including African American Studies as that field has continued to

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evolve, it is well to recognize that its emergence in legal scholarship reads parallel to that of Black Studies in the 1960s and 1970s, and likely involved some of the same individuals. Emerging in the 1980s, the movement channeled the dissatisfaction of students and scholars with discourses that “seemed to assume away the fundamental problem of racial subordination whose examination was at the center of the work so many of us had spent our college years pursuing in Afro-American studies departments, community mobilizations, student activism, and the like.”28 The movement that came from interaction among those legal scholars and activists, as they moved on in their careers as scholars and practitioners, grounded the emergence of “an intellectual identity and a political practice that would take the form both of a left intervention into race discourse and a race intervention into left discourse.”29 Similarly to transformationist discourses in African American Studies, their goal was “to synthesize a theory that, while grounded in critical theory, was responsive to the realities of racial politics in America.”30 Like most perspectives in African American Studies, they posited “the absolute centrality of history and context in any attempt to theorize the relationship between race” and their subject matter.31 The spread of tenets of Critical Race Theory to other disciplines (including back to African American Studies) has proceeded alongside a consolidation and a kind of resurgence of African American Studies in the 1990s and 2000s as—fiscal strains and lingering institutional hostility notwithstanding—fullfledged graduate-level studies emerged to train future scholars and perpetuate the field. With more than 180 graduates, the legacy of the “Temple School” of Afrocentricity, where the first doctoral program went online in 1988, promises to be formidable. While Asante and others from this perspective continue to privilege Afrocentricity as the paradigmatic “core of Africology”32 (Asante’s preferred name for the discipline), responses to the influence of Critical Race Theory are seen in some of this work that are, once again, markedly parallel to earlier formations of particularity and critical theory in African American Studies. Thus, “Africana Critical Theory” is described as “a style of critical theorizing . . . that highlights and accents Africana radicals’ and revolutionaries’ answers to the key questions posed by the major forms and forces of domination and discrimination—racism, sexism, capitalism, and colonialism—that have historically and continue currently to shape and mold our modern/postmodern and/or neo-colonial/postcolonial world.”33 Continuing emergence of doctoral programs focusing or emphasizing various other perspectives deriving from the original discourses points to possible institutionalization of dialogue and interconnection among schools of thought in the field. The inclusionist/integrationist approach that pairs or blends African American Studies with established disciplines endures at the doctoral level in various iterations at several prestigious universities.34 Some programs have focused on the Black experience in the United States,35 while others are framed by the concept of Diaspora, and Diaspora Studies,36

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reflecting how the multiple forces and changes referred to as “globalization” and an evolving discourse on “race,” and its construction in the globalized twenty-first century, have occupied scholars in African and African American Studies. In this trend the basis is being laid for paradigms that deconstruct the historical separations between African Studies and Black (Africana/ African American) Studies and unite scholars in those fields around a discourse that frames the global emergence of systems of modernity to connect the histories of Africa’s descendants and disrupt conventional narratives of Western development by decentering hegemonic Eurocentric approaches to knowledge production.37 Thus, as dialogue and development has continued among proponents of the field’s various perspectives—amid ongoing debates about postmodernism, multiculturalism and the various impacts and implications of an emerging global culture—new configurations of human reality and possibility have emerged for Black Studies scholars to investigate and comprehend. Divisions between classes and generations among Black communities that became visible in the 1970s continue to strain conceptions of Black unity and collective agency. Discussions of identity and culture now incorporate the parameter of sexuality or sexual orientation along with race, class and gender among elements of construction and analysis.38 New patterns of migration, communication and interaction have complicated perceptions and relations among Afro-diasporic populations in the U.S. national arena as well as on the global stage. These are among the issues that shape the current field of discourse in which African American Studies scholars work, engaging, incorporating, developing, synthesizing new ideas, concerns and imperatives, constructing the role of the African American Studies scholar, while developing concepts, capabilities and structures to institutionalize and perpetuate it.

Notes 1. Marvin W. Peterson, Robert T. Blackburn et al., Black Students on White Campuses: The Impacts of Increased Black Enrollments (Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 1978), 31–7. 2. Fabio Rojas, From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007); Noliwe M. Rooks, White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006). 3. “Black studies programs survived when they resonated with the culture of higher education. Other forms of black studies—such as ‘inner-city studies’ or nationalist black studies—failed because they were incompatible with the beliefs about what constituted legitimate teaching and research” (Rojas, From Black Power to Black Studies, 13). Little focus is given to how beliefs about legitimate knowledge were changed by “nationalists” and others who challenged the terms by which legitimacy was determined.

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4. Steve Carr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph emblazoned the 5 May 1969 cover of Newsweek. 5. Nathan Huggins, Afro-American Studies: Report to the Ford Foundation (New York: Ford Foundation, 1985), 9. 6. Nathan Huggins, Afro-American Studies, 19. 7. See Rojas, Black Power to Black Studies, 130–66; also Rooks, White Money/ Black Power, especially chapters 1 and 4. 8. Ronald L. Taylor, ‘The Study of Black People: A Survey of Empirical and Theoretical Models’, Urban Research Review 2.2 (1987). 9. Huggins, Afro-American Studies, 62. 10. James B. Stewart, “Reaching for Higher Ground: Toward an Understanding of Black/Africana Studies,” The Afrocentric Scholar (May 1992), 6. 11. It is important to note that as the field has evolved, programs of all orientations across the nation have successfully achieved departmental status as a matter of effective structure, not “separatism.” 12. Quoted in Gerald A. McWorter and Ronald Bailey, “Black Studies Curriculum Development in the 1980s: Its Patterns and History,” Black Scholar 15.2 (March/ April 1984), 18–31. 13. See, e.g., Mary Frances Berry and John W. Blassingame, Long Memory: The Black Experience in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 382. 14. Molefi Kete Asante, “Systematic Nationalism,” Journal of Black Studies 9.1 (September 1978), 123. 15. Maulana Ron Karenga, “Which Road: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Socialism?” Black Scholar 6.2 (October 1974), 27. 16. Tony Thomas, “Black Nationalism and Confused Marxists,” Black Scholar 4.1 (September 1972), 47. 17. Cedric Johnson, “From Popular Anti-Imperialism to Sectarianism: The African Liberation Support Committee and Black Power Radicals,” New Political Science 25.4 (December 2003), 477–507. 18. Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies (Los Angeles: Kawaida Publications, 1982). 19. Stewart, “Reaching for Higher Ground,” 45. 20. Michele Wallace, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (New York: Dial Press, 1979). 21. Deborah King, “Multiple Jeopardy, Multiple Consciousness: The Context of Black Feminist Ideology,” Signs: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society 14.1 (Fall, 1988), 42–72. 22. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, “Nellie Mckay and the Trajectory of Black Women’s Studies,” African American Review 40.1 (2006), 20–1. 23. Deborah King, “Unraveling Fabric, Missing the Beat: Class and Gender in Afro-American Social Issues,” Selected Papers from the Wisconsin Conference on Afro-American Studies in the Twenty-First Century, 18–20 April 1991, in The Black Scholar 22.3 (Summer 1992), 36–48. 24. Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Perspectives on Gender, vol. 2 (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990); Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, Intersectionality (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016); bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (Boston: South End Press, 1989).

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25. Manning Marable, “The Divided Mind of Black America: Racial Ideologies and the Urban Crisis,” paper presented at the “Race Matters: Black Americans, U.S. Terrain Conference,” American Studies and Afro-American Studies Programs of Columbia University, 30 April 1994. 26. C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (New York: The Dial Press, 1938); Eric Williams. Capitalism and Slavery (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944); Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (New York: Grove Press, 1967), The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1968); Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1974). 27. Including Manning Marable, Gerald Horne, Robin D. G. Kelley, Joy James, Barbara Ransby, Sundiata Cha-Jua, Nikhil Pal Singh and James B. Stewart. 28. Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Introduction,” in Kimberlé Crenshaw et al., Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement (New York: New Press, 1995), xvii. 29. Crenshaw et al., Critical Race Theory, xix. 30. Crenshaw et al., Critical Race Theory, xxvii. 31. Crenshaw et al., Critical Race Theory, xxiv. 32. Molefi K. Asante, “The Relentless Pursuit of Discipline: An Africological March Toward Knowledge Liberation,” Journal of Black Studies 49.6 (2018), 531–41. 33. Reiland Rebaka, “Africana Critical Theory of Contemporary Society: The Role of Radical Politics, Social Theory, and Africana Philosophy,” in Handbook of Black Studies, ed. Molefi Kete Asante and Maulana Karenga (SAGE Publications, 2006), 133. 34. Including Yale and Harvard. 35. E.g. Massachusetts, where the program bears the name of W. E. B. Du Bois. 36. Berkeley, Northwestern and Indiana. 37. The program approved at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now in the planning phase, has this blueprint. 38. Dwight A. McBride, “Toward the New Black Studies,” Journal of Black Studies 37,.3 (January, 2007), 428–44.

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Afrocentricity and Africology: Theory and Practice in the Discipline Molefi Kete Asante

Afrocentricity is a philosophical paradigm that emphasizes the centrality and agency of the African person within an historical and cultural context. As such, it is a rejection of the historic marginality and racial alterity often expressed in the ordinary paradigm of European racial domination. What is more, Afrocentrists articulate a counter-hegemonic view that questions epistemological ideas that are simply rooted in the cultural experiences of Europe and are applied to Africans or others as if they are universal principles.1 This may be discovered in the type of language, art forms, expressive styles, arguments, economic or social ideas within an interactive situation. In the field of African American Studies, or Africology, Afrocentricity holds a reigning paradigmatic place because it seeks to add substance to the idea of a Black perspective on facts, events, texts, personalities, historical records and behavioral situations. Thus, it is the critical turn that is essential for an intellectual to be fully committed to making a difference in the analysis and interpretation of situations involving people of African descent.2 Necessitated by the conditions of history that have seen Africans moved off cultural, expressive, philosophical and religious terms, the Afrocentric idea in education seeks to reposition Africans in the center of our own historical experiences rather than on the margins of European experiences. This is a philosophical turn that is essential for the subject-place of Africans as agents within the discipline called variously Black Studies, African American Studies or Africology. If Africans are not subjects in their own situations, then the old patterns of marginality adhere, and consequently the interpretation cannot be authentic; it can only be subject to object, but never subject to subject. This can occur whether the viewer, researcher is African, Asian, Latino or White so long as the active researcher operates from a Eurocentric base. In its attempt to shift discourse about African phenomena from ideas founded in European constructs to a more centered perspective, Afrocentricity announces itself as

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a form of anti-racist, anti-patriarchal, and anti-sexist ideology that is new, innovative, challenging and capable of creating exciting ways to acquire and express knowledge. The denial of the exploitative expression of race, gender and class often found in older constructions of knowledge is at once controversial and a part of the evolving process of paradigmatic development.

Shifting the Weight Afrocentricity is an intellectual perspective seeking the centrality of African people and phenomena in the interpretation of data; therefore, Maulana Karenga, a major figure in the Afrocentric Movement, was able to write that “it is a quality of thought that is rooted in the cultural image and human interest of African people.”3 Among the early adherents to the Afrocentric idea were Kariamu Welsh, C. T. Keto, Linda James Myers, J. A. Sofola and others. Afrocentricity developed almost parallel to the Black Psychology Movement and there has always existed a critical synthesis between them. Thus, the names of Charles White, Bobby Wright, Amos Wilson, Na’im Akbar, Kobi Kambon, Wade Nobles, Patricia Newton and others may be added to the list of compatriots in the idea that Africans should speak in their own authentic voices.4 African American scholars trained in political science and sociology such as Leonard Jeffries, Tony Martin, Vivian Gordon, James Turner, Marimba Ani and Charshee McIntyre, greatly influenced by the works of Yosef Ben-Jochannon, Chancellor Williams and John Henrik Clarke supported the process of seeking a non-European way to conceptualize the African experience.5 Afrocentricity finds its inspirational source in the Kawaida philosophy’s long-standing concern that the cultural crisis is a defining characteristic of African reality in the Diaspora just as the nationality crisis is the principal issue on the African continent. Afrocentricity seeks to address these crises by repositioning the African person and African reality from the margins of European thought, attitude and doctrines, to a centered, therefore, positively located, place within the realm of science and culture. Afrocentricity finds its grounding in the intellectual and activist precursors who first suggested culture as a critical corrective to a displaced agency among Africans. Recognizing that Africans in the Diaspora had been deliberately disoriented and made to accept the conqueror’s codes of conduct and modes of behavior, the Afrocentrist discovered that the interpretative and theoretical grounds in the social sciences and humanities had also been moved. Thus, synthesizing the best of Alexander Crummell, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Larry Neal, Carter G. Woodson, Willie Abraham, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Cheikh Anta Diop and the later W. E. B. Du Bois, Afrocentrists project an innovation in criticism and interpretation that relies on African centeredness. It is, therefore, as Ama Mazama, a leading theorist contends, a paradigm, a framework and a dynamic.6 However, it is not a world view and should not

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be confused with Africanity, which is essentially the way African people live according to customs, traditions and mores of their society. One can be born in Africa, follow African styles, modes of living, and practice African religion and not be Afrocentric; to be Afrocentric one has to have a self-conscious awareness of the need for centering. Thus, those individuals who live in Africa and recognize the decentering of their minds because of European colonization may self-consciously choose to be demonstratively in tune with their own agency. If so, this becomes a revolutionary act of will that cannot be achieved merely by wearing African clothes or having an African name.

Schools of Thought On the continent of Africa, Chinweizu, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, J. A. Sofola, M. Bilolo, T. Obenga and Aboubacry Moussa Lam have been keen activists in the movement to recenter Africans in their own historical and social terms. In the United States and the Caribbean, the work of Terry Kershaw, Mekada Graham, Daryl Taiwo Harris, Jerome Schiele, Walter Rodney, Leahcim Semaj, Danjuma Modupe, Kwame Nantambu, Ama Mazama, Errol Henderson, Nah Dove, Marimba Ani, Théophile Obenga and Oba T’shaka has been inspiring in defining the nature of the Afrocentric school of thought. The principal motive behind their intellectual works seems to have been the use of knowledge for the cultural, social, political and economic transformation of African people by suggesting the necessity for a recentering of African minds in a way that brings about a liberating consciousness. Indeed, Afrocentrists argue that there could be no social or economic struggle that would make sense if African people remained enamored with the philosophical, linguistic and intellectual positions of White hegemonic nationalism as it relates to Africa and African people. At base, therefore, the intellectual work of the Afrocentric school of thought is a political one in the sense that all social knowledge has a political purpose.7 No one constructs or writes about repositioning and recentering merely for the sake of self-indulgence; none could afford to do so, because the African dispossession in material and cultural terms appears so great and the displacing myths so pervasive that simply to watch the procession of African peripheralization is to acquiesce in African decentering. The Afrocentrist contends that passion can never be a substitute for argument, as argument should not be a substitution for passion. Afrocentric intellectuals may disagree over the finer points of interpretation and some facts, but the overall project of relocation and reorientation of African action and data has been the rational constant in all Afrocentric work. Interest in African people is not sufficient for one’s work to be called “Afrocentric.” Indeed, Afrocentricity is not merely the discussion of African and African American issues, history, politics or consciousness; anyone may discuss these issues and yet not be an Afrocentrist. Furthermore, it is not a

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perspective based on skin color or biology and should not be confused with melanin-based theories, which existed before Afrocentricity and which tend to be based on biological determinism. In this connection, it should be pointed out that Afrocentrists usually refer to their field as Afrocentricity not Afrocentrism, since the latter term has been used by opponents of the Afrocentric idea to define a “religious” movement based on an essentialist paradigm, which Afrocentricity is not. Danjuma Modupe has posited agency, centeredness, psychic integrity and cultural fidelity as the minimum four theoretical constructs that are necessary for a work to be called Afrocentric.8 Thus, what is clear is that neither a discussion of the Nile Valley civilizations, an argument against White racial hierarchy, nor how to develop economic productivity in African American communities is sufficient for a discourse to be considered Afrocentric. Operations that involve the Afrocentric framework, identified by the four theoretical constructs, represent an Afrocentric methodology. As in every other case, the presentation of theory and methodological considerations implies avenues for criticism. Criticism, to be effective, must always derive from the definitions established by the proponents of Afrocentricity. For example, the debate over extraneous issues, such as “Was Socrates Black?” or “Was Cleopatra Black?” has nothing at all to do with Afrocentricity. They may make good work for the history detective, but they are not Afrocentric positions. There can be a tendency for scholars in African American Studies itself to assume that the use of literary or philosophical terms to analyze African phenomena might be more important for understanding phenomena than Africological terms such as position, line, centeredness, agency and location. What is more relevant for the Afrocentrist is the question, “What is the location of the person asking such questions or the location of the person needing to answer them?”

Narrative Influences Afrocentricity did not emerge as a critical theory and a practice until the appearance of the book Afrocentricity in 1980.9 This was the first self-conscious marking along the intellectual path that had been suggested by Kwame Nkrumah in his work Consciencism. It was Nkrumah in 1960 who had called for an African plan of research that would be “Afro-centric,” and although there had been a journal published in 1973 as An Afrocentric Review, nothing concrete had existed as a theoretical work before Afrocentricity. Using my own activism and community organizing, protracted engagement with the self-hatred in the African community, I consciously set out to explain a theory and a practice of liberation by reinvesting African agency as the fundamental core of African sanity. Thus, the book Afrocentricity was the first time that the theory of Afrocentricity had been launched as an intellectual idea. It was written from activism, observations and textual analyses of what guaranteed social transformation in community organizations. Rather than use political organization for the mere sake of organization,

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Afrocentricity envisions the cultural base as the major organizing principle. This had a more telling effect on and a more compelling attraction for African people. Based in the lived experiences of African people in the Diaspora, the Caribbean and the African continent, the Afrocentric idea had to be concerned with nothing less than the relocation of subject-place in the African world after hundreds of years of living on the imposed and ungrounded terms of Europe. Unlike the Negritude Movement to which the Afrocentric Movement is often compared, Afrocentricity has not been limited to asking artistic questions. The cultural question as constructed by the Afrocentrists is not merely literature, art, music and dance, but the entire process by which Africans are socialized to live in the modern world. Thus, economics is a cultural question as much as religion and science in the construction of the Afrocentrist. This is why Afrocentrists tend to pose three sets of questions regarding historical and contemporary societies. How do we see ourselves and how have others seen us? What can we do to regain our own accountability and to move beyond the intellectual and cultural plantation that constrains our economic, political, social and scientific development? What allied theories and methods may be used to rescue those African ideas and ideals that are marginalized by Europe and thus in the African’s mind as well?

Five Distinguishing Characteristics One approach to teaching and researching in Africology, the Afrocentric study of African phenomena, is to use a cultural configuration distinguished by five characteristics. What I have done is to integrate Modupe’s and Mazama’s ideas into the final version of a construct for the scholar who wants to answer the question, “What characterizes the Afrocentric approach?” These are the five characteristics that are meaningful to the researcher. 1. There ought to be an intense interest in psychological location as determined by symbols, motifs, rituals and signs. What this means is that the researcher is seeking to determine by icon, myth, motifs, symbols etc. where the person, text or event is located. Is it a Eurocentric, Asiocentric or Afrocentric phenomenon? Is the person asking the question located in the proper place to ask a genuine question? For example, one could ask a Eurocentric question such as “Is African religion monotheistic or polytheistic?” But if such a question were asked in an African situation it would have to be reoriented and interrogated for its location. 2. There should be a commitment to finding the subject-place of Africans in any social, political, economic, architectural, literary or religious phenomenon with implications for questions of sex, gender and class. There is no field or interest that is without some perspective, and the Afrocentrist’s commitment is to discovering the proper role of Africa or Africans in all situations involving Africans. A critique of inequality, injustice, marginality or other forms of off-centeredness is certainly in order in this research.

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3. There has to be a defense of African cultural elements as historically valid in the context of art, music, education, science and literature. One cannot assume that Africans have not spoken, commented or acted in all the ways that humans behave in the world of culture, science and economics. To defend African cultural elements means that we must study African cultures, whether on the continent or in the Diaspora, in order to become expert in our field of inquiry. 4. There has to be a celebration of “centeredness” and agency and a commitment to lexical refinement that eliminates pejoratives about Africans or other people. Nothing pejorative or demeaning to Africans as humans can escape the attention of Afrocentrists. If someone uses the term “tribe” in a negative way or speaks of “minorities” when speaking or writing about African people in the United States or Brazil or anywhere else, that person must be checked, that is, located before you can make a proper assessment of the situation. 5. There should always be a powerful imperative from historical and social sources to revise the collective text of African people. Since so much negativity about Africa has been written over the centuries, the Afrocentrist takes the position that the correcting of the collective text is a vital part of the reformative process of education and the only real way to a truly liberating knowledge.

Some scholars, such as Mekada Graham and Jerome Schiele, have seriously concentrated on the social transformative aspects of centrality, believing that it is possible to change the conditions of the socially marginalized by teaching them to see their own centrality and thus empower themselves to confront their existential and material situations.10 Afrocentrists believe that there is a serious difference between commentary on the activities of Europeans, past and present, and the revolutionary thrust of gaining empowerment through the reorientation of African interests. There is no rush to discover in Europe the answers for the problems that Europe created for the African condition, psychologically, morally and economically. Afrocentrists do not shun answers that may emerge in the study of Europe, but what Europeans have thought and how Europeans have conceived their reality can often lead to further imprisonment of the African mind, creating intellectual imitators who can only think within the framework of a hegemonic European theoretical or methodological tyranny. Thus, Afrocentrists call for the liberation of the mind from any notion that Europe is teacher and Africa is pupil, believing that one must contest every space and locate in that space the freedom for Africa to express its own truths. This is not a biologically determined position, it is a culturally and theoretically determined one. That is why there are now Afrocentrists who are European and Asian while simultaneously one can find Africans who are not Afrocentric. The new work on Du Bois by the Chinese Afrocentrist Ji Yuan, and the work of Cynthia Lehman, a White Afrocentrist, on the Egyptian texts are examples of non-Africans exploring the various dimensions of centeredness in their analyses of African phenomena. It is consciousness, not biology that decides how one is to apprehend the intellectual

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data, because the key to the Afrocentric idea is orientation to data, not data themselves. Where do you stand when you seek to locate a text, phenomenon or person? More than 182 doctorates have been awarded by Temple’s department of Africology and American Studies, and all of them, as of 2018, are gainfully employed, many as heads, chairs, distinguished professors and directors. Given this record of success in the Academy, there is no school of thought in African American Studies as dominant as the Afrocentric school. Temple’s graduates run more departments and programs in African American Studies than graduates from any other graduate program in African American Studies and have written more articles and scholarly books in African American Studies than any group of scholars. They have begun to constitute the defining center of the field, largely because many are trained well in a closely argued, robust intellectual Afrocentric tradition.

Objectivity–Subjectivity Perhaps because of the rise of the Afrocentric idea at a time when Eurocentric scholars seemed to have lost their way in a dense forest of deconstructionist and postmodernist concepts challenging the prevailing orthodoxies of the Eurocentric paradigm, we have found a deluge of challenges to the Afrocentric idea as a reaction to postmodernity. But it should be clear that the Afrocentrists, too, have recognized the inherent problems in structuralism, patriarchy, capitalism and Marxism, with their emphasis on received interpretations of phenomena as different as the welfare state and e. e. cummings’ poetry. Yet the issues of objectivity and subject–object duality, central pieces of the Eurocentric project in interpretation, have been shown to represent hierarchies rooted in the European construction of the political world. Afrocentrists claim that the aim of the objectivity argument is always to protect the status quo, because the status quo is never called upon to prove its objectivity; only the challengers to the status quo are asked to explain their objectivity. And in a society where White supremacy has been a major component of the social, cultural and political culture, the African, Native American, Asian and Latino will always be in the position of challenging the White racial privileged status quo, unless, of course, he or she is co-opted into defending the economic, literary, critical, political, social or cultural status quo.11 One can never submit to anything less than equality; but to claim that those who take the speaker or the subject position vis-à-vis others seen as audiences and objects are on the same footing is to engage in intellectual subterfuge without precedence. On the other hand, it is possible, as the Afrocentrists claim, to create community when one speaks of subject–subject, speaker–speaker, audience–audience relationships. This allows pluralism without hierarchy. As applied to race and racism, this formulation is equally clear in its emphasis on subject–subject relationships. Of course, this subject–subject relationship is

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almost impossible in a racist system or in the benign acceptance of a racist construction of human relationships, as may be found in the American society and is frequently represented in the literature of several scholars who have African ancestry but who are clearly uncomfortable with the fact. White supremacy cannot be accommodated in a normal society, and therefore, when a writer or scholar or politician refuses to recognize or ignores Africans’ agency he or she allows for the default position, White racial domination, to operate without challenge and thus participates in a destructive mode for human society. If African people are not given subject-place in their own historical narrative, then we remain objects without agency, intellectual beggars without a place to stand. There is nothing essentially different in this enslavement from the previous historical enslavement except our inability to recognize the bondage. Thus, you have a White-subject and Black-object relationship expressed in sociology, anthropology, philosophy, political science, literature and history rather than a subject–subject reality. It is this marginality that is rejected in the writings of Afrocentrists.

Diopian Influence Cheikh Anta Diop, a Senegalese scholar, did more than anyone else to reintroduce the African as a subject in the context of African history and culture. It was Diop’s singular ambition as a scholar to reorder the history of Africa and to reposition the African in the center of her own story.12 This was a major advance during the time that so many African writers and scholars were rushing after Europe to prove Europe’s own point of view on the rest of the world. Diop was confident that the history of Africa could not be written without throwing off the falsifications of Europe. Doing this was not only politically and professionally dangerous but it was considered to be impossible given the hundreds of years of accumulated information in the libraries of the West. Diop had to challenge the leading scholars of Europe, meet them on their intellectual home arena, defeat their arguments with science and establish Africa’s own road to its history.13 His key contention was that the ancient Egyptians laid the basis of African and European civilization and that the ancient Egyptians were neither Arabs nor Europeans, but, as Diop would say, to emphasize that there should be no mistake, “Black Africans.” These “Black Africans” of the Nile Valley gave the world astronomy, geometry, law, architecture, art, mathematics, medicine, and philosophy.14 The ancient African Egyptian term “seba,” first found in an inscription on the tomb of Antef I from 2052 b.c.e., had as its core meaning in the Medu Neter, the “reasoning style of the people.” What Diop taught his students and readers was that Europe pronounced itself the categorical superior culture and, therefore, its reasoning often served the bureaucratic functions of “locking” Africans in a conceptual cocoon which seems, at first glance, harmless enough. Nevertheless, the prevailing positions, often anti-African, were supported by this bureaucratic logic. How

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can an African liberate himself or herself from these racist structures? Afrocentrists take the position that this is possible, and indeed essential, but can only happen if we search for answers in the time–space categories which are anti-hegemonic. These are categories which place Africa at the center of analysis of African issues and African people as agents in our own contexts. Otherwise, how can we ever raise practical questions of improving our situation in the world? The Jews of the Old Testament asked, “How can you sing a new song in a strange land?” The Afrocentrists ask, “How can the African create a liberational philosophy from the icons of mental enslavement?”

Corrective and Critique There are certainly political implications here, because the issue of African politics throughout the world becomes one of securing a place from which to stand, unimpeded by the interventions of a decaying Europe which has lost its own moral way in its reach to enslave and dispossess other people.15 This is not to say that all Europe is bad, and all Africa is good. Following Frantz Fanon, the Afrocentrists argue that it is the assimiladoes, the educated elite, whose identities and affiliations are often killed first.16 Fortunately, their death does not mean that the people are doomed; it only means that they can no longer be trusted to speak what the people know because they are dead to the culture, to the human project.17 Therefore, Afrocentricity stands as both a corrective and a critique. Whenever African people, who collectively suffer the experience of dislocation, are relocated in a centered place, that is, with agency and accountability, we have a corrective. By recentering the African person as an agent, we deny the hegemony of European domination in thought and behavior, and then Afrocentricity becomes a critique. On the one hand, we seek to correct the sense of place of the African, and on the other hand, we make a critique of the process and extent of the dislocation caused by the European cultural, economic and political domination of Africa and African peoples. Steve Biko understood this quite clearly and put it in the context of a fierce struggle for definition when he wrote “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”18 The oppressed must resist all forms of enslavement, and the founders of the Black Studies Movement in the 1960s were clear that the “Establishment” was not about to give up its position of dominance without a struggle, in this case, an intellectual struggle. To condone the definition of Africans as marginal and fringe people in the historical processes of the world, including the African world, is to abandon all hope of reversing the degradation of the oppressed. Afrocentrists have expressed no interest in one race or culture dominating another; they express an ardent belief in the possibility of diverse populations living on the same earth without giving up their fundamental traditions except where those traditions invade other peoples’ space.19 The Afrocentric

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idea represents a possibility of intellectual maturity, a way of viewing reality that opens new and more exciting doors toward human understanding. I do not object to viewing Afrocentricity as a form of historical consciousness, but more than that, it is an attitude, a location, an orientation. To be centered is to stand some place and to come from some place; the Afrocentrist seeks for the African person the contentment of a subject, active, agent place.

Principal Concepts Afrocentricity represents a reaction against several tendencies. It spurns the limited analysis of Africans in the Americas as Europeans, as well as the notion that Africans in the Americas are not Africans. Rather, it concentrates on activating the communal cognitive will by demonstrating cultural fidelity to the best traditions and values of African people.20 Afrocentric consciousness is necessary for psychological liberation and cultural reclamation, and in Africology we must seek consciousness that will eradicate collective marginality if we are to be successful academics in the sense of transforming human lives. There are four areas of inquiry in Afrocentricity: cosmological, axiological, aesthetic and epistemological. A scholar seeking to locate a person, event or phenomenon should utilize one of these forms for inquiry. Accordingly, the Afrocentrist places all phenomena within one of these categories. Cosmology refers to the myths, legends, literatures and oratures that interact at a mythological or primordial level with how African people respond to the cosmos. How are racial or cultural classifications developed? How do we distinguish between Yoruba and African Brazilian? How do gender, class and culture interact at the intersection of science? The epistemological issues are those that deal with language, myth, dance, music as they confront the question of knowledge and proof of truth. What is the rational structure of Ebonics as an African language and how does it present itself in the African American’s behavior and culture? Axiology refers to the good and the beautiful as well as to the combination that gives us right conduct within the context of African culture. This is a value issue. Since Afrocentricity is a transgenerational and transcontinental idea, as understood by Winston Van Horne, it utilizes aspects of the philosophies of numerous African cultures to arrive at its ideal.21 “Beauty is as beauty does” is considered an African American adage, but similar proverbs, statements and sayings are found throughout the African world, where beauty and goodness are often equated. Aesthetics as an area of inquiry is closely related to the issue of value. Afrocentrists, however, have isolated, as in the work of Kariamu Welsh, seven senses of the Afrocentric approach to aesthetics: polyrhythm, dimensionality and texture, polycentrism, repetition, curvilinearity, epic memory and wholism. Welsh contends that these elements are the leading aspects of any inquiry into African plastic art, sculpture, dance, music and drama.22 A number of Afrocentric scholars have delved into a discussion of ontology, the study of beingness, as another issue of inquiry.23 This should not be confused

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with the idea of personalism in the original Afrocentric construction of philosophical approaches to Afrocentric cultural theory (critical methodology) and Afrocentric methodology (interpretative methodology).24 In earlier writings on Afrocentricity I contended that the European and Asian worlds might be considered materialistic and spiritualistic, whereas the dominant emphasis in the African world was personalism.25 This was not to limit any cultural sphere but to suggest the most prominent ways that large cultural communities respond to their environments. Maulana Karenga has identified seven areas of culture. These cultural elements are frequently used by Afrocentrists when conceptualizing areas of intellectual organization. They are: history, mythology, motif, ethos, political organization, social organization and economic organization.26 Used most often in the critical analysis of culture, these organizing principles are applied to the fundamental subject fields of social, communication, historical, cultural, economic, political and psychological fields of study whenever a student wants to determine the relationship between culture and a given discipline. Africology emerges from the various treatments of data from the Afrocentric perspective. Africology is defined as the Afrocentric study of African phenomena. It has three major divisions: cultural/aesthetics, social/behavioral and policy/action. Under cultural/aesthetic the scholar can consider at a minimum three key elements to culture and aesthetics: epistemic, scientific and artistic dimensions. In terms of epistemic dimensions, the Afrocentrist examines ethics, politics, psychology and other modes of behavior. The scientific dimension includes history, linguistics, economics and other methods of investigation. The artistic dimension involves icons, art, motifs, symbols and other types of presentation.

The Centric Ideal Afrocentricity as a substantive and practical research paradigm for graduate studies in African American Studies is traced to the quartet Afrocentricity; The Afrocentric Idea; Kemet, Afrocentricity, and Knowledge; and An Afrocentric Manifesto,27 written by Molefi Kete Asante, and Ama Mazama’s The Afrocentric Paradigm and L’Impératif Afrocentrique, which appeared in 2003 and 2005 respectively and added immensely to the theoretical and intellectual development of the concept. In addition, Mazama, originally from Guadeloupe, with a doctorate in Linguistics from the Sorbonne, helped to internationalize the idea of Afrocentricity as a paradigm-shifting philosophy. As members of the Temple Circle of Afrocentricity, both Asante and Mazama have mentored numerous students who are experts in Afrocentric analysis and interpretation. Others in what might be called the “centric” movement include the outstanding Japanese scholar Yoshitaka Miike, one of the principal architects of a multilayered and multifaceted approach to international communication theory and the leading theorist of Asiocentricity.28 On the other hand, Afrocentricity became

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a discourse that thrust the concept of agency into the intellectual arena as a perspective whose core was the interpretation and explanation of phenomena from the standpoint of subjects rather than victims or objects. It has found advocates in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, France, England, Norway, China, Haiti and many other nations. Central to the Afrocentric idea is the fact that Africans were moved off intellectual, philosophical and cultural terms by enslavement and colonization. In order to return to an authentic consciousness rooted in self-respect and affirming dignity, it is necessary for African people to see themselves in the midst of their own history and not as in the margins of Europe. This means that it is essential to return to the classical civilizations of Africa for necessary models of argument, construction, encounter and ethics in much the same way as Westerners looked back to the ancient Greeks and Romans.29 Thus, the return to a discussion of the ancient African civilizations of Egypt and Nubia was essential for an appreciation of the role that Africans and Africa played in human behavior, communication, rhetoric and world history. The Afrocentrists were the first to see the overthrow in the African’s mind of European domination by a return to classical Africa. Even this position, thoroughly grounded in the right of African people to discuss their own origins and cultures, was contested by Europeans who insisted that what was Black was not Black and what was Black had to be the creation of someone outside of Africa. In this vein a few books, notably Mary Lefkowitz’s Not Out of Africa30 and Stephen Howe’s Afrocentrism,31 were meant to reassert Eurocentric hegemony over the African agency. Besides its acceptance of classical Africa, however, Afrocentricity was grounded in the historical reality of African people through the presentation of key intellectual ideas that demonstrated the interconnectedness of African cultures, even across the Sahara. This was not the concentration of Afrocentricity; it was only a place on the way to the destination of African agency. The point is that the Afrocentric idea in communication was not merely stuck in the fertile ground of ancient philosophies of Khunanup, Merikare or Duauf, but rather the theorists saw these philosophers as departure positions, not end places.

The Precedence of Location In the Afrocentric view, the problem of location takes precedence over the topic or the data under consideration. Two methodological devices have emerged to assist in the construction of a new body of knowledge: reasonable plausibility and intelligent conclusion. Both are common terms used in a definite and precise sense to deal with the issue of historical, social and cultural lacunae in many discourses on African people. Afrocentrists contend that human beings cannot divest themselves of culture, whether participating in their own historical culture or that of some other group. A contradiction between history and perspective produces a kind of

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incongruity that is called decenteredness. Thus, when an African American speaks from the viewpoint of Europeans who came to the Americas on the Mayflower when Africans really came on slave ships, or when literary critics write of Africans as “the Other,” Afrocentrists claim that Africans are being peripheralized within their own narrative.

Metaphor of Location Metaphors of location and dislocation are the principal tools of analysis as events, situations, texts, buildings, dreams and literary authors are seen as displaying various forms of centeredness. To be centered is to be located as an agent instead of as “the Other.” Such a critical shift in thinking has involved the explanation of psychological misorientation and disorientation, attitudes that affect Africans who consider themselves to be Europeans or who believe that it is impossible to be African and human. Severe forms of this psychological attitude have been labeled extreme misorientation by some Afrocentrists.32 Additional issues have been the influence of a centered approach to education, particularly as it relates to the revision of the American educational curriculum. Hundreds of dissertations and numerous books33 and articles have been written extending the idea of Afrocentricity in communication, architecture, social work, religion, politics, historical and cultural analysis, criminology and philosophy. Afrocentricity creates, among other things, a critique of human communication and social history in the search for a unique standing place for agency. Such an action is at once a liberalizing and a liberating event, marking both the expansion of consciousness and the freeing of the mind from hegemonic thinking.

Notes 1. Ama Mazama, “Eurocentric Discourse on Writing: An Exercise in Self-Glorification,” Journal of Black Studies 28.4 (March, 1998). 2. Manning Marable, ed., Dispatches from the Ebony Tower (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). 3. Maulana Karenga, Kawaida and Questions of Life and Struggle (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2007). 4. Clinton M. Jean, Behind Eurocentric Veils: The Search for African Realities (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1991). 5. Marimba Yurugu Ani, An Africa-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1994). 6. Ama Mazama, ed., The Afrocentric Paradigm (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2002). 7. Ronald Walters, Pan Africanism in the African Diaspora: An Analysis of Modern Afrocentric Political Movements (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997). 8. Molefi Kete Asante, Kemet, Afrocentricity and Knowledge (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1990); Molefi Kete Asante, The Afrocentric Idea Revised (Philadelphia:

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9. 10.

11. 12.

13.

14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

20. 21.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

29.

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Temple University Press, 1998); see Danjuma Modupe, “Afrocentricity: What It Is and What It Is Not,” paper presented at the Cheikh Anta Diop International Conference, Philadelphia (October, 2000). Molefi Kete Asante, Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change (Buffalo: Amulefi Publishing, 1980). Mekada Graham, Black Issues in Social Work and Social Care (Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2007). Also Jerome Schiele, Human Services and the Afrocentric Paradigm (New York: Routledge, 2000). Jack D. Forbes, Africans and Native Americans (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993). Molefi Kete Asante, The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony (London: Routledge, 2007); see Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality [first published 1974] (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1989). Cheikh Anta Diop, Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology, translated from the French by Yaa-Lengi Meema Ngemi, ed. Harold J. Salemson and Marjolin de Jager (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991). Asante, The History of Africa; see also M. K. Asante, The Egyptian Philosophers: Ancient African Voices from Imhotep to Akhenaten (Chicago: African American Images, 2000); see Chinweizu, Decolonising the African Mind (Lagos: Pero Press, 1987). Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind (London: Heineman, 1986). Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1963). Stephen Bantu Biko, I Write What I Like: Selected Writings (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978). Ibid. 21. Mazama, ed., The Afrocentric Paradigm; also Kobi Kambon, The African Personality in America: An African Centered Framework (Tallahassee, Florida: Nubia Nation Publications, 1992); see C. Tsehloane Keto, The Africa-Centered Perspective of History (Blackwood, NJ: K. A. Publishers, 1991). Karenga, Kawaida and Questions of Life and Struggle. Winston A. Van Horne, “Africology: Considerations Concerning a Discipline,” in Contemporary Africana Theory, Thought and Action, ed. Clenora HudsonWeems (Trenton: Africa World Press, Inc., 2007), 105–27. Kariamu Welsh, The African Aesthetic: Keeper of the Traditions (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994). Linda James Myers, Understanding the Afrocentric Worldview (Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt, 1988). Asante, Afrocentricity. Ibid.; see also Kambon, The African Personality in America. Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2002). Molefi Kete Asante, An Afrocentric Manifesto: Toward an African Renaissance (London: Polity Press, 2008). Yoshitaka Miike, “Towards an Alternative Metatheory of Human Communication: An Asiacentric Vision,” Intercultural Communication Studies 12.4 (2003), 39–63. Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1990).

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30. Mary Lefkowitz, Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History (New York: Basic Books, 1997). See also Molefi Kete Asante, The Painful Demise of Eurocentrism: An Afrocentric Response to Critics (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2000). 31. Stephen Howe, Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes (London: Verso, 1998). 32. Kambon, The African Personality in America. 33. See Molefi Kete Asante, Malcolm X as Cultural Hero and Other Afrocentric Essays (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1993).

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Revisiting White Privilege: Pedagogy in Black Studies Tim Davidson and Jeanette R. Davidson

Black Agency, Experience and White Privilege From a Black perspective, “White privilege” should be thought of as a scam, or (as Du Bois says in 1914) a “farce,” “a crying disgrace,” a “compromise,” made by duplicitous White “friends” who are “willingly satisfied” to use the lie “for their own social betterment”—the lie that all is well with the evolution of racial justice, and equality is on its way, while Black people are left “with even less than half a loaf.”1 James Baldwin furthers the understanding of racial privilege by linking the “stigma of blackness” with “the delusion of whiteness”2 and points boldly to “the fraudulent and expedient nature of the American innocence which has always been able to persuade itself that it does not know what it knows too well.”3 White privilege, functioning like a massive con, has been intentional, persistent, consistent, invasive and corrosive in reference to Black social, legal, political, psychological, familial and communal life. The scam has defrauded, injured and decentered the Black populace for over 500 years throughout the continents of Europe, Africa, Australia and the Americas, denying people of their full inherent human rights, equality and status in the world. From its “mildest” to its most virulent, dangerous, depraved, debauched and deadly forms, White privilege should be understood as the manifestation of an allencompassing, interconnected system of lies and behaviors, standing in the way of freedom and equality. White privilege is “the other side of racism.”4 In contrast to a Black experiential view, from a White perspective, racial privilege may not be noticed or legitimized as a reality at all.5 If it is recognized, White privilege is silently and commonly seen as an accepted fact of life. In some people’s eyes, it may be regarded as an acceptable, richly deserved phenomenon because the social advantage of Whiteness is judged to have come from centuries of drive, ambition and hard work—which of course suggests

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a corollary, that Black people (and other people of color) are undeserving, as having not equaled White capacity. Further, White privilege is viewed by some as a natural, or divine, right. White cultural myths persist that the Christian God is White, that the United States is (or should be) a White country, that White people should be favored and, despite the science and common sense to the contrary, that being White imbues a person with superior intellect and moral essence. White privilege needs to be examined from an Afrocentric perspective. Otherwise, critiques of White privilege become almost exclusively centered in Whiteness, sometimes with too much glorification of an author’s mea culpa, and generally without enough first-person insights into Black people’s experiences, even if a critical lens is utilized. Afrocentric paradigms are not world views to be contrasted with Eurocentric or other geopolitical views or other non-Black cultural frames. Rather, Afrocentric perspectives operate as free-standing, i.e. as not derivative from a Eurocentric way of seeing reality, but based fundamentally on Black lives and experiences. Molefi Kete Asante describes an Afrocentric philosophical paradigm as a way of interpreting reality—of setting a governing intellectual idea—that insists on the truth that Africans and people of African descent have “agency” and should be studied and understood “as subjects rather than objects of history.”6 Asante asserts further, “We are not on the margins of any other people’s history; we are profoundly in our own time and space and if we view ourselves outside of this reality, we are disoriented and decentered.”7 Scholars and students in Black Studies do well to address the ongoing challenges of social injustice that result from White privilege, but not from within the positionality of Whiteness alone. White privilege has functioned as a cultural episteme with near global sweep. In the United States, the racism that spawned slavery may have seemed somewhat interrupted by the results of the Civil War in the mid nineteenth century, but racism’s accompanying theme, that White people are supremely better and more deserving of the good life, continued. In fact, historically, the illusion that racism disappears, whether in the post-Civil War era, or the more recently imagined post-racial consciousness of the early twenty-first century, is part of the scam. White privilege has an insidious generative structure, stemming from an antiquated colonial mindset that portends, for example, that it is okay, and even noble, to march into someone’s homeland and cultural space to kill, kidnap, steal, perpetrate violence, erase personal identities and assert one’s own will and culture at the expense of other people’s goals, legacies, human rights, families and dreams. The most egregious example, discussed in Black Studies, is the transatlantic slave trade between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, when around 10 million Africans were brutally removed from their homes because White businesses and landowners in Europe and the Americas demanded cheap labor to run their plantations and build their wealth and power. Notably, the vestiges of operating with White impunity did not end with the American Civil War in 1865. The sense that White people were “special” and deserving of control over resources, and opportunities, at the expense of

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others, continued on and has imprinted its mark in the twenty-first century on a personal, organizational, institutional and multinational level. In the United States, White privilege is so deeply ensconced in the creation and practice of law and policy that, for example, voting rights can be gerrymandered or suppressed; inequitable prison sentences are set in a racially biased way; preferred real estate is generally reserved mostly for White people, while distressed locations with few jobs, food deserts and environmental problems are often populated with people of African descent and other people of color. More highly resourced education opportunities, from elementary school to the highest academic degrees, are often the purview of White communities, and in healthcare African Americans are clearly underserved, in distinct, measurable ways. As the Covid-19 global pandemic exposed, African Americans were exceedingly vulnerable to the virus because of relative poor health due to systemic health disparities, crowded urban housing, reliance on public transportation, overrepresentation in service work positions and lack of access to the kinds of higher-status jobs that could be worked from home. Today, the outcome of White privilege is for important central reference points in society to be White, and for phenomena related to African-descended people to be secondary and derivative in value. The structures of White privilege (a) take the form of hegemony and triumphalism (e.g. political and cultural dominance are trumpeted as the truly valued systems and narratives); (b) perpetuate what is to be deemed normative in society (e.g. a continuous centering on White norms, with others marginalized); (c) accommodate varying degrees of White supremacy (e.g. from covert views of White people being better than people of other races to overt, virulent acts of racist violence and White Nationalist chants of “blood and soil”); and (d) monopolize power (e.g. the influence, and indifference to others, that historically have accompanied old accumulated wealth, class elitism, control over the economic levers of capitalism, imperialism, military might and ideological sway).

The “Veil,” Black “Double-Consciousness” and White Privilege When the intellectual giant William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868–1963) first began writing on racism in the United States, he focused on his contemporary era—the “present relations of the sons of master and man.”8 By the time he died, he had expanded his generational perspective to include relations along the Black–White “color-line” of the great-great-grandchildren of those early subjects of inquiry. In contemporary times, we live as fourth, fifth or even sixth generations of grandchildren who are trying to relate cross-racially with one another, and even though much has changed since the nineteenth century, Du Bois’ descriptions of White privilege from the past remain eerily familiar today. Du Bois was a gifted, bright child, who lit up the classroom with his intelligence and other abilities. Born free, shortly after the Civil War, in a north-eastern

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state, in a financially secure family with some established social standing in a predominantly White community, Du Bois’ first realization of White privilege came from experiences in the elementary school where he excelled. He recalled being snubbed, judged to be unacceptable and discounted because of his race by a White schoolmate who refused to take his personal card or give him her card in a classroom card exchange. As an adult, Du Bois wrote that the experience felt like a “shadow swept across” him.9 For the first time in his young life, he felt “shut out from [the White children’s] world by a vast veil.”10 The Veil fell, and as a Black person, he was positioned on the outside, the “other,” shut out physically and psychologically, based on unfounded attitudes of White superiority. From an Afrocentric perspective, the “Veil” is a powerful metaphor. In Du Bois’ writings, the metaphor connotes White distortions, wherein Black people are (a) defined in the minds of White people, prior even to their existence, as if a White person’s mental misconceptions should become everyone’s reality; (b) framed as a “problem” instead of as “person,” with subsequent unfair legal, social, and political calamities cast down on Black populations; (c) separated from White society with diminished access to opportunities and greater exposure to social risks; and (d) either placed on the outskirts, or erased from the larger social order unless preferred by a White power structure that wants Black people to provide entertainment, be scapegoats or serve as exploited labor. Du Bois uses the metaphor of the Veil mostly, though, to detail Black perspectives and lived experience. In 1903, Du Bois says, once excluded from the advantages of the White world, a Black person still lives precariously “within the Veil” (i.e. the scam of White privilege and power) and is likely to develop a “double consciousness”: “one ever feels his twoness,”11 the one consciousness a distorted view perpetuated from White constitutions of reality and the second consciousness a fundamental, first-person view of Black identity and everyday living as a genuine human being. By 1963, Du Bois reports how, over the years as a social critic of racism, he had learned to transcend the Veil, by virtue of his intellectual analysis of privilege, and was ready to leave the Veil behind, to whatever degree possible, by choosing to live in exile in Ghana until his death at age 95. Du Bois features several themes regarding White privilege from the point of view of Black agency and lived experiences. On the theme of struggle he identifies (a) a heavy burden of pain and suffering sometimes “curiously mixed” with hope,12 and a burden of toiling and despair that undermines what could be benefits to society as a whole if Black people had full opportunities to tap into their talent and genius just like those with White privilege do; and (b) a continuous tension of having to endure double consciousness in one body and the stress of navigating White spaces, a tension that could be significantly relieved if Black people could just be themselves (subjects, humans) “and not another” as they strive “to attain . . . a place in the world.”13 On the themes of promise and triumph, Du Bois defines (a) a well-traveled spiritual path forward

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that Black people have followed, characterized by honor and decency despite the Veil and damage wrought by White privilege;14 and (b) the determination and resilience of Black communities to secure, against the odds, (i) higher education, (ii) voting rights and representation, (iii) skills training for successful participation in society and, perhaps most importantly, (iv) freedom of mind, which correlates with unfettering oneself from the long-standing con of White prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes—to transcend “a world which yields [him] no true self-consciousness,” to be freed of “this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and privilege.”15 One of Du Bois’ questions to sum up the “sordid, something forced,” “feverish unrest and recklessness” caused by White privilege is: “Was not all this show and tinsel built upon a groan?”16 Du Bois follows this question by reporting a discussion he had with a “ragged, brown, and grave-faced” interviewee while the two sat near a blacksmith shop in front of the ruins of an old dilapidated Southern plantation. Essentially, the two men were discussing the insidious unfolding of racial privilege, whether in the past, when slavery was legal, or then as they sat together. The interviewee said: “This land was a little Hell . . . I’ve seen [the interviewee uses the n-word] drop dead in the furrow, but they were kicked aside, and the plough never stopped.” This recollection is poignant. It draws attention to how White privilege rolls forward despite the human cost. Generation after generation, White privilege continues to manifest in other structures, whether moving from the royal courts of the British monarchy to “representative democracy” (of White men) at the onset of the American experience, or, today, having moved from slavery in the cotton, sugar and tobacco fields to privatized, industrialized prisons with overrepresented Black and brown bodies enduring harsh sentences and forced labor.

The “Myth of Meritocracy,” “White Fragility,” “Unearned Assets” and White “Obliviousness” A key element of White privilege is the myth of meritocracy,17 the illusion that the hardest-working, smartest, most successful and best people reach material success and status in society primarily because of their innate abilities, not based on their unearned assets.18 The myth operates alongside a form of psychological denial (White obliviousness) wherein individuals are unaware of their own inherent privileges and think all of their successes are based on personal merit—and, simultaneously, are oblivious to the lived experiences of others who face oppressive, systemic obstacles, and therefore suspect that those “others” are just not as deserving of success and status as they are.19 When challenged about their belief in their own merit, or any aspect of Whiteness as meaningful in the way it advantages them, the response of White people may be intense and vociferous. DiAngelo identifies this reactivity as White fragility.20 It occurs at even the slightest challenge White people

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experience to their racial world view, and identities, that they believe might discredit their self-perceptions as “good, moral people.”21 She observes that defensive responses, when triggered, “include emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and behaviors such as argumentation, silence and withdrawal” and goes on to say that White fragility “is born of superiority and entitlement” and that it is “a powerful means of white racial control and the protection of white advantage.”22 Of course, many people of African descent can and do succeed in this country, but they generally have to overcome many systemic challenges not faced by their White counterparts. McIntosh uses the imagery of an invisible knapsack White people carry that is full of advantages and opportunities others do not have. Once she began to “unpack” her own knapsack, McIntosh came to the truth that “As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.”23 At the same time, she adds, “I did not see myself as racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members in my own group, never in invisible systems conferring racial dominance on my group from birth.”24 McIntosh makes the further point that “unearned advantage” is not good for human development.25 She argues that “earned strength,” which Black people often attain through struggle, should be distinguished from White people’s “unearned power conferred systemically. Power from unearned privilege can look like strength, when it is, in fact, permission to escape or to dominate.”26 She recognizes that White privilege gives members of one racial group permission to control all other racial groups, therein setting the social stage for either indifferent or villainous acts, i.e. giving “license to some people to be, at best, thoughtless and, at worst, murderous.”27 This highlights the destructiveness of White privilege not solely to Black people and other people of color, but also to the humanity of White people. Being White, as Kendall points out, does not make a person intrinsically good or bad: however, when failing to take account of the long-established social structures and power of White privilege, people find a way of “anesthetizing” themselves, which results in not taking “responsibility to pay attention or to act”28 when social justice actions are so needed. McIntosh’s original lists of forty-six itemized daily White privileges can be catalogued in six domains as (1) freedom to choose to associate exclusively, or primarily, with other White people; (2) the everyday anticipation of a high level of social acceptance in varied settings across the social spectrum; (3) the experience of routinely seeing other White people presented in a positive light in media, in history and as role models; (4) the freedom from harsh, widespread, demeaning, racial stereotyping; (5) the ability to remain ignorant of the daily lives and needs of other racial groups, if one so chooses; and (6) the likelihood of feeling at home in common public spaces.29 McIntosh differentiates between

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privileges that are “good,” to which everyone should be entitled, from those that are harmful. Kimmel uses the image of running into a strong headwind versus the very different experience of having the wind at your back to distinguish between Black and White orientations to privilege.30 Even with great determination and effort, a hard wind will stymie your progress and wear you down. Alternatively, having the breeze of White privilege at your back propels you forward and infuses the runner with confidence and energy. In fact, the good life of White privilege is often expressed as something comforting, pleasant and convenient, even though the benefits of privilege are unfairly appropriated. It is true that some groups of White people feel “left behind,” without access to power or sufficient benefits, and some people of African descent (and other people of color) experience privilege because of access to money, social status, fame and other resources. Social class, poverty, illness, abilities, place of origin and current geographical setting, family lineage, sexual and gender orientation, religion and faith, all may confer or diminish different types of privilege. The point here is, however, that if a White person is “left behind” it may be because of one or a combination or intersection of some of these other variables, but it is not because they are White.

The Black Experience of White, Morally Indecent Privilege The Black experience of White privilege is more than the cumulative effect of daily microaggressions31 (like being suspected to be a potential handbag thief when you enter an elevator, because you are a young Black male; or being told you are pretty or smart “for a Black girl”), even as painful as these are. It is more than vast numbers of people being inconvenienced (like having long hours of waiting to vote in underserved Black neighborhoods) or being “underprivileged” (like having a low-wage jobs, if jobs are even available.) The Black experience of White privilege is more aptly represented as being about people who are constantly under siege, and under duress.32 In Black life, the impact of White privilege is often dangerous and unrelenting (like not receiving equal justice in the courts; or wondering if your lost or kidnapped child will merit an Amber alert or be investigated adequately; or being viewed as a target or threat when on the streets). Often this lack of racial privilege is further complicated with the intersection of other oppressions, such as social class and gender.33 For example, economically challenged, Black, transgender women are tragically vulnerable to abuse and murder. Black people not only suffer with the absence of privileges; their suffering is often ignored or discounted by White people, and, ironically, they are routinely blamed for their situations. For example, while Black people were collectively traumatized, and agonized with Trayvon Martin’s grieving parents after his cruel death in Florida, much of White America remained silent (which was problematic enough), while others, pushing all boundaries of the

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absurd, rationalized that the child was at fault and should not have worn a hoodie! Likewise, too little compassion was expressed by people outside of the Black community about the suffering of Michael Brown’s family, when his slain body was left for hours on the steaming hot summer street of his hometown in Missouri. Meanwhile, the pain for Black people was excruciating. In the case of Sandra Bland, an energetic, strong, educated woman, stopped for a minor traffic violation in Texas on her way to a new job, blame was placed on her being assertive of her legal rights with the arresting police officer prior to her death, which occurred while she was locked up in the local jail. In each of these human tragedies, there was a rush to discredit the victims’ characters, a rush to find unflattering photographs by the media (rather than, for example, graduation pictures demonstrating academic achievement), a rush to blame the victims, and a scarceness of empathy in large sectors of the White community, which common decency should have required. Comments made on social media were often shamelessly filled with hate and derision, and the implication often was that “they” got what they “deserved.” Perhaps one of the most egregious demands of White privilege too, is that if wrongdoing is publicly acknowledged, as in the killing of Botham Jean34 in his home in Dallas, Texas, and the murders, by avowed racist Dylann Roof, of nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in their Bible Study in Charleston, South Carolina, then Black family members and the Black community are expected not to be “angry,” but to extend grace and forgiveness to the killers.35 Black tears and White tears are weighted differently in a racially privileged system. The Black experience of suffering still often falls on deaf White ears. In contrast, when a White person is the clear perpetrator of violence against Black people, White expectations are, generally, either not to be required to utter expressions of contrition, or, to be consoled by the injured Black person, family and community.

Three Basic Variations on White Responses to White Privilege With systemic, inherited advantage, every White person—from the most advantaged to the least advantaged—has necessarily benefited from the unfair social structures of White privilege. In that sense every White person participates in privilege and thereby perpetuates it, and is bound by a very real psychological sense of belonging in a racist system, whether consciously or not, or lavishly or not. Even when recognizing the insidious nature of White privilege, it is important to distinguish that being White is not a crime against humanity. In fact, no one (Black, White or any race or ethnicity) should be ontologically disparaged or personally bullied because of their racial heritage. The perpetuation of embedded White privilege is the culprit, with its farcical assumptions of superiority, and suffering imposed on Black people and other racial groupings that are not deemed White.36

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Moreover, White people vary widely in their behavioral responses to having White privilege. Even though White privilege is profound and foundational to White people’s experience of the world, people can choose to behave in ways that mitigate their privilege, even if on a personal, geographically restricted scale, in favor of social change. In that regard, when the desire and spirit and motivation are serious and committed enough, a White person can develop a more liberated consciousness (even previous hatemongers can make an about-face) and can become a genuine, valued ally in racially progressive actions. Though they may still fall prey to responses rooted in implicit bias37 and internalized racial privilege, they can choose to be consistent in their antiracist behaviors and can be committed to proactively fighting for racial justice. With awareness, and conviction, and anti-racist intent, their actions can defy racially biased impulses. Karin Case presents the caveats of Beverly Tatum and Janet Helms, who argue that it is only possible, in the face of the harmful and dehumanizing desire to be superior and dominant, for White people to be psychologically and socially healthy if (1) they are aware of their identity as racialized; and (2) that they take a stand against racism.38 Three positions of White privilege can be summed up like this: first, some White people are thoroughly contaminated and corrupted by racism at the core of their being. Their expressions of privilege are exhibited through hate speech, cowardly racist assaults and blaming victims of racism for social problems. Second, even though White people are necessarily trapped by inherited White privilege, and benefit from it, some just want to ignore the problems of racial advantage and disadvantage in order to retain a controlling, silent majority, with little or no interest in changing the system. Or, third, some White people become aware of the multiple, existentially infused ways White privilege forms and benefits them and choose to lessen some of its hold (if and where possible, on a micro or macro level), in order to become advocates for equality and social justice.39 In contemporary times, there are growing numbers of White advocates for social justice who are passionate about making deep and widespread systemic changes, as well as rehabilitating and changing privileged personal thoughts. They advocate for cross-racial acceptance and equality within their families, neighborhoods, schools, places of worship and workplaces. Unfortunately, there are still very large numbers of White racial antagonists, pitted against Black equality; those White people who, as James Baldwin described in No Name in the Street, consider attempts to achieve Black equality as a “nightmare” and believe a “civilized country is, by definition, a country dominated by whites, in which the blacks clearly know their place”—with the spectre of Black liberation framed as “so dreadful a freedom” it “conjures up another, unimaginable country, a country in which no God-fearing white man or woman can live.”40 Notably, Baldwin’s dire analysis comports with present times, where political and societal improvements related to race are often followed by swift anti-Black backlash, with efforts to erase any apparent progress that may have been claimed.

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Student Responses to White Privilege in Black Studies Classrooms Today, students in Black Studies may find common cause in opposing White privilege. Some students are likely clear about exactly what the issues are and the anti-racist fights that need to be undertaken. Others, including some Black students and other marginalized students, may have to address the problematic Asante identifies in that they have been “educated away from their centers”41 because of the pervasiveness of White privilege. They too have been socialized under White privilege’s sway, and may have internalized its lies. For White students, McIntosh puts forth the challenge that “describing white privilege makes one newly accountable . . . what will I do to lessen or end it?”42 The problematic will require White students to deconstruct the scam and, then, re-educate themselves away from the false, centered position of White privilege. This will be difficult, because it requires turning the world, as they know it, upside down, and will put them in conflict with loved ones and their own identities.43 It will require that they fight the denial they have about their own participation in White privilege, and that they challenge all other kinds of psychological defense mechanisms (e.g. minimization, projection, rationalization, pretending to be “color-blind”) that will constitute their resistance to acknowledging the truth.44 Students and teachers alike may discover that discussions of White privilege in the classroom can readily descend into hopelessly realistic depictions of divided worlds. Rather than solidarity, students can feel alienation from each other and despair for solutions and common purpose. Privileges are systemic. A person’s understanding of racial privilege feeds off various historical, social, familial and personal narratives and conveys problems people do not like to face. Seeing the ugliness of racial privilege clearly in the classroom will often need to be undergirded by seeing possibilities, by helping one another believe in change prior to seeing it, by opening space for faith in one another, hope, vulnerability, trust, determination and collective effort. In the classroom, there will be times when the therapeutics of unity and purpose will be more important than problem-saturated analytics that reinforce division and result in legitimate dejection and angst. Every student in a Black Studies classroom should have an avenue to join with their classmates to “claim space as agents of progressive change.”45 Everyone needs to recognize their life experiences and conditioned responses regarding racial privilege. Black students, and other students of color, cannot easily brush off the damage done socially and psychologically by White privilege, but they can seek strong, constructive responses that fit their era, to help make the world and their communities whole. White students cannot escape their past histories of White privilege, and cannot avoid their current unequally advantaged status in society, but they can reject the posture of superiority, can add a new layer of progressive racial consciousness, and can engage in helpful social action.

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Everyone’s future identities can be shaped by clarity and purpose regarding the unfair advantaged–disadvantaged racial continuum. Students from all racial backgrounds can become informed, lifetime advocates for mutual respect toward all people, even as White privilege remains so pervasive and systemic into the foreseeable future. McIntosh states correctly that “Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end, these problems. To redesign social systems, we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions.”46 Even though the systemic aspects of privilege seem beyond reach, the collective day-to-day problems of White privilege can become personal, and practical steps can be taken to make a difference and to undermine the racially misbalanced system. There are at least six key polarities to self-evaluate when seeking racial justice: are my responses and my actions inclined more toward (1) love or hate; (2) knowledge or ignorance; (3) kindness or cruelty; (4) genuine concern or indifference; (5) sharing or greed; and (6) action or passivity? Everyone can make incremental or dramatic steps toward the poles of love, knowledge, kindness, concern, sharing and action, to create a more unified front against the scam of White privilege. These six positive poles of human response need to be aimed at invisible systems of privilege and structural injustices as well as in everyday interpersonal occurrences.47 One by one, until a critical mass is achieved, students can—with a sense of urgency—prepare to lead the next generation toward better racial conditions. Often students in Black Studies wonder what they can do to effect change in their everyday opportunities, where they can impact others personally, and hopefully (at least in part) change systems. Some students are campus leaders who can protest White privilege and leverage power, for example, to gain changes in accountability of administrators, increase inclusive faculty hiring and promote anti-racist policies. At its best, university life can also provide new learning in socially equal, cross-racial relations. In their future careers, the trajectory for change can be vast. Some Black Studies graduates, for example, may go on to be third-grade schoolteachers, and can impact their particular schools to halt the pipeline to prison for Black children and youth. Those who become philosophers can continue the work to dismantle pretensions to truth, and narrow Eurocentric ways of portraying what is real and what is known, instead building culturally inclusive and sensitive, multiracial thinking that includes Black life in a centered (not in a marginalized or dehumanized) way. Students who become bankers can fight the system, changing policy to approve loans on a fair basis, irrespective of race. Community organizers can help residents unite with shared aims against various forms of privilege and oppression. Home by home, and family by family, local realtors can make informal, systematic “redlining” in communities a thing of the past. Students who become lawyers can fight for fairness in sentencing. New politicians can change racially biased voter suppression and racist immigration policies. Every new physician can value Black bodies the same as White bodies, providing the best, equitable access and care possible to all

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their patients. Participants in Parent–Teacher Associations can become activists for equal distribution of resources through their school districts. Tomorrow’s business leaders can advance efforts to repurpose organizations saturated by White privilege and insist on hiring and promotion practices that are cognizant of racial bias. Mental health professionals can be culturally competent and responsive with their clients, recognizing the impact of systemic racism, thereby avoiding automatic pathologizing of their situations. City planners can marshal resources and strategies to bring grocery stores and public transportation to previously neglected communities. Environmentalists can work on behalf of communities of color who have suffered the most extreme damage due to toxic pollutants being dumped in their living spaces. Students who become university professors can resist White privilege in classroom dialogue and advance pedagogy intent on listening to all voices, especially those who have routinely been silenced. Finally, students who go on to be police officers can fight against racial injustice emanating from the “Blue line” by opposing racially biased language on the force, racial profiling, stop-and-frisk policies aimed at Black and brown populations, authoritarian bullying and over-policing of communities of color and police shootings of unarmed Black children, adolescents and adults.

White Privilege and the Killing of Terence Crutcher “There was no reason to believe their lives were in danger here, and they killed him anyway”; so stated Allie Shinn, from the ACLU of Oklahoma, in reference to Terence Crutcher’s tragic death.48 Here is his story: Terence Crutcher is driving home from a Friday, September 16th night class, in 2016. He is studying music appreciation at Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma. Who knows what he is thinking about? Perhaps about laughing with his children. Perhaps about the class he’d just attended. Perhaps he is dreaming about his future. He might even be softly humming the tune to a hymn the choir will sing in church on Sunday. Growing up in a church music family, Terence has a “beautiful voice” and still loves singing, even though he now has a hearing impairment. That does not stop the melodies in his head. Music is in his DNA. Then his vehicle stalls. Maybe he is surprised, or maybe he anticipated a problem before he left for class that evening and just hoped he could make it. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to get out of his SUV and walk to where he might get help. Someone places a 9-1-1 call to the police to report the stalled vehicle on the road. Then comes the nightmare. The mayhem. A police car with loud sirens and flashing, disorienting lights suddenly appears on the scene. A police helicopter, whirring overhead, makes it further impossible to hear, or think straight. In the video we see later, Terence’s bright white shirt looks like a flag in surrender. Sleeves up.

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He is walking to his vehicle. Like we think he’s supposed to. Like his father taught him. Hands up. Two police officers are right behind him, following Terence Crutcher. Same pace. Guns pointed. More police cars arrive. There’s more noise and lights. Two other officers arrive and pick up the pace, closing in like hunters stalking their prey. Now there are four armed police, then a fifth, against one unarmed, disabled Black man; A man with a prosthetic eye and a hearing disability. From above in the helicopter (we hear later on the police recording), “This guy’s still walking.” The conversation continues. Someone is saying that Terence is not following commands and that’s “enough for taser” and “that looks like what is about to happen.” “That looks like a bad dude too. Could be on something,” says a voice in the helicopter. From there, the conversation goes on. “He’s got his hands up there for her now.” Back on the road, Mr. Crutcher slowly, slowly, slowly, reaches his SUV. Hands up . . . on the vehicle window at the driver’s side. The window remains closed. Officer Betty Shelby has already “cleared” the vehicle and knows there are no weapons in it. On the video, it looks like Terence Crutcher thinks he is complying. Later, they say he did not follow instructions to get down on the ground so in an instant . . . one officer tases him while another shoots him. Mr. Crutcher falls to the ground. Blood smears from the top of the truck window, and trickles down the outside of the closed pane. “Shots fired!” “Shots fired. We have one suspect down!” Terence Crutcher, forty years old . . . son, twin brother, father of four, choir member, student, disabled citizen, motorist in need of help . . . is dying on the ground. Still, his hands are up.

Terence Crutcher’s untimely death illustrates the fatal reach of White privilege and the precariousness of Black life in the United States. A White motorist with car trouble can generally expect courtesy and help from the police; will be assumed to be law-abiding unless fleeing from the scene of a crime; will be recognized as complying with police commands if walking slowly with hands up; and will not routinely be killed outright, without any chance of survival, even if drug use is suspected or a crime has been committed. American residents know all too many examples, covered in the media, where White men, crazed with drugs, brandishing weapons, behaving erratically, even if they have committed a singular murder of an unarmed teenager, or a mass murder inside a Black church, are subdued and taken into police custody—alive. The shooting of Terence Crutcher was commonly described in the media as “in cold blood,” and the evidence presented in court led several members of the jury to “question her judgment as a police officer.” Nevertheless, Officer Betty Shelby was found “not guilty” of first-degree manslaughter. Sometime, in her evolving story, she mentioned that she suspected Mr. Crutcher of drug use, and indeed, in the search for denigrating information about the victim, he was reported to have PCP in his system (though his slow, non-aggressive

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behavior was not consistent with that allegation). Mr. Crutcher had no gun. Two videos, from different angles, showed him walking away from the police officers, toward his vehicle. The window, through which Betty Shelby said he was reaching, remained closed. His hands remained up, and visible as requested, throughout the whole ordeal. Betty Shelby later quit the police desk job to which she was moved after she killed Terence Crutcher, for a position as Sherriff’s deputy in a different Oklahoma county. This new job was announced with great hoopla at a televised press conference, as if she was a celebrity. Later, the position involved her teaching a course on “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident,” as if she was an expert. Like a number of other instances of police shootings of Black people by White police officers, this one happened in less time than it took to read the story. There was no time for Mr. Crutcher to explain. There was no assumption that he could possibly be disoriented, or that he might be disabled. There was no acknowledgement that his walking in the opposite direction from the police officers, toward his vehicle, was peaceful behavior. There was apparently not even appreciation that Mr. Crutcher’s “hands up,” as the police yelled orders to keep his hands visible, signaled his compliance. There was no understanding that perhaps he was afraid for his life. There was no treatment of Terence Crutcher as a human being, or as a child of God. Rather, there was the assumption that he was a “bad dude,” “that he “could be on something,” and despite there being no crime under investigation, that he was a “suspect.” Analyses of the situation could go as follows: he was a big, Black man, perceived as not under control, therefore he was targeted and killed, like generations of African-descended people before him. He was defined as “the problem.” Implicit bias was laid bare by the voice in the helicopter, and the actions of everyone else on the scene that night. Though reports indicated she already knew there was no weapon in the car, the officer who killed Mr. Crutcher claimed she thought he was reaching through a window for a gun, so feared for her life and shot him. Her assumed White innocence was pitted against his assumed Black criminality. Her psychological projections that night demonstrated “textbook” White privilege. In truth, she (and the system in which she was ensconced) was “the problem.” She was “dangerous.” She was “out of control.” As a public servant, she was a fraud. Yet, her supposed fear and vulnerability were rationalized, seen as understandable, even normal, in the presence of a Black man. Police denial of the facts evident in the videos, and about racism being in play, generally were found acceptable to the predominantly White community and the jurors on the case. And so, antagonism and bullying, couched in White privilege, ruled the day on the street stained with Terence Crutcher’s blood, and in the court that was supposed to protect his rights. Anti-Black, state-sanctioned violence prevailed, with scarce empathy, no expressed contrition by the shooter, and no justice for the traumatized family and Black community left behind in the wake of police savagery.

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Equality as the Desired End From an Afrocentric framework, Maulana Karenga outlines four basic ways to promote an equitable, diverse world, where everyone is on the same footing: first, mutual respect for each people and culture; second, mutual respect for everyone’s right to speak their own “cultural truth” and make “their own unique contribution” to society; third, mutual commitment to “a constant search for common ground in the midst of diversity”; and fourth, mutual commitment to follow “an ethics of sharing” directed toward shared status, knowledge, space, wealth, power, interest and responsibility.49 It appears, upon reflection, even with White privilege ruling the day, lip service can be paid to Karenga’s first three items. However, item number four clashes directly with the deeply embedded problem of White privilege. As history has shown, a structural, functional “ethic of sharing” will constantly be met with a whatever-it-takes-resistance, to prevent social equality or equity from becoming a reality. In Ralph Ellison’s world-acclaimed novel, Invisible Man, the protagonist reveals a recurring dream: the dream character is in high school, celebrated for his scholarly accomplishments and oratory skills, and is invited to give a speech at a local event for White businessmen and civic leaders. When he arrives, the dream character and nine other young Black men are crammed into an elevator, dressed only in tight boxing shorts and boxing gloves, and subsequently ushered into a ballroom full of loud-talking, cigar-smoking, drunken, taunting and humiliating White leaders of the community. The young men are put in a boxing ring, and all ten are blindfolded, and then goaded into a vicious, last-manstanding brawl. Fighting as best he can, even though battered and bloody, the dream character keeps trying to rehearse his speech mentally, even as he receives blow after blow. After the brawl and further humiliation, where the fighters receive electrical shocks picking up coins, the young man is finally separated from the other boxers and called forward by his school superintendent to give his speech. His bloodied mouth keeps draining down his throat, to the point he can barely speak. He must continuously swallow his own blood, becoming nauseous. When he comes to the part of his speech where he emphasizes that the Black community must commit itself to “social responsibility,” the drunken, belligerent crowd cheers him on, and insists that he say those words over and over, louder and louder. Then the young man yells other words he had “heard debated in private”: “social equality.” The ballroom is silenced and, after a moment’s hesitation, filled with derisive laughter and hostile intent. Quickly realizing he has gone too far, and out of fear of being mauled, the young man feels compelled to disavow his call for “equality” and to let everyone know he has simply not articulated clearly enough the word “responsibility” due to the gurgle of blood in his throat.50 As Ellison so clearly portrays, the American dream of White privilege and power is hard to swallow from an Afrocentric perspective. The dream reveals that, in a racially privileged system, all the Black social responsibility in the

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world will never add up to social equality. Indeed, the United States, and other countries of White advantage and dominance, will never be liberated from the racial sins of their past as long as misbegotten White privilege prevails. Further, without equality, society will never reach its full potential. Until that happens, the struggle continues.

Update George Floyd was murdered (25 May 2020) just as we concluded writing this chapter. His death occurred shortly after the other tragic murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, whose deaths, like his, showed clear misconduct and criminal behavior by police officers. Following Mr. Floyd’s death, we witnessed unprecedented mass collective action with people of all races, from all walks of life, all over the country and all over the world (e.g. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many more countries) protesting in the streets in support of Mr. Floyd, the Black Lives Matter Movement and anti-racist behaviors, and challenging systemic White privilege and White supremacy. In the United States, almost immediately some changes to traditional police policies were enacted in some states, such as the abolition of the use of the choke hold (that killed Mr. Floyd) and noknock police raids (that killed Ms. Taylor) and there have been widespread calls to reimagine policing policies and procedures. Other changes have occurred, within three tumultuous weeks, that may result in systemic change, for example in the area of sports; Confederate statues have been taken down; and numerous organizations and corporations have made strong statements in support of the protesters and their demands for change. The best-case scenario would be for there to be large-scale social change that dismantles the White privilege we have discussed in this chapter. Whether or not we are witnessing the beginning of real change remains to be seen.

Notes 1. W. E. B. Du Bois, An ABC of Color (New York: International Publishers, 1969), 65–70. When Du Bois originally wrote these ideas in 1914, the term “White privilege” was not in vogue, but what he was describing is the same stark, unfair advantages and privilege of White people at the expense of people of African descent. White privilege is the term used by the authors in this chapter. Though the term White supremacy still connotes “extremists” to many people, it is now more often being used synonymously with White privilege. 2. James Baldwin, No Name in the Street (New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1972), 190. 3. Baldwin, No Name, 188. 4. This phrase is from the subtitle of Paula Rothenberg, White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, 2nd ed. (New York: Worth Publishers, 2005), connoting the shade of difference between the two terms, and reflecting the invisible power and privilege of racism, from the past into the present.

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5. In No Name, 176, Baldwin references “the tranquilizers this country hands out as morality, truth, and history.” 6. Molefi Kete Asante, An Afrocentric Manifesto: Toward an African Renaissance (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007), 21–2. 7. Ibid. 24. 8. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk [first published 1903] (New York: Penguin, 1989), 133–53. 9. Donald B. Gibson, “Introduction,” in Souls, xi. 10. Ibid. 11. Du Bois, Souls, 5. 12. Ibid. 103. 13. Ibid. 9. 14. Ibid. 76. 15. Ibid. 5. 16. Ibid. 102. 17. McIntosh, Peggy, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies” [1988], in Privilege: A Reader, ed. M. S. Kimmel and Abby L. Ferber, 3rd ed. (Boulder: Westview Press, 2014), 15–27. McIntosh adds: “The pressure to avoid [White privilege] is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own,” 21, 27. 18. Ibid. 16. 19. Ibid. 22. “I received daily signals and indications that my people counted and that others either didn’t exist or must be trying, not very successfully, to be like people of my race.” 20. DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (Boston: Beacon Press, 2018). 21. Ibid. 16. 22. Ibid. 2. 23. McIntosh, “White Privilege,” 15. 24. Ibid. 24. 25. Ibid. 24. 26. Ibid. 23. 27. Ibid. 28. Kendall, Frances, Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race (New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2006), 81. 29. M. Swigonski, “Challenging Privilege Through Africentric Social Work Practice,” Social Work 41.2 (1996), 153–61. See also cited in J. R. Davidson and T. Davidson, “White Skins and Sheepskins: Challenging the Status Quo in the Education of Helping Professionals,” The Journal of Intergroup Relations 27.4 (Winter, 2000–1), 3–15. 30. Michael Kimmel, “Toward a Pedagogy of the Oppressor,” in Privilege: A Reader, ed. M. S. Kimmel and Abby L. Ferber, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Westview Press, 2010), 1. 31. “Microaggression” is a term used for common daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities communicated toward members of marginalized groups.

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32. 33. 34.

35. 36.

37.

38.

39.

40. 41. 42. 43.

44.

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TIM DAVIDSON AND JEANETTE R. DAVIDSON These can be intentional or unintentional, communicating hostile, derogatory or negative prejudicial slights and insults. The term was coined in 1970, by Chester M. Pierce, an African American Harvard psychiatrist. It was originally applied to dismissals and insults toward African Americans by non-Black people. Over the centuries, and until today, it should be noted that moral indecency attaches to White privilege, and does so far more extensively than can be illustrated here. See Kimberlé Crenshaw et al., Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement (New York: New Press, 1995). Botham Jean was an unarmed man, originally from St. Lucia, killed in his home, in 2018, by Amber Guyger, who was returning from her work as a Dallas Police Department patrol officer. Guyger claimed she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and shot him thinking he was a burglar. She was found guilty of murder, sentenced to ten years’ incarceration, and was eligible for parole in five years. Stacey Patton, “Black America Should Stop Forgiving White Racists,” Washington Post (22 June 2015). In his analysis of privilege, George Yancy, in Black Bodies, White Gazes (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), argues that no matter how hard they try, White people cannot fully escape their embedded White privilege, are complicit in its continuation, and the opaqueness of their Whiteness is such that they can never truly penetrate it enough to be free from it. He discusses how White privilege can ambush White people with automatic and visceral White supremacist responses, even when they are well intentioned and engaging in anti-racist activities, 229–32. Implicit bias is an unconsciously held set of associations about a particular group. It can lead to racist behaviors, as when a teacher disciplines a Black child more harshly than a White child for the same behavior in class. See Karin Case, “Claiming White Social Location as a Site of Resistance to White Supremacy,” in Disrupting White Supremacy from Within, ed. Jennifer Harvey, Karin A. Case and Robin Gorsline(Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2004), 72. An historical note is also useful to understand basic White responses to unfair racial practices. Resistance against racial injustice in the United States shows there have always been some, though never nearly enough, White people who stood in solidarity with Black liberation. On a national scale, the Abolitionist Movement (1830s–70s) and the Civil Rights Movement (1954–68) are examples of major turning points in the nation’s pursuit of the moral arc of justice, with activists from different backgrounds on the front lines of Black emancipation and human rights. Baldwin, No Name, 177. Asante, Afrocentric Manifesto, 25 McIntosh, “White Privilege,” 16. Baldwin, No Name, 182–3 discusses how the “moral obligations” White students faced in the Freedom Movement in the 1960s, “if they were real, and if they were to be really acted on, placed them in conflict with all they loved and all that had given them an identity.” When faced with “the black situation in America,” White students began to see other aspects of the “fraudulent nature of American life” but did not expect “to be forced to judge their parents, their elders, and their antecedents, so harshly.” See Charles R. Ridley, Overcoming Unintentional Racism in Counseling and Therapy, 2nd ed. (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005).

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45. Asante, Afrocentric Manifesto, 25. 46. McIntosh, “White Privilege,” 26. 47. George Lisitz, in “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness,” in White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, ed. Paula S. Rothenberg (New York: Worth Publishers, 2005), 67–90, details a series of examples relating to the blatant, manipulative, greedy agenda of a United States society and government dominated by White privilege. 48. Oklahoma KOCO 5 News, 22 September 2016. 49. Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies, 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2002), 57. 50. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man [first published 1952] (New York: Vintage International, 1995), 31.

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9

Social Science Research in Africana Studies: Ethical Protocols and Guidelines Serie McDougal III

Most institutions that provide human services have codes of conduct to which they are held accountable. Researchers too must have codes guiding their practice. These codes, to an extent, protect people from harm in the research process. Yet, they do so in a context of institutionalized oppression in the global contest for power and domination. They provide greater protection for populations with greater power and privilege in society while leaving other populations more vulnerable.1 Consequently, mainstream ethical protocols and guidelines are limited in their ability and intent to protect people of African descent from harm in social science research. Institutions and their protection protocols are also particularly lacking in cultural relevance for people of African descent.2 These limitations present an opportunity for the discipline of Africana Studies to develop protocols in the interest of people of African descent and the discipline itself. Protocols that are responsive to the cultural realities of people of African descent have the potential to protect them from the risks to which they remain vulnerable when relying solely on the protections provided by mainstream codes in institutionally oppressive cultures.

Background on Africana People’s Vulnerability to Risk in Research Mainstream ethical codes of conduct in research remain limited for people of African descent who participate in human-subject research, for reasons explained by history. The need for codified standards for ethical research developed primarily in response to abuses in medical research.3 The Nuremberg Code of 1946, which was a direct response to the atrocities carried out by the Nazis, consisted of the principles researchers must follow. However, they were not extended to the social sciences until later, as an add-on in 1974 by

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the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW, now Department of Health and Human Services, HHS). Since then, researchers have been required to complete some form of research training or certification as a part of what is known as the federally mandated common rule.4 However, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) have been slow to protect people from risks in social science research, such as much of the research which takes place in Africana Studies. Moreover, these boards developed primarily in response to abuses of Jewish people in concentration camps during World War II, while, historically, people of African descent have been disproportionate victims of research abuses, most of which occurred without recourse.5 Most IRBs established to protect the rights of human subjects during research do not necessarily protect people of African descent from anti-African/Black scientific colonialism. According to Wade Nobles, this form of colonialism occurs when the center of gravity for the acquisition of knowledge about a people is located outside of that people’s lived reality.6 Africana Studies addresses this problem because its essence as a discipline is its culturally and historically grounded approach to studying phenomena related to the African experience in the world.7 Molefi Kete Asante says of Africana Studies practitioners, “We are not engaged in this enterprise simply because we study African people; we are engaged in it because of how we study African people.”8 Dominant groups’ epistemologies, however, have historically been at the forefront of the sociopolitical oppression of people of African descent. These epistemologies restrict the development of accurate and liberatory knowledge. Describing and explaining the experiences of people of African descent by using the conceptual approaches of existing disciplines is simply the perpetuation of scientific colonialism, because it requires no epistemological shift. Failure to make use of culturally relevant conceptual approaches to investigating people of African descent should not be a question of ideology, positionality or intellectual freedom. Instead, this failure should be examined as a question of validity. Research cannot be evaluated as valid without being informed by the cultural realities of the people who are the subjects of investigation. However, just as dominance or oppression can be rooted in the construction of knowledge, so too can liberation when research is conducted in ways that are culturally valid. The present study is grounded in the Applied Africana Studies framework. Applied Africana Studies is not just about improving understanding of the thought and practice of people of African descent. Utility is essential for Applied Africana Studies, because its practitioners locate themselves as transformative agents on behalf of the African community.9 Therefore, applied research on people of African descent is expected to be geared toward solving problems or meeting challenges that are relevant to people of African descent.10 Research in Applied Africana Studies is about addressing concrete social challenges. It is designed specifically to fit into a mission-driven approach to research in pursuit of actionable conclusions.

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The basic assumptions of Africana Studies are: • Every race or culture in the world has concerns that are similar and different to others in many ways. • Any applied study of African people should be geared toward solving problems or meeting challenges that are relevant to African people. • Purely speculative scholarship alone cannot fulfill the mission of Applied Africana Studies. • Applied Africana Studies transcends the traditional Western dichotomy that exists between basic and applied research. • The needs and interests of people of African descent cannot be understood or appropriately addressed without a clear assessment of the forces of domination, oppression and prevention that operate against the interests of people of African descent. • Applied Africana Studies is focused on producing real-world, race-specific research results that can be translated to African people in a digestible form.11

Therefore, this chapter is based on the assumption that people of African descent are deserving of protocols and guidelines that are tailored to their needs and concerns and will protect them from ethical threats to which they are uniquely vulnerable. It is also based on the assumption that the discipline of Africana Studies itself would benefit from additional protocols and guidelines to ensure that graduate and professional research is being conducted in a manner consistent with its principles and objectives. The current project seeks to answer two key questions: • What additional protocols or guidelines can be implemented to protect people of African descent from harm in empirical research? • What additional protocols or guidelines can be implemented to improve the well-being of people of African descent in empirical research?

These questions have been answered by way of a review of the literature on cultural relevance in the research certification process and research on methodology in Africana Studies. The objective is the development of a list of key questions and concerns for graduate students and professionals in Africana Studies to answer in addition to the IRB questions generally required for approval to conduct research on human subjects.

Applied Africana Studies Overlay Questions and Concerns Research in Africana studies should be in service of Africana communities. Therefore, the needs and interests of the population of Africana people being studied should be addressed directly or indirectly in the research process. It is helpful to engage in self-interrogation at every level of the research process. Sometimes the question is easy: “How might my research speak to the needs, challenges and aspirations of the people I am studying?”

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The research should also be thought-provoking to the researcher. Sometimes it is helpful to conduct preliminary interviews or needs assessments (i.e. interviews with target population members) to get a sense of how a population’s needs and interests might be better integrated into a research project. In Africana studies, it is important for the researcher to explain how they think their research could improve or produce knowledge or understanding that could be used specifically to improve the lives of people of African descent. To do this, it is helpful to enter the research process with flexibility and a willingness to alter a project to better integrate the concerns of the population being studied. It is assumed that empirical research adds to the store of knowledge or the available literature on a variety of topics. In Africana Studies, however, particularly in the Applied Africana Studies framework, it is important that researchers think about what is being contributed to the discipline itself in any research that is being undertaken. It is not enough to think about how the imaginary intellectual community benefits; it is necessary to be intentionally explicit about what a research endeavor will contribute to Africana Studies as a discipline. This might be included in or after a research paper’s statement of purpose. The question researchers are answering here is, “How might the knowledge or understanding produced in my research build on conceptual approaches, bodies of knowledge and practice in Africana Studies?” The key terms in a study are the concepts that are central to the research question and will be used throughout the document. It is important to know that cultures, experiences and many other factors influence how the people of African descent being studied will understand or interpret the key terms in a research project. It is easy for a researcher to settle on the most descriptive definitions of terms used in the literature on a topic, but they should not do this without interrogating our population’s cultural reality. Nobles explains that scientific colonialism can leave a researcher using only non-African concepts, ideas and perspectives to study people of African descent.12 Key terms reflect the perspectives of the cultures that produced them, and they typically carry those ideological markers. Researchers must investigate who and where key concepts derive from and what groups they have been applied to. It is necessary to know who, if anyone, benefits or is marginalized by their meanings. This prerequisite compels the researcher to identify the specific cultural contexts from which their concepts of interest emerged. When researchers do not respect or give adequate weight to the cultural perspective of the people being studied, they are prone to undermining the cultural validity of their research. Cultural validity occurs when the cultures of the populations being studied are reflected in the ways that researchers understand the concepts being investigated or measured.13 It is the responsibility of the researcher to investigate how the people being studied define the central concepts of a study on their own terms, and in their own cultural context, and any terms they might use instead of those identified by the researcher. Sometimes this is done by interrogating previous research that sheds light on how the

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people being studied define the central concepts in a study on their own terms. In other cases, researchers investigate how the people being studied define the central concepts in the process of the research or data collection (which may be the purpose of the study). Ultimately, it is important for the researcher to explain how key concepts are understood within the cultures of the people being studied (or how they intend to find out in the research process itself). Moreover, if mainstream or popular definitions are also used in a study it is critical that the researcher explain and identify how their population’s definitions differ from mainstream definitions and the significance of those differences. In scientific research, epistemological tools such as theories and paradigms moderate the relationship between the knowing subject and those who they are studying. For oppressed people and their descendants, it is important that the intellectual tools guiding the relationship between themselves and who or what they study is culturally relevant and emancipatory. When possible, it is important researchers identify the most appropriate theories and paradigms for the phenomenon being studied. It is insufficient to settle on popular and frequently used theories alone. It takes intentionality on the part of research advisors and researchers to look for theories and paradigms that are culturally relevant to their target population of people of African descent. The researcher must indicate whether or not theories or paradigms are available that have been designed to study the thought and behavior of people of African descent and are relevant to the research question. An academic discipline’s epistemic identity is located in its unique concepts, theories and paradigms. If none are available, the researcher needs to explain how their research may in some part respond to that deficit in the existing literature. When conducting research on people of African descent, the literature available through library database searches, for example, may overwhelmingly be produced in a few countries, and availability may also be skewed by academic disciplines or educational institution. It is important for the researcher to recognize that dominant values vary between and within countries. Similarly, academic disciplines’ conceptual approaches are shaped by dominant paradigms (or frameworks of analysis or perspectives.) The same is true of journals, which are often driven by Eurocentric intellectual approaches. Because of this, the sheer volume of existing research on peoples of African descent is likely to reflect a heightened risk of non-African cultural and ideological bias. In this Eurocentric institutional context, the risk of finding culturally non-responsive research and consequently applying Eurocentric or non-Africana conceptual approaches to the realities of people of African descent is great. It is not a problem to include conceptual approaches in research that come from cultural perspectives that are not African; the problem is that from an Applied Africana Studies approach, the cultural realities of the people being studied must be central. This bias means that a great deal of what is written about people of African descent does not privilege their historical and contemporary culture, experiences and agency. Because of this, the

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researcher needs to be deliberate about including in their literature review research that (1) is published in journals dedicated to investigating people of African descent in ways that reflect their realities; (2) is culturally congruent, emerging from disciplines dedicated to investigating peoples of African descent in culturally valid ways; (3) has been conducted in ways that privilege the needs, challenges and aspirations of the peoples of African descent being studied; and (4) is properly located in the recent and remote historical context of target populations of Africana peoples. Ultimately, the researcher must answer the question of how they went about finding scholarly literature that is reflective of the history, culture and experiences of the people of African descent they are investigating.14 The literature review does not need to be composed solely of this kind of literature, but it must be included to provide a relevant background to the researcher to inform their approach to research and interpretation of their results. Researchers have to describe in detail any data collection or analytical instruments they will use, including surveys, questionnaires or interviews, and describe qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. When researchers use quantitative measures or assessments to study people of African descent, it is important that they avoid assuming that such models are universally applicable, even if they have strong reliability levels. Moreover, even if they have been shown to have reasonable rates of validity or reliability, this does not mean that they will maintain those validity and reliability levels when applied to different people of African descent. When cultural validity is calculated statistically, it is a measure of how accurately an instrument measures the concept it is intended to measure among the population being studied, and how consistent it is with their conceptualization of it. Researchers studying people of African descent using quantitative measures must explain how they went about assessing the validity of such quantitative instruments on their Africana populations of interest, which may require adding, removing or replacing items (questions or statements) or sections. Researchers using qualitative measures can take many steps to avoid cultural bias and enhance validity. The two main types of validity are internal validity (the match between the observations a researcher makes and the conclusions they draw) and external validity (how well conclusions can be applied to larger social settings). Although internal validity is understood to be a strength of qualitative research, it is still not invulnerable to scientific colonialism. There is often a great deal of description in qualitative research, but different researchers can describe the same things differently. It is important, first, that researchers engage in self-assessment to identify any of their own values, prejudices and dispositions that could bias their observations of the people of African descent being investigated. The central concern is how accurate those descriptions and observations are. It may also help to enlist other researchers to observe and code the same phenomena (what is known as inter-rater reliability) to identify any variation in observations. This could reveal researcher

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bias in observations. This risk can be reduced through triangulation, not only by having multiple researchers compare and contrast their observations, but by sharing with the population being observed to seek confirmation. It is the responsibility of the researcher to explain what steps have been taken to ensure the cultural validity of any instruments, interview schedules or observations for the population of people of African descent being studied.

Post-Conduct Guidelines After a study is conducted, it is important that Africana Studies graduate research be subjected to certain guidelines in addition to typical thesis and dissertation guidelines. Most guidelines focus on format, style and order. But guidelines are also necessary to ensure that research is being conducted in ways consistent with the mission of Africana Studies. Cultural bias also enters the research process at the point when researchers interpret their results. This usually happens in discussion sections, where they provide clear explanations of their results. Again, it is important to involve research participants at this stage by allowing them to read, confirm, question and/or verify researchers’ interpretations and conclusions when possible. Depending on the research design, this is not always possible. Researchers sometimes use theories to help them explain the results of their research. It helps to make sure that culturally and racially specific theories are among those used to explain the thought and behavior of the population of people of African descent who were investigated. Ultimately, a researcher should take the time to explain how they ensured the cultural validity of the interpretation of their results. Most IRBs privilege research design and the data collection process. However, Africana Studies also privileges the principle of social responsibility as it is applied to the results. The ethical ideal of Maat, in Kemetic cosmology, is a classical African concept that is well positioned to govern what Nobles explains as the relationship between the knower and the known.15 But it also influences what should be done with knowledge and what should be done with what is known. True knowledge, in the Kemetic context, is knowledge that is aligned with Maat and should be used to help human beings establish harmony and justice. Specifically, in Africana Studies the researcher must be conducting research that can be used to address the concerns and challenges of Africana communities and to improve the living conditions of those communities. This means that, after the research is done and results have been found, it is not enough to use the discussion section of the report to talk about how the findings relate to the literature, how the research was limited and additional questions sparked by the findings. The researcher must take the time to explain any practical implications of the findings. This is always an option in writing the final sections of a study, but in Applied Africana Studies, it is something that is mandatory. This is different from IRB requirements that researchers

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state only direct benefits research participants may get from participating in a study. This question is, instead, about any direct or indirect ways that the target population or theoretical population of people of African descent might benefit from the knowledge gained.

Conclusion The purpose of this overlay and these additional guidelines is to make sure that empirical research in Africana Studies does not place people of African descent at risk. It also ensures that researchers are intentional about conducting research that is consistent with the mission of Africana Studies, and goes beyond not causing harm to bringing about some practical benefit. Other steps may include the production of training courses on conducting culturally responsive Africana Studies empirical research. This overlay and other practices that produce cultural alignment are needed to fine-tune Africana Studies research. Streamlining research in Africana Studies to produce the maximum benefit for Africana people is the future of Africana Studies from an Applied Africana Studies perspective.

Notes 1. Jennifer Kue, Laura Szalacha, A. Happ, Mary Crisp and Beth Menon, “Culturally Relevant Human Subjects Protection Training: A Case Study in CommunityEngaged Research in the United States,” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 20.1 (2018), 107. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-017-0548-x. 2. Ibid. 107–8. 3. Serie McDougal III, Research Methods in Africana Studies, Black Studies and Critical Thinking, vol. 64 (New York: Peter Lang, 2014), 94. 4. Kue et al., “Culturally Relevant,” 107–8. 5. Harriet A. Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Doubleday Books, 2006), 194. 6. Wade W. Nobles, Seeking the Sakhu: Foundational Writings for an African Psychology (Chicago: Third World Press, 2006), 124. 7. Molefi Kete Asante, Afrocentricity, new rev. ed. (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1988). 8. Ibid. 22. 9. Michael Tillotson and Serie McDougal, “Applied Africana Studies,” Journal of Black Studies 44.1 (2012), 106. 10. Ibid. 107. 11. Ibid. 106. 12. Nobles, Seeking the Sakhu, 61. 13. McDougal, Research Methods, 159. 14. Molefi Kete Asante, “African American Studies: The Future of the Discipline,” The Black Scholar 22.3 (1992), 20–9. DOI: 10.1080/00064246.1992.11413041. 15. Nobles, Seeking the Sakhu, 322.

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10 Africana Studies and Oral History: A Critical Assessment Leslie M. Alexander and Curtis J. Austin

Oral Tradition and African Peoples In 1989, renowned historian Amadou Hampâté Bâ wrote, “Oral tradition is the only path that can lead us right into the history and spirit of the African peoples.” For Bâ, the oral tradition, the process by which people orally transmit testimony about the past from one person to another, is the only true way for the history of African people to be fully understood and appreciated.1 Such a contention would not seem surprising to most scholars of African and African American history, particularly those who examine precolonial Africa or African Americans during enslavement. Since these civilizations and communities were largely preliterate, the transmission of culture and history within these societies was almost exclusively dependent upon the existence of a strong oral tradition. This chapter argues that oral history and the oral tradition are central to the fields of African American History and Africana Studies, regardless of the time period or topic under examination. As Bâ suggests, the oral tradition not only has a long and revered history in African and African American society, but is fundamental to understanding the essence of the African American experience. Indeed, we maintain that no exploration of African American life or political consciousness is complete without an analysis and discussion of oral culture and history, or without giving voice to the people themselves. Thus, this chapter seeks to provide a brief overview of the function of the oral tradition in African American culture and demonstrates, through an analysis of contemporary oral interviews, the importance of oral history in Africana Studies. The oral tradition has an ancient and illustrious history among African peoples; in fact, evidence of oral culture among West African people dates back more than 700 years.2 Since most African societies prior to European contact were preliterate, oral culture became a foundational component of many West African civilizations. The telling of stories—sharing experiences,

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both triumphant and tragic—is fundamentally rooted in our African heritage, and manifested in a variety of ways including art, music and dance. As Harold Courlander, one of the first scholars to investigate African oral culture, maintained: The range of African oral literary forms is seemingly endless. It includes creation myths, myth-legends, half-legendary chronicles and historical narratives either in song or prose; tales that explain natural phenomena, tribal practices and taboos, and cultural or political institutions; stories and fables that reflect on the nature of man and his strengths and weaknesses.3

In short, oral culture is the process by which African peoples have expressed themselves and given shape to their social, cultural and political realities. Despite the obvious significance of the oral tradition among African peoples, scholars have historically tended to doubt or challenge the legitimacy of oral sources on the grounds that they are somehow less reliable. According to Amadou Bâ, African and African American oral sources have often been unfairly dismissed within the intellectual community. He wrote, “In the modern nations, where what is written has precedence over what is spoken, where the book is the principle vehicle of the cultural heritage, there has been a long-standing notion that peoples without writing are peoples without culture.” Fortunately, however, Bâ also noted that, due to the diligence of historians and ethnologists, the African oral tradition has finally gained credibility within scholarly circles.4 As many historians have noted, this change represented an important step for the field of Africana Studies, because oral history is crucial to the study of African peoples. As historian Jan Vansina explains, “For all its wealth of written documents . . . history would be dry and forbidding without the contributions of informants who, through [oral] tradition, add the priceless African view of things.”5 Even more importantly, however, African-centered scholars have recognized that it is virtually impossible to grasp the essence of the African American experience without utilizing and acknowledging the centrality of oral history and oral culture. Since African American culture remains deeply rooted in its African past, the oral tradition persisted during enslavement and continues to be an influential aspect of Black culture and society in the contemporary era. As Harold Courlander explained, “The oral literature and traditions of African peoples communicate to us the scope and nature of our common identity.”6 Historian Jan Vansina concurred, noting that oral culture is not simply about communication but also serves as a method of “preserving the wisdom of the ancestors . . . [T]he oral approach is an attitude to reality and not the absence of a skill.”7 It was, in fact, these two factors—a desire to forge a common identity, and a passion for honoring the ancestors—that caused African oral culture to survive and thrive among African peoples in the Americas.

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Perhaps the most obvious examples of the persistence of African oral culture among African Americans can be found in studies examining slave culture during the antebellum era. Scholars have extensively documented the multifaceted role of oral culture among people of African descent throughout the Diaspora, particularly among African Americans in the southern portion of the United States.8 Harold Courlander notes, for example, that African oral culture existed among enslaved African Americans in various forms such as music, dance, religious expression, storytelling, folktales and “recollections of historical happenings.”9 Moreover, linguist Geneva Smitherman argues that the influence of African oral culture in Black America lasted far beyond slavery in both the sacred and secular realms. As Smitherman proves, the oral tradition “preserves the Afro-American heritage and reflects the collective spirit of the race.”10 Our purpose here is to demonstrate that at the center of the African oral tradition is an essential component that has survived well into the twentyfirst century: one that Geneva Smitherman identified when she described how “everyday people” transmit “lessons and precepts about life and survival” between generations.11 This core principle manifested in most precolonial West African cultures in the form of a single person; a community genealogist, historian and storyteller often referred to as a “griot.” Although such figures had different names—and even sometimes slightly different roles—in various societies, the central function of the griot in most West African cultures remained consistent: to provide the genealogy of their community, for the purpose of educating current and future generations about the history of their people. More specifically, griots were considered to be “dynamic and interactive” historians who (unlike the Western conception of an historian) were responsible for linking the past, present and future. As scholar Thomas Hale explains, “the griot as historian emerges as a ‘time-binder,’ a person who links past to present and serves as a witness to events in the present, which he or she may convey to persons in the future.”12 It is these core components of the African oral tradition embodied in the griot—using the power of one’s voice to bear witness to the present, and using the lessons of the past and present to educate future generations—that remain vitally important to the African American freedom struggle, and should therefore play a central role in the field of Africana Studies. Admittedly, there has been significant debate among scholars over the legitimacy of oral history and how oral testimony ought to be incorporated into scholarly writing.13 We argue not only for the legitimacy of oral history, but for the centrality of oral history in Africana Studies. We are not alone in this assertion. Even Aimé Césaire, distinguished leader of the Negritude movement, declared that his role as a scholar and poet was “to be . . . one of those ‘griots’ who link the people to its history.”14 We believe that the evidence speaks for itself. For as the upsurge in recent scholarship on the Black freedom struggle reveals, no one can effectively articulate or grasp the passion, depth or humanity of the African American battle for liberation without hearing the voices of the people themselves.

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Oral History as Methodology Given this reality, it is not surprising that oral history has been paired with African American history from its inception. In fact, the two lead articles of the very first issue of the Oral History Review examined the importance of oral history to African American history.15 In recent years, oral history has become an essential focal point of research on the modern Black freedom struggle. Oral history is a valuable resource for Civil Rights and social movement scholars for two key reasons. First, oral history is often the domain of those who choose to give voice to people who would be mere footnotes in many types of traditional historical documents.16 Because of its documentation of “the folk,” oral history offers rich investigation for researching widespread social movements, which tend to be complex, multilayered and seldom the intellectual property of one individual or group. Secondly, oral history is the domain of recent history, focused on events within people’s memories.17 This fact is especially salient when it comes to the Black Freedom Movement. The Civil Rights struggle has proven to be highly salient in the public memory, and in the United States, the subject is inescapable. Even beyond the gripping drama of the movement itself, racial asymmetry was such an all-encompassing cultural milieu in the nation that, when interviewed, almost all Americans with Southern roots talk about Civil Rights and race relations. To discuss American history is, at least in part, to discuss Civil Rights. The pervasiveness of the topic makes for an incredibly rich pairing of medium and research subject.18 In recent years, the Civil Rights Movement has emerged as a major research focus for American historians and social scientists. In addition, this movement has increasingly become a topic of study for college courses or curriculum segments for high school students. Thus, oral history has been a particularly important tool in documenting the Civil Rights Movement, and oral testimony is central to many of the major works produced about the movement. Perhaps Duke University professor William Chafe put it best when he noted in his groundbreaking history of Greensboro, North Carolina that the story of the Civil Rights Movement “could neither be told nor researched on the basis of written sources alone.” He concludes that “only through extensive use of oral history interviewing, grounded in the written sources, has it been possible to gain even a glimpse of the rich multiracial fabric” that made the movement possible, and without this combining of sources, “there would be no possibility of discovering what happened” during the movement.19 Chafe’s assessment of the role of oral history in documenting the history of the Black freedom struggle is critical to our understanding the historical legacy of the Black Panther Party, a popular, though much maligned, Black Power organization that captured the hearts and minds of millions of Black Americans in the late 1960s.

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The Black Panther Party and the San Francisco 8 The Black Panther Party (BPP), founded in Oakland, California in 1966, by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, emerged to fight against the widespread police brutality and murder of Black people. Also calling for decent housing, Black self-determination, exemption from the military draft, and fair trials, the BPP organized local communities all over the United States and throughout the world. The BPP’s efforts to equalize the social, political and economic interests of all were increasingly viewed as a dangerous challenge to the status quo. As a result, it became the best known and most widely demonized of the Civil Rights/Black Power-era organizations. Labeled in 1968 by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover as “the greatest single threat to the internal security of the Unites States,” the BPP’s legacy nevertheless includes the creation of nationwide free breakfasts for schoolchildren programs, free health clinics, sickle cell anemia research and testing and a plethora of other social services. It is this varied, tragic history that has in the past made studying the organization so difficult; today, however, its members are beginning to speak out about this heretofore hidden history and are making it plain that participating in the struggle for freedom and justice is neither for the faint of heart, nor for those who seek instant, immediate change.20 Though the BPP ceased to exist as an organization by 1982, some of its former members continued to experience harassment, arrest and imprisonment by local, state and federal authorities. Accused of crimes that date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, these former Panthers, having endured the wrath of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), have been subjected to new methods of harassment introduced after the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks. Originally created in 1956 to thwart what the federal government viewed as a growing communist menace, this program eventually evolved into a tool that could be used to intimidate, imprison, harass and assassinate movement activists seeking to alter the status quo. It did so via use of wiretaps, infiltration, frame-ups and outright violence directed toward those who insisted on supporting the move toward social, political and economic change for Blacks.21 Although Congress labeled COINTELPRO unconstitutional and ordered its closure in the early 1970s, the newly enacted U.S.A. Patriot Act engages in many of the same activities once declared illegal.22 The story of what followed this new round of legislation is jolting. In 2005, California and federal authorities brought five men, four whom were former members of the Black Panther Party, before a California State Grand Jury. The authorities wanted to question them about their knowledge of a 1971 San Francisco police killing. Denied the right to legal counsel during the proceedings, John Bowman (now deceased), Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown (now deceased), Hank Jones and Harold Taylor exercised their Fifth Amendment right not to testify. Offers of immunity notwithstanding, the men

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held fast to their decision and were subsequently jailed. They were released on 31 October 2005, once the Grand Jury term expired.23 At approximately 6:30 a.m. on the morning of 23 February 2007, federal agents and local police officials arrested Harold Taylor, Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Richard O’Neal, Hank Jones and Francisco Torres. Two other men, Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim, who had already spent thirty-seven years in New York State prisons and who remained imprisoned at the time, were also arrested. Authorities charged the men with the murder of San Francisco police officer John V. Young. Police officials said the men, in 1971, entered the Ingleside police station and shot Officer John Young to death. The eight, rounded up in coordinated sweeps in Florida, California and New York, spent nearly a year in jail before their lawyers successfully argued the unconstitutionality of their nearly $13 million dollar bail.24 Accused of being members of the Black Liberation Army, a radical group of revolutionaries who targeted police and fought pitched battles with law enforcement throughout the country, these 60- to 70-somethingyear-old men entered the fight of their lives as their lawyers scrambled to organize an adequate defense.25 Even though a San Francisco judge had dismissed identical charges against the men in 1975, authorities saddled several of the arrestees with these same charges again in 2003 and 2005. In 2007, federal and state agents renewed the charges based on what they described as new evidence and rearrested the activists. These arrests created the environment that gave birth to the San Francisco 8, who quickly became known throughout the U.S. and internationally as elders who had participated in the sixties-era freedom struggle.26 Below, Black Panther Harold Taylor, one of the members of the San Francisco 8, tells his story of sacrifice, torture and incarceration. Reliving a train of events that started in 1969 and ended in 1973, Taylor’s harrowing tale exposes an aspect of the Black freedom struggle only obtainable through the method of oral history. Arrested in New Orleans in 1973 along with his associates, Taylor’s odyssey provides a glimpse into the life of one of the few survivors of U.S. government-sanctioned torture, imprisonment and harassment. Without oral testimonies like these, our understanding of the past, and by extension, of how and why things came to be today, would be greatly diminished.

Oral History of Harold Taylor [In September 1971 in Los Angeles], Me and Ray [Boudreaux] and J. B. [John Bowman] were in the car and we were trapped in that car when the police officer came up to the car and told everybody to put their hands up on the seat. We complied . . . Then he stuck his gun in the car and he shot me in my leg . . . I turned my head and threw my leg up to try to get to my gun and he fired and shot me in the top of my thigh. And I come back with my gun to defend myself and I shot him, maybe once or twice, maybe three times. There was something like eight police officers behind us. And the shooting continued for maybe two minutes

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where they fired over 200-something rounds into the car, shooting Ray, shooting J. B., shooting me. [They] shot me in the side of the head. And we were there trying to survive. It was an assassination attempt. And from there we went to the hospital [and then to jail]. And we got bailed out of jail, and we went in different directions, and met up in New Orleans . . . While I was there, that’s when it [the torture] happened. Ruben Scott was arrested for some miscellaneous crime. And when they found out who Ruben was, we were all arrested in New Orleans. And that’s when the torture began. On day one, it was beating and torture. We were taken to the New Orleans City Police Department. We were stripped of all clothes, down to our underwear. I was thrown in a holding cell. Inside that holding cell, there was Ruben Scott . . . He was scared and I can tell he’d been beaten on. I was in there for maybe five minutes and the door opened. Three police officers from New Orleans came and dragged me up by my heels, took me to a chair [and] handcuffed my ankles, my feet to the bottom part of the chair. Without asking me any questions, they commenced to beat me. They beat me, they punched me, they kicked me, they spit on me. They called me a lot of vile names. And then they told me that they was gonna kill me if I didn’t cooperate with them.27 This beating, which included sleep deprivation, the banned waterboarding technique and shock treatment with an electric cattle prod, continued until Taylor told the authorities what they wanted to hear. Despite the beatings, false imprisonment, harassment and physical aggression against activists like Taylor, and despite the payment of millions in damages to a few former activists, no one in authority has been prosecuted or otherwise taken to task for their illegal activities. These tactics do not seem to have been permanently shelved. Even though the Church and McClellan committees eventually outlawed the actions and activities of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations, the past several years have seen a resurgence in similar activity. Now called the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II, which includes the government’s right to issue no-knock warrants, warrantless wiretaps and other surveillance, these activities are eerily familiar to those U.S.-based activists suffered under COINTELPRO.28

The Aftermath In January 2007, some thirty-seven years after his arrest and torture in New Orleans, local, state and federal authorities arrested Taylor again on charges of murder and conspiracy to murder. For two years, he and seven co-defendants endured imprisonment, the loss of their jobs, family break-ups and the loss of their homes. Demonized in the press, they finally overcame these obstacles. In July 2009, Superior Court Judge Philip Moscone dismissed with prejudice all charges on six of the San Francisco 8. The prosecution then struck a deal with Jalil Muntaqim and Herman Bell, allowing them to plead no contest to conspiracy to attempt manslaughter and guilty to manslaughter respectively. As they were already imprisoned, the court gave them both sentences of time served and short stints of probation. It is important to note

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that the prosecution’s claims of new evidence in this case proved untrue. No new evidence ever emerged during any of the discovery hearings, and to date the prosecution has failed to introduce any of the witnesses it insisted it had when the men were arrested in 2007. Indeed, a New York State parole board released Herman Bell after he pled to minor charges associated with the San Francisco 8 case. Bell had spent a total of forty-four years in prison and is now gainfully employed in New York. At time of writing, his co-defendant Jalil Muntaqim is scheduled for a parole hearing in 2019. 29 In hindsight, it is difficult to understand why authorities leveled such baseless charges at the eight and why, in these times of economic crisis, they were willing to spend millions of dollars defending such charges. Perhaps those who claim that the case was meant to help rewrite Civil Rights history and stifle present-day dissent are correct. Scholar Dan Berger addressed this issue when he wrote that “These prosecutions, like all invocations of collective memory, speak more to the political landscape in which they emerge than to the historic one about which they comment. The trials are symbolic rituals organized by and through the state to intervene in the contemporary politics of black citizenship and political mobilization.”30 Whatever the reasons are, the economic hardship, the loss of family and the constant mental strain on the part of those subjected to the whims of law enforcement has succeeded in spreading the terror beyond those who experienced the physical torture.31 One would be hard pressed to find these kinds of intimate and detailed experiences in sources outside of oral testimonies. Because these incidents take place beyond the watchful eyes of newspaper reporters, magazine editors and television hosts, few are aware of the depth to which the establishment went to maintain the status quo or the resourcefulness victims employed to escape their ill treatment. The aggressors generally do not share this kind of information, and most scholars and researchers do not have the time and resources required to build the rapport necessary to uncover what essentially amounts to a complicated maze of repressed thoughts and memories. It is for this reason that oral history is so vital to uncovering and telling the story of African-descended people in the United States. In effect, oral history as a methodology is essential to the field of Black Studies because it provides a window into the past that is authentic. From the voices of those enslaved Africans who lived to tell about the horrors of their bondage and those African American leaders who attended the first White universities, to the Black American icons who invented the music and culture of the jazz age, one can see that the oral tradition has maintained its vitality and importance. Despite arguments to the contrary, this methodology has increased in importance as time has passed. This fact can be clearly seen when looking at the life and times of those Black people who lived and struggled through the tumultuous post-World War II period. This watershed moment in United States and world history reshaped American politics and society in

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ways that are still being felt today. Despite the fact that thousands of African Americans fought and struggled for justice and equality and contributed to changing the status quo, many of their more lasting contributions have gone unnoticed. Oral history helps to correct this omission.

Conclusion While there are numerous books on the Civil Rights Movement, few scholars, using traditional “sources” that help illuminate our past, can capture its essence like Taylor’s words above. Even fewer are able to translate the fears, insecurities and motivations of those who joined and stayed in the movement for any significant amount of time. For example, the following quote from Bea Jenkins, a little-known Mississippi native who grew tired of Black people’s mistreatment, made it clear that joining the movement had been a deliberate act of conscience. She told one interviewer about the impact of the 1955 murder of 15-year-old Emmett Till, that: him and some more boys passed by a White store. And the owner of the store accused [him] of whistling at his wife. And that night, they went in, to take him from his grandparents. And they was screaming and hollering and asking, begging them not to take him. And they just took him by force, and carried him out and [brutally] murdered him. Just every part they could cut off of him, they did that. And I was just so filled up with that and other things that they had been so brutal to our Black people. And when that evening came, I went back to the field. I was picking cotton, and I just fell down on my sack, and I asked the Lord, “Why? Why it have to happen to us all the time? We have to take this brutality. We haven’t did anything. Why?”32

Soon after her reflection in this Mississippi cotton field, Jenkins joined SNCC and later became active in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which succeeded in 1968 in forcing the regular Democratic Party to allow Black participation in state and national political conventions. This participation led eventually to the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president.33 It is clear that students can learn a great deal about life in the mid twentieth century United States by employing the techniques of the oral historian. Not only does engaging in this process help to create new knowledge, but it also aids in community-building by creating relationships between the young and the old and by allowing the elders to pass down stories about organizing strategies, problem-solving, critical thinking, and movement culture. By creating a link between the Black Studies classroom and the oral histories of people from the community, we find that not only can learning be fun, but it can also be a process that facilitates the creation of a better tomorrow. At the very least, it guarantees that one more generation of scholars and laypeople will be exposed to the histories of those people and movements that are often bypassed in many mainstream publications. By looking at what transpired through the eyes of those who lived

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through these times, one can acquire a comprehensive view of what it means to live and struggle in a democracy. The outcome will not only be a more informed citizenry, but a population that understands its role in the making of a system that is responsive to the needs of all citizens. Only by engaging this methodology will we know for sure that people like the Black Panther Party’s John Bowman, who was tortured in New Orleans along with Harold Taylor, acted selflessly. In what turned out to be the last recorded words of his life, Bowman explained, “The organizing that took place . . . was motivated by love of my people . . . and by a desire to serve a greater cause other than myself.”34 As these testimonies reveal, the power of the oral tradition has remained strong within African-descended communities in the Diaspora. Indeed, there can be little doubt about oral history’s function in African American culture as a crucial link in the chain that binds Africans in the Diaspora to both their forebears and their contemporaries on the continent. Most obviously, these activists powerfully assumed the role of “griot” referenced at the outset—they used their own stories to bear witness to their experiences and to use the lessons of the past and present to educate future generations. Thus, they have proven not only that the oral tradition in African and African American history is a vital component in disseminating knowledge and culture, but that this cultural tool can also be used to harness the healing and rehabilitative power of history. This realization has slowly been making inroads in academia. Increasingly seeing the methodology of oral history as an extension of the ancient traditions of Africa, many scholars are coming to see that authenticity can best be found in the perspectives of those whose lived experiences corroborate, complement, complicate and contextualize the more traditional written record. As Africana Studies celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in the academy, we urge our colleagues to embrace oral history as a vital and crucial methodology in the noble endeavor of investigating, articulating and analyzing the history and culture of the African Diaspora.

Notes 1. Amadou Hampâté Bâ, “The Living Tradition,” in General History of Africa: Methodology and African Prehistory, abridged ed., ed. J. Ki-Zerbo (Paris and London: UNESCO, 1990), 62; Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition: A Study in Historical Methodology (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1965), xi. 2. Thomas A. Hale, Griots and Griottes: Masters of Words and Music (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1998), 1. 3. Harold Courlander, A Treasury of African Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Myths, Legends, Epics, Tales, Recollections, Wisdom, Sayings, and Humor of Africa (New York: Crown Publishers, 1975), 3. 4. Bâ, “The Living Tradition,” 166. 5. Jan Vansina, “Oral Tradition and Its Methodology,” in General History of Africa: Methodology and African Prehistory, abridged ed., ed. J. Ki-Zerbo (Paris and London: UNESCO, 1990), 61.

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6. Courlander, A Treasury of African Folklore, 1–2. 7. Vansina, “Oral Tradition and Its Methodology,” 142. 8. Ibid.; Courlander, A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore; Harold Scheub, African Oral Narratives, Proverbs, Riddles, Poetry and Song (Boston: G. K. Hall & Company, 1977); Joseph C. Miller, ed., The African Past Speaks: Essays on Oral Tradition and History (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1980); Robert D. Pelton, The Trickster in West Africa: A Study of Mythic Irony and Sacred Delight (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980); Roger Abrahams, African American Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in the New World (New York: Pantheon, 1999); Daryl Cumber Dance, ed., From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore: An Anthology (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2003); Darryl T. Mallard, African American and African Folklore (New York: AuthorHouse, 2009). 9. Courlander, A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore, 2–7. 10. Geneva Smitherman, Talkin’ and Testifyin’: The Language of Black America (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1977), 73. 11. Ibid. 12. Hale, Griot and Griottes, 23. 13. One example of an insightful volume that illuminates the scholarly debate over the use of oral sources in African history is Bogumil Jewsiewicki and David Newbury, eds., African Historiographies: What History for Which Africa? (Beverly Hills and London: Sage Publications, 1986). 14. Quoted in Hale, Griots and Griottes, 322. 15. See Alex Haley, “Black History, Oral History and Genealogy,” Oral History Review 1 (1973), 1–25; and Courtney Brown, “Oral History and the Oral Tradition of Black America: The Kinte Foundation,” Oral History Review 1 (1973), 26–8. 16. Two excellent examples of the importance of oral history as a methodology are David K. Dunaway and Willa K. Baum, eds., Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, 2nd ed. (New York: Alta Mira Press, 1996) and Paul Thompson, The Voice of the Past: Oral History, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). 17. See Robert Perks and Alistair Thompson, eds., The Oral History Reader (New York: Routledge, 1998) and Valerie Raleigh Yow, Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences (New York: Alta Mira Press, 2005). 18. To see how oral history can be useful in bringing alive the Civil Rights Movement through video, see Constance Curry, producer, The Intolerable Burden, DVD (New York: First Run/Icarus Films, 2003) and Roz Payne, What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Library, DVD (Oakland: AK Press, 2006). 19. William Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina and the Black Struggle for Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), 10; a few Civil Rights studies relying on oral history include Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle, Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael {Kwame Ture} and Arm the Spirit: A Woman’s Journey Underground and Back. 20. Hoover quoted in Holland Kotter, “Art/Architecture; The Black Panthers’ Beauty Moment,” New York Times, 25 May 2003. For a history of the Black Panther Party, see Curtis Austin, Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2006).

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21. See United States Senate, Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Books I–III (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1976), 187. See also chapter 6, “Unjustifiable Homicides,” in Austin, Up Against the Wall. 22. For information regarding the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001, see http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html (accessed 28 February 2010). 23. Dan Berger, “Rescuing Civil Rights from Black Power: Collective Memory and Saving the State in Twenty-First-Century Prosecutions of 1960s-Era Cases,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 3.1 (Spring, 2009), 5–6. See also http://freethesf8. org/ (accessed 23 March 2010). These men were also arrested in 2006 on a DNA warrant, whereby they had bodily fluids and fingerprints taken to be used to prove the prosecution’s allegations. In the final analysis, the DNA evidence proved beyond doubt that none of the men were involved in the crime in which they had been accused. 24. John Koopman, “Hearing in ’71 Cop Killing is Delayed a Month,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9 June 2009; see also Herb Boyd, “Drop Charges Against San Francisco 8,” New York Amsterdam News, 29 November 2007 and “San Francisco 8 Supporters Attend Court Dates, Hold Screenings of ‘Legacy of Torture,’” www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/02/19/18365745.php (accessed 28 February 2010). 25. See Wanda Sabir, “San Francisco 8 Case Takes Critical Turn,” San Francisco Bay View, 3 July 2009. This article can be read at www.sfbayview.com/2009/ san-francisco-8-case-takes-a-critical-turn/ (accessed 28 February 2010). 26. See Boyle, Bob, “The San Francisco 8 and the Legacy of COINTELPRO,” Guild Notes 33.4 (Winter, 2007), 6–7. 27. The earlier part of this dialogue, before the discussion of the arrest in New Orleans, is taken from Harold Taylor, interview by Curtis Austin, 1 August 2009, Panama City, FL. Cassette recording in possession of the author. The remaining can be found in Taylor’s oral testimony in Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement, DVD, directed and produced by Andres Alegria, Claude Marks (San Francisco: Freedom Archives, 2006); United States Congress, House Committee on Internal Security, Hearings on the Black Panther Party, Gun Barrel Politics: The Black Panther Party, 1966–1971, 92nd Cong., 1st sess. (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1971), 117. 28. See http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html (accessed 28 February 2010). 29. “Free the San Francisco 8!” at http://freethesf8.org/ (accessed 28 February 2010). See also http://freedomarchives.org/ (accessed 28 February 2010); Al Baker, “Man Who Killed 2 Officers in ’71 Is Released from Prison,” New York Times, 27 April 2018; Daniel A. Gross, “The Eleventh Parole Hearing of Jalil Abdul Muntaqim,” New Yorker, 25 January 2019. Update: Jalil Muntaqim was released on parole on 7 October 2020 after 49 years in prison. 30. Berger, “Rescuing Civil Rights from Black Power,” 11. 31. Harold Taylor, interview by Curtis Austin, 1 August 2009, Panama City, FL. Cassette recording in possession of the author. The New Orleans Parish Prison, which remains in use today, served as the location where imported Africans were auctioned for sale to slave traders and plantation owners.

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32. Bea Jenkins, quoted in Curtis Austin, Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi (Hattiesburg: University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History, 2000). 33. Ibid. 34. John Bowman, oral testimony in Legacy of Torture.

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11 Africana Studies and Community Service: Using the STRENGTH Model Jeanette R. Davidson and Tim Davidson

Introduction From the very beginning of formal Black Studies,1 there has been a stated commitment to academic excellence, cultural knowledge and social responsibility.2 In a discipline born out of protest, inside and outside of the academy, there has been recognition of the centrality of continued involvement with communities in educating students. Though adherence to this idea has been variable for a number of reasons,3 the notion of students actively engaging in field study, volunteer community service and social action projects in Black communities is heralded in most Africana Studies units. At its best and most expansive, the ideal is still for Black Studies departments and programs to provide expertise and resources to empower Black communities while, in turn, Black communities offer real-life settings for students to apply classroom learning. Through volunteerism, civic engagement or service-learning projects,4 the community functions like a “wall-less classroom”5 where the truths learned in an academic environment are enriched and deepened and value is added to the community.

Serving the Community from a Strengths Perspective Often what unfolds when students engage with community organizations as volunteers or interns can be as brief as a single day for a single event, or may extend to several hours per week, or even an entire semester. As Jones and Muhammad observed,6 a number of Africana Studies departments have established structures to support these kinds of activities for students, at varying levels. Many units, however, have no such set-up and are in need of models to guide students who may be anxious to contribute, but wonder what exactly they bring to the table, and how they might engage in positive ways with people in communities they want to serve, and from whom they want to learn.

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This chapter focuses specifically on how students can conceptualize their service-learning activities with people in schools, organizations and communities, utilizing the STRENGTH model.7 The STRENGTH model fits seamlessly with Africana Studies, because it honors our responsibility to link the classroom and communities, builds on African American strengths and tenacity, recalls tradition and culture and, in the spirit of Sankofa, is situated in the present, looks to the past and imagines a better future.

Applying the STRENGTH Model via Community Initiatives in Africana Studies The STRENGTH model captures eight (8) basic principles of self-help and helping-others that parallel a central thrust of facing and resolving challenges and problems in African and African American life. The basic principles of the model are strength-based and solution-oriented. The model contrasts with many traditional Eurocentric approaches for helping that often begin by pathologizing those being helped. The model also disavows the common practice of helpers setting up inequitable power dynamics when they interact with people dealing with challenges. Rather, the strengths–solutions orientation of this model builds on collaboration. As a tool for students to use in community projects, the STRENGTH model is a conceptual guide for helping others build on their strengths and for crafting everyday solutions. It is not a set of rigid directives or complex psychosocial rules of engagement. As a conceptual guide, the model highlights how to think through ways to be effective helpers, using students’ creative interpretations as they apply the principles. Inherent in the model is the idea that people with whom students are working are confronted with challenges or problems where it would be useful to find partial or incremental solutions. Thinking through possible actions (all the while remaining empathic about the challenges being faced) guides students to be future-oriented and to experiment with possibilities while moving toward solutions. The model assists students to operate in a goal-directed manner, and to be strategic in their planning in collaboration with those individuals, or groups or communities, with whom they are working. The STRENGTH model has been utilized many times to good effect in the classes of the authors with the specific purpose of preparing students for engaging in service-learning activities. In our experience, the model is empowering and motivating to students. They respond well to its application to volunteer and community work, partly because they are not overwhelmed by it, and because they usually find successful experiences in their own lives that echo the principles of the model. They gain confidence and competence by learning how to think through the issues at hand and by understanding they can use the whole model (generally for a lengthy project), can choose to follow it linearly or not, or may simply pick and choose one or more of the eight

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principles pertinent to the given situation. Our discussion here addresses use of the model with Africana Studies undergraduate students with a commitment to engage in service learning, generally for several hours per week in settings such as local schools, after-school programs, churches and local neighborhood community programs. Advantages of this model include that it can be utilized with students of varying levels of experience and can be used in a variety of settings. These are often short-term endeavors where students have selected to be helpers, generally of young people, and have often resulted in students being able to “give back” to their own communities. Most attractive for the students is the fact that this model, presented as an acronym, is easy to remember, assisting them before their volunteer work in classroom discussions; during their interactions as acts of helping unfold; and afterward, through classroom evaluation exercises as they think through what they did in their service activities. The interactions students have with people in the community can be wideranging, spontaneous and often undetermined at the start (particularly at the undergraduate level). Some of the tasks students perform are more physical. They organize and participate in events, work in teams or provide some kind of labor with a group in support of a community, or organizational goals. Other communicative interactions may be more personal as, for example, when students work one-on-one with school-age students as role models and mentors.

An Overview of the STRENGTH Model Cast in the Light of Africana Studies The model’s main themes, operating principles and basic tasks, adapted for community service, are laid out in Table 1. There are numerous examples of strength-based, solution-oriented responses that can serve as inspiration for students. Historical examples of accomplishments of Africans and African Americans serve to remind us of great strengths honed oftentimes in the most difficult of circumstances. Throughout history, people of African descent have succeeded miraculously, often when facing incalculable obstacles. Most have gone unheralded in history textbooks. To make progress, they have often called upon their faith, families, communities, traditions and knowledge passed down from their elders. In doing so, Black change agents have been emboldened and empowered, finding strengths and solutions even when others might think they were attempting the impossible. Think of the “trajectory preview” that must have been in play when African architects, millennia ago, imagined possibilities that led to something so grand, in antiquity, as the construction of the Giza Pyramids (Egypt, c.2551–2490 b.c.e.), or the Nubian Pyramids (ancient Kush kingdom, c.300 b.c.e., located in present-day Sudan); or, the “human capacity development” demonstrated in organizational and mathematical skills needed to build those pyramids.

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Table 1: The STRENGTH Model and Volunteer Service in Black Communities Acronym

Main Theme

General Operating Principle

Basic Task

S

SOLUTION FOCUS

Spend time with people collaborating on small incremental solutions and not solely airing and elaborating problems.

Do something different or differently.

T

TRAJECTORY PREVIEW

Work together to co-create a positive vision for the future and map out preferred possibilities, dreams and hopes.

Picture possibilities and imagine successful outcomes.

R

RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Be actively involved in developing resources that will provide support for the changes being attempted.

Access human support and physical resources.

E

EXCEPTIONS ANALYSIS

Find past exceptions to problems in the midst of troubled times, and discover what circumstances made things a little better then that may help now.

Revive previous solutions—even brief ones that may have been perceived as flukes.

N

NOTICE POSITIVES

Draw attention to abilities and Highlight what focus on some of life’s positives, is good and building on strengths and noticing improving. and measuring when things get better.

G

GOAL SETTING

Set short-term goals first, and then plan ahead for long-term goals that are suited to the unique needs, interests and talents of the people being served.

Implement a plan of action with specific, positive steps.

T

TENACITY REVIEW

Reinforce a view of people that reflects their determination, resilience, coping traits and survivor skills.

Emphasize the tenacity of people when facing challenges and hardships.

H

HUMAN CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

Promote potential by encouraging actions that result in new skills and an internal sense of accomplishment, drawing on personal aspirations, family and group strengths, cultural roots and African/Black heritage.

Encourage personal and communal development and new learning.

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Think of Harriet Tubman (1820 or 1822–1913, United States), a previously enslaved activist and abolitionist. Consider the “trajectory preview,” “resource development” and “goal-setting” required to put her spirit of compassion and her driving sense of freedom into action, as she conducted multiple missions to secure the liberation of many enslaved people, using a network of safe houses and an Underground Railroad. She had big dreams that required step-by-step planning and execution as she pulled together whatever resources were available to achieve her goals. And, think of the “solution-focused” strategy of Oklahoma teacher-activist Clara Luper (1923–2011, United States), who decided in 1958 to do something different, in protest against heinous Jim Crow laws. Her staged sit-ins with children from the NAACP Youth Council resulted in the desegregation of Katz Drug Store lunch counters in Oklahoma and other states. Her solutionfocus was not to be served a delicious meal in those public establishments, but to have a strategy of liberation and a tactic to fight for the human rights of all people to be seated in public eateries, regardless of the color of their skin.

Elaboration of the Eight Principles in the STRENGTH Model A short description of central ideas in each of the principles of the STRENGTH model follows. Along with these descriptions are illustrations based on student projects, discussions, service learning and volunteer community service.8 To elaborate the STRENGTH model’s central ideas, quotes from well-known public figures and intellectuals commenting on Black lived experience will be used. Each quote, attached to one of the eight principles of the STRENGTH model, amplifies a sub-theme of the basic principle being described.

Principle 1: Solution-Focus When being solution-focused, students are advised to listen actively and with respect and empathy for people’s challenges, brought forth in their community projects. The next step is not for them, in the role of helper, to jump in and try to solve these challenges. A solution-focused approach recognizes and values the perspectives and power of the people being served. It also focuses less on problems and vulnerabilities and more on abilities, talents and adaptive skills of the individual, family or community. In response to problems, students can brainstorm with the person or organization they are serving to do something differently that might help, even if the change is a small adjustment. Incremental, quick, self-determined adjustments are often very effective in promoting change. Even when major problems people have (e.g. oppression, poverty, illness, aging) cannot be solved by hands-on helping, collateral accomplishments—seemingly not directly tied to solving the bigger problems—can be very significant in improving a person’s quality of life, despite the persistence of the original, likely systemic problem.

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In solution-focused work, the personal efforts of the people being served need to be endorsed, and students need to be collaborators. Illustration 1: Mrs. Johnson was a recently widowed woman, seventy-seven years of age. Lost in grief after the passing of her husband of fifty-seven years, she could barely eat or drink and had ceased to communicate much with others, even her supportive family members and friends. Working under the auspices of a local Black church, Latasha, the service-learning student, engaged with Mrs. Johnson and, hearing of her wish “to feel useful again,” talked with her about how they might accomplish that together. Their plan ended up being twofold. First they started baking together (the church provided the ingredients), keeping some of the cookies for Mrs. Johnson to share with visitors, and sharing the rest with the after-church Sunday lunch social. Additionally, as they got to know each other, the student recorded an oral history about Mrs. Johnson’s life, for a class project, including what it was like to go to segregated schools in the South, and how her family was involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Mrs. Johnson liked the idea of her story, and her late husband’s, being relayed to the student’s classmates, and was proud that these narratives eventually served as the beginning of a larger project of legacy of the elders from the church. These activities constituted the first steps of Mrs. Johnson’s return to a more involved social life with her friends and family and made a meaningful contribution to the history of the community. Marcus Garvey identified self-efficacy as a key element of forging solutions: “Action, self-reliance, the vision of self and the future, have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realized the light of their own freedom.”9 Mrs. Johnson slowly eased into taking charge of her “new” normal life by doing something differently. She still grieved, but began to aim for incremental change.

Principle 2:Trajectory Preview In a trajectory preview, students encourage the person with whom they are working to imagine possibilities. A visualization of “what could be” can be liberating. People facing problems have dreams and hopes, but their aspirations can become suppressed, or latent, in the midst of difficult conditions. If students can start conversations that help people picture a future when a particular challenge is (1) managed differently, (2) diminished, or (3) eradicated, it often will stir and reinforce that person’s resolve and set the stage for action. Students can reinforce this creative process by discussing benefits that will accrue when dreams are pursued. In best-case scenarios, the helpees will begin to do some things they have wanted to do, or never thought they could do. The vision that emerges after previewing future possibilities can then be linked to explicit steps the person might take that will lead to desired outcomes (see goal-setting, below.)

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Illustration 2: Two students returned to their former middle school in a predominantly African American neighborhood in the north-east area of the city. They were remembered by the school principal as two of the young women who had made it to college, and she was anxious to have them serve as role models and mentors to the sixth-grade girls. She recognized some of the girls in the class wore a facade of toughness and indifference to their studies. The service-learning students, Ima and Demetria, recognized themselves in the sixth graders they sought to work with. They remembered how remote college had seemed and how overwhelming the whole process was for them as prospective “first-generation” students. Coordinating with the principal and the school counselor, they designed a series of educational modules focusing on preparation for college, detailing the classes to take throughout each of the high school years, discussing processes of college applications, applying for scholarships and signing up for campus visits. All of this information was charted by the middle school girls on elaborate “Dream-boards,” complete with pictures, images and words capturing the essence of their aspirations for their journey forward. This activity opened dialogue about what preparation was necessary at each stage, for students to see college attendance as a real possibility. Malcolm X set the tone for Demetria and Ima’s work when he said: “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today.”10 Langston Hughes spoke of the essence of any trajectory preview as hopes and dreams: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”11 In Billie Holiday’s song “Crazy He Calls Me,” she captured something profound in the dynamic between hopes and overwhelming odds in the lyric “The difficult I’ll do right now / The impossible will take a little while.”12 As these ancestors knew, and as stated by Cornel West in reference to his fight for social justice, it takes courage to imagine possibilities: “In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, hoping to land on something . . . Our courage rests on a deep democratic vision of a world that lures us and a blood-drenched hope that sustains us.”13

Principle 3: Resource Development Resource development is an uphill battle for most agencies and community services even when there are funding sources and workers who are fully employed to pursue those resources. Nonetheless, accessing resources is a worthwhile effort for students to join, even when it is attempted on a smaller, time-restrained basis. Both human support systems (e.g. family members, professional networks, cultural groups, social clubs, play schemes) and physical resources (e.g. breakfast programs for schoolchildren, job advertisements, books, donated clothing, college application forms, services for the elderly) can be of great assistance when people are coping with life’s challenges. The “fresh eyes” of student volunteers often find and develop resources that may have been overlooked or not tried before.

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Illustration 3: Ama, a senior in an African American Studies program, returned to her home town, for the summer, to engage in a service-learning project. Her neighborhood, a once thriving hub of activity for a proud African American community, was now seemingly bereft of many of its previous resources. Of most concern to Ama was that her old neighborhood could now be described as a food desert, with no grocery stores selling fresh vegetables anywhere close. A few of the usual fast-food places to eat were available and were the easiest solution for adults trying to manage busy lives with children, their homes and jobs. In collaboration with some of the stalwarts of the community, Ama initiated a community garden, utilizing a previously unused, neglected allotment of land close to one of the housing areas that was most in need. Engaging teenagers, and even young children from local schools and churches, and a number of parents and grandparents, Ama’s project utilized these previously unused resources for the production of a variety of fresh vegetables. Along the way she brought together an intergenerational group of people from the community who also collaborated with her on community educational programs about diet and healthy living. Opportunities in life are generally tied to available, accessible resources. As Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”14 Ama discovered, in her outreach to people who were impacted by systemic neglect by the city, what Nelson Mandela found during his twenty-seven-year-long incarceration in Robben Island with other revolutionaries: by mobilizing and sharing resources they “gained strength from each other” and “multiplied whatever courage [they] had individually.”15

Principle 4: Exceptions Analysis With the STRENGTH model, the focus is usually on what is happening in the here and now, or what could happen positively in the future. With an exceptions analysis, however, the temporal focus is mostly on the past. The challenge is to discover some exception to a past problem and reintroduce elements of that past solution into the person’s current life circumstances. This allows students to help someone focus on a time when perhaps the problems being encountered were managed differently or were not seen as so definitive of life itself. Another focus of an exceptions analysis is to come as close as possible to duplicating a past success in present circumstances: e.g., a champion sprinter in her youth taps into the same training mentality when recovering from hip surgery and learning to use a walker as an elder. Here a glimmer of past strength is revived. When problems feel like they are constant, as always, unrelentingly there, finding an exception to the situation can be very encouraging and a relief from being overwhelmed.

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Illustration 4: LeRoy was a strong academic student and award-winning member of the debate team for the university. He could well remember, however, his early school experiences and how often students who looked like him were seen as problematic and without much potential. Returning to his local elementary school for service-learning activities, he was assigned to mentor one particular child, Jamal, who was identified as “at risk.” Jamal was failing in school and was looking like he would not be promoted to the fifth grade at the end of the school year. After spending time together, LeRoy found that Jamal had loved school when he was in the third grade. These were the days when he was not seen as a “bad” kid. His favorite teacher had been Mrs. Williams. Inquiring as to the reasons behind this time of success in school (i.e. the exception), LeRoy learned that Mrs. Williams had appreciated and encouraged Jamal’s skills in art and in music. LeRoy subsequently worked with Jamal’s mom and the fourth-grade teacher to arrange for Jamal to have a place in an after-school community art program. Building on these skills changed Jamal’s perception of himself, revived a positive perception of the teachers about him, and precipitated all-round improvement, over time, in Jamal’s scholastic abilities. An underlying theme in an exceptions analysis can be traced to ancient wisdom in many cultures and in Africana Studies: Malcolm X is often referenced with the idea that “stumbling is not falling,”16 that there is a seed of success in every perceived failure, that a stumble might propel you forward, and that it is better to try over and over again when facing major challenges. A solution, in fact, may be nestled in the problem, as Wilma Rudolph put it: “The triumph can’t be had without the struggle.”17 Jamal’s current fourth-grade struggles did not make future academic accomplishments impossible. James Baldwin advised also that, when reminiscing about either recent or remote struggles, a person can literally become so submerged in the problem that they become dysfunctional: “To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it.”18 Yet another inspirational note comes from Nikki Giovanni, in her depiction of defying limitations and surpassing expectations by building on exceptions to problems: If we can’t drive, we will invent walks and the world will envy the dexterity of our feet. If we can’t have ham, we will boil chitterlings; if we are given rotten peaches, we will make cobblers; if given scraps, we will make quilts; take away our drums, and we will clap our hands. We prove the human spirit will prevail.”19

Principle 5: Notice Positives Noticing positives is one of the best communicative modes that students can bring to community service. Essentially, when noticing positives, students should collaborate with the people they are serving to identify “what is good” in their lives and, as changes are made, “what is getting better.”

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These positive notes need to be sounded sensitively, without disregarding the pain, difficult circumstances and struggle that many people endure. In our experience, African American students often recall systematic negation of their talents when they, as children, navigated the public school system, and so they are especially motivated to work with students who need encouragement and affirmation. In this way they can “give back” to students with whom they identify, and whose abilities they want to nurture. Illustration 5: Eugene was a member of one of the most successful college football teams in the country and well on his way to a future in the National Football League. He too had been seen as having little potential at one time, but was fortunate in having adults who believed in him. His celebrity in the local community went a long way with the children he visited at a school in the most racially segregated, economically challenged area of the city. In a one-day visit to the school, he was able to encourage a number of children by listening to them and noticing positives in them. One young boy, self-conscious about his large size among his peers, suddenly had his self-concept reframed publicly when Eugene engaged him in the discussion by recognizing his physique with a personal identification: “I was just like you when I was your age.” Other positives—such as with the children whose drawings and greetings posters were admired for their artistry, or the child who had misbehaved being given a second chance and recognized and praised for his changed behavior—had a reinforcing impact on the entire class. One of the world’s greatest athletes, Jesse Owens, who dispelled Hitler’s propaganda on White supremacy during his record-breaking performances in the 1936 Olympic Games, knew the lessons of practicing positive mindfulness in the midst of negativity: “Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.”20 Nelson Mandela, years after his prolonged incarceration, noted the importance of choosing optimism over despair: Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.21

In Eugene’s visit with the admiring children, he addressed difficult topics in answers to some of their questions. He did not pretend difficulties would disappear, but kept a constructive, positive focus on the children and their work.

Principle 6: Goal-Setting Goal-setting, always prominent in helping strategies, needs to be in alignment with the overall mission of the people or organization being served. Further, it should always be a joint enterprise and viewed as important and achievable by the people setting the goals.

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People and communities being helped to set goals have a right to self-determination. In other words, when students function as outside change agents, they should not overstep their supportive, encouraging role and should not assume an authoritative stance. If, however, the opportunity for goal-setting arises, students can distinguish between short-term and long-term goals. One key to successful goal-setting is to encourage people to link their unique strengths and abilities with the specific, realistic goals they select. For example, a teenager with team-building skills on her basketball team can apply those same skills to creating group cohesion in a class homework project. Small and specific goals are very desirable in student community service. They can be achieved in a reasonable time frame and can be motivational if quick success is achieved. Illustration 6: Tiffany, a student leader on a university campus, utilized the STRENGTH model in her activism project with the Black Student Caucus, following a racist incident that hit the national news headlines. The shortterm goals, following the incident, were characterized by demands that student voices be heard immediately and in an influential way. She worked with the Caucus in advocating for items such as (a) revising the student code on hate speech on campus, following the idea that free speech should be freedom from oppression, not freedom to oppress; (b) organizing student protests to call for an increase in the number of Black faculty working at the university by the next fiscal year; (c) leveraging the administration’s need for positive media by calling for Black Student Caucus members’ inclusion on various committees that were to shape new, corrective university policies. Longer term goals were (a) to change the all-White, mostly male administrative hierarchy and (b) to transform the racist, anti-Black culture of the university through studentinvolved strategic planning and ongoing evaluation of outcomes. Referred to as the first female Black entrepreneur millionaire in the United States, Madam C. J. Walker stressed the importance of a “get started” mentality when setting personal goals: I got my start by giving myself a start . . . I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. I was promoted from there to the washtub. Then I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I know how to grow hair as well as I know how to grow cotton. I have built my own factory on my own ground.22

As Madam Walker suggested, and Tiffany discovered in her campus activism, goal-setting usually unfolds incrementally, whether the goals are short or long term. The idea of “well-formed goals”23 entails a delicate balance between commitment to the hard work of effort and the enjoyment of feeling more accomplished or purposeful. Jesse Jackson encapsulated the labor part in his comment, “Both tears and sweat are wet and salty. Tears will get you sympathy, sweat will

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get you change;”24 and Benjamin Mays summed up the element of self-fulfillment when he said: “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”25

Principle 7:Tenacity Review A tenacity review draws attention, briefly, to difficult times in a person’s or organization’s or community’s past, but with a very important provision: the review accentuates the strengths, determination and coping skills people have used to carry on, despite the toil and trouble. When people face persistent problems, even when enduring them, it is not unusual for the problems themselves to fuse with the core identity (e.g. a third grader who cannot read is considered to be “a lost cause” instead of someone’s beloved son; or a community in economic decline is regarded as a “ghetto” instead of people’s homes). In contrast, seeing someone, or a community or an organization, as resilient albeit with a problem is dramatically different than seeing them only as a problem per se. The key to a tenacity review is to redefine the past, with emphases on positive survival instincts. There is no need to pretend problems do not exist or sugar-coat past struggles. Value comes from a positive identification of who the people really are—but with an important caveat that problems are treated as separate and distinct from their core identities.26 As people recall incidents when they have been tough enough to cope, despite the hardships of the past, it helps them brave the future.27 Students can help by becoming good listeners after prompting the people they are serving to talk about times when they overcame obstacles and weathered the storms of life. Once told, negative narratives of the past can be reframed as positive narratives of surviving (maybe even thriving). When people review their coping skills and identify with a spirit of resilience, it tends to fuel a healthier view of the self in the present. Illustration 7: David returned to his home town to engage in service learning with youth in a drug treatment facility. Along with other volunteers he was tasked to find locals from the community who could be credible role models for the teens. This was no easy task with young men who, though now engaged in recovery, had spent years on the harsh inner-city streets. One day David saw someone he remembered from his high school days—Jazzy, formerly identified as a drug dealer, who had lived across from his grandmother’s house. Jazzy had been in recovery now for ten years. His path had been bumpy. He’d had relapses and it had been difficult to shed his old reputation. When asked to get involved with the program, Jazzy was unsure that he could help. David, however, was convinced Jazzy was perfect for the task at hand, so they worked together. David facilitated group discussions with the teens that highlighted Jazzy’s determination and toughness during his recovery. He could not be defined simply as a “drug pusher.” He had a job, an apartment, and had not been in trouble for

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over a decade. He was someone whom the youth in the program could respect and believe in. He had come through the very struggle with which they were trying to cope. Being of African descent in the United States has always called for core inner strength. David saw in Jazzy a ruggedness that sometimes shows up when enduring oppression, and then he saw further into his abilities, valor, tenacity and potential for being a role model and mentor. Mary McLeod Bethune wisely said, “Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.”28 When doing a tenacity review, students should look for the strengths that emerged from hard times, and count on the individual’s determined, resilient mindset as a valuable asset.

Principle 8: Human Capacity Development In the STRENGTH model, “human capacity development” has two major components relating to potential—one is an internal process of seeing oneself as having the capacity to grow, develop and change, and the other is an external manifestation of that capacity through actual accomplishments, and through learning, practicing and honing skills. Confidence develops by seeing potential and demonstrating it, and stretches from the first effort to the highest levels of development, like Serena Williams from her first practice session all the way to being the greatest-of-all-time tennis player. The central thrust of the STRENGTH model’s human capacity development is to help people not only identify but also tap into their potential, whatever the immediate challenge might be. Getting people to tell positive stories about their lives is one way to activate potential. In addition, within the larger social microcosm, an individual’s personal sense of potential can broaden as the strengths of families, organizations and communities are recognized. In African and African American communities, for example, the environmental setting, traditions, other admirable people within the community and cultural grounding are all deep sources from which to draw pride and inspiration. Then, ideally, individual and collective strengths can be put in motion. Once a subjective and communal sense of potential is triggered, a fuller sense of human capacity is reached by doing something to exercise that capacity. Illustration 8: Wale was an international student from Nigeria, studying Black Studies and Engineering. On Sundays he attended a large African church in the heart of the city. Most of the congregants were professional couples, from countries in West Africa, who had immigrated to the state; their children, who were mostly born in the United States; and international students attending local universities. Wale often heard parents in the group express regret about not having enough time to teach their children about the history, traditions and culture of their homeland. They worked long hours to support their immediate families

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and often supported parents and siblings back home. They were delighted when Wale offered to teach the children, each week after Sunday school, about important cultural mores: the significance of names; clothing; African traditions and values; and important stories and history. This allowed the children, who were often disparaged at school for being African, and having African names, to learn about, value and take pride in their rich heritage and identity—and to prepare better for their visits to their grandparents and cousins “back home” in the summer. The parents, and Wale, were greatly encouraged as they saw the children grow in understanding about their respective countries of origin, and feel good about their African identity. Helping someone find confidence after they have felt put down, or diminished, is never easy, but always rewarding. For Michelle Obama, just like with Wale’s students, confidence was connected with a sense of self-worth: “Confidence . . . sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself many times now, through many climbs. Am I good enough? Yes I am.”29 Desmond Tutu might describe Wale’s work with the first-generation African/African American schoolchildren as ubantu: those times in which “we are bound together by bonds of a caring community”— times of fulfilling potential, experienced as peak experiences, when “we experience fleetingly that we are made for community, for family, that we are a network of interdependence.”30 Angela Davis has noted, her own human capacity development as she reflected on her Civil Rights initiatives in the face of great adversity: “I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement.”31 Student volunteerism and civic engagement and service learning have this same component of giving back to the community and receiving something valuable from it.

Conclusion The STRENGTH model can be applied broadly in community service as students fulfill their own social responsibility through volunteerism, civic engagement, internships and service-learning projects. The history of resilience and ascending, and the inspiring words that capture the striving–surviving–thriving dynamic of the Black community, resonate within the model. Students working in the community find strengths in those with whom they work, and facilitate building on these various strengths on the way to solutions. In doing so, they generally also find their own strengths.

Notes 1. The authors use Black Studies and Africana Studies interchangeably in this chapter.

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2. Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies, 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2002), 30–1. 3. Charles Jones and Nafeesa Muhammad, “Town and Gown: Reaffirming Social Responsibility in Africana Studies,” in African American Studies, ed. J. R. Davidson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010), 55–75. 4. The authors use all of these terms to include the different kinds of activities that students may engage in related to their courses and coursework in Africana Studies. 5. Vicki L. Reitenauer, “Becoming Community: Moving from I to We,” in Learning Through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning Across the Disciplines (Sterling, VA: Stylus, 2005), 33–42. 6. Jones and Muhammad, “Town and Gown,” 55–75. 7. Tim Davidson, “STRENGTH: A System of Integration of Solution-Oriented and Strength-Based Principles,” Journal of Mental Health Counseling 1.36 (January, 2014), 1–17. 8. These illustrations offer composite examples and pseudonyms. 9. Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, ed. A. Jacques Garvey (New York: Universal Publishing House, 1923). 10. Malcolm X’s speech at the founding rally of the organization of Afro-American unity [transcript], www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-africanamerican-history/1964-malcolm-x-s-speech-founding-rally-organization-afroamerican-unity/ (accessed 27 March 2019). 11. Langston Hughes, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems (New York: Random House, 1960). 12. Lyrics to Billie Holiday’s song, “Crazy He Calls Me,” www.metrolyrics.com/ crazy-he-calls-me-lyrics-billie-holiday.html (accessed 3 April 2019). 13. Cornel West, Restoring Hope: Conversations on the Future of Black America, ed. Kevin Shawn Sealy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997). 14. Martin Luther King Jr. [31 March 1968], “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” [transcript], https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/publications/ knock-midnight-inspiration-great-sermons-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr-10 (accessed 17 March 2019). 15. Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1995). 16. The quote is generally attributed to Malcolm X, but is ancient wisdom that recurs in several historical contexts. See https://pamalcolm.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/ stumbling-is-not-falling/ (accessed 20 April 2019). 17. Cited by M. R. Keenan, “Wilma Rudolph,” Chicago Tribune, 8 January 1989, www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1989-01-08-8902230553-story.html (accessed 20 April 2019). 18. James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (New York: Vintage Books, 1963), 103. 19. Nikki Giovanni, Racism 101 (New York: William Morrow, 1994), 154–5. 20. Cited by Tony Gentry, Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete, www.jesseowens.com/ quotes/ (accessed 23 April 2019). 21. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 391. 22. Henry Louis Gates, “Madam C. J. Walker: Her Crusade. A Black Woman’s HairCare Empire Set a Style and Smashed Barriers,” Time, 7 December 1998, http:// content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,989788-1,00.html (accessed 5 April 2019).

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23. Peter DeJong and S. D. Miller, “How to Interview for Client Strengths,” Social Work 40 (1995), 729–36. 24. “Learning to Excel in School. Jesse Jackson Tells Black Teens: ‘Nobody Can Save Us but Us,’” Time 112.2 (10 July 1978), 45. 25. Elijah Mays, Quotable Quotes of Benjamin E. Mays (Springfield, MA: Vantage Press, 1983). 26. T. Ozeki, “‘Problems’ as Resources: A Practical Guide to Addressing Clients’ Descriptions of Their Problems in Solution-Focused Therapy,” Journal of Systematic Therapies 21 (2002), 35–47. 27. Peter De Jong and Insoo Kim Berg, Interviewing for Solutions, 3rd ed. (Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2002/2008). 28. Mary McLeod Bethune, http://marybethuneacademy.org/our-history/ (accessed 21 May 2020). 29. Michelle Obama, Becoming (New York: Crown, 2018). 30. Desmond Tutu, Believe (Boulder: Blue Mountain Arts, 2007), 3. 31. Interview with Angela Davis, conducted Spring 1987: “The Two Nations of Black America,” PBS On-line in Frontline of WGBH Educational Foundation, https:// www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/race/interviews/davis.html (accessed 29 April 2019).

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12 Africana Studies and Civic Engagement Kevin L. Brooks

Commitment to Community Involvement in Africana/Black Studies At the 39th National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) Annual Conference in Los Angeles, several past NCBS presidents praised the wide range of disciplinary topics, intellectual and cultural histories, as well as new and developing fields within the growing body of Africana/Black Studies scholarship. This is a common theme, due to the remarkable growth of the discipline over recent decades. However, they also talked about the paucity of civic engagement projects in Africana/Black Studies scholarship, and encouraged conference attendees to be more active with engaging local communities at every step of the research process and academic and intellectual enterprise.1 The purpose of this chapter is to contribute to the scholarship on Africana/ Black Studies and civic engagement. The chapter emphasizes the critical need to connect scholarship with community-based, hands-on action strategies, programs and initiatives that enhance the positive development and transformation of Black lives and communities, while also eliminating barriers. The practice of shaping the relationship between theory and practice is paramount in articulating the roles that academic, intellectual and cultural development play in reinforcing and supporting the application of knowledge to lived experiences of Black people. This chapter offers an example of a community-based, Africana/ Black Studies civic engagement program where students design, develop, facilitate and evaluate civic education practices in the arts and humanities. NCBS is the premier organization in the discipline of Africana/Black Studies and, as such, has guided the development of various theories and methodologies to examine the social and cultural transformation of Africana/Black people and communities. The organization is committed to fostering the holistic, cultural and intellectual development of Africana/Black Studies scholars with an emphasis on student development, always with the goal of cultivating academic excellence and social responsibility.

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The commitment to the practice of mentoring and coaching Africana/Black Studies students is consistent with the origins and developments of the Civil Rights era, from the 1950s–70s, where students played a critical role in organizing and implementing action strategies to disrupt and counter widespread racism, poverty and social inequities in society. This included youth participation in the nonviolent tactics in the 1950s, the sit-ins of the 1960s and the activism in the late 1960s demanding the creation of Africana/Black Studies programs and departments on college campuses. In these latter years, students called for Africana/Black Studies faculty to teach courses and coordinate community-based programs and initiatives to uplift and advance Africana/Black communities, with the goal of expanding the teaching and learning process beyond traditional classroom instructional practices. There are a number of examples in history of Black community-based educational programs created by Black religious, cultural and revolutionary organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s citizenship schools, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committees’ Freedom Schools, the Nation of Islam’s Mohammed Schools, the US Organization’s cultural reeducation schools, and the Black Panther Party’s community survival programs. These cultural, social and political education programs laid the groundwork for developing Africana/Black Studies programs and departments on college and university campuses throughout the United States.

The Mission of Civic Engagement in Africana/Black Studies Programs Civic engagement is essential to the mission and vision of Africana/Black Studies. In the more than fifty-year history of the discipline, Africana/Black Studies scholars have collaborated with campus and community leaders to provide opportunities for students to engage and strengthen communities to address specific needs and issues, as well as to solve complex problems.2 The aim for this collective action is to promote academic excellence and social responsibility, with a cultural grounding for the students. This aim is carried out by facilitating the development of Africana/Black Studies theories and methodologies designed to improve the identity and holistic well-being of Africana/Black people and communities. In the most expansive examples, the collective action encouraged by Africana/Black Studies programs embodies inclusive and equitable approaches for members of diverse, global communities to form alliances and work in solidarity to achieve transformative social change that supports and advances the best of human progress. Civic engagement is the practice of carrying out duties associated with ensuring people’s rights (human, civil, communal, municipal, legal and political) and responsibilities as citizens. Students, faculty, community leaders and service providers may become active collaborators in the Black community and beyond. One role of higher education is to help students become more

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civically engaged as citizens in society via various civic learning and intentional action strategies that assist with making the world a better place, while working together to advance humanity. The purpose of civic engagement is to signal a call for practicing a more democratic process in how students engage with one another in the classroom and community. When it comes to teaching and learning, students are instructed to go outside the four walls of the classroom into communities, and to participate in the mission of different community organizations in order to strengthen the relationship with the campus, and bring resources to historically underserved populations. Alternatively, people from the community are invited onto the campus. Either way, there can be a viable collective exchange. Africana/Black Studies students may be involved in a variety of communitybased programs in service learning, volunteering or civic engagement activities. Though these activities all engage the community, they are not always synonymous, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Typically, service learning is connected to a designed syllabus with particular course objectives. Volunteering is often less academically structured, and may involve students providing services without required classroom assignments. However, the term “civic engagement” is fluid and flexible, and service learning, volunteering and civic engagement tend to overlap and intersect. When students are involved in civic engagement activities, they are expected to get to know the people they are working with in the community, and to make a difference in their lives. Students are also tasked with embracing the knowledge that community partners bring to the collaboration, as well as to share and exchange information and ideas from the knowledge community of the academic institution. At its heart, then, civic engagement requires students (and faculty) getting to know people in the community, establishing positive, genuine relationships with them so they may understand what they are experiencing, and learning what their challenges are so they can work together, hopefully to remove barriers they are facing. Similarly, this interchange of knowledge may occur in service-learning activities and volunteering by students in communities. Two broad goals of civic engagement in higher education include (1) uplifting and empowering oppressed communities and (2) fostering diversity, equity and inclusion while eradicating stereotypes, misunderstandings and false notions and beliefs, all in order to achieve transformative social change. Civic engagement also involves accepting the responsibilities associated with accessing resources and opportunities within the community and larger social, political and economic systems. In underserved communities, resources and opportunities (some of which have previously been denied to African American communities and other communities of color) are necessary to maximize the potential of community members. Students may assist community members’ access and take advantage of those resources and opportunities. It is important for students to seek collaborations that are reciprocal and generative or co-generative,

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and to develop partnerships that embrace the collective knowledge, histories and backgrounds, in settings that are free of intimidation, discrimination or humiliation.

Africana Theory and Method The first step in any Africana/Black Studies project is positioning research inquiries and creative activities in the experiences of people of African heritage, and employing African-centered approaches. The objective is to identify Africana/ Black Studies theories and methodologies that might be useful to address or solve issues or needs in the Africana/Black community. Furthermore, a goal is to work toward strengthening the personal and group identity development of Africana/Black people and the holistic wellness of Africana/Black communities. The collaborative spirit of civic engagement is an ideal means of implementing a prominent Afrocentric theme of collectivism, which underscores that every individual in the community matters.

The Key Theoretical Constructs of African-Centered Womanism One useful approach, when considering the improvement of overall health and wellness of Africana/Black people and communities, is African-centered womanism. This is useful for a number of reasons, including that it places Africana/ Black women’s experiences and community needs at the center of analysis. It also highlights the contributions that Africana/Black women make in society, and advances Africana/Black families, communities and culture. It uses autobiography, biography and personal narratives as methods to develop connection and deepen emotional bonds to transform relationships with people in community. African-centered womanism is a categorization inclusive of the various approaches to womanist intellectual and cultural discourse that are birthed from African culture, history and tradition. In spring 2012, The Western Journal of Black Studies devoted a special issue to explore this exchange of ideas comprehensively.3 Africana womanism, womanism, the practice of Africana optimal living and the practice of passing down cultural legacies are related frameworks under this umbrella term.

Africana Womanism In Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves,4 Clenora Hudson-Weems defines Africana womanism as a theoretical, family-centered and community-oriented approach to self-name and self-define an established unifying African cultural identity. “Africana womanism is an ideology created and designed for all women of African descent. It is grounded in African culture, and therefore, it necessarily focuses on the unique experiences, struggles, needs, and desires of Africana women.”5 This cultural self-awareness and personal reclamation leads to a

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heightened sense of identity and well-being, and fosters healthy relationships with like-minded individuals for the collective struggle, to resist assimilation, and eradicate oppression, in order to bring about balance and harmony in our communities. Central to this individual and organized effort is the critical need to journey through the transformative cultural process of self-creation, self-discovery and self-affirmation. “Africana womanism by its very definition is African-centered, placing Africa at the center of this analysis as it relates to Africana women. Even in the naming, Africa is at the center for in African cosmology, nommo is the proper naming of a thing which calls it into existence.”6 Africana womanism is an African-centered paradigm developed for creating theoretical, methodological and cosmological approaches for the advancement of Africana/Black people and communities, as well as all of humanity.

Womanism Whereas Africana womanism represents an ideology focusing on the experiences of Africana/Black people and communities that is deep-rooted in African intellectual and cultural traditions and contexts, womanism,7 as a theory and methodology, is designed to bring about transformative social change and eliminate every oppressive structure through the practice of solidarity, alliance-building and deep connection among Black women and other women of color. In In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose, Alice Walker defines the term “womanism” and indicates that it originates from the term “womanish.” According to Dorothy Tsuruta, womanish and therefore womanism is “culturally-derived and African-centered.” She continues that both terms “must be preserved and constantly developed as valuable ways of Black women thinking, asserting themselves, and living in the world.”8 Furthermore, Tsuruta emphasizes that Walker’s coining of the term womanist developed from womanish, which illustrates qualities that have not been assigned to Black girls and Black women historically in the mainstream. Tsuruta asserts that womanish “describes Black girls who evince characteristics of wit, will, grit, smarts, empathy, curiosity, thoughtfulness, loyalty, risk-taking, trustworthiness, active not passive, pensiveness, and stubbornness as necessary to remain strong against attempts to undermine her intelligence or kill her spirit.”9 Thus, womanish and womanism demonstrate the bravery and courageousness that Black girls and Black women exhibit in the face of widespread racism and oppression. In The Womanist Reader,10 Layli Phillips provides a description of the womanist perspective, which emerged from the Black cultural tradition and is used to connect the lived experiences and realities of women of color: Womanism is a social change perspective rooted in Black women’s and other women of color’s everyday experiences and everyday methods of problem solving in everyday spaces, extended to the problem of ending all forms of oppression for all people, restoring the balance between people and the environment/nature, and reconciling human life with the spiritual dimension.11

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The Practice of Africana Optimal Living With enhanced individual and group identity development as a goal, the process of achieving optimal well-being is predicated on being intentional about defining reality and choosing to live a peaceful and healthy lifestyle guided in cultural continuity. Linda James Myers describes the optimal concept and its connection to African culture in Understanding an African World View: Introduction to an Optimal Psychology.12 The optimal conceptual system is the legacy of our ancestors, who built a system of education based on the belief that all peoples are called through a process of deification to the attainment of everlasting peace and happiness.13

The cultural teachings, passed down from the ancestors, emphasize the importance of focusing on a greater self-awareness and self-knowledge to achieve holistic well-being. In addition, a deep-structured Afrocentric consciousness, passed down from generation to generation, shapes the cultural norms and practices of a people to live an optimal existence through informed decision-making and coordinated action. Myers describes her book’s purpose as being to “provide a synthesis of thought and opportunity (for maximizing positivity of experience and opportunity), so that we may make more informed conscious decisions about the construction of reality.”14 She explains that reality is created and manifests in experience, and therefore needs to be engrained in cultural heritage and nurtured in ways akin to how mothers pass on tradition from one generation to the next.

The Practice of Passing Down Cultural Legacies Approaches for passing down cultural legacies include autobiography, personal narratives and spiritual engagement. These intellectual and cultural forms of empirical knowledge, produced through lived experience, provide the architecture for a purposeful expressive and transcendent existence. Christel Temple explains, in The Cosmology of Afrocentric Womanism,15 that metaphysical interrelationships function as a liberatory practice leading to a greater sense of well-being. The interest in and emphasis on the cognitive evidence of Africana women’s conceptual life-promoting activity and consciousness is based on reading Africana autobiography in order to identify a pattern of women’s approaches—as mothers/mother-figures, leaders, and pioneers—to sustaining not only nuclear and extended structures of family and local community, but also to anticipating timeless, ancestral, and broad cultural (e.g. Pan-African) roles of spiritual mothering and foremothering.16

These life-enhancing and consciousness-raising activities are spiritual pathways to multidimensional approaches of knowing and being. Some of these

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activities, outlined in Layli Maparyan’s The Womanist Idea,17 include selfcare, dialogue, hospitality, harmonization and mutual aid, which facilitates the social change process described as spiritual activism. The author notes, “Spiritual activism is social or ecological transformational activity rooted in a spiritual belief system or set of spiritual practices.”18 Spirituality exists in the activation of one’s faith, ethical system, energy coordination or consciousness for the collective good of humanity. It is this understanding of African-centered paradigms that exemplifies the human need for connection, belongingness and creative self-expression.

Africana Course Development to Promote Civic Engagement At Michigan State University (MSU), two civic engagement courses on health and wellness were created to address two of the leading crises affecting Michigan families and communities: mental health problems and infant mortality. The courses were designed to explore the dynamics of racism and oppression, power and privilege, cultural identity and consciousness and love, as a methodology to promote reconciliation and recovery. Focusing on mental health and infant health encourages healing practices to bring about transformative social change. These courses, on engagement and reflection, assisted students with developing a deeper understanding of community engagement and cultivated a commitment to improving personal and community health and wellness. The primary objectives were to describe the influences that social institutions such as family, peers, culture, media, technology and other factors have on health behaviors and to analyze the various historical, cultural, social, psychological, environmental, political and economic forces that shape health outcomes. The courses also examined ways to synthesize information to create products and services and use interpersonal communication, effective decision-making and goal-setting in order to advocate more effectively for improved personal, family and community health and wellness. The learning outcomes were to develop students’ ability to create action strategies that would enhance their personal and community health and wellness through various teaching approaches. The key pedagogical methods used in the courses drew from culturally relevant teaching,19 autobiography,20 reconciliation and recovery21 and incorporated African-centered womanism approaches. Each of these frameworks empowers students to share their cultural history and heritage, validates and affirms their experiences and transforms teaching and learning through practices of authenticity, transparency and dialogue. Furthermore, these frameworks assist with cultivating students’ identity and development of their own holistic approach to wellness. It is also important in teaching this kind of course on health-related issues to include a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, and to challenge students to enhance their personal relationships. These pedagogical approaches are carried out through Africana critical reflection, which is an analytical process

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that examines past actions to identify and address the social, political and economic constraints in society, and establishes methods as a means to strengthen relationships and build alliances to counter societal constraints and improve the human condition. The pedagogical methods used in these courses offered a non-traditional approach to classroom instruction. In community engagement courses, the instructor does not lecture typically, or impart information through the pontification of abstract ideas. Instead, the instructor is more like a coach or consultant who develops talent, provides direction and enables plans for putting into action. The students are empowered to practice the knowledge and skills acquired through facilitated storytelling, personal narratives, and small group activities in the classroom and then to transition to perform their knowledge, skills and gifts and talents in a community setting. The particular courses mentioned employed the MSU Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) Engagement Model to support community-engaged teaching and learning. This model includes four interdependent parts: (1) Insight—increasing an awareness of ourselves, our communities and the world; (2) Practice—developing our relationships to communities and the world; (3) Action—effecting positive social change in the community; and (4) Passion—cultivating a sense of fulfillment, wonder and joy in our relationships with others.22 RCAH’s motto is “Live Your Learning,” and therefore the Engagement Model is a useful tool in helping students identify, reinforce and transform their life purposes and passions in addition to providing opportunities to practice those purposes and passions in the classroom and the community. Course design for civic engagement, therefore, benefits from experiential learning activities outside of the classroom that facilitate student immersion into community. Students learn to become responsible for collaborating as a group with community partners to engage in asset-mapping, facilitated dialogue, conducting needs assessments, collective thinking, mutual visioning, goal-setting, as well as project design, management and evaluation in order to solve complex problems, address specific issues or fulfill particular needs. Results from community meetings can lead to the intentional integration of action strategies and lesson and activity plans that are consistent with course learning objectives. Therefore, students co-create with community partners on a project to examine and address a selected communal issue to bring about some type of social change. For assignments, students complete weekly engagement and reading responses in order to deepen their understanding of the importance and significance of course terms and concepts and how those terms and concepts are integrated into community engagement. In addition, in these MSU courses, students submit two reflective essays that explore how their participation in community engagement influences particular aspects of their identity and holistic well-being development. Finally, students produce a third reflective essay, a creative work, or an in-class presentation as their final project to examine the benefits of their collaboration and engagement with community partners and the effects they have on the overall well-being of the involved organizations. Some students have

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presented their community-engaged research and civic engagement activities at NCBS conferences and other national and university conferences.

Expanding the Work of Africana/Black Studies via a Conference for Girls and Young Women Cameo King, the founder of Grit, Glam, and Guts, contacted the RCAH at MSU to discuss the possibility of reserving space for the Grit, Glam, and Guts Statewide Conference. Grit, Glam, and Guts is a non-profit organization with a focus to enrich the lives and positive experiences of girls and young women ages 12–17 in Michigan through participatory workshops, mentoring, creativity and self-expression.23 Grit, Glam, and Guts has maintained a long-standing community partnership with RCAH through various collaborations in Greater Lansing. RCAH provided the theater for the keynote presentations, and classrooms for breakout sessions for the one-day conference. More than 100 girls and young women participated in the conference, which focused on creating a legacy. The conference evaluations indicated that the session topics and activities reinforced or improved the girls’ understanding of legacy, self-perception, beauty, confidence and careers in the arts and humanities, as well as connected the girls to social and educational support agencies in their communities. After several post-conference meetings, RCAH considered additional ways to support Grit, Glam, and Guts and its work to provide opportunities and resources to uplift Michigan girls and young women. RCAH developed an asset-based community engagement plan to form alliances with other community organizations and alternative measures to assist with deepening the connection Grit, Glam, and Guts made with the girls and young women at the conference. The collaboration established additional efforts to supplement the empowerment activities and relationship-building exercises completed during the conference. These actions included educational programming throughout the year and a week-long summer residential program leading up to the conference. The goal for the collaboration between RCAH and Grit, Glam, and Guts was to align the mission of both entities with the course objectives of two RCAH civic engagement courses. Like the courses mentioned previously, this coursework employed an Africancentered womanism framework to develop students’ understanding and familiarity with Africana/Black Studies social change theories and methodologies. Students participated in various vulnerability, empowerment, empathy and holistic wellness exercises designed to examine the concepts of identity, consciousness and citizenship through processes of deep introspection, critical reflection and authentic engagement. In addition, some students completed workshops on social norms campaigning, substance abuse prevention and trauma-informed care. In each course, students were responsible for designing a health and wellness curriculum with lessons and activities on self-care, positive mental health, identity and healthy relationships.

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Both courses employed the RCAH Engagement Model (Insight, Practice, Action, Passion) where students experienced six weeks of classroom instruction and ten weeks of civic engagement activity, integrating theory with practice. Furthermore, the collaboration involved additional community partners, including a local art gallery, high school and youth community center. These community locations, off campus, became training sites for RCAH students to work alongside teen girls in their identity and wellness development through authentic self-expression using various artistic and poetic platforms to cultivate greater dialogue and transparency.

Conclusion The purpose of civic and community engagement in Africana/Black Studies is to produce academic excellence and social responsibility through a cultural grounding, whereupon action strategies are incorporated in students’ daily lives and implemented in their personal and group relationships and relationships with community members. Africana/Black Studies theories and methodologies are essential in uplifting Africana/Black Studies communities and advancing humanity. More specifically, an African-centered womanist approach is useful in assisting students with developing their intellectual aptitude, critical inquiry, ethical sensibilities and leadership skills. Furthermore, African-centered womanism affords students the opportunity to develop their understanding of Africana/Black women’s contributions to society, as well as expand their knowledge and skills in vulnerability, belongingness, empathy and empowerment in ways that help learners increase their identity, consciousness, and holistic well-being development and improve human progress. African-centered womanism brings together the best of African culture, customs and history. It nurtures students’ abilities to think, reflect, act, connect and get involved, and serves as an instrument to achieve personal and community development. It increases students’ opportunities to initiate new community programs and projects to build trust and capacity, conduct meaningful research, work together in solidarity and with a sense of justice and assess outcomes. It strengthens students’ capacity to form strong relationships, establish a sense of belonging and build communities and networks. African-centered womanism is instrumental in instilling in students the need to power up love, be truthful in words and deeds and participate actively in healthy relationships through community engaged teaching and learning where they are immersed in community settings that foster authentic civic engagement.

Notes 1. See also Charles E. Jones and Nafeesa Muhammad, “Town and Gown: Reaffirming Social Responsibility in Africana Studies,” in African American Studies, ed. Jeanette R. Davidson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010), 55–75, for a discussion about the need for links between Black Studies and communities.

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2. Ibid. 3. See The Western Journal of Black Studies 36.1 (Spring, 2012) for a selection of articles with titles including “African-Centered Womanism: Recovery, Reconstruction and Renewal”; “Defining Africana Womanhood: Developing an Africana Womanism Methodology”; “Grounding Kawaida Womanism: A Sankofa Reading of Ancient Sources”; “Hiphop with a Womanist Lens,” and others. 4. Clenora Hudson-Weems, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves (Troy, MI: Bedford Publishing, 1993). 5. Hudson-Weems, Africana Womanism, 24. 6. Clenora Hudson-Weems, “Africana Womanism and the Critical Need for Africana Theory and Thought,” in Contemporary Africana: Theory, Thought, and Action, ed. Clenora Hudson-Weems (Trenton: African World Press, Inc., 2007), 82. 7. Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (New York: Harcourt, 1983). 8. Dorothy Tsuruta, “The Womanish Roots of Womanism: A Culturally-Derived and African-Centered Ideal (Concept),” The Western Journal of Black Studies 36.1 (Spring, 2012), 3. 9. Ibid. 4. 10. Layli Phillips, The Womanist Reader (New York: Routledge, 2006). 11. Phillips, Womanist Reader, xx. 12. Linda James Myers, Understanding an Afrocentric World View: Introduction to an Optimal Psychology (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 1993). 13. Ibid. 93. 14. Ibid. v. 15. Christel Temple, “The Cosmology of Afrocentric Womanism,” The Western Journal of Black Studies 36.1 (Spring, 2012), 23–32. 16. Ibid. 23. 17. Layli Maparyan, The Womanist Idea (New York: Routledge, 2012). 18. Ibid. 119. 19. Geneva Gay, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Theory, Research, and Practice (New York: Teachers College Press, 2000); Gloria Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997). 20. Myers, Understanding an Afrocentric World View; and Temple, “Cosomology.” 21. Stephany Rose, Recovering from Racism: A Guidebook for Beginning Conversations (S. R. Spaulding, 2015). 22. Vincent P. Delgado and Laura DeLind, The RCAH Engagement Model (East Lansing: Michigan State University, 2010), www.rcah.msu.edu/uniquely-rcah/ community-engagement/rcah-engagement-model.html (accessed 24 February 2020). 23. www.gritglamguts.com (accessed 24 February 2020).

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13 Danny Glover and Manning Marable: Activism Through Art and Scholarship Jeanette R. Davidson

Danny Glover, the esteemed actor, and Manning Marable, a giant in the field of Black Studies, have much to teach us in their respective modes of activism. These two interviews, conducted for the first edition of this text, have resonated with students, who have perceived them as role models remarkable for their appreciation of Black history, followed by action.

Part I: Interview with Danny Glover On Activism JRD – As you know, one of the hallmarks of Black Studies is that we should be involved with the community, and when we talk about the community, we’re talking about not just the local community, but we’re thinking globally. What are your thoughts about that and, also, would you talk a little bit about your activism? We have a lot of students who come into Black Studies and they say, “I want to serve, I want to give back to the community,” and that might be the local or the larger community. DG – I think my activism is not particularly singular, in some sense. What I believe and what is the strong core of my belief is the fact that I remain engaged with people who are trying to envision and construct relationships, and that’s what’s important to me. I remain engaged in that process, and that process is deliberate, and that process is strong, and that process is what energizes me. I think, more than anything else, that maybe what I say is a collective effort. I’ve been able to sustain some sort of idea of myself, and some sort of relationship with this, because of the way in which I’ve been brought into various struggles. My involvement in the Anti-Apartheid Movement deepened and enriched my career, my work, as an artist. So, that brought me right into work I did as an

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artist, right into this intersect with the Anti-Apartheid Movement. You can’t separate those two things. I could have made choices like some people did, just done the play, gotten the benefit of the play and gone home. But the choices, because of my own political development, brought me into another place. This allowed me to feel comfortable, because sometimes actors don’t feel comfortable in having a space. They may have that space as a character in a play. That doesn’t necessarily mean they want to have that space in real life. And because they feel uncomfortable, because they have not had the kind of political nurturing . . . they may have read about it . . . but not understood the passion. So they are able to take whatever information they do have and translate it into a performance within what they are doing. But I think it’s important to understand that when I began to search for people that I wanted to align myself with, people that I think were supportive of my ideas, I wanted to identify with the people like Harry Belafonte.1 I wanted to identify with the people like Ozzie Davis,2 and Ruby Dee.3 I wanted to identify with the Paul Robeson4 . . . which meant that I was not only an artist, but I wanted to be able to articulate and understand the other dynamics, political dynamics, the dynamics that are part of the journey. And I don’t think that I would have ever been sustained as an actor, if the other part was not part of it. I couldn’t sustain myself as an actor. I couldn’t sustain myself in some sort of way of delineating and deconstructing these two relationships. JRD – Listening to what you are saying makes sense. I guess you got into activism even before you were an artist. DG – You know, I think we’re born into it. For all of us who were children of the Civil Rights Movement, all of us who were born into it, I think our early sensibilities and consciousness began to evolve at that particular point in time. And so, as children, we made choices, in terms of deciding: this is what we wanted to hear, this is who we wanted to hear, and this is what we wanted to believe. There was a seriousness with which we applied ourselves as we began to read Fanon5 and others. Of course, we always thought that we had new tools. And we were expanding our own intellect and our own reference point by talking about these people, understanding what they had to say, making the connection and applying what they had to say to our own experience. I think that was a very important part of our collective understanding of what we were doing . . . the idea of coming out of something, believing that you are doing something important, believing that you’re not singular in this effort, in this movement, in this journey and were trying to find a different understanding of your own discontent. You’re young and you have all this stuff in you. Some people were able to express that in some kind of antisocial behavior. We chose to express that in some sort of behavior that was productive. I think more than anything else that I was fortunate that I was able to move from that and be able to take that sensibility and that understanding and translate it into my work.

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JRD – What if a Black Studies student were to come up and say to you “How would you recommend I get started being an activist?” How might you respond? DG – Well the first thing is to explore what ways you can be active on the campus itself. Even though I think what has happened on campuses now is the stifling of dissent, it can be a very fertile place to begin that process. What kind of dialogue do you find? It’s going to depend. Now there’s been a lot of talk about a “green” economy, communities becoming “green.” How can you search out those kinds of things in the community? Service means engaging in the community, and getting yourself out of your comfort zone, in order to explore, understand, learn, and by doing so, having empathy for people’s struggles. You cannot serve unless you have empathy for people’s struggles. What I see in the community is not a bunch of victims, but people finding ways in which they can access power for power within the self. If you see them from that vantage point, and support that evolution, that’s another part of it. It’s supporting people’s own sense of themselves, the sense of their own power. That’s an integral part of activism. But it’s something that has to be a part of your consciousness, because it’s not something that you do and walk away from and pin a plaque on your wall to say “I did this, on this date.” I remember I spent a lot of time in New Orleans after the hurricane,6 and I saw students who came down there in groups, volunteers, from various colleges, or students who were protesting in relationship to the Jena Six.7 How do you now take that and run with that in some other way? How do we mentor, elicit the kind of response that gets them thinking proactively about what they are doing, what they’ve seen? It’s very interesting; I’ve been playing with this thing around vision, seeing. I did a film, Blindness.8 As I thought about it and talked about it, what are the challenges of seeing something, bearing witness to something and then responding to what you’ve seen? Responding in a humane way to what you see. Now, you can walk away and pretend that you didn’t see it. Or you can walk away and allow that to be erased from your memory. But how does that memory, in some sense, activate something in you to do something about it? Often, associated with seeing something is a whole other level of fear, because now you have to respond to what you see. One of the questions early in the movie is, after seeing torture, one of the young women responds. Actually, she was a lawyer, I believe, and she talked about the mechanics of the case. The mechanics of the case may work in your favor within a structurally flawed system, but that does not in any way now validate the system. It may validate that you found a loophole to get through the system. But how do we find the system, how do we define the system and reimagine the system itself and then work toward a new kind of way of looking at the system or a new system itself? So that’s the kind of substantive work that I think has to be connected to service. In some sense, we have to question; we have to address the moment, the immediacy of it, the urgency at hand, and then we have to begin to find ways in which we can change the paradigm. Not only change the paradigm in the expression and

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discourse involved. We have to find ways in which we change the discourse. That’s part of what I mean when I think about service. I have a guy who says, “Man, I dig you, and the causes you finance.” I said, “I’m not into causes.” I don’t collect causes. There’s a connection. When I think about things we need to do and the things that we need to service, the issues on economic and social justice, they’re not causes, they’re movements. They are movements for equality and change. So, on the one hand, I think service has to be tied to that. Just as much as King’s words about “I have a dream” are misused and abused, I think his words about service are misused. It’s important to serve meals to hungry people, but if I’m serving meals, I have to find out and understand the root of hunger, the root of joblessness, the root of homelessness, and put that in the framework as I move toward changing it. Not to add any band-aids to the situation, but disrupt the whole situation and change the situation. JRD – What has been the most challenging fight in which you’ve been involved, in terms of seeking social justice? DG – Without a doubt, the death penalty . . . the abolition of it. When you live in a culture that is so vengeful, a culture where there’s no love or redemption, or reconciliation, that’s grounded in a violent response to almost every single thing, never looking at the kind of underlying social dynamics, and the response is reaction to what has happened somewhere down the line—it’s the hardest thing. You know, I worked on Gary Graham’s case for seven years. I think it was 2000 that they finally executed him. You know, giving money, doing all the things, going down there. Always down to Austin, Texas, Houston, Texas. I thought for sure the combined effort of all of us, me and my visibility, the people who were mobilized, would at least give us some sort of redress of the situation. It’s the most frustrating fight of all. Mike Farrell,9 God bless him, has been so steadfast as an opponent of the death penalty. It was Mike Farrell who called me in ’93 and said, “Man, they’re scheduled to execute this kid.” I got on a plane and went down to Houston, Texas. I remember saying to a newscaster that I didn’t know what else to do. If I was going to be in pain about this I might as well be down there. That’s been the most difficult. It eats you up, because you’re dealing with one case, and even if you win one case, does it dramatically change the kind of systemic structural application of the death penalty? Not at all. Just that single case. JRD – And Texas is the capital of the death penalty. DG – It is the capital, you know. I carry a pin in my bag. I’ve been carrying it about a young kid. He’s 18 years old. He’s marrying this girl. He’s been on death row. His mother and father, God bless them. His father is a minister. And I hold onto the memory, but you’re almost scared to call, because it’s endless. I keep looking for some light at the end of the tunnel, someplace where people will say that it’s unethical, it’s immoral, to execute your own citizens. An eye

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for an eye, as Gandhi said, leaves us all blind. It’s been very hard for me after Gary Graham10 to get involved too deeply. I’ve been opposed to the death penalty since I was a kid, and marched in the demonstrations before an execution in San Quentin in the early 60s. JRD – What keeps you keeping on, with all of this? DG – Well, you know, Jeanette, what keeps me going more than anything else is that I will not allow power to relegate us to irrelevancy. And that’s what it is. I will not allow them to do that. And if it just becomes a handful of us, still like that, I will not allow us to be relegated to irrelevancy. And that’s what they attempt to do every day, to diminish us and to make us feel irrelevant. So, in that sense . . . it’s self-serving, because I want to wake up in the morning and feel that what we, what I have to say, what I feel matters and is relevant. Some may not like me for saying it, but I sleep at night and know I said it. And it’s about the fact that I’m not afraid. In a sense we’re all afraid. I’m afraid. I fear. I say “Hey, I’m afraid.” Sometimes I walk down the street and sometimes that fear is physical, for physical danger. I don’t know who’s walking behind me. I don’t carry an entourage or bodyguards. But, most of the time, I’m not afraid. I feel like I’ve learned and grown, and experienced things with people, and that gives me the right to dissent. JRD – Who has been your inspiration? DG – Without a doubt, my initial inspiration is from my mom and dad. Not that they did something that was a landmark in terms of the work that they did. But the climate that they provided . . . I don’t know how to describe it. Maybe it’s indescribable, but there was a climate, a presence, a smile, a feeling of being loved. You didn’t have any question about that, or that I loved them. There never was a question about that. Without a doubt they’re my strongest inspiration. JRD – I always like to hear you talk about your mom and your dad, because it shines out of you what was going on in that relationship. It’s like me with my mom and dad. DG – Yeah . . . Yeah . . . Yeah . . . I miss my parents every day. And with my mother, because of my dreams, there’s always been a presence . . . the present, not the past. And I’m so grateful that I have them. Nothing spectacular. No great panache, or audacious, expressive, demonstrative whatever . . . Just . . . JRD – Just always there . . . DG – Just there . . . Yeah . . . very simple, you know. I remember my mom. She was just so beautiful, and she had so much pride, you know. And my dad . . . “Hey man, what’s happenin’? What’s going on, dude?” . . . My man . . . yeah.

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JRD – And they’re smiling down on you right now . . . DG – Yeah . . .

On Telling Stories JRD – I’d like to ask you about the links between education, advocacy and creative production and how these are integrated for you. What are some of the ways that you want to educate with your films? And then also, what stories of the community do you want to tell through your films? DG – One of the best ways of storytelling is to tell a story which we don’t often see, tell a story of a major event or change . . . through the eyes of those people we wouldn’t necessarily think about on that day, like when King is assassinated in Memphis. What happens in Memphis, and how did that change their lives? You can tell life-affirming stories and transformation. The key part of that is transformation, from ordinary to extraordinary. Those are the kinds of stories that most move me. And what is the emotional danger that one has to overcome, in order to go through that path, and follow that track? That really is the kind of story to tell. JRD – What about a film that you’ve acted in or produced? Which ones can you imagine being used in Black Studies in this way that you are discussing? DG – When I think about the idea of Black Studies, I think about it as an artist, in images, and how images are presented, and how stories are told, and what choices are made in terms of the storyteller and how information is disseminated, and what choices are made about what information you get, that are accessible to you. All of those are framed within the very simple way of what I do in some way, and the nuances of all the projection of images, nuances in relationship to the application of images. With Buffalo Soldiers,11 the purpose was to explore racial reconciliation and healing. Film can be a process of reasserting our own sense of our own history, and documenting our own story. We understand who people are and how they see themselves through the way in which they express themselves through their fiction. I gave a fictionalized account based upon the values that I wanted to uphold, the values that I wanted to embrace within a relationship between Native Americans and African Americans. The moment after I finished the film, the film was aired; I got a call from the great-greatgranddaughter of an Apache Chief and she told me all through her experience, her experience as a child in the storytelling and their communicating about the past, they heard of such an incident that I just dramatized—that I fictionalized, because that’s the relationship that I wanted to explore. What a validation. What a reaffirmation about what we have the capacity to do. Imagine what kind of bridges we could build. As an artist I can begin to view my vision of the world through my art. I became a conduit. I feel fortunate.

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JRD – That’s wonderful, and it’s a great example. DG – I suspect this whole odyssey, this journey I’ve been on to do the story [about Toussaint L’Ouverture]12 of the Haitian Revolution will also reveal something else in that sense. There’s some value in this for people who understand the human struggle for social justice. I suppose because it had a certain value to a certain people, to a certain group. The Haitian Revolution is a part of the people’s history. It may not be a part of the empire’s history, you know. Our empire’s own take or its expression of its early history is its invention. But it’s certainly part of the people’s history. Those are the kinds of things that keep me, my spirit alive and help me navigate through this whole thing. JRD – Could you talk about Beloved? DG – Yes. Beloved. I don’t really think we understand the importance of such a film. We walk down the street, and we move through life, and we contend with what we have to deal with. We contend with our past, our past memory, our historic memory of our life. But Beloved. What does it feel like? You’re at this place where some people who have been institutionalized by a brutal system for so long are now free. I always find that Watch Night13 is very interesting. Watch Night is from December 31st through to the first, that period of time after midnight. What that must have been like? You know, all this collected pain all of a sudden is released. But not released. You could make an argument that it hasn’t stopped now. It’s another form. What does it feel like when you come out of that, that moment with all your fears and all your anger, and all your guilt? They’re all part of that. Beloved was about the discovery of self. What is self like? And everything imposed upon the self? Everything imposed upon you as a human being has relegated you to be less than human, without any comprehension of a self. What is it like to slowly, meticulously, and often in a collective way, learn about that? And Beloved was about that. It was all of the darkness, all of the darkness. I love Psalm 139, verses 6 through 12.14 The last verse is “The darkness and the light are the light to you.” On this thought that’s come to me, what is it like, what is that like? Ex-slaves referred to Abe Lincoln as “the coming of the Lord” . . . “The coming of the Lord!” “The coming of the Lord!” Freedom from their bondage! You know there is something so heroic and humbling at the same time, to come out of that experience. And I think all the glimpses that you see of us Black people, the way they do what they do, that’s so incredible. You know, to come out of all of that pain. Beloved was about all of that, to celebrate, a collective celebration, discovery of a self. That’s what I think Beloved was about.

Part II: Interview with Manning Marable On the Commitment to the Public JRD – You have intimated that you believe Black Studies should be for the public. What exactly do you mean by that, and why is it important?

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MM – For me, Black Studies is the African American intellectual tradition. It is grounded in, and an analysis of, the lived experience of Black folk through their history, and the consciousness derived from that experience. African American Studies is the interdisciplinary interrogation of that experience. As a body of critical texts, it has over the years acquired certain characteristics. African American Studies is, first and perhaps foremost, “descriptive.” It provides, if we use Geertz’s expression, “thick description.”15 It provides a thick description, a nuanced approach to the realities of Black life, of love, of work, of faith, of activism, of triumph and tragedy. It is a thick description of Black life as Black people understand it to be. It is “corrective” in that much of Black Studies literature is a defense of the humanity of Black people. So much of the social sciences, and especially the natural science literature about people of African descent, is a running “dis” of Black people. So someone has to defend us as human beings and our innate capacities like other human beings to think, to reason and to be worthy of civil and human rights. And so, Black Studies defends Black people, and it is “prescriptive.” Black Studies seeks not only to interpret but to transform the world in ways that empower Black people. So there is an element of advocacy in Black Studies that some scholars feel taints the field because it links it to various social justice or political projects. There are very dedicated practitioners of African American Studies and very prominent scholars who feel that Black Studies should not, in any way, be political. I had a debate with my good friend Henry Louis Gates16 about this in the New York Times back in April 1998, I believe, about this very issue. My feeling on this is pretty straightforward. If you are Black in America, given the history of this country, everything is political. We would, at our peril, feel any other way. We have to contest, vigorously, the processes of racialization and stigmatization that are imposed upon us, and so consequently Black Studies must be prescriptive. It [Black Studies] must be in the forefront of providing solutions to real problems that Black people have in their daily lives. If Black Studies does not go into prisons, where over a million Black men and women are, what good is it? If Black Studies is not going to the community to focus on voter education and registration and mobilize people around issues such as police brutality, or environmental racism, or of the devastating absence of public health care, then what good is it? Black Studies must shed light on the lived experiences of Black folk, and the problems we encounter, and provide meaningful solutions to those problems, if we can. So, the intellectual body of the work of Black Studies has tended to be descriptive, corrective and prescriptive,17 all of which serve the public. That is, for whom is Black Studies? Who does it exist for? It exists foremost and firstly for Black folk. That is not to racialize the audience of Black Studies. That is to say that, through intellectual inquiry, the stories we preserve, the culture we celebrate, the heritage that we document, serves to reinforce and underscore memory and tradition and a vision and possibility for young Black people who are only entering school now, and for those not yet born . . . that there is a heritage and tradition worth defending, and not apologizing for. That doesn’t mean that scholarship can’t

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be produced by Euro-Americans. Extraordinary works of great clarity and intellectual rigor have been written by colleagues who are Euro-American. Black Studies is for everyone. It’s for White students, Asian students, African Americans. But it does have a special meaning and purpose for Black people. It goes to the heart of their culture, and their tradition and heritage, and that we cannot deny. So yes, it is for the public. It must be accessible to people and something that they can use. It must be grounded in the lived experience of Black people in all its rich diversity, therefore it cannot be uniform. It has to reflect that rich diversity. And that’s what makes Black Studies so exciting. JRD – Yes. It is. Can you tie this in, historically, with the development of Black Studies, please? MM – Yes. There are different points of view about this. I’m thinking about my good friend Maulana Karenga,18 who tends to think of Black Studies as evolving out of the 60s. I take a different point of view. I see it as the African American and Afro-Caribbean intellectual tradition that evolved in the beginning in the early nineteenth century in the United States and the Caribbean as Black scholars, outside of the ivory Tower. Working with very few resources and limited institutional support, they fought to develop a body of work that would preserve the heritage of the people of African descent and would interpret the meaning of Black culture and Black life. I point to people like Edward Wilmot Blyden19 in the Caribbean and, in the United States, a number of people that I can think of. The first person who comes to mind is Du Bois.20 Also in the nineteenth century there were a variety of people, educators, abolitionists, lecturers, like Frederick Douglass21 and Anna Julia Cooper,22 who helped lay the foundations for what would become Black Studies. Martin R. Delany,23 in his powerful, immigrationist critique of White supremacy in 1851, helped to set up the foundations for a Malcolm X a century later. Without the scholarship and the writings of Black women and men in the nineteenth century, we would not have produced a Garvey,24 or a Malcolm or the Black Panther Party in the twentieth century.25 It simply would not have happened. So the scholarship and the writing go back to that period and come all the way forward. During the period from roughly the 1880s until the early 1960s, nearly a century, the vast majority of Black scholarship was produced at Historically Black Colleges. The simple reason for that was Jim Crow. White people simply did not hire Black people, generally until World War II. When I arrived at Columbia in 1993, the total number of Black tenured faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, was five, counting myself. Today, it’s a little over thirty. We’ve had a big change in the last fifteen years, and I’m glad to have been a part of that change, all because for ten years I was the director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies,26 and I helped to initiate, directly or indirectly, a number of those hires. But White Supremacy is so deeply engrained in American academe that scholars like Ralph Bunche27 would never be hired at White institutions, so he pursued a career path that took him to the United Nations. Horace Clayton28 or say a

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St. Clair Drake,29 who came to intellectual maturity after World War II, was able to have access to a place like Roosevelt University and then Stanford University, during and after the Black Power period. But prior to that, oh no! Du Bois, with his Ph.D. from Harvard and advanced studies at the University of Berlin, could never be hired at a White institution. So it was the Black Colleges that sustained Black Studies. Most of the classic texts that we teach in African American Studies come from that period. So, unlike some who say Black Studies started in the 60s, I disagree. It didn’t start then. That’s ridiculous. You know, the literatures that we teach emanate from that period of Jim Crow and racial segregation, and Historically Black Colleges were sites of intellectual production. We are legatees of that, we are connected to that and build from it.

On Interdisciplinarity and Pedagogy JRD – In your projects, how do you tap into the interdisciplinary nature of Black Studies? Also, how are you inclusive of the particular as well as the universal? I’m using these words as you use them in your writing about the particular, looking at the racial variable, but also looking at the universals of which we have to be inclusive. MM – Alright, let’s think about first, interdisciplinary. There are a number of intellectual debates about this. Actually, both pedagogical discussions or debates and methodological debates about “What should Black Studies be?” In terms of a field or a discipline, or is it an interdisciplinary kind of field? My own sense of it is that Black Studies is best described as an intellectual tradition that has certain characteristics. Interdisciplinarity is one. It’s central. The best example of that is the life of Du Bois. Here’s a guy who acquires a Ph.D. at Harvard when he’s in his twenties. His Ph.D. is on the transatlantic slave trade, so it’s a classic kind of history. But he gets hired at Wilberforce University in Ohio, teaching Latin and the Classics and Greek. After a short stay at the University of Pennsylvania, he goes to Atlanta University, where he develops, in effect, the foundations of modern Black Studies through the annual conferences he holds from 1898 through about 1913. When he’s rehired at Atlanta University in 1934, he’s hired as a professor of Sociology. So he’s in Political Science, Sociology, History, the Classics. I’ve had something of a similar career in that my Ph. D. is in History, which I received from the University of Maryland in 1976. I’ve been tenured in Political Science, in the Departments of Political Science, Economics, Public Affairs, the School for International Public Affairs, as well as in History and African American Studies. So, I think of myself as a renegade historian, in that history should be used to empower the oppressed and to challenge and to speak truth to power . . . to those “in power” . . . and that history is the foundation for any possible empowerment project on the part of the oppressed, because, if you don’t have a sense of where you’ve been . . . you can’t possibly know where you want to go. That history, the historical knowledge, grounds us to processes that transcend generations and push us forward. And so I found history, especially the methodology of

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oral history which I use, which is really central in the Malcolm X Project . . . has been a very powerful tool in telling the story that has always been suppressed. I see Black Studies, by definition, as an intellectual field that utilizes tools that draw upon various disciplines. Several years ago I wrote a book called Living Black History,30 and I basically argued that, to reconstruct Black life, you need a 360-degree approach that must be interdisciplinary. Using tools from different disciplines to reconstruct a moment, a life, an event . . . that is central to the telling of Black truths, about who we are as a people. It could be a biography, it could be a novel, it could be any kind of narrative that is anchored to an event, a person, a place that is central to the telling of our truth as a people, so must be interdisciplinary. So I draw upon music, and folklore, and art, and religion. You have to take the tools that are hammered out in those disciplines and apply them in creative ways to the telling of that story. JRD – So you do that, for example, with the telling of the story of Malcolm. MM – That’s right. You could do it no other way. I’ll give you a good example. Malcolm comes to maturity at a time when bebop emerges in New York City, during the war. If you listen to Malcolm, what you hear, what musicians heard in Malcolm when they listened to him, was a bebop artist. His voice and his intonation, and the way he used syncopation and the way he used his voice was like a jazz musician, how a jazz musician uses his instrument. That’s why musicians followed him around, that’s why they loved him. A brother came in off the street a couple years ago, and he said, “I’m a jazz musician. I loved Malcolm.” This was a brother who was in his late sixties, early seventies. He said, “I was there that day at the Audubon, and I put my tape recorder on the stage, and I was taping Malcolm and then the murder occurred. The assassination happened.” He said, “So here’s the tape.” [He] gave me a tape recording of Brother Benjamin Kareem, who was the assistant minister, giving his lecture, leading into Malcolm coming up on the stage. And it’s an audio tape of the assassination. So why did musicians love Malcolm? Because Malcolm’s voice was like an instrument. He was like “Bird.”31 He was like Dizzy Gillespie.32 He was like this creative and talented genius, who could make people feel, and see, and desire things and see themselves in new ways. And that’s what great art does. The reason the art is powerful, is because it transforms us and makes us see new possibilities. That is what Malcolm did, right? It’s what Edward Said33 said, “The true revolutionary intellectual creates new souls.” Said was right. That’s what Malcolm did. So that’s why it must be interdisciplinary. You draw upon all of those tools. Going back to this question, though, about the particular and the universal you mentioned—I hadn’t forgotten it, I think there are a lot of ways to answer it. So there is a link between the particular and the universal. In telling the story of a Malcolm X, that is truthful story. I’m not in the business of building Saint Malcolm. His greatness is found in his humanity. He made mistakes. There were errors of judgment. There are things he shouldn’t have done, but what’s remarkable

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about him is that he’s so richly and deeply human. The reason people love him is that they make a connection with him as a human being, and so we honor him as an African American. I can tell this story. I teach a seminar on Malcolm X. I asked my class, “What was the fundamental difference between Dr. King and Malcolm?” One of my students raised his hand and said, “Dr. Marable, that’s easy. Dr. King belonged to the entire world, but Malcolm X belongs to us.” There is a truth in this, which is not to discredit in any way Dr. King, but it is to say that there is something that Malcolm spoke to that is deeply organic in Black life and the Black experience in ways that transcend nearly any other person. You could think of several other people who were very much like that . . . say Paul Robeson.34 You know, they could disagree with the Nation of Islam, but they really dug Malcolm. What’s great about it is that the lessons in his life, and the events that occurred, and the manner of his death—all these have lessons that are universal, that speak to greater universal truths than anyone, regardless of their familiarity or lack of knowledge about African American culture, can learn from. Black Studies must seek to do both. It must begin with the particular but speak to the universal. It must draw upon a body that is very rich, but speak in a language that is accessible to everyone. And make our literatures and our social science inquiries and our political analysis and our historical narratives, framing them so that we have the maximum exposure to interaction with people across this planet. The stories of African American people have extraordinary power and resonance with people of all countries and who speak different languages. We should never limit the boundaries of our field. I’m sorry to be so wordy. JRD – I know one of the areas that you care deeply about is the number of African American men and women who are incarcerated. I want to know about your work’s impact on them. MM – Just before you came today, I was invited to speak at Omaha, Nebraska, which is the birthplace of Malcolm X, in January 2008. I met a group of Black folk from the city who have set up a non-profit corporation to celebrate Malcolm’s life. Some of these brothers and sisters had been incarcerated. And they celebrate Malcolm, in part, because of the triumph of his life in overcoming criminalization in the “Detroit Red” phase of his life and because they had left prison and were leading productive lives which were transformative to the Black community. I thought it was a great idea. Over the last couple of months, about once a week, they have had meetings, and they call me, and we talk about how you can you incorporate Malcolm X’s life into a curriculum that can go into the prison to be transformative for prisoners . . . for them to have successful re-entry into civil society. How do you do that? And what lessons can we learn from Malcolm’s life that will empower them? This is what Malcolm would respect. This is what Black Studies must do. To me this is a Black Studies project. There are a million Black people in prison, and if Black Studies scholars aren’t in prisons, then there is no defense for their intellectual work. There has

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to be an interrogation of significant sites that reproduce racialized inequality. The prison industrial complex is the major site in the twenty-first century that reproduces racism, without a shred of doubt. Those kinds of places are where Black scholars must be. That’s what I see as the function of our Center. To be places, to defend our humanity and to document who we are as Black folk and to try to find ways of empowering our people to lead productive and healthy lives. I feel very good about those notions of advocacy being central to my intellectual project.

On Memories, Legacies and Sites of Justice-Making MM – I’m an historian. In fact, my mother decided I would become an historian before I was born. This is a true story. She was enrolled at Wilberforce University, in the fall of 1944. She worked as a housekeeper for Dr. Charles H. Wesley,35 the president of Wilberforce University, and then later Central State University. When the split occurred at Wilberforce, between the State side and the Church side, Dr. Wesley went with the State of Ohio and he became the president of Central State in 1948. My mother graduated from Central. She was second in the class. She promised that if she had a child . . . she was just getting married to my father . . . that one of her children would become an historian. That was me. And I came along in 1950, so I had no choice. No choice in doing what I do, and I love it. That’s part of the intellectual legacy, the link between Wesley and then going back to Du Bois. So I come by it honestly! Now where were we? Oh yes, different modes of presenting African American Studies content and documentary films . . . and sites of racial injustice and sites of justice-making. In African American Studies, this is a very big thing with me, although I haven’t been able to do it very often. In 1982 Columbia University had bought up the Audubon Ballroom, the site where Malcolm was murdered. They wanted to destroy the building and put a biotech building on the site. By the mid and late 80s, there was community opposition to it, even though the building was decrepit and a number of homeless people lived in the building, a number of the people used the building for crack, it was dangerous etc. It’s right across the street from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Health Sciences campus. Students got involved. There were demonstrations. A deal was struck with the city and Betty Shabazz, Malcolm’s widow, where part of the building would be preserved and a biotech building would be built around the old building. It’s there today. In 1995 it was opened. But the question was, what happens with the assassination site? After five years of agitation, I convinced Columbia basically to give me $50,000.00 and I would build three kiosks so that when you go to the site there’s a hand-touch screen—the story of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz comes alive. I interpret their lives for visitors, and you can see film clips and photos, letters and material. I said, “and make it free. Give it to them. Place it in the site so you contribute to public education.” Columbia said, “Okay.” So sometimes big institutions do the right

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thing! For me, again, that’s what I mean by renegade historians. We intervene to do the right thing, to preserve our history and to allow others to share in it. And you make it available for people for free. Now, unlike most people in the United States, I don’t mind calling myself a socialist. I do not have a market model in mind. I believe knowledge should be free. I’m a democratic socialist. I have been all of my adult life. I believe that knowledge should be accessible to people, just like health care should be free. You know, education, health, all of these things should be free, for human beings, and made accessible. In the United States, this is a truly radical idea. JRD – And it shouldn’t be a radical idea. MM – It shouldn’t be radical at all. JRD – You’re just calling it like it should be. MM – Exactly. This is the way it should be. But that’s what a committed scholar should try to do, I think: to make our knowledge accessible, especially to our own people, and at a site where a great crime was committed. I think about, say, the site of Amadou Diallo’s36 death in a vestibule in the Bronx, and you compare that to the Kennedy assassination site in Dallas. Americans, overwhelmingly, would consider Kennedy’s site hallowed ground. Do Black people have the capacity to create hallowed ground? Are our deaths socially meaningful? Do the crimes committed against us matter, such as the assassination of Medgar Evers?37 At the site, at the home, there’s no physical monument that tells anybody what happened there. There finally is now a statute of Medgar in Jackson, Mississippi. There was a fight and great resistance to renaming the airport for him. Until his widow Myrlie Evers Williams and I sat down and put together the biography of Medgar Evers, back in 2005, there was not a single book that documented his thought or life. I said, “We owe the brother a book.” There were more books on Byron De La Beckwith, the man who murdered him, than on Medgar. Something’s wrong with that, right? So I collected eight of his speeches, his letters and his memoranda to the NAACP, and reconstructed his life, then made that available to people. That’s what public history is. We keep faith with sisters and brothers, Fannie Lou Hamer,38 and Ella Baker,39 and Rosa Parks,40 and Medgar Evers. These people died for us, and we don’t honor them by preserving their thought? We, the intellectuals, should be at the front lines of that. That’s what I see public Black Studies is. That is, a vigorous defense for our memory and our legacy, because if we don’t do it, it won’t exist. If we don’t do it, it won’t happen, especially at those sites of contestations, sites of justice-making. There should be a site in Tulsa, Oklahoma41 of the bombing and the destruction of an entire Black community. You know, first time in U.S. history that an aerial bombardment of an urban center, of any population, occurred against us.

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JRD – I think the kids nowadays in Tulsa learn about the Tulsa Massacre, but even just a few years ago they did not. It was ignored in the history texts. When I’ve taught at the OU-Tulsa campus, or would train social workers in Tulsa, people usually did not know about the Tulsa Massacre—even social workers who were dealing with the reality, the repercussions. And it’s all there . . . the history is just breathing down on all of it. I would teach them about it. I would say “This has implications for your social work and for why things are the way they are and why there’s all this tension in the city,” because you can feel it. People always talk about how wonderful Tulsa is, and yet you go there and there is this tension . . . That’s the living history. MM – That’s what I mean by living history, because there is all of this that is underneath, that informs. That’s the deep structure of the society that helps us to explain the racial chasm that still exists today. It’s not simply because of the O. J. trial of the mid 90s.42 It’s not simply because of Kobe Bryant.43 It’s because there were profound racial atrocities against African Americans that were not only not recognized, that were deliberately suppressed. There were crimes against humanity. This is not hyperbole. This is fact: crimes against humanity, destructions of entire communities, wiping them off the face of the planet. There were thousands of lynchings. And until August 2005, the U.S. Senate had never apologized for lynching. But get this, when it went through in the Senate, there were still fifteen Republican, White male senators who didn’t vote for it. Now, seven of them changed their minds, when they learned that an oversized copy of the Bill was going to be hung in the Capitol Rotunda, but eight others still refused. This is essentially denouncing the Senate for its failure to pass anti-lynching legislation, and they still refused to sign it—which means if you’re White, you never have to say you’re sorry . . . if you’re on the side of White supremacy, from their point of view. This is why a vigorous defense of Black history is absolutely essential to Black political empowerment and the two are deeply linked. There can’t be an honest dialogue in this country about what the future of this country will be unless there is a deep recognition, and a reckoning on the part of the majority of the population in this country, with the racialized crimes that have existed in this country, that undergird the structure of power and privilege of American society. That’s just an uncomfortable fact, but it’s one that I deeply believe to be the case. This is a society that is grounded in what John Paul Sartre refers to as “mauvaise foi,” bad faith. A deep, deep dishonesty about what the nature of the society is—how the wealth was accumulated, and the structural disadvantages that were borne on the backs of people of African descent. It resounds in so many ways. I’ll just cite one thing, the fact that Black home ownership is less than 50 percent; it’s about 46, 47, maybe 47 percent. White home ownership is nearly 75 percent. How did that happen? Well, in part, the G.I. bill, which was racialized in its application, but also because of redlining44 by banks. Why is it that, despite growing parity . . . not parity . . . but the reduction of the wage gap between Blacks

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and Whites in terms of take-home pay, especially for workers who have at least a college education, there is a wealth gap that is profound? That Blacks, on average, only have about one-tenth the wealth that Whites have in terms of household wealth, counting everything? It is a product of history. You can earn the same salaries, but if you don’t have the same net wealth then your children’s and grandchildren’s lives are restricted in so many profound ways. There is no fairness, even when there is Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action was never designed to be an anti-poverty program. It was never designed to redistribute wealth. We’ve never had that deep conversation in this country about the restructuring of resources that allows for genuine opportunity and equality, based on material conditions. That has never happened. Black Studies is one way to broach that discussion, as I have in my own writing.

Notes 1. Harry Belafonte (1927–). Actor, composer, author, producer, singer and activist who grew up in Jamaica, British West Indies. Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. Like many Civil Rights activists, Belafonte was treated badly during the McCarthy Era. He raised thousands of dollars to release imprisoned Civil Rights protesters. He helped finance the Freedom Rides, supported voter registration drives and helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963. 2. Ozzie Davis (1917–2005). He was an actor and an unwavering social activist who came under an anti-communist attack for his support of the powerful African American actor, singer and social activist Paul Robeson. An avid supporter of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and close friends with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Davis helped to facilitate the rally at the historic 1963 March on Washington, along with his wife, Ruby Dee. During that rebellious period of the 1960s, Davis became a good friend of Malcolm X, and later delivered the moving eulogy at his funeral in 1965. 3. Ruby Dee (1924–), actor, author and activist, is a member of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Dee and husband Ossie Davis were personal friends of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. See also Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together (New York: William Morrow, 1998). 4. Paul Robeson (1898–1976). Internationally renowned bass-baritone concert singer, scholar, actor of film and stage, professional athlete, writer, multilingual orator and lawyer who was also noted for his wide-ranging social justice activism. Robeson was the first major concert star to popularize the performance of Negro spirituals and was the first Black actor of the twentieth century to portray Shakespeare’s Othello on Broadway. Robeson’s political views and activism for civil rights for African American and oppressed peoples worldwide caused him to suffer public condemnation in the United States. 5. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of The Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1963). 6. Hurricane Katrina. See Trouble the Water (Zeitgeist Films, 2009), Academy Award nominee for best documentary feature, on the story of Hurricane Katrina

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7.

8. 9. 10.

11. 12.

13.

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JEANETTE R. DAVIDSON of 2005. Directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. Executive produced by Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover of Louverture Films. The Jena Six are a group of six African American teenagers convicted in the beating of a White student at Jena High School in Jena, Louisiana in December 2006, due to racial tensions between Black and White youth. The original charge of attempted second-degree murder was seen as excessive and racially discriminatory. Blindness (Miramax Films (USA) and Focus Features (International), 2008). Starring and narrated by Danny Glover. Mike Farrell, actor and life-long opponent of the death penalty. Gary Graham was a juvenile at the time of his arrest. His case received much attention, in part because of substantial evidence indicating that he was innocent of the murder charge and because his court-appointed lawyer failed to mount a serious legal defense. Anti-death-penalty advocates, including actor Danny Glover, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton and Amnesty International’s Bianca Jagger, became involved with Graham’s case in 1993, releasing public statements in support of Graham’s claim of innocence and arguing that the Texas justice system discriminated on the basis of race and class. Protests intensified after the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice contending that Graham was on death row as a direct result of widespread racial discrimination within the Texas criminal justice system. Buffalo Soldiers (Warner Home Video, 1997). Starring Danny Glover. Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743–1803) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution. Toussaint led enslaved Africans in a long struggle for independence over French colonizers, abolished slavery and secured “native” control over the colony Haiti. Currently Danny Glover is in the process of bringing this story to film. Watch Night is a service that is celebrated on New Year’s Eve in Black churches throughout the world. It can be traced back to 31 December 1862, known as “Freedom’s Eve.” On that night, Blacks gathered in churches and private homes awaiting the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had actually been made law. At the stroke of midnight, 1 January 1863, all the slaves in the Confederate states were declared legally free. There were shouts of praise and prayer given to God for this. Today, Black churches still gather on New Year’s Eve to thank God for another year. Psalm 139: 6–12. New International Version: “6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973). Henry Louis Gates is a scholar, educator, literary critic and public intellectual. He is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies. Manning Marable, ed., Dispatches from the Ebony Tower (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000).

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18. See Maulana Karenga’s classic edited text, Introduction to Black Studies, 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2000). 19. Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832–1912), born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, emigrated to Liberia, where he was an educator and statesman. His publications include: A Voice from Bleeding Africa (1856); Liberia’s Offering (1862); The Negro in Ancient History (1869); Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race (1887); West Africa before Europe (1905); and Africa Life and Customs (1908). See also Edith Holden, Blyden of Liberia: An Account of the Life and Labors of Edward Wilmot Blyden (New York: Vantage Press, 1966) and Hollis R. Lynch, ed., Black Spokesman: Selected Published Writings of Edward Wilmot Blyden (London: Frank Cass, 1971). 20. See the classic text of W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, first published in 1903. 21. Frederick Douglass (1818–95) was foremost an abolitionist and civil rights activist. He fought against his own slavery and continued the fight against the institution of slavery until its abolition, through lectures, publications and activities with the Underground Railroad. His autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself was published in 1845 (reprinted from the revised edition of 1892, New York: Collier Books, 1962). Frederick Douglass was an ardent supporter of women’s rights. 22. Anna J. Cooper (1858–1964) was an author and prominent African American scholar. Her first book, A Voice from the South: By a Woman from the South (1892), is considered to be one of the first Black feminist publications with its focus on self-determination through education and social uplift. 23. Martin Robison Delany (1812–85) was an African American abolitionist and proponent of Black Nationalism. 24. Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887–1940) founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He was a publisher, journalist and entrepreneur. As a Pan-Africanist, he sought to inspire a global mass movement which focused on Africa. 25. See Curtis J. Austin, Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2006). 26. Manning Marable is the current director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. 27. Ralph Bunche (1903–71), an African American political scientist and diplomat, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation in Palestine in the late 1940s. 28. Horace Roscoe Clayton (1859–1940) was a journalist and politician, born on a Mississippi plantation to a slave and a White plantation owner’s daughter. See Horace Clayton, Long Old Road: An Autobiography (New York: Trident Press, 1965). 29. St. Clair Drake (1911–90), an African American sociologist, created one of the first African American Studies programs in the country, at Roosevelt University. Later he chaired the African American Studies Department at Stanford University. See his work, in collaboration with Horace R. Clayton Jr., Black Metropolis (New York: Harcourt, Brace and co., 1945). See also Black Folk Here and There (Los Angeles: Center for Afro-American Studies, 1987). 30. Manning Marable, Living Black History: How Reimagining the African-American Past Can Remake America’s Racial Future (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2006). 31. Charlie Parker, nicknamed “Bird,” was an influential jazz musician who was central to the development of bop in the 1940s.

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32. John Birks Gillespie, nicknamed “Dizzy,” was born in 1917 in South Carolina. He was a brilliant trumpet-player and helped establish the bepop style of jazz. See Raymond Horricks, Dizzy Gillespie and the Bebop Revolution (New York: Hippocrene, 1984); Gene Lees, You Can’t Steal a Gift: Dizzy, Clark, Milt, and Nat (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001); and Alyn Shipton, Groovin’ High: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). 33. Edward Said was a long-time Professor of English and Comparative Literature and University Professor, Columbia University. He died in 2003. 34. See above, n. 4. 35. Charles Harris Wesley, noted African American historian, educator and author. His books include: Negro Labor in the United States, 1850–1925 (1927); The Negro in Our History, with Carter G. Woodson (1962); Neglected History: Essays in Negro History (1965); The Quest for Equality: From Civil War to Civil Rights (1968). 36. Amadou Bailo Diallo, 1975–99, an unarmed Guinean immigrant, was shot and killed by four New York plain-clothed police officers. Forty-one shots were fired, nineteen hitting Diallo. In 2000 the officers were acquitted of all charges. 37. Medgar Evers (1925–63), Civil Rights activist murdered in Jackson, Mississippi. 38. Fannie Lou Hamer (1917–77), American voting rights activist and Civil Rights leader. 39. Ella Josphine Baker (1903–86), leading African American Civil Rights and human rights activist. 40. Rosa Parks (1913–2005), Civil Rights pioneer. 41. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. 42. Trial (1995) of O. J. Simpson, accused of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, and found not guilty in criminal trial. 43. Trial of Kobe Bryant (2004) for alleged sexual assault, with charges dropped when the plaintiff refused to testify. 44. Redlining is the practice of arbitrarily denying or limiting financial services to specific neighborhoods, generally because its residents are people of color or poor, by banks and insurance companies.

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14 Contemporary Women of the African Diaspora: Identity, Artistic Expression and Activism Ebony Iman Dallas, Marie Casimir and Jeanette R. Davidson

If you are Black in the United States (or elsewhere in the Diaspora) you have a story that reaches back . . . somewhere . . . to the continent of Africa. Often, we do not know much of our personal history, given that most of us have experienced separation from our deepest roots. Sometimes our stories involve enslavement of our grandparents several generations removed. Sometimes our stories are about colonization, decolonization, seeking asylum, refugee status, immigration or some combination of the above related to loss generated originally by White supremacy. What we do know about our stories is often poignant, dramatic and ultimately productive not only of empathy, but of pride in the miracle of survival, in the tenacity of our ancestors and parents, and awe at the magnitude of their strengths against unspeakable odds. We are indeed their wildest dreams! The stories of Ebony Iman Dallas and Marie Casimir are presented here. I posed a set of questions to them about their families, key issues of identity, their respective areas of art (painting and dance), their role models, activism and what they teach students as instructors in an African and African American Studies department to which I had recruited them. These are their responses. Their stories challenge us to think deeply about the (sometimes) complexity of identity for people of the Diaspora, and take us on a journey across historical influences, the impact of immigration policies, separation, racialized violence against Black bodies and ensuing cover-ups, to present-day role models and artistic production. Theirs are stories of strength and beauty, of family love, perseverance, talent, commitment to artistic collaborations, social justice activities and, above all, hope. These are intertwined with understanding issues of power; transcending borders, real and imagined, aesthetic and cultural; and recognizing linkages with present-day challenges and triumphs. It is hoped that readers see some reflections of themselves in these stories, and are inspired to thoughtfully explore the unfolding of their own lives of meaning. How do they experience

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identity in all its hybridity? How do they experience commonality with other people of African descent? How do they empower themselves? Who inspires them? What will they do with their lives to promote racial justice and overall human rights? What will be their legacy? Jeanette R. Davidson

On Family and Identity JRD – Ebony and Marie, you know I want to ask you about your art, which I know locates you in the geographic areas of Oklahoma City, Chicago, Oakland, Somalia, Ethiopia and Haiti; your activism; and your teaching. I know both of you are very strongly tied to your respective family histories, so let me start there. How much do your personal histories inspire what you do? EID – My personal history inspires my work a great deal. Besides my family, art provides a connective bridge between homes. My mother and adoptive father raised me in Oklahoma and my biological father was from Hargeisa, Somaliland (a semi-autonomous region located in northern Somalia). Oklahoma introduced me to the art of painting while Somaliland honed and defined my skills. My love of bold and bright colors was innate, but in Hargeisa I learned to love the beauty in imperfection—the fine art of improvisation in daily life. This carried over into my art as I learned to relax and accept the imperfect beauty of life. I drew inspiration from henna artists back home and their ability to freehand designs with no erasers in sight. I am blessed and grateful to have a big, supportive family. I grew up in a community of cousins, aunts and uncles within reach, and lean on them for love and support. Art has always been a passion of mine, so once I began to draw human faces I chose models closest to me and shared them as gifts. I am currently working on a painting series and memoir that focuses on my late father and my story. I choose to honor my family in the most powerful way I know how—with the stroke of my paintbrush. JRD – So can you talk about how your father’s story appears in your latest work? EID – My latest body of artwork, titled “Through Abahay’s Eyes: Through My Father’s Eyes,” will be included in my memoir. This story focuses on the life of my biological father, Said Ibrahim Osman, and mine. In the 1970s, my father came to the United States for educational purposes. He was murdered on campus by police officers. Our family was told that he committed suicide and I continued to believe this well into my twenties. When I learned the truth about his death, I vowed to investigate and share his story. This body of work is a form of social justice. Nothing will ever bring him back to us, but the police report will no longer finalize his legacy. His true story will be immortalized through the published pages of my book.

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Figure 14.1 Kernel of Eternity, by Ebony Iman Dallas

Step by step, sharing this work gets easier, yet it remains a challenge to discuss in great depth and maintain dry eyes. The word “suicide” discussed in the context of my father is extremely difficult due to years of built shame and embarrassment I felt since childhood. I avoided discussing him as a child because inevitably people would ask how he died. Only in the last year or so have I discussed this publicly.

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People react to my work with tears and smiles. “Through Abahay’s Eyes” debuted at Paseo Plunge Gallery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma then moved to Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland, California. In each space, my paintings were accompanied with relevant excerpts from my memoir. Visitors have expressed the complex and often painful connections between our story and their own. My goal is not to leave them with a sense of hopelessness, but of hope. However, I do want them to feel and empathize, as emotions are often omitted from routine news briefings. Stories covering police brutality begin to blur and combine as we become desensitized to them. I want people to understand the multilayered impact this has had on myself, and our family, while sharing our resilience. MC – My personal history is tied to migration, hybrid identities and separation bridged with deep love. I am an immigrant, I am Diaspora. I am Haitian American, and this impacts how I show up in the world and is a recurring theme in my work. Even if it is not obvious, it informs my process. My immediate family was split in half during our migration from Haiti to the U.S. following the aftermath of “Baby Doc’s” ousting in 1986. We became one of the many casualties of the Duvalier dictatorships and the instability that followed their twenty-nine years in power. Approximately 220,000 Haitians immigrated to the United States between 1960 and 1990, resulting in a major brain drain, and the creation of eventually a 1 million Diaspora outside of the country. Unable to receive visas for a family of seven, my parents were forced to choose which children would migrate to the States. They chose the girls. My sister Paule, age 18, and myself, age 5. We moved to the States with the hopes of being reunited with my three brothers (age 10, 12 and 19) shortly thereafter. Our visa petitions process dragged on for years. My parents eventually lost thousands of dollars and were taken advantage of by a supposed friend who was working with an immigration lawyer. In the meantime, we missed birthdays, first communions, graduations and filled in the distance exchanging cassette and VHS tapes. Nine years later we reunited with my brothers in stages, one at a time. We had to rebuild our relationships, and some never recovered the distance. There was an inherent closeness, and a huge divide, present in our lives. That duality felt like my own hybrid identity of a Haitian American whose mother tongue was imperfect but who was always looking to my native culture for answers. I share this Diaspora origin story because my family history and my immigrant story are integral to my performance/movement work. I recently realized I make work as an offering, in hopes that Ayiti1 will welcome me back. I am constantly trying to reclaim Haiti as mine, and trying to understand the multiple generations of family that show up in my work. It is present when I am reimagining an open-air market scene from my grandmother’s childhood in 1920s U.S.-occupied Haiti . . . or tracing the path of raw cacao (Chocolat Ayisien) between my mother and me.

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On Artistic Expressions Across the African Diaspora JRD – Marie and Ebony: I know you are both artists who engage in your art in the United States and also in different parts of the African Diaspora. Can you talk a bit about how your work in Oklahoma City, Chicago and Oakland, for example, impacts your work in Haiti, Somalia, Ethiopia, and vice versa? MC – Part of my art practice focuses on producing cultural programming that provides others experiences that cross imaginary borders. To have experiences, especially in Black spaces that shift our perceptions of what we think we already know, is powerful. In 2016, I created Djaspora Productions, a company with a mission to support and connect work within Diasporic communities, bridging work by U.S. creatives and cultural workers across states, but also across seas and oceans. In 2018, we traveled to Haiti in partnership with Black Arts Retreat and Links Hall, facilitating a cultural exchange for a large group of artists, cultural workers and educators from New York, New Jersey and Chicago. I am always thinking about how we can close the Diaspora gap. For some of the younger artists, this trip was their first time outside of the States and many others, their first time in Haiti. How appropriate that their first experience is one that placed them in direct conversation with artists and community members—not as missionaries, or crisis journalists or volunteers, but on equal footing as makers and global citizens. On a global scale, Haiti is known as the first independent Black nation in the western hemisphere and as one of the economically poorest countries in the world, exasperated by political unrest. We either look at its revolutionary past or undesirable present. Neither of which seem tangible to Americans. As an artist with ties to both Haiti and the U.S.—my commitment to blurring the imaginary borders is to highlight the cultural production of the island so that outsiders recognize what Haiti has contributed to the international art scene, past and present. Those who study Black Dance are familiar with the contributions of choreographer/anthropologist Katherine Dunham2 and dancer and film-maker Maya Deren3 to the field of Haitian dance and Vodou studies.4 Katherine Dunham takes what she learns in Haiti and presents it on international stages, and she takes such great care of the culture and even becomes a mambo5 that Haitians claim her as an adopted daughter of Ayiti. While their contributions are integral to understanding the transference of Haitian cultural dances and practices to the rest of the world, I think it’s important to recognize that the information is spread through intermediary sources. In addition to the knowledgeable and respectful outside sources, how can we get what we need from the source?

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Figure 14.2 Photograph by Sephora Monteau

My work with HaitiDansCo, a company based out of Cap-Haitien led by choreographer Dieufel Lamisere, is an attempt to facilitate that direct line. He is a student of Odette Wilner, one of the more important teachers and choreographers in Haiti beginning in the 1970s. What I believe is occasionally missing from our larger conversations, is the recognition of all the Haitian choreographers who were cultivating well-trained dancers in Haiti (often with the support of American choreographers) and occasionally traveling outside of its borders to further the work. I will name a few of them here: Jean-Léon Destiné, Viviane Gauthier, Odette Wilner, Emerante de Pradines Morse.6 They trained the next generation of choreographers in folklore, modern and ballet, both within Haiti and in the Diaspora, including Jeanguy Saintus, Nadia Dieudonne, Jean Appolon, Mikerline Pierre, Jean-René Delsoin and Dieufel Lamisere. I believe cultural and economic equity requires that we acknowledge all the influences and put our capital toward that equity. So, we departed for Haiti December 26th, 2018. It’s New Year’s Day and after big bowls of soup joumou7 for lunch, we shuffle across the wood floor, our backs rise and fall, undulating a newly acquired Yanvalou.8 Dieufel encourages us to push our bodies to be in concert with the drum, with the floor and with each other. The next day is Ancestors Day and

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together Haitians, folks from the Black Diaspora and Euro-Americans climb to the top of Citadelle Laferrière (a World UNESCO site), the largest fortress in the Americas (built between 1805 and 1820 by King Henri Christophe as a defense against the French for a newly independent Haiti). It was a symbol of strength for the new and fledgling country. Citadelle restorer and historian Frédérick Mangonès says “In spite of the failure of our people to build a strong nation, the Citadel, undeniably the work of Haitian people, remains a symbol of what this nation might have been.”9 We visit Bwa Kayiman, a sacred site believed to be the origin of the Haitian Revolution, where maroons and Vodou practitioners prayed and danced in preparation for a full-blown revolt.10 Back in the HaitiDansCo open-air dance studio, Florida-based choreographer Onye Ozuzu looks around our circle after a shared performance and says, “Standing on top of the Citadelle, I was reminded that we resisted, we fought the whole time.” I smile. This is what Haiti and artists like Dieufel have to offer. A reminder of the internal and external power of Black production, whether it is carving a fortress out of the side of a mountain or creating a dance studio in rural Vaudreuil, it is its own form of resistance. I wonder quietly to myself “What is the art that will come from this moment in time, this exchange of sweat and ideas?”

Figure 14.3 Photograph by Julie Verlinden

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EID – In 2010, I founded Afrikanation Artists Organization as an extension of my design thesis titled “Painted Bridges.” “Painted Bridges” explored ways to unify the African American, Afro-Caribbean, and first- and second-generation continental Africans through art and design for community activism. As an undergrad, I recall searching for images of Africa online and through stock photography books. Within a short period, a disturbing narrative was revealed. The mainstream media is filled with negative images of Africa, which ultimately tint the lens between viewers and the subjects of their gaze.11 Recycled images depicting starvation, war and famine were only countered by images of a diverse animal kingdom, safely captured from distant safari Jeeps. There was a lack of desire shown to understand the people, their traditions, religions and cultures. This imbalanced portrayal has fueled divisions amongst African descendants globally. From Jim Crow-era minstrel shows and The Birth of a Nation to infomercials depicting helpless individuals with extended hands, the sum of the imagery supports an unbalanced narrative of Africans “as passive, tragic victims”12 no matter how well-meaning some may be. My search for images of Somalia, specifically, led to a constant reminder of the hell that exists, war and starvation. Buried between images of goats whose skin thinly covered protruding bones was an intergenerational image of Somali women dancing in colorful dresses with coordinated scarves covering their heads. The fabric seemed to float like silk across a gentle, warm breeze and their smiles exhibited pure joy. I chose to paint them. I chose to celebrate their humanity in a world with closed eyes. I chose to positively focus on the African landscape, diverse cultures and its people through my art. I paint to inspire and celebrate stories of Africa’s descendants globally, as an offering. A celebration of our stories, our resilience, and our joy. Afrikanation was designed to create a space for collaboration, networking and artist support. We accomplished this through the International Art Exchange Project, where American, Ethiopian and Somali artists have collaborated through visual art, poetry, music and documentary film-making. We have also bridged connections through the Afrikanation Art Supply Donation Drive. This call for artists, local businesses, educational institutions and museums to collect art supplies in the U.S. and South Africa has supported Millwood Middle School in Oklahoma City, Voices for Street Children in Addis Ababa, youth at Hargeisa Children’s Orphanage and professional artists in Hargeisa.

On Special Pieces JRD – Marie and Ebony, would you talk about art pieces/dance pieces that mean the most to you and why these are of particular significance, and would you discuss your process in imagining these pieces? MC – I have a performance/food installation piece called Chocolat Lakay13 that I have been performing in various forms for the past five years. It never feels like it’s done, perhaps because the inspiration for the piece itself is ongoing. It’s

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part interactive cooking class, part storytelling and part movement. The piece is about how my mother has been sending me raw Haitian Cacao in the mail and by other delivery methods since I left her house for college. I used it to make Haitian hot chocolate, my comfort drink, a reminder of home and Sundays. I usually begin the piece by pounding raw cacao with a pestle and mortar. tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap tap Tap The movement travels from the pestle to my feet and now we are moving, we are grooving and making kitchen dances. The chocolate stands in as a device for talking about my personal relationship with my mother and the strength of the kitchen ritual. I weave the story as I add the cinnamon, brown sugar, milk, butter, star anise, salt, milk, cayenne and finally cacao. Each ingredient that is added to the pot moves the story along. This is how my mother shared stories about our family and her childhood. Her stories start, stop, meander; she trails off as she tastes the sauce on the back of her hand. Within the safety of the kitchen, I could ask questions about topics that were usually off limits. In those moments, my mother let down her tough exterior and let me in on the past. I try to capture the natural rhythm of the kitchen and my interpretation of my mother’s movements in the piece. I invite the audience to participate in the creation of the piece, reciting ingredients. I hope it conjures their own memories of being in the kitchen with family and what they have learned between the stirring, peeling, chopping and tasting. Art has a way of transporting us. I don’t need everyone to go exactly where I go—but hopefully, they remember their own version of home. The bonus is that the room smells like chocolate when I am done, and everyone gets to taste the final product. Sense-memory is so strong—I know the audience is feeling and remembering something connected to that taste. EID – My journalism background taught me the power of images, and “Shine,” one of my favorite pieces, is a celebration of beauty. It is a celebration of self-love and confidence in spite of recycled images of beauty published in magazines and television that do not look like you. The woman depicted in “Shine” is confident, gorgeous, and her colorful wings reflect a combination of attributes that make her a one-of-a-kind gift to the world. Her personality, passion, strengths, weaknesses, goals and dreams should be celebrated. In America, Black skin is not celebrated. Self-confidence, love and acceptance sometimes feel like acts of rebellion. Like the words chanted by James Brown, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” reminded us of the power of selfpride despite a world who threatened to beat it out of us.

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Figure 14.4 Shine, by Ebony Iman Dallas

On Arts and Activism JRD – Ebony, I know that you are an activist. Can you talk about your art and your activism? EID – While working as an art director at an advertising agency, I realized my passion for pro bono projects over many of the products we were paid to sell.

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I realized a desire to share ideas and information that positively impacted lives. People inspire me to create. Their stories of heroism and resilience provide hope. The three major bodies of art I created were focused on individual tales of heroism. The first was “Legends: Oklahoma, and Beyond.” This included portraits of Clara Luper,14 Gabby Giffords,15 Gandhi, a mother and child, and my father. Years later my “Women in War Zones” series focused solely on women’s issues and included portraits of Malala Yousafzai,16 local breast cancer survivors Lori Klarenbeek and Rhonda Hudson. You don’t need a name like Malala for your story to inspire others. Everyday people inspire me, and I love sharing stories so that others, too, might find strength in them. After learning about my father’s murder, Lori said that portraits of my mother and I should have graced gallery walls besides hers as our story, too, was a tale of strength and inspiration. I have always believed that my mother was strong, but often failed to recognize the strength within myself. I now live in a place where I am comfortable sharing our family story with “Through Abahay’s Eyes.” MC – I like that you included local women in your series. It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to be a recognizable figure to be a symbol of strength. You can be a woman surviving breast cancer in Oklahoma. EID – In a similar fashion, I seek to uplift and inspire others through art. In September of 2018, I participated in an exhibition titled “The Black Woman is God,” in San Francisco, California. This show was curated by Bay Area artist Karen Seneferu and Melorra Green,17 co-director of the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco, California. Together they created an exhibition that was also “a movement-building platform that explores the intersections of race and gender, dismantling racist and patriarchal notions that devalue Black women’s contributions to society.” This show featured fifty Black women artists “that pay homage to their complex creative practices that have influenced the world but [are] overlooked because of their race, class, and gender.”18 As a part of this exhibition, I created a piece titled “Love Sets Free,” which features the goddess of love, Oshun, of the Yoruba religion. There she exhibited love in its purest form as she released two butterflies and blessed them with the knowledge of love as a choice, not an obligation. This painting utilized traditional religious iconography to highlight the holy, sacred goddess. As Black artists, it is important that we share our stories as authentically as possible. To share our stories is to give light and power to voices often marginalized and muffled in the media mainstream. We are descendants of ancient cave painters who offer a glimpse into a world that existed thousands of years before we breathed its air. Our work will document stories long beyond our death. JRD – Ebony, I know also that you were involved with other artists in the OKC (Oklahoma City) Artists for Justice. The group was instrumental in attracting attention to the case against a police officer who ultimately was found guilty for preying on and raping Black women in the city. Can you talk

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about why so much energy (that actually made all the difference in the case being investigated, and the outcome) came from artists, and mostly women artists at that? EID – The last survivor was attacked, by former Officer Holtzclaw,19 a few blocks away from my aunt’s home. She was our neighbor. She could have been my aunt, my mother, my sister or myself. Black women felt a collective sense of hurt, outrage and betrayal as each survivor looked like us. Poet Grace Franklin and dancer Candace Liger founded OKC Artists for Justice20 to raise awareness of the case brought against Holtzclaw and to support those hurt by him. Together, Grace and Candace connected the greater community by using art as awareness-building tools. Artist Tiffany Nicole, a founding member, painted to spread awareness about this case, and I did too. Hundreds showed up and protested throughout court proceedings as a result of everyone’s hard work. Poet Trina Robinson and I co-wrote an article for Art Focus magazine to highlight the great work of the founders, and later I joined the board of directors. Art is an extremely powerful tool that OKC Artists for Justice uses well. JRD – Would you talk please about your latest public works, Ebony?

Figure 14.5 Four Winds, by Ebony Iman Dallas

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EID – Recently I completed a mural in north-east Oklahoma City, dedicated to Black women, and I call it “The Four Winds.” It highlights the power Black women hold as the woman blows the wind to the north, east, south and west directions. If we believe what the mainstream media tells us about ourselves, that would mean our lives are not worth fighting or prosecuting for. It is up to us to recognize our own value and move in the world with confidence in knowing our power. This piece is dedicated to the late Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland, who were both victims of police brutality.

Figure 14.6 New Oklahoma History, by Ebony Iman Dallas

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I also have a piece, “New Oklahoma History,” that I have dedicated to all of the children who have lost a parent to police violence. It is a painted mask, made from historic newspaper clippings, that started out as a personal piece, focused on my father, Said Osman, but at the time I created it, I was not emotionally equipped to speak about him publicly. I began to focus on Terence Crutcher,21 a Tulsa native who was shot and killed while seeking help as his car stalled in the middle of the road. His picture is highlighted at the crown of the mask. This tragic event was caught on film, unlike my father’s. Regardless, his murderer remains free. This piece is being used to help publicize the University of Oklahoma’s commemoration events next year of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

On Inspirational Role Models JRD – Both of you have spoken about people who have figured as influences in your work. Are there other artists who have been role models to you or who have inspired you? What did you learn from them? EID – Mr. Harry Belafonte22 is the epitome of a lifetime artist/activist. Mr. Belafonte has brought generations of artists together to promote civil and human rights. In response to the devastating East African drought of the 1980s, he persuaded musicians to collaborate and sing “We Are the World” to raise funds for medicine, food and water. In 2016, I attended the Many Rivers to Cross Music Festival, which was dedicated to the promotion of “racial and social justice.” This was organized by members of Sankofa,23 a non-profit organization founded by Mr. Belafonte. This two-day festival included an interdisciplinary group of artists including John Legend, Common, Dave Matthews, Sonia Sanchez, Carlos Santana, Danny Glover and Public Enemy. Each artist shared personal insights, poetry and music that put a spotlight on police brutality and a desire to end mass incarceration. Visual artists created a “Social Justice Village Mural City” where they painted powerful images in support of the cause. As Mr. Belafonte said, “the deep truth is that, to be an artist is to be a prophet of truth.” As artists, we have a responsibility to share the truth of the world around us. Looking further back, I am also inspired by the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance. The battle of ownership rights to the African narrative and its descendants predate nineteenth-century minstrel show posters depicting Blacks as lazy, “happy-go-lucky” characters. Realizing a need for first-hand narration, the Harlem Renaissance was formed in direct reply. Artists of the Harlem Renaissance found themselves painting within lines drawn by W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke. Du Bois called for artists to highlight Black culture in “the noblest of light” as Locke declared artists of African descent should emancipate themselves from the belief that they must replicate typical

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European imagery and adopt a more geometric, less figurative style of their African ancestors.24 Both Locke and Du Bois were determined to counter Jim Crow propaganda portraying African descendants as “inferior” with images that celebrate African American culture and heritage. MC – Most of my direct inspiration comes from artists I have met or worked with, and they are inspired by wonderful and impressive artistic lineages. Sharon Bridgforth is someone whose work I greatly admire. She is an award-winning writer/director and creates ritual/jazz theater. The first time I worked with her, in 2011, was as a participant of her Theatrical Jazz Institute in connection with DePaul University and Links Hall in Chicago. Bridgforth asked us, “What is the work you need to make to save your own life?” She was passing on a directive given to her by an elder maker. WOW! The task was weighty but direct. She wanted us to make art that felt urgent. This is how she moves through the world, and so we worked at responding to her call. A few years later, I played the role of Big-Chief in “River See,” Sharon’s answer to that question. Sharon wrote, composed and directed the series of blues stories that take place, just before the great migration, on a riverboat and juke joint. The stories centered around “SEE,” a young queer woman who is trying to find herself, and her mother, who has gone north. She has the help of rowdy spirit guides, elders and shake-dancers. The piece relies on fluid timelines, an improvisational chorus, audience participation, Yoruba ancestral practices and movements inspired by African American circle dances. If you are not well versed in cyclical timelines of Yoruba people,25 or many Sub-Saharan African peoples, this kind of performance can be dizzying. Sharon does not feel the need to translate for the audience. She believes that the witness/participants (what she calls the audience) will grab onto something familiar as the piece swells, spins, rises and falls. This is the guiding rule I hold onto in my practice. Do not explain—let folks have their own experiences. I think there is sometimes an urge to over-explain when we are creating work rooted in Diasporic traditions in the U.S. It’s a result of the dominant culture’s lack of multicultural competency. Some of the most interesting and experimental works by Black artists are unique to their experiences, and everyone catches up in due time. I look to Bridgforths’s artistic inspirations of composer Butch Morris,26 playwright Ntozake Shange,27 choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and the late Obie Award-winning actor, director, playwright Laurie Carlos28 for examples. The work of Urban Bush Women, led by Bessie Award-winning choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, continues to evolve and impacts how I work as an experimental artist. The company has created seminal dance theater pieces that disregard genre. Zollar and her company make contemporary work using multiple tools from theater, dance to music. They pull from modern and

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contemporary technique, West-African dance, hip-hop, jazz, Caribbean and Latin influences amongst others. We can see a mixture of influences highlighted in Zollar’s 2004 work, “Walking with Pearl—African Diaries,” which was created using diary entries from legendary choreographer and anthropologist Pearl Primus’ research trips to Africa in the 1940s and 50s. Zollar makes reference to Pearl’s modern work, African movement and her own contemporary style. Urban Bush Women is constantly upending the status quo and challenging the definitions of “Black dance.” I am inspired by the network of Black experimental artists that have an affinity for pulling from the body and spirit archives while forging new territory. We see the influence of playwright Ntozake Shange on the page in Bridgforth’s work, or hints of Diane McIntyre in Jawole’s work, and then you see the next generation of makers and we can see their impact. I see Zollar’s influences in the work of choreographers Onye Ozuzu or Nora Chipuamire29 (both have worked with Urban Bush Women) or the ritual nature of choreographer Ni’Ja Whitson’s 2011 “root shock,” and how it links back to Sharon’s Theatrical Jazz teachings. We are constantly creating new work and pulling bits of the past—possibly mixed in with the future, inspired by the maker who has yet to be born. We are creating on an African timeline.

On Working with Students JRD – You both engage in very meaningful work in the classroom with students. What are the key elements you want to convey to students? What do you want them to learn in your classrooms? How is your love for art and dance intertwined and enhanced by your knowledge of Black Studies? How do these come together in the classroom? MC – I begin every semester by asking my students “What do you think you know about Africa?” “What do you know?” and “What don’t you know?” We establish a baseline of our understanding of continental Africa and the Diaspora. The education that students have received, both formal and non-formal, about Africa and its Diaspora is varied in the U.S. Africa is not just absent from K–12 education in many places, but sometimes, when it is included, the information is inaccurate. So, some of the work is reframing the culture for the students, while agreeing that we have different foundations for our knowledge. What’s beautiful is when students realize they had access to African concepts the whole time—they just didn’t know how to find the visible connections. For example, they begin to understand the hip-hop dance battle circle as a continuum of the Ring Shout, the oldest African American performance tradition surviving on the North American continent.30 They can recognize the function of choreographer Rashida Bumbray’s Ring Shout piece in rapper Common’s “Black America” video as a healing movement ritual to reckon with the death

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of Freddie Gray, a Black man who died in police custody after having his spine broken. While I want them to learn about polyrhythm, fluidity, isolation and various footwork techniques, I also want them to learn the foundations that have contributed to the resilience of Black cultural production in the Americas. African people have used music and dance as a form of communication since the beginning; communication with the living, the dead, the spirits and heavens. Ewe Master Drummer C. K. Ladzekpo says that polyrhythm is our way of trying to make sense of the chaos in life, and also recognizing that the tension is necessary. Black people have cultural wealth that exists far outside of a European lens, because we existed and created before European contact. At the same time, our cultural retention is one of the factors that contributed to our survival and our ability to have a significant influence on the Western world. The body as an archive is important in my class. Students understand that Black history is held in the body, and as Black people, we can access the archive. It’s evident in Brazilian Capoeira that we can trace back to Angola, or Yoruba influences in Haitian Vodou dances that we can trace back to Nigeria; and Second Line footwork that looks like Bata ritual footwork in Cuba. We celebrate the remix! We understand the sampling that creates something new, something dope, something hybrid. EID – The diversity and beauty of continental and Diasporic African art is what I am excited to share with my students. “Art History” often neglects to acknowledge and revere the true impact African art has and continues to make in our world. You, Dr. Davidson, encouraged Marie and me to share personal experiences and findings. Students often expressed surprise when learning about Lalibelan rock-hewn churches of Ethiopia. Many wondered why they had yet to hear about the well-preserved, 8,000-year-old Laas Geel cave paintings in Somaliland. I want my students to learn in a diverse sensory experience. In my classroom we listen to artist interviews, explore the texture of Ethiopian textiles with our hands and examine original paintings by artists in the African Diaspora while sipping Somali tea. This is my effort to transport students beyond current lines of comfort and to experience cultures that may not be their own.

Notes 1. Haitian Creole spelling of Haiti, meaning “Land of high mountains.” 2. Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities, http://kdcah.org/katherine-dunham-biography/ (accessed 3 September 2019). Katherine Dunham was an African American choreographer and scholar who revolutionized American dance beginning in the 1930s by going to the roots of black dance and rituals, transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all. She is

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3.

4.

5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

15.

16. 17. 18. 19.

20.

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EBONY IMAN DALLAS, MARIE CASIMIR AND JEANETTE R. DAVIDSON credited for bringing Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world. Maya Deren was an experimental film-maker and dancer who documented Vodou rituals and dances in Haiti between 1947 and 1951. Her work became seminal for scholars studying Haitian Vodou. See Lois Wilcken, “The Sacred Music and Dance of Haitian Vodou from Temple to Stage and the Ethics of Representation,” Latin American Perspectives 32.1 (2005), 193–210. A priestess in the Vodou religion/system. Allison E. Francis, “Serving the Spirit of the Dance: A Study of Jean-Léon Destiné, Lina Mathon Blanchet, and Haitian Folkloric Traditions,” Journal of Haitian Studies 15.1/2 (2009), 304–15. Haitian pumpkin soup eaten on New Year’s Day, which is also Haitian Independence Day. Haitian Vodou dance associated with the deity Damballah, characterized by serpent-like movement of the spine and arms. Frédérick Mangonès, “The Citadel as Site of Haitian Memory,” Callaloo 15.3 (1992), 857–61. DOI:10.2307/2932029. Ibid. Guy Debord, “Separation Perfected,” in The Society of the Spectacle, transl. Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York: Zone Books, 1995), 12. Robert F. Stock, Africa South of the Sahara: A Geographical Interpretation, 3rd ed. (New York: Guilford Press, 2014). Lakay means “home” in Haitian Kreyol. Clara Luper was a Civil Rights leader and schoolteacher who organized the sit-in movement in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with several members of the NAACP Youth Council, in addition to protests and boycotts. Gabby Giffords is a former member of the United States House of Representatives representing Arizona. She survived an assassination attempt which left her with a severe brain injury. Ms. Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly have since founded Americans for Responsible Solutions and Giffords organizations to support gun control. Malala Yousafzai is a young Pakistani activist who was shot on her school bus by a member of the Taliban for promoting girls’ rights to education. Melorra Green is co-director of the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco. “The Black Woman is God,” “About,” www.theblackwomanisgod.com/about (accessed 30 November 2019). Former Officer Daniel Holtzclaw of the Oklahoma City Police Department was convicted of sexually assaulting eight out of thirteen African American women who testified against him. Holtzclaw was a patrol officer on the north-east side of Oklahoma City—a predominantly African American portion of the city, where the assaults took place. OKC Artists for Justice is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that works to end violence against women of color. OKC Artists for Social Justice have received several awards and honors for their work. In addition to activism before, during and after the court proceedings, the group established community meetings including one where they brought Attorney Barbara Arnwine and Professor

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23.

24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

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Kimberlé Crenshaw to discuss the legal case and to help local people process the trauma that was felt city-wide, and to facilitate renewal and strength. See Chapter 8 for more discussion of the killing of Terence Crutcher. Harry Belafonte is an award-winning singer, actor and activist who utilizes his platform to promote social justice across the world. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, the Grammy Award-winning song “We Are the World,” and was very active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Sankofa is an organization founded by Harry Belafonte that addresses issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, oppressed and underserved through art, culture and media. Sharon F. Patton, African American Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 118. The Yoruba people are an ethnic group of more than 40 million people who share a language and culture across Nigeria, Benin and Togo. Butch Morris, an American cornetist, composer and conductor who created a distinctive form of large-ensemble music built on collective improvisation. Ntozake Shange is a revolutionary playwright, who created “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” in 1976. Laurie Carlos is an Obie Award-winning performer and director who was an important force in avant-garde theater in New York from the 1970s–90s. Onye Ozuzu and Nora Chipuamire are contemporary choreographers and educators, who occasionally work in hybrid styles of movement. Art Rosenbaum, Margo Newmark Rosenbaum, Johann S. Buis and McIntosh County Shouters, Shout Because You’re Free: The African American Ring Shout Tradition in Coastal Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998).

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15 He Wasn’t Man Enough: Black Male Studies and the Ethnological Targeting of Black Men in Nineteenth-Century Suffragist Thought Tommy J. Curry One of the primary interventions that Black male studies makes is its consideration of how the objectification of Black males within ethnological sciences affected the scientific and political assumptions of suffragettes and feminism, from the second half of the nineteenth century throughout the twentieth century. Black male studies scholars have highlighted how suffragettes were heavily involved in the expansion of White patriarchal power through their deployment of ethnological tropes against Black males to justify assaulting their right to vote as well as calling for mass lynching. Within Black Studies, there is a mythology surrounding Black men’s engagement with suffrage that suggests Black men might have been sympathetic to women rights, but ultimately chose the right to vote and manhood for themselves over all womankind. Beverly Guy-Sheftall’s Daughters of Sorrow and bell hooks’ Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism attributed Black men’s pursuit of male enfranchisement to their desire and political quest for manhood and patriarchal power.1 Suffragettes are often offered to Black scholars as warriors for women’s rights who were racist because they excluded Black women from the suffragist movement. However, the anti-Black misandry of White suffragettes, that demonized Black males as rapists who must be destroyed to achieve civilization, has never been engaged within the previous Black Studies literature. This fact of history has not only been ignored, but outright denied by scholars working on race and gender. Based on the public or written commentaries on women’s rights organizations surveyed between 1840 and 1920, the late historian Rosalyn Terborg-Penn has argued that only three Black men were opposed to women’s suffrage. This means, out of the eighty-three Black American males who commented upon suffrage publicly, eighty of those men supported, advocated for and participated in pro-women’s-rights organizations.2 Historians have documented various accounts of Black men supporting and organizing on the behalf of Black and White women in support of

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suffrage and women’s rights.3 As with most popularly held tropes about history, this is only partially the case. Suffragettes tried to convince White legislators and policymakers that Black men were too savage to hold the right to vote, while such a right was denied to more civilized White women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony created racist organs that argued for educated suffrage and the barring of Negro men from the ballot. There is no denying that Black women were excluded from suffrage because they were Negro and not educated; the Black male was said to not deserve the ballot because he was a Negro rapist, a savage that would doom Western civilization.4 To convince the world of their cause, suffragettes resorted to name-calling Black men and circulated racist propaganda claiming that Black men were against women’s rights and sought the ballot to destroy (rape) White womanhood. The previous literature concerning Black males has rarely ventured into the attitudes that White women suffragists had toward Black men. While there has been some research into the racism and ethnological thinking of some of the leaders of the suffrage movement, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, I know of no work that frames the racism of nineteenth-century suffragists based on their attitudes toward Black men.5 This chapter will discuss how White suffragettes deployed the idea that Black males were rapists to build their political platform for women’s rights.

The Ethnological Charge of White Suffragists Against Black Male Enfranchisement The Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, was ratified 6 December 1865. By 26 December of that year, Elizabeth Cady Stanton had already sent a petition to the House of Representatives and Senate floor demanding the enfranchisement of all women in the United States as a class. Stanton was adamant that (White) women were the rightful inheritors of the right to vote. She explicitly appealed to the nativist sentiments of many nineteenth-century statesmen when she called their attention to the fact that they were 15 million “intelligent, virtuous, native-born American citizens” who were now the “only class who stand outside the pale of political recognition.”6 The appeal to the native-born and virtuous character of White women not only positioned their place alongside White men and as Americans, but highlighted the egregious harm done to White women as “disenfranchised citizens.” This term dislocated the recently granted citizenship of Black men who had aspirations for suffrage, by reminding the representatives of the state that all Blacks are alien, not native, and “emancipated slaves,” not citizens.7 Black men were not by any means privileged in the debates and refusals of their suffrage rights. In fact, Black people had not been granted citizenship for more than twenty days when Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and other suffragists began circulating petitions calling for Black men not to singularly gain the right to the ballot.

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As the historian Rosalyn Terborg-Penn wrote, “By 1869, name-calling and anti-Black male suffrage sentiments were heard frequently from whites of whom the most outspoken were Elizabeth Stanton and George Francis Train.”8 Stanton had a stake not only in White supremacy, but in White women ruling the world side by side with White men. In “Manhood Suffrage,” Stanton does object to what she perceives as the tendencies of male government, war, violence and conquest; however, she believes that the rule of White women in government and society quiets male power. “Mid violence and disturbance in the natural world, we see a constant effort to maintain an equilibrium of forces,”9 writes Stanton. Womanhood perfects patriarchal power, making it less violent and more civilized. “There is ever a striking analogy in the world of matter and mind, and the present disorganization of our social state warns us that in the dethronement of woman we have let loose the elements of violence and ruin, that she, only, has power to curb.”10 “If the civilization of the age calls for an extension of suffrage, a government of the most virtuous, educated men and women would better represent the whole humanitarian idea, and more perfectly protect the interests of all, than could representation of either sex alone,” says Stanton.11 Stanton is not against White men’s government, or what we would now understand as patriarchy; she is against being ruled by men of the darker races, men with a degraded and inferior manhood. “If woman finds it hard to bear the oppressive laws of a few Saxon Fathers, of the best orders of manhood, what may she not be called to endure when all the lower orders, natives and foreigners, Dutch, Irish, Chinese and African, legislate for her daughters?”12 So, when Stanton asks readers to “Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung who do not know the difference between a Monarchy or Republic, who never read the Declaration of Independence or Webster’s spelling book making laws for Lydia Maria Childs, Lucretia Mott, or Fanny Kemble,” she asks them to imagine superior and educated White women being ruled by savage men, who possess more severe brutish natures. Empowering savage males politically was against the laws of science. Stanton argued that “All late writers on the science of government recognize in woman the great humanizing element of the new era we are now entering, in which moral power is to govern brute force.”13 Similar publications by Stanton and Anthony emphasizing the savagery of Black men appeared in The Revolution, the pro-suffrage periodical funded by George Francis Train. Train did not believe the Negro was civilized enough for freedom. In a speech entitled “Slavery and Emancipation,” Train clearly articulated his views on the innate inferiority and immorality of the African race. “The African has no social ties, no sacred rights, no family pleasures, and is a cannibal,” said Train. Slavery brought Africans to church, to God. Africa had no Christian ministers or schoolteachers, so there is no way to expect improvement and development. The ignorance of the African had become genetic. Train was adamant that “Religiously and morally, all the heads under

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which I have classified the arguments are subordinate to this—the barbarian meets civilized man and improves as far as he can. Education may develop but cannot originate mind. Color is not the only thing that marks him. You must first put inside his thick skull nine cubic inches more of brain!”14 The anti-Black male rhetoric was part of a larger program by White suffragettes to disenfranchise the Negro. The “lower orders” of men threaten White womanhood. They are not fit, so to speak, to rule over a more civilized White racial group or educated class. Stanton is reminding her readers, and her Democratic allies, that the enfranchisement of Black men is merely the first step to male governance by inferiors—savage men. It was suffragists fighting against Black male enfranchisement and political power that canonized the idea that Black men were opposed to women’s rights. Racialized men are depicted as misogynists and hostile to women’s advance toward the ballot within suffrage literature. According to Stanton, “The lowest classes of men are invariably the most hostile to the elevation of woman as they have known her only in ignorance and degradation and ever regarded her in light of a slave.”15 Implying that the conditions of women under Black and non-White (read “un-civilized”) cultures are worse than the actual slavery of Whites is not unlike previous comments made by Stanton trying to convince women of the ever looming dangers associated with the Black male vote. In 1865, Stanton asked “Have not Black male citizens been heard to say they doubted the wisdom of extending the right of suffrage to women?”16 Because the racial backwardness of Black men is brutish, Stanton infers that the political empowering of Black men would be another form of slavery for Black women, who were still actually enslaved. “If the two millions of Southern Black women are not secured in their rights of person, property, wages, and children, their emancipation is but another form of slavery. In fact, it is better to be the slave of an educated white man, than of a degraded, ignorant Black one.”17 Similarly to her previous misandric renderings of Black men, Stanton restated the ideas previously presented in her letters on the pages of The Revolution without equivocation. Stanton was adamant that the paternalism of American chattel slavery was far more civilized for Black women than the marriage of a Black woman to a Black man. In her testimony over the Fifteenth Amendment, Phoebe Couzins, a lawyer and frequent contributor to The Revolution, reiterates Stanton’s views of Black men. She says, I have had opportunities of seeing and knowing the condition of both sexes, and will bear my testimony, that the black women are, and always have been, in a far worse condition than the men. As a class, they are better, and more intelligent than the men, yet they have been subjected to greater brutalities, while compelled to perform exactly the same labor as men toiling by their side in the fields . . . The black men, as a class, are very tyrannical in their families; they have learned the lesson of brute force but too well, and as the marriage law allows the husband entire control over his wife’s earnings and her children, she

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is in worse bondage than before; because in many cases the task of providing for helpless children and an idle, lazy, husband, is imposed on the patient wife and mother . . .18

Suffragettes deliberately targeted Black men as violent and oppressive toward women’s rights. Black men were thought to be primitive and non-intelligent brutes who used violence to achieve dominance and power in their homes. Suffragettes often circulated the popular ethnological view of Black males being less evolved than White men to explain why Black men were crueler to Black women than even White men would be. The stereotype of Black men as savages who beat their wives and abused their children was used to show the White world that Black men were not civil and did not deserve the right to rule over others—that despite being freed from slavery they were still to be feared. These are stereotypes that continue to endure throughout the twenty-first-century gender analyses Black scholars claim are far removed from the legacy and influence of White feminism.19 Despite being over a century removed from their utterance, Black male political activity and many of our contemporary ideas of patriarchy remain framed as the violence Black men impart upon women and children through domestic violence and rape. This narrative of Black men’s hostility to women’s rights, and the danger a free and enfranchised Black male posed to women’s political freedom, was utilized with great effect by women’s rights advocates. To discourage the use of the ballot by Black men, White feminists called upon White men to protect them from the bestial lusts of Black men who, empowered through the ballot, would seek out White women’s flesh. A White supremacist and feminist by the name of Rebecca Latimer Felton was adamant that giving Black males the right to vote would feed Black men’s insatiable urge to rape White women. In an 1898 speech, she said when you take the negro into your embraces on election day to control his vote and use liquor to befuddle his understanding and make him believe he is a man and your brother . . . lynchings prevail, because the cause will grow and increase with every election when there is not enough religion in the pulpit to organize a crusade against this sin, nor justice in the court-house to promptly punish the crime, nor manhood enough in the nation to put a sheltering arm about innocence and virtue. If it requires lynching to protect woman’s dearest possession from ravening, drunken human beasts, then I say lynch a thousand negroes a week, if it is necessary.20

The New Negro male who desired to be a political man was a threat to the order and constitution of the United States. Rebecca Felton made it her charge to remind the world that a Black man that believed he was actually a man, and consequently deserved to be free, was not only a threat to White America’s civil society, but to the very existence of White womanhood. Describing the propensity of young Black men to rape as “the brutal

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lust of these half-civilized gorillas,” Felton’s suffragism was dedicated to a creed of lynching any Black man accused of harming a White woman.21 Sam Hose, a Black man who killed his White employer, Alfred Cranford, in selfdefense after having a gun drawn on him during a dispute about wages, was falsely accused of raping the deceased’s wife. Mrs. Cranford never made an eyewitness identification of Mr. Hose, and there were conflicting reports of the crime; nevertheless, Felton was sure in saying that Hose was a beast and that a “dog is worthy of more sympathy.”22

The White Woman as Patriarch: The Civilizational Gift of White Womanhood Heredity, or more accurately the sexual relationship, made White women an indispensable part of the White supremacist project and the development of America as a patriarchal society. As the historian Louise Newman explained, “white woman’s rights activists measured the (lack of) ‘social progress’ of nonwhite races in terms of their (lack of) conformity to Anglo-American Protestant middle-class gender relations.”23 This imperial posture created two problems according to Newman: First, it limited the critiques white women could offer of the racism and sexism within their own culture because in the end they had to acknowledge that patriarchy had been key to their own racial advancement. Second, white women’s belief in their own race-specific trait of moral superiority permitted them to view other cultures with condescension, if not outright disrespect.24

The home became the template for larger imperial ventures and conquest in the name of White supremacy carried out by White men and White women.25 For some late nineteenth-century feminists like Charlotte Gilman, this meant that White women not only did not criticize patriarchy, but claimed that it was rightfully theirs, that White women actually gifted patriarchy to White men. In Manliness and Civilization, the historian Gail Bederman argues that Gilman believed “civilization’s advancement should be seen primarily in terms of race, not sex . . . that human history had a cosmic telos, an evolutionary mechanism, and a racial basis: it was a story of advanced white races evolving ever higher, striving toward a perfect civilization.”26 Gilman is an interesting figure, not simply because of her virulent racism or civilizational feminist ideology, but because she believed in patriarchy or the domination of the White race over inferior groups of men, like many turn-of-the-century feminist thinkers. Gilman believed that the subjugation of White women to White men was necessary to teach White men compassion. The male element was far too destructive without the compassion and love of women. In Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution, Gilman argued that, to evolve the White male toward civilization and industry, the White woman needed to devolve her racial characteristics and

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retreat into sex differences. By retreating into the home, the White woman taught the White man compassion and evolved him beyond being a hunter, fighter, killer and destroyer, toward racial development.27 “The naturally destructive tendencies of the male have been gradually subverted to the conservative tendencies of the female, and this so palpably that the process is plainly to be observed throughout history,” explains Gilman. This maternalization of White man gave to White men the female quality of race-preservation.28 Being confined to the home was a small price to pay to rule the world. “The subjection of woman has involved to an enormous degree the maternalizing of man. Under its bonds he has been forced into new functions, impossible to male energy alone. He has had to learn to love and care for someone besides himself. He has had to learn to work, to serve, to be human.”29 As Gilman says, “Women can well afford their period of subjection for the sake of a conquered World; a civilized man.”30 To conquer the world, White men had to eliminate weaker men. The feminist should embrace their subjugation to White men in the home, because this is the evolutionary process that history has demanded of them. It is this sacrifice that tames and directs the killer instinct in their males toward racial regeneration and care. The White woman’s racial duty is toward the evolution of the White race. Gilman says, “In spite of the agony of the process, the black, long ages of shame and pain and horror, women should remember that they are still here; and, thanks to the blessed power of heredity, they are not so far aborted that a few generations of freedom will not set them abreast of the age.”31 Lesser men are expendable and pave the way for the global reign of the White race. Turn-of-the-century suffragettes knew that their position in the world as White women placed them above the rest of the world and, more importantly, spared them from the genocidal tendencies of the White male element. To be spared of this kind of violence, the White woman showed the White man how to build an economic empire and prepare a world where her need to stay in the home would no longer be useful to the advancement of the race. It is this protection of the reproductive and heredity in White womanhood that both justified her subjugation within the home and now, at the turn of the century, the woman’s movement to be freed from the home: Never once in the history of humanity has any outrage upon women compared with these sweeping sacrifices of helpless males in earlier species. The female has been dominant for the main duration of life on earth. She has been easily equal always up to our own race; and in our race she has been subjugated to the male during the earlier period of development for such enormous racial gain, such beautiful and noble uses, that the sacrifice should never be mentioned nor thought of by a womanhood that knows its power.32

Gilman believed the White woman gifted White men racial consciousness. By offering the White man the maternal quality of the race, she evolves the White male—makes him into the White patriarch through an urging to care for his racial kin. It is through this kinship taught to him by the White woman

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through family that the White man acquired his desire for White civilization and empire. As Gilman says, still it remains true that our sexuo-economic relation . . . has reacted to the benefit of the individual and of race in many ways: in the extension of female function through the male; in the blending of faculties which have resulted in the possibility of our civilization; in the superior fighting power developed in the male, and its effects in race-conquest, military and commercial; in the increased productivity developed by his assumption of maternal function; and by the sex-relation becoming mainly proportioned to his power to pay for it.33

Gilman argued that the racial unity of White men and women was in fact a sexuoeconomic relationship that was the foundation of the emerging global economy. The White woman was necessary for the White race to relegate darker bodies to colonies and Whites to control the labor of those races. Gilman believed it was only in the accomplished unity of White men and White women as imperialists that the White race could rule the world together.

Black Male Studies: Reading What Has Been Read The largely unremarked-upon racism and anti-Black male caricatures of the suffrage movement should alert Black Studies scholars to the dangers of the decades-long practice of evaluating the gender progressivism of Black male political and religious figures in the nineteenth century based on their proximity to suffragism. Throughout the centuries Black men have written profound articles of resistance and revolution with the knowledge of how White supremacy, patriarchy and feminism has worked. Yet, today, we evaluate W. E. B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, James McCune Smith and others based on how we identify their gender politics without any such consideration of the dangers or threats their actual identification or struggles with suffragism might have entailed. Contemporary Black feminist scholarship has continued to assert that the distrust Black men, and the Black community at large, have of feminist politics stems from their conservatism and misogyny. Perhaps there is more exploration needed here, since Black men have historically aligned themselves with women, but against these historical elements of feminism.34 Rather than assuming a purity of feminist politics concerning gender and patriarchy, Black Studies scholars would be well reminded that there was a particular anti-Black male sentiment endorsed by White suffragists and feminists that resonates within the gender politics and commentaries of the twenty-first century. Said differently, the history of suffrage’s anti-Black male propaganda demonstrates women’s rights was not only deeply racist, but horribly misandric as well.35 White women proliferated discourses of Black male pathology and sexual violence to gain political power and masculine standing in their White supremacist society. Black Studies has done little work in the exploration of gender and sex differences in nineteenth-century ethnology. Our lack of knowledge in this regard

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has allowed decades of scholars to assert ahistorical renderings of gender and male privilege which simply could not have existed in the mid to late nineteenth century given the science of race and the ethnological debates concerning gender at the time. Gender marked the distance in evolution masculine White races had from savage feminine races. Given this strong relationship between the feminine and racial savagery in the mid nineteenth century, it would be more appropriate to understand texts like Frederick Douglass’s The Claims of the Negro: Ethnologically Considered as a refutation of the gendered assumptions made about the primitive character—feminine savagery—of the Negro.36 Douglass repeats the query made by the Examiner: If the negro has the same right to his liberty and the pursuit of his own happiness that the white man has, then we commit the greatest wrong and robbery to hold him a slave . . . and negro slavery is an institution which that sentiment must sooner or later blot from the face of the earth. After stating the question thus, the Examiner boldly asserts the negro has no such right—BECAUSE HE IS NOT A MAN.37

Douglass insists there is a distinct difference between the Negro and that which is animal. Douglass argues that “Man is distinguished from all other animals, by the possession of certain definite faculties and powers, as well as by physical organization and proportions.”38 Instead of defining Man by reason, or rationality, Douglass remarks that Man is the only “two-handed animal on earth . . . that laughs and nearly the only one that weeps.”39 Douglass thinks of the capacity of Man to feel, to learn and live in the world affected by his environment.40 Douglass sees freedom, desires freedom because he is a Man. He separates himself from the sensuous nature thought only to belong to beast; the senses that remove from him the contemplation of himself beyond instinct and lust.41 Previous works have embraced Douglass’ view of gender because he supported women’s suffrage.42 This celebration of Douglass’ thinking links a desirable political program of women’s rights with how Black scholars in the twentieth and twenty-first century are taught to think of civil rights generally. This reductive view of Douglass’ work misconstrues the perilous political landscape Black men were forced to navigate. If White women were to have the right to vote and did in fact accomplish their goal of dominating the darker world through capitalist and imperial conquest, should Black Studies scholars simply ignore the anti-Black horror that confronted Black men particularly but Black people more generally throughout the history of the Women’s Rights Movement? Various critical projects in Black Studies have forcefully articulated how the critiques of capitalism, patriarchy, American democracy, and so forth were rooted in not only the enslavement and exploitation of Black people, but their death and sempiternal subjugation in the United States. Throughout the Black radical tradition, it is not uncommon to reject the ideas of capitalism or liberalism because of their anti-Black origins

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and relationship to racism; so why has feminism been spared the force of these critical modes? Black Male Studies argues that there are sexual vulnerabilities to being Black and male that are attended to within the writings and texts of Black male authors for the last two centuries that have remained unexplored. Black men have historically acted beyond politics and with the consideration of the larger ethnological and cosmological questions driving gender distinctions throughout the nineteenth century. The rhetoric of suffragists confirms that Black men thought well beyond the limits of how twenty-first-century scholars are thinking about race in our own time. Because races were already marked by gender, and sexual division of racial kinds, so to speak, the call for manhood did not imitate the sex roles of Whites, but the desire for a racial development that gave civilization to all Black people throughout the eras and across the globe. This civilizational argument has been embraced when expressed as a Black feminist idea by race women like Anna Julia Cooper. Black scholars celebrate Cooper’s famous quip, “Only the black woman can say ‘when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me,’” 43 without any actual knowledge of the ethnological significance of its context, or her calling for us to look at “homes, average homes, homes of the rank and file of horny handed toiling men and women of the South.”44 The condition for homes to exist within a race at all is based on reaching an evolutionary stage where manhood is attainable. For Cooper, Blacks need a race of actual men and women, separate and distinct, with men duty bound to protect the home and the women of the race who occupy it.45 In the time that Anna Julia Cooper writes, the Negro was not yet gendered; it was a young race that had not yet been proven capable of existing within the evolutionary milieu of the day. The Black Studies scholar is taught to celebrate Black womanhood as the origin of racial resistance, but castigate Black men who fought similarly to usher in the capacities of the race beyond savagery and toward humanity such that the Negro had the capacity to actually be, exist, beyond slavery. Because Black Studies scholars are taught to think of the Black male’s maleness as patriarchal, there is little consideration of the vulnerability Black men had to White suffragettes or White women more generally at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century beyond being lynched for rape. Black men like Archibald Grimke spoke of the sexual threat White women posed to Black men during segregation.46 Despite being forced to yield to a White woman’s advances, if discovered, it would be the Black male who would be killed for this action. In J. A. Roger’s second volume of Race and Sex, he writes, Most Southerners still believe, or will proclaim very loudly, that it is and has been unthinkable that any white woman in her sane mind will have any relations with a Negro . . . However, the records show something entirely different.

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They show that the white woman ran a not too far distant second from the white man in miscegenation in spite of the severe restrictions against her, and which by the way, shows what she might have done if she had been as free as the white man.47

Black men protested for equality of the sexes despite having been raped by White women and sodomized by White men.48 Black men fought for equality knowing that the White suffragettes who previously owned them and scarred their bodies as commodities of copulation aimed to perfect patriarchy. Even at the turn of the twentieth century, when Black men were being preyed upon by White women for their large penises and longer duration as lovers—punished by lynch and lash for being victims to the White women rapists they refused— Black men refuted the idea that the perfection of equality and humanity would be accomplished under the reign of White women.49 Does there not exist a sexual consciousness for Black men as the only subjects in history that have simultaneously been feared as the rapist, and lived with the burden of an unacknowledged history of being raped? Is there not a liminality to being: feminine male beast? If not, then what is the experience of being a woman that is refused to the Black man, being thought of throughout history as a lesser man or not a man at all? Can Black men be read through their maleness as progressive in their resistance against the imperial and economic domination of the women’s movement? What would such a reading or standard of interpretation look like within Black Studies? These are the complexities introduced in reading Black maleness as a contextual and historically indeterminate negation of civilization over the last two hundred years. The debates Black men had against racism have often been read as politically charged statements for liberation rather than refutations of ethnological assumptions and scientism of White manhood placing White men and women above the Negro. Melissa Stein makes a similar point in Measuring Manhood when she argues that the words of David Walker, Hosea Easton, Frederick Douglass and James Pennington “took issue with racial scientists’ valorization of white manhood” by showing that it was White masculinity that was savage, overly aggressive, and violent.50 I would add that these thinkers as well as other Black intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois and William H. Ferris in the late 1800s also problematized the presumed evolutionary trajectory of White feminists who believed that the world would be saved by the unity of AngloSaxon blood. Black manhood stood against the imperial conquest of the world at the foundation of women’s rights discourse and politics at the turn of the twentieth century by offering Black manhood as a different evolutionary path toward civilization. Black men’s resistance to feminist ideology in the late nineteenth century creates a fascinating tension within gender that does not easily get transferred into race. To keep gender clean, so to speak, there is a tendency to read the violence of White women as a peculiar racial trait, but the aforementioned quotes make it extremely clear that White women saw womanhood

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as a sacred ideal that sacrificed within the home to evolve the race. As woman she dictated the morality of the White race, and guided it to be in harmony with nature. It was as woman, not White, that she claimed dominion over the Negro. These characteristics must be thought of in their proper historical context and theorized as part of the problem that womanhood itself brings about within Western patriarchy. The presumed antagonism to male power that feminist readings of suffrage assume are simply not present within the texts of their heroines.

Conclusion Suffragism, and consequently nineteenth-century feminism, depended on the caricatures of Black men as rapists not only to advance the cause of women’s rights, but to justify the extermination of these lesser-savage males within the evolutionary trajectory of White civilization. If patriarchy and racism were intimately connected to the evaluation of the racialized males as inferior, and suffrage continued, and necessitated these same logics, then would feminism and suffragism not be a continuation of those same racist and patriarchal logics? Would feminism not simply be the perfection of White patriarchy? For far too long, Black scholars have resisted the weight of evidence and resolved contradictions found in history and text with political ideologies and rhetorical apologetics. There are conceptual antinomies that simply do not resolve themselves because of academic utterances. For example, Sojourner Truth’s statement concerning the oppression of Black women by Black men has been used to frame Black feminist debates about gender in the nineteenth century for the last fifty years. Truth claims that: There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before. So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again.51

While there is great narrative weight given to this statement, Black Studies scholars know two things as fact. The first is that this quote is taken out of context, because the rest of the quote, which starts at the very next sentence, actually says that “White women are a great deal smarter, and know more than colored women, while colored women do not know scarcely anything. They go out washing, which is about as high as a colored woman gets, and their men go about idle.”52 The second is that Truth’s statement that Black men are more brutal than White men is not an uncommon rhetoric given the anti-Black male propaganda found throughout the suffrage movement during the mid-nineteenth century, but how do we understand this anti-Black male statement next to Truth’s view that White women are smarter than Black women and that Black women know

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little of politics? In the past, the contradiction of a Black feminist icon parroting the racist misandry of White supremacist suffragists was simply ignored. The fact that we condemn Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Phoebe Couzin for making the very same argument as racists, but use this idea when uttered by Truth to sustain a theoretical discourse suggesting Black men were in fact brutes to Black women, draws attention to the problems involved in erasing the misandric political posture of White suffragettes. The historian Paula Giddings has pointed out that Truth erroneously bought in to the racist myths about Black men held by White suffragettes, but what does it mean for Truth to legitimize the ethnological myths of Black men as brutes and savages, and consequently make the evolutionary argument White feminists used as the basis of their justification to rule over the darker races?53 Is there nothing scholars can learn from Black men’s resistance to White feminism throughout history that has liberatory meaning? For decades, Black Studies scholars have tolerated the words of Sojourner Truth without contestation. Generations of scholars know these words by Truth are misandric, complacent with anti-Black racism, and inaccurate, yet they are tolerated because feminist ideas—even those that repeat racist caricatures of Black men—are not allowed to be questioned throughout American universities. Even when Black men were thought by nineteenth- and twentieth-century science to not be capable of actually having manhood, scholars and students are required to understand the Black man as patriarchal. In The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood, I introduced Black Male Studies as a paradigm that problematizes the presumption of power and pathology in Black maleness. Black Male Studies attempts to sever the assumptions and complicate the meanings made about the gender category that come to Black scholars as a product of the Women’s Rights Movement and feminist theory in the 1970s. The various meanings of patriarchy, and the particular histories of racialized males, some of which involve fighting against the imperial feminism of suffragettes, requires a more nuanced and historically contextualized theorization of sexuality and power that is not possible within our current orders of knowledge. While there is no denying the parallelism between the Black Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement, the persistence of analogies, based on a parallelism of oppression which excludes the deliberate conquest and conquering of the world’s darker men and boys, makes the racist taxonomies that were used to delineate between White humans and Black savages an invisible analytic within Black Studies itself. Black Male Studies illuminates the contingency and peculiarity of the gender concept through genre studies of the particular entities created throughout time. The genre analysis of Black Male Studies does not depend on maleness to anchor patriarchy, given the enthusiastic support White women have lent this kind of organization throughout history. Black Male Studies allows for non-patriarchal and vulnerable male subjectivities and historical groupings that need not be feminist to be anti-patriarchal. These theoretical contributions offer

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a great deal of flexibility and complexity in our interpretation of Black history without the analytic impositions imposed by the feminist understanding of gender as a hierarchy of males dominating females within and throughout every society all over the world.

Notes 1. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880–1920 (New York: Carlson, 1990); and bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Boston: South End Press, 1982). The citation practices of these two authors are somewhat strange. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn’s dissertation AfroAmericans in the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage, which was completed in 1977, does not make an appearance in bell hooks’ book, nor does Terborg-Penn’s chapter “Black Male Perspectives on the Nineteenth-Century Woman,” in The AfroAmerican Woman: Struggles and Images (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1978), 28–42, despite hooks citing the preceding chapter, “Discrimination Against AfroAmerican Women in the Woman’s Movement, 1830–1920.” Guy-Sheftall argues that Rosalyn Terborg-Penn is incorrect in her views of Black men’s progressivism and patriarchal desire, but the only source she cites is the White historian Lawrence J. Friedman, The White Savage: Racial Fantasies in the Postbellum South (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970). 2. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Afro-Americans in the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage (Dissertation: Howard University, 1977), 326–36. 3. Martha S. Jones, All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830–1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007). 4. Terborg-Penn, Afro-Americans in the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage. 5. Michele Mitchell, “Lower Orders, Racial Hierarchies, and Rights Rhetoric: Evolutionary Echoes in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Thought During the Late 1860s,” in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Feminist as Thinker: A Reader in Documents and Essays, ed. Ellen Carol DuBois and Richard Cándida Smith (New York: New York University Press, 2007), 128–54; Jen McDaneld, “White Suffragist Dis/Entitlement: The Revolution and Rhetoric of Racism,” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 30.2 (2013), 243–64. 6. Elizabeth C. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, “Appeal by ESC and SBA,” in The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, vol. 1, ed. Ann Gordon (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001), 566–7, 566. 7. Ibid. 567. 8. Ibid. 72. 9. Elizabeth Cady Stanton [hereafter, ECS], “Manhood Suffrage,” The Revolution, 24 December 1868. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid. 13. Ibid. 14. George Francis Train, Slavery and Emancipation (Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers, 1862), 22.

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BLACK MEN IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY SUFFRAGIST THOUGHT 15. 16. 17. 18.

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

27. 28. 29.

30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

35.

36. 37.

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ECS, “Manhood Suffrage.” ECS, “This is the Negro’s Hour,” New York, 26 December 1865. Ibid. Phoebe Couzins, “Phoebe Couzins Law Student,” in History of Suffrage, vol. 2, eds. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage (Rochester: Charles Mann, 1881), 387. See bell hooks, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (New York: Routledge, 2004). Rebecca Latimer Felton, “Mrs. Felton vs Manly,” The Literary Digest 17.22 (1898), 625. Leon F. Litwack, Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow (New York: Knopf, 1998), 213. Ibid. 282. Louise Newman, White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 7. Ibid. 8. Amy Kaplan, “Manifest Domesticity,” American Literature 70.3 (1998), 582–606. Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 135. Ibid. 133. Ibid. 131. Charlotte Gilman, Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1900), 127. Ibid. 134. Ibid. Ibid. 135. Ibid. 136. Evelyn Simien, Black Feminist Voices in Politics (New York: SUNY Press, 2006) and “A Black Gender Gap? Continuity and Change in Attitudes to Black Feminism,” in African American Perspectives on Political Science, ed. Rich Wilbur (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007), 130–50. Also see Catherine Harnois, “Complexity Within and Similarity Across: Interpreting Black Men’s Support of Gender Justice, Amidst Cultural Representations That Suggest Otherwise,” in Hyper Sexual, Hyper Masculine?: Gender, Race and Sexuality in the Identities of Contemporary Black Men, ed. Brittany C. Slatton and Kemesha Spates (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2014), 85–102; and Catherine Harnois, “Race, Gender, and the Black Women’s Standpoint,” Sociological Forum 25.1 (2010), 68–85. “Anti-Black misandry is the cumulative assertions of Black male inferiority due to errant psychologies of lack, dispositions of deviance, or hyper-personality traits (e.g., hyper-sexuality, hyper-masculinity) which rationalize the criminalization, phobics, and sanctioning of Black male life”; see Tommy J. Curry, “Killing Boogeymen: Phallicism and the Misandric Mischaracterizations of Black Males in Theory,” Res Philosophica 95.2 (2018), 231–72. Frederick Douglass, The Claims of the Negro: Ethnologically Considered (Rochester: Lee, Man & Co., 1854). Ibid. 6–7.

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224 38. 39. 40. 41.

42. 43. 44. 45.

46. 47. 48.

49. 50. 51.

52. 53.

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TOMMY J. CURRY Ibid. 8. Ibid. Ibid. 29–36. Thomas Jefferson, “Notes on Virginia: Query 14,” in Jefferson: Political Writings, ed. Joyce Appleby and Terence Ball (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 474–80; and G. W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History (New York: Prometheus, 1991), 111–17. Gary Lemons, Womanist Forefathers: Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois (New York: SUNY Press, 2009). Anna Julia Cooper, “Womanhood,” in The Voice of Anna Julia Cooper, ed. Charles Lemert and Esme Bhan (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998), 63. Ibid. See Tommy J. Curry, “On Mimesis and Men: Toward a Historiography of the Man-Not; or, the Ethnological Origins of the Primal Rapist,” in The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2017), 39–72. Archibald H. Grimke, “The Sex Question and Segregation,” in The American Negro Academy Occasional Papers, nos. 1–22 (New York: Arno, 1969), 1–37. J. A. Rogers, Sex and Race, vol. 2 [first published 1942] (St. Petersburg, FL: Helga M. Rogers, 2012), 232. Thomas Foster, “The Sexual Abuse of Black Men Under American Slavery,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 20.3 (2011), 445–64; Lamonte Aidoo, “Illegible Violence: The Rape and Abuse of Male Slaves,” in Slavery Unseen: Sex, Power, and Violence in Brazilian History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018), 29–66. Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, vol. 3 (Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Co., 1913), 238. Melissa Stein, Measuring Manhood: Race and the Science of Masculinity, 1830–1934 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), 59–67. Sojourner Truth, “Address to the First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, 1867,” in The Concise History of Woman Suffrage: Selections from “History of Woman Suffrage” (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 235–6. Ibid. Paula Giddings, “The Lessons of History Will Shape the 1980s—Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman Won’t,” Encore America and Worldwide News 8 (1979), 50–1.

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16 Reading Black Through the Looking Glass: Decoding the Encoding in African Diasporic Literature Georgene Bess Montgomery

and I really hope no white person ever has/cause/to write about me/because they never understand/Black love is Black wealth and they’ll/probably talk about my hard childhood/and never understand that/all the while I was quite happy — “Nikki Rosa” by Nikki Giovanni

I was always a voracious reader, reading everything in sight—magazines, books, encyclopedias and even the dictionary. While in the fifth grade, I read every book in the library. When I received my M.A. in English, I thought I knew a lot about literature, and I did; however, my extensive reading list consisted primarily of dead White men and the occasional living White writers, male and female. That is until I stepped into the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia. With mouth open wide and bottom lip on the floor, my whole world expanded exponentially as I saw books and more books by Black writers. That was in 1985. Though the number of Black-owned bookstores has declined in recent years, due largely to online sites and conglomerate bookstores, the sales of books by Black authors have not diminished. Joining the ranks of Black writers like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Tina McElroy Ansa, Walter Mosley, Arthur Flowers, Pearl Cleage, Gloria Naylor, Terry McMillan, Tananarive Due are new writers such as Tayari Jones, Jesmyn Ward, Marlon James, Tomi Adeyemi and Daniel Black, who are continuing the tradition of telling our stories, pouring libation with their words, giving voice to the voiceless and rendering visible the invisible.

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Literary Theory and the Importance of Culturally Specific Analyses Although African Diasporic writers are no longer on the periphery, most of the theories employed to analyze their literature are Eurocentric in perspective— Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Feminism, Russian Formalism and New Criticism, Reader-Oriented Criticism, Postmodernism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Deconstruction, Cultural Poetics/New Historicism, Postcolonialism, Queer Theory: Gay and Lesbian Criticism, and Eco-criticism. Thus, they fail to address the varied African Diasporic notions and cultural experiences that may be encoded in the text. To fully understand any text, a broad range of literary theories and criticisms may well be relevant and necessary. Therefore, all of the previously listed theoretical approaches can easily be applied to African Diasporic literature, because they each offer a particular way of reading a text. Any work that has women at the center, or decentered, can clearly be read from a feminist perspective; likewise, when the novel explores dreams, or the impact of lived experiences on a character’s psyche, the psychoanalytical approach would provide an insightful lens. When a text is exploring class structures, class conflicts, economic oppression, hegemony, for example, Marxism is an appropriate theoretical approach. And deconstruction lends itself very easily to an analysis that seeks to decenter the dominant, to dismantle long-held views by challenging our values, notions and concepts through an emphasis on binary oppositions. However appropriate any of these approaches may be, they still fail to address the cultural specificities of African Diasporic texts. Therefore, when we apply these aforementioned theoretical approaches, they should be grounded in the cultural specificities of the literary work. If, for example, a character has visitations from the dead, hears voices, smells and/or communicates with spirits, the psychoanalytic theoretical approach may label the character as being a paranoid schizophrenic. Because that assessment would be from a Eurocentric perspective that does not take into consideration the lived cultural experiences of African Diasporic peoples, the assessment would be limited and thus perhaps flawed. However, if the character is approached from an African-centered perspective, with an understanding of African cultural beliefs, traditions and rituals, the analysis might well identify those “symptoms” as evidence the character has a spiritual relationship with the spirit world and was perhaps born with a caul—an amniotic membrane that covers the newborn’s face or body—which gifts her the ability to see ghosts and “read” people. Moreover, these “symptoms” would not be regarded as strange or otherworldly. Rather, they would be viewed as “normal,” as Lena McPherson’s family views her in Baby of the Family, Tina McElroy Ansa’s story of Lena, the baby born with a caul and consequently able to see ghosts, the past and the future. She is magical. When she is born, even the doctor, trained in the science of medicine, treats

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her birth reverently, as do her family and the community, who frequently note that was she born with a caul to explain some strange thing Lena says or does. Thus, any theoretical construct examining African Diasporic literature must consider the cultural specificities. Another example is that, while a Marxist reading can easily be applied to Toni Morrison’s Sula,1 because the novel’s opening “nigger joke” offers a stinging critique of deliberate economic deprivation, Marxism’s singular focus on class conflict fails to address the primary cause of economic starvation—racism—as well as enabling the reader to (mis) interpret the novel’s characters as lazy and content. In Sula, Morrison examples just such a misreading, which can serve as an apt analogy: And, if a valley man happened to have business up in those hills—collecting rent or insurance payments—he might see a dark woman in a flowered dress doing a

bit of cakewalk, a bit of black bottom . . . to the lively notes of a mouth organ . . . The black people watching her would laugh and rub their knees, and it would be easy for the valley man to hear the laughter and not notice the adult pain that rested under the eyelids . . . Otherwise the pain would escape him even though the laughter was part of the pain.2 Just as the (White) valley man misreads the witnessed Black experience, so can a Eurocentric theoretical construct render a faulty reading. Therefore, we must heed Henry Louis Gates’ “directive that African diasporic critics ‘must redefine theory itself with our own black cultures’ and seek to construct a new theory derived ‘from the black tradition itself . . . [including] the language of [spirituality] . . . which makes the black tradition our very own.”3 It is my contention that, to fully analyze any African Diasporic literary text, analysis must be grounded in an understanding of culture and myth. Houston A. Baker Jr. defines culture as “a whole way of life grounded in the past”4 and, likewise, Wole Soyinka’s defines myth as “one that notes the centrality of history to a people’s way of seeing the world.”5 According to Soyinka, myth emanates from the “cumulative history and empirical observations of the community.”6 Myth and culture, two words whose definitions are intricately connected to Diaspora, for they both depend on the understanding of history as a continuum, permeate the literature of African Diasporic writers. Diasporic writers cannot help but include the collective memory of the Diaspora in their writings, as evidenced through the writers’ employment of symbols, colors, stories, embedded myths, numbers, characteristics, dreams, initiations, archetypes and divinations. Having been dispersed throughout the Caribbean and America during the transatlantic (en)slaved trade, African people carried with them memories of Africa and a world view particular to that world. These memories and world view, incorporated into their daily lives and passed down through generations, created for the enslaved Africans a common bond with Africa as

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the linkage between them. During the transatlantic Middle Passage, “words were shared, customs exchanged, and dreams of freedom planted. There, and in the Americas, these ethnic people became, first African and then African American [and Afro-Caribbean], that is, they came to see and think of themselves, in relational terms, as members of a larger collective.”7 Thus, communities of African descent abroad constitute a “global diaspora, which may be defined as a community with an identity linking them to a geographical area of origin; similar physical attributes and derivative cultural traditions.”8 This global community, “imagined” or otherwise, the late Henry Dumas envisioned as an “Ark of Bones.”9 Significantly, Dumas is writing not as an anthropologist or historian but is expressing as a member of the Diaspora how the Diaspora is perceived, collectively. He stressed the interconnection and interrelation between all Africans throughout the world by presenting the Ark of Bones as “the house of generations. Every African who lives in America [and the Caribbean] has a part of his soul in this ark.”10 Perhaps finding feminism too narrow and too White, Alice Walker redefined feminism to reflect the lived experiences of Black women. Broadly defined as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” (Merriam-Webster), feminism is centered primarily on the White woman’s experience. Its platform of gender equality, freedom to work and exclusion of men is diametrically opposed to womanism: From womanish. (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color . . . Responsible. In charge. Serious. 2. Also: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility (values tears as natural counterbalance of laughter), and women’s strength. Sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female . . . 3. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless. 4. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.11

Womanism, created from an African-centered paradigm based upon the lived experiences of Black people, therefore, becomes a more appropriate tool with which to analyze African Diasporic literature. That Walker defined womanist as a feminist of color clearly indicates her recognition of the need for an African-centered feminism. Further, her definition gives credit to the Black foremothers who were the first feminists by positing that “womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.”12 Feminist is derivative of womanist as lavender is derivative of purple. Another culturally specific literary theory is the theory of spirituality, which I term the Ifa Paradigm.13 Utilizing a method informed by the ideas and world view of Ifa, an ancient African spiritual system, to unlock deeper levels of

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meaning in the writing of Diasporic Africans, the Ifa Paradigm examines colors, numbers, myths, legends, Ancestors, Orisha, divination, initiation, rituals and magic. A notion important to this theoretical construct is that spirituality is “at the root of African culture and is the determining principle of African [Diasporic] life . . . religion is life, life religion”14 and that it is the case that there exists an African reality system [world view] that is not only indigenous to Africans in America but that most Africans are almost totally unaware of it and how it determines their very lives.15 Religion in the African sense is broad in significance— encompassing science, medicine, healing, art, cosmology, psychology, philosophy, all integrated into a holistic system of thought.16

Noting the inherent challenges in defining something as ephemeral and intangible as Spirit and spirituality, Melvin Rahming, nonetheless, offers a succinct and cogent definition of both. Spirit is “the infinite source and force that originates and perpetuates the organic interrelatedness of all things in the cosmos . . . and spirituality [is] the degree (or index) of one’s consciousness of his or her participation, and the participation of all things, in this cosmic interrelatedness.”17

Utilizing the Ifa Paradigm with “The Youngest Doll” by Rosario Ferré Offering Ifa as a vehicle for the shaping of a literary critique provides the opportunity for provocative discussions on African Diasporic literature. I suggest that such a paradigm would serve to enhance the readers’ understanding and appreciation of such texts. To demonstrate the enriched reading through the application of an African-centered lens, I will apply the Ifa Paradigm to Puerto Rican Rosario Ferré’s “The Youngest Doll,” from her same-titled collection of short stories The Youngest Doll.18 “The Youngest Doll” is most often read from the feminist perspective. Ferré scholar Suzanne Hintz considers Ferré’s work as a “strident response to patriarchy and its silencing of woman’s voice.”19 The stories in The Youngest Doll “call for a metaphoric re-appropriation of women’s voices, bodies, and identities. No longer the object of male desires and representations, women are called upon to participate in the construction of their own destiny.”20 Like all of Ferré’s lyrically told, haunting, sad, poignant, funny stories, told from a feminist/womanist perspective, “The Youngest Doll” explores the role of women in the Puerto Rican ethos as Ferré “criticizes the feminine stereotypes common in Puerto Rican culture and points out their roots in the class system.”21 Ferré’s “symbolic use of the prawn, sea, and waters of the river . . . suggest that identity cannot be confined to stereotypes, to roles mandated by society, and that a desire for self-determination,

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which for generations had been forbidden to girls, is not exclusively a male aspiration.”22 As I approach analysis of this text using the Ifa Paradigm, I ask: (1) Does the story’s use of symbolic language suggest the influence of African cultural traditions in the Diaspora? and (2) What are the specific cultural traditions and how might they be represented in the community that helped to shape the work? Ferré’s language, rich and symbolic, lyrical and sensual, does suggest the influence of African cultural traditions. There is the use of water, honey, jewelry, revenge and dolls, a major motif in the story. Significantly, a major character exacts her revenge by becoming a doll. In an interview in Backtalk, Ferré acknowledges her work as suggesting “blackness as a source of power.”23 She notes, “The black race has been very vital in the contribution of their traditions to Puerto Rican culture. In the face of oppression, the black people’s traditions often have to do with the joy of life . . . These traditions are more present in the coastal towns, where the slaves were brought.”24 The writer is, therefore, conscious of these influences, and her work appears to evince a wish to celebrate them. As a granddaughter of the owner of the Puerto Rico Iron Works, Ferré was born into an industrialist Puerto Rican family. Since the initial Africans were purchased by the upper classes as personal servants, perhaps Ferré grew up in a household that employed African descendants, thus exposing her to African cultural traditions. Afraid of the dark as a child, Ferré was told stories to entertain and distract her by her father and her nurse Gela.25 Thus, Ferré has always been fascinated by Puerto Rican folk stories.

The Story, Cultural Motifs and Symbolic Language of “The Youngest Doll” “The Youngest Doll” is based on a story told by Ferré’s aunt about a relative who creates monstrous dolls which she fills with honey,”26 a “maiden” aunt who never marries because a river prawn is imbedded in her leg. She devotes her life to nurturing her nieces and being adored by them, making life-size dolls for them in their own images for their birthdays and weddings. She has provided wealth for a doctor who deliberately mistreated her leg for many years. Furthermore, the doctor’s son, now also a doctor, marries one of the nieces for her fortune, which provides him with a social standing and wealth that, until his marriage, have eluded him. Upon learning that the elder doctor deliberately denied the aunt a cure in order to finance his son’s education, the aunt and her niece exact their fatal revenge. The story references Ifa through Osun, African goddess of mirrored selfreflection, sensuality, fertility and beauty. In Ifa, Osun is always associated with beautifully crafted fans, seashells, water, honey, cowrie shells, brass, gold, jewelry, sweet-smelling perfumes, feathers and dolls, thus she epitomizes that which is sensual and beautiful. No porcelain doll, Osun is seductively erotic, astute, loving, all-giving toward her children, but unforgiving and vengeful

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when wronged. These characteristics are referenced in works by scholars such as John Mason (Black Gods: Orisa Studies in the New World), Diedre Badejo (Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power, and Femininity), Afolabi A. Epega (The Sacred Ifa Oracle) and Philip John Neimark (The Way of the Orisa).27 Because many cultures have Venus/Aphrodite-like goddesses, other interpretations are possible. However, knowledge of the particular qualities of Osun and the recognition of the importance of Osun in the history of African people, who were transported to Puerto Rico, suggest some cultural influence. In all of the Odu Ifa—256 sacred oracles of divination—about Osun, she is depicted as a powerful female deity whose energy is essential for the balance and maintenance of world order. Mother Osun is the goddess of fertility and sensuality. She heals with honey and fresh water. It was Osun’s sweet honey that brought the warrior deity Ogun, god of iron and steel, from the forest.28 It was also Osun who captured and defeated the Town of Women,29 with her cunning and sweet music that she played on a broken calabash and caused the women to drop their weapons to sing and dance with Osun. Odu Osetura reveals the significant role Osun played in the creation of the earth when, sent by the Supreme Being, she accompanied the male deities to earth to organize and make it habitable. It was Osun’s task, as the goddess of fertility, to ensure continuity and balance.30 Considered a river deity in the New World, Osun is always figured with water.31 “The Youngest Doll” opens with the remembrances of the once beautiful aunt who, as a young woman, often “bathed in the river.”32 The aunt’s creative nature expresses itself through her doll-making. Not content with making plain dolls, the aunt refines her craft more and more over time, ultimately giving birth to beautiful images and creations: “The birth of a new doll was always cause for a ritual celebration.”33 The aunt sends a bit of herself into her nieces’ marriages, filling the wedding dolls with honey. For the aunt, it is the river’s waters that cleanse her spirit. Feeling intimately connected with those waters, she becomes one with nature: “With her head nestled among the black rock’s reverberations she could hear the slamming of salty foam on the beach mingled with the sound of the waves.”34 It is only then that she feels finally “her hair had poured out to sea at last.”35 Although no longer considering herself beautiful because the “prawn hidden under the long, gauzy folds of her skirt stripped her of all vanity,” nothing about the aunt is ugly or sterile.36 Even the pus from her afflicted leg oozes a “perfumed sperm”—a symbol of fertility-like honey, with the “aroma of ripe sweetsop.”37 The niece’s interest reflects her attraction to the river. She decides to marry the young doctor because she’s “deathly curious to find out what dolphin flesh was like.”38 At the wedding ceremony, she holds her bouquet as if she were holding a “purple sea urchin.”39 Significantly, it is through this niece that the aunt takes her revenge. Plotting her revenge early, the aunt makes a special doll with diamond eardrops in its pupils for her niece, delivering it to her on her wedding day. The husband steals and then pawns the diamond eardrops to buy

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a fancy gold watch with a long, embossed chain; in doing so, he proves to his wife what she suspects—that it “wasn’t just her husband’s silhouette that was made of paper, but his soul as well.”40 A showpiece for her classless husband, the niece is forced to sit on the balcony, proof that he has married into society. The niece hates this restraint and resists by literally becoming the doll through which she and her aunt will exact their revenge. In the niece’s explanation for the doll’s absence, she foreshadows her husband’s impending death: the ants had discovered the doll was filled with honey and, streaming over the piano, had devoured it in a single night. Since the [doll’s] hands and face were made of the Mikado porcelain and were as delicate as sugar . . . the ants have probably taken them to some underground furrow . . . and are wearing down their teeth, gnawing furiously at fingers and eyelids to no avail.41

The ants are a metaphor for her aunt, who had long since discovered what the husband was made of and, in response, plotted his devouring by avenging prawns. That the husband dug up all the ground around the house—he knew he could fetch a healthy price for the porcelain—but could not find it anywhere, suggests the ants did not devour the doll; it has become one with the niece. Now one with the doll, the niece, having lost her identity, sits motionless, with eyelids lowered on the balcony. However, those near her, “draped in necklaces and feathers and carrying elaborate handbags and canes . . ., shaking their doleful rolls of flesh with a jingling of coins,” who willingly pay exorbitant fees to see a member of the extinct sugarcane aristocracy up close, would notice a “strange scent” that involuntarily reminded them of a “slowly oozing sweetsop.”42 When the husband finally notices his wife—he realizes she isn’t breathing— the aunt/niece/doll, now one, exacts revenge. When the husband listens to his wife’s heart, he hears not a heartbeat but a “distant swish of water.”43 Like her aunt who birthed the dolls, the niece births prawns, not children. Out of her empty eye sockets—empty because they’re missing the diamond eardrops— come “the frenzied antennae of all those prawns.”44 The story’s ending suggests poetic justice; the prawns will devour the husband just as the husband’s father devoured the aunt’s wealth and the husband devoured the niece’s life by having her on display. Constantly associated with the symbols of Osun—the river, the prawn, honey, dolls—the figure of the aunt in the “The Youngest Doll” possesses several key aspects of Osun. Like Osun, she is intimately connected to the river. The aunt, too, is living, magical, creative, beautiful, but also unforgiving and vengeful when wronged. These characteristics we see also in the niece, though more subtly. Also a child of Osun, the niece is attracted to water. When forced to sit on display all day on their balcony by a husband who cares only for what she represents—class and social standing—the niece

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participates in her aunt’s revenge and exacts her own punishment against her husband. With the aid and energy of Osun, both aunt and niece transform from passive women mistreated by a patriarchal society to become active participants in their own liberation. As revealed in Odu Osetura, Osun is intimately acquainted with the adept at magic. Her devotees have an almost instinctive talent to work freely in this area. It is only upon learning that the doctor has intentionally denied her a cure that we see the vengeful side of the loving and creative aunt. Ironically, it is the aunt’s wealth that causes her to be denied a cure; however, unlike many of Ferré’s female protagonists, who are powerless in their victimization and abuse, the aunt takes action and gets revenge. This she does through the doll she created for her niece. This collapsing of three—aunt, niece, doll— into one reveals the women taking control of their lives. We see the Osun revealed in Odu Osetura; we witness her employment of magic, her power and her revenge. Death by prawns symbolizes Osun’s revenge on a man who has abused those whom she loves and protects. The aunt’s bath in the river symbolically signals her reconnection with Osun, her spiritual mother. The doll, containing the niece’s full set of baby teeth and diamond eardrops in her pupils, is excellently crafted as a symbol of Osun. Women willingly pay exorbitant fees to see aristocracy up close, wearing elaborate necklaces, feathers and handbags. The women, perhaps children of Osun, willingly offer ebo45 to the niece. They sense the niece’s new reality when her husband was unable to. Also a child of Osun, the niece is intimately connected with these women visitors; she is their spiritual sister. Ferré seems to privilege the natural, the spiritual, the pure essence of woman over the barren and porcelain-like lives of her female characters, who, because of gender, class and color are unable to live fulfilled and meaningful lives. Because Osun connotes liberation, continuity and control of personal destiny, she can be regarded as the ultimate symbol of womanist philosophy and thus the appropriate alternative for Ferré’s female protagonists who are, for a while, sterilized, imprisoned, voiceless and powerless. In exploring the dual role of women in patriarchal society, Ferré “attempts to present an alternative view of a utopic world in which a woman becomes an active member of society rather than a passive one.”46 Her stories offer new alternatives and possibilities for women, rebuilding and recreating woman “word by word, to banish [the] terror of silence.”47 This Ferré does through her depiction of the porcelain doll that becomes the vehicle for the aunt’s revenge and the niece’s transformation from passive to active. Made in the likeness of the niece on her wedding, the doll initially “is a passive character.”48 However, the wife who sits all day on the balcony as ordered by her husband, having lost her self-identification and voice, “fantastically changes into the doll.”49 The once passive niece transforms “into an active character”50 and essentially overcomes the oppressive husband. In so doing, the aunt/doll/niece “transforms herself into an active member of society who takes control over her own life and destiny; she becomes the binary

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opposite of what she should have been within the patriarchal world.”51 Thus, a “seemingly inoffensive toy becomes a vehicle for the expression of outrage and frustration as the aunt, the niece and the doll merge into the same identity.52 “The Youngest Doll’s” use of symbolic language suggests influences of African cultural traditions in the Diaspora. It examples Braithwaite’s “literature of African survival,” which “deals quite consciously with African survivals in Caribbean society, but without necessarily making any attempt to interpret or reconnect them with the great tradition of Africa.”53 Also, Ferré’s use of “binary feminist opposition of male/female and active/passive . . . including political as well as social complements” echoes the traditional African notion of the “concert of opposites,” which recognizes the necessity of opposing forces to the maintenance of the universal order.54 It is a “tale of metamorphosis in which Ferré juxtaposes real and imaginary worlds to show what is false and contradictory in the lives of the female protagonists.”55

African and Puerto Rican Connections The question remains, why, in the particular case of a Puerto Rican writer, should we understand this story in such a way? What cultural tradition might be represented in the community? According to scholar Olga Jiménez de Wagenheim, “the Africans were among the earliest groups to arrive in Puerto Rico as a result of the Spanish conquest of the island.”56 Using an architectural metaphor, writer José Luis González states, “the first and foundational floor of the island [Puerto Rico] edifice was laid down by black slaves, and . . . subsequent floors (Spanish, European, and North American) have elaborated, changed, or transformed these African origins.”57 In general, the African slaves purchased by the Portuguese were purchased by the “upper classes as personal and domestic servants.”58 Later, as slavery expanded, slaves labored in mines and, subsequently, sugar, cotton and tobacco plantations sprouting throughout the Caribbean and Americas.59 The subsequent sugar and slave economy, “uprooting whole generations from their African background, gave rise to the esoteric cult religions—voodoo, obeah, the saint cults—of the Afro-Caribbean variety.”60 On the theme of Puerto Rican Spiritualism, scholar Andrés I. Pérez y Mena writes, Most Puerto Rican beliefs evolve from French Kardecian Spiritism, toward incorporating aspects of Yorubaland religious practices . . . The more common Orisha identified with Lucumi and [Yoruba] can be found in Puerto Rican Spiritualism, such as Chango, Oggun, Ellegua, Obatala, Yemonja, Oshun, and Babalu-Aye. These seven Orisha are the main Yoruba ingredient in Puerto Rican Spiritualism . . . known as the Seven African Powers.61

Suggesting the influence of African traditions with its predominance of Osun imagery, “The Youngest Doll” offers Osun as a viable alternative to the

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sterile, unlived lives of her female characters. Whether or not “The Youngest Doll” intends to do this, these are clearly African influences at work in the world of the story. What this also posits is how much of Africa must exist within the culture, even among people who are not African. Cross-cultural influence is inevitable in societies comprising various cultures.

Conclusion In “The Youngest Doll,” the doll is more than a symbol of feminism, but is also a representation of an African deity, Osun, long associated with female power and strength. Osun connotes female liberation, balance and continuity. Thus, Osun is an appropriate alternative for Ferré’s female protagonists who are, for a while, sterilized, imprisoned, voiceless and powerless. This cultural connection appears deliberate when one examines the particular imagery and symbolic language employed by Ferré to tell her story. Without the Ifa Paradigm that decodes the symbols in the text—river, prawn, honey, sweetsop, elaborately decorated handbags, jingling coins, necklaces, feathers—and connects them to Osun, this particular reading, which includes cultural specificities, would not be available. Therefore, it is imperative that an African-centered lens be used to “read” and analyze African Diasporic literature. While traditional theories, like feminism, Marxism and psychoanalysis will provide a useful lens, those theories, lacking the essential cultural specificities to fully decode the encoding, will provide only a superficial reading. A deepened and profound reading will be left on and in the pages.

Notes 1. Toni Morrison, Sula, 4th printing (New York: Bantam Books, 1979), 4. 2. Ibid. 3–4. 3. This analysis can also be found in Georgene Bess Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word: A Theory of Spirituality in Africana Literary Criticism (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2008), 3. 4. Fred Lee Hord, Reconstructing Memory: Black Literary Criticism (Chicago: Third World Press, 1991), vi. 5. Analysis in this paragraph can also be found in Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word, 6. 6. Ibid. 7. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. 9. Henry Dumas, Ark of Bones and Other Stories (New York: Random House, 1974). 10. This paragraph can also be found in Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word, 7–8. 11. Ibid. xi–xii. 12. Ibid. xii. 13. See Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word, 1–37 for an extended exposition of the Ifa Paradigm. 14. Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word, 12.

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15. Kobi Kambon, The African Personality in America: An African-Centered Framework (Tallahassee: NUBIAN Nations Publications, 1992), xiii. 16. This analysis can also be found in Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word, 12. 17. This paragraph can be found in Ibid. 17. 18. First published as Papeles de Pandora by Joaquín Mortiz, 1976; The Youngest Doll short story collection published in English, 1 January 1991, University of Nebraska Press. 19. Quoted in Montgomery, The Spirit and the Word, 184. 20. Cynthia Sloan, “Caricature, Parody, and Dolls: How to Play at Deconstructing and (Re-) Constructing Female Identity in Rosario Ferré’s ‘Papeles de Pandora,’” Pacific Coast Philology 35 (2000), 36. 21. Aníbal González, “Puerto Rico,” Handbook of Latin American Literature, 2nd ed., ed. David William Foster (New York: Garland Publishing, 1992), 578. 22. Maná Inés Lagos, “Conflicting Body Signs in Rosario Ferré’s ‘La Muñeca Menar,’” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos 37 (January 2003), 177. 23. Donna Marie Perry, “Rosario Ferré,” in Backtalk: Women Writers Speak Out (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1993), 90. 24. Ibid. 90–1. 25. Suzanne S. Hintz, Rosario Ferré: A Search for Identity (New York: Peter Lang, 1995), 14. 26. Jean Franco, “Foreword,” in The Youngest Doll, Rosario Ferré (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991), xi. 27. See books by John Mason, including Orin Orisa: Songs for Selected Heads (Brooklyn: Yoruba Theological Archministry, 1992), and Black Gods: Orisa Studies in the New World (Brooklyn: Yoruba Theological Archministry 1985); Afolabi A. Epega, The Sacred Ifa Oracle (New York: HarperCollins 1995); multiple publications by Professor Diedre Badejo, University of Baltimore, including Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power and Femininity (Trenton: African World Press, 1996); and The Way of Orisa: Empowering Your Life Through the Ancient African Religion of Ifa (New York: HarperCollins 1993), by Philip J. Neimark. 28. His followers, drunken with success, called upon him to join in the celebratory festivities, forgetting in their drunkenness that they were only to call upon him during war, at which time he would come and slaughter their enemies. Remorseful for mistakenly killing his followers, Ogun retreated to the forest. Performing a sensuous dance with honey, Osun drew Ogun to her from the forest in the clearing. 29. In this story, all of the other male deities—Sango, Ogun, Babalu Aye, Egungun— failed as well as the other female deities—Yemonja and Oya. 30. Because she was a female, the males did not include her in any of the work. Angered by this exclusion, Osun, as leader of the Aje, or Mothers/Iyami, used her magic and prevented any of their plans from becoming reality. Puzzled by this, the male deities consulted Ifa and learned that it was because of their exclusion of Osun that their plans went awry. 31. “Brass and parrot feathers on a velvet skin White cowrie shells on black buttocks. Her eyes sparkle in the forest, Like the sun on the river. She is the wisdom of the river. Where the doctor failed

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32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53.

54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

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She cures with fresh water. Where medicine is impotent she cures with cool water. She cures the child And does not charge the father. She feeds the barren woman with honey And her body swells up, Like a juicy palm fruit. Oh, how sweet Is the touch of a child’s hand.” In Joseph M. Murphy, Santeria: African Spirits in America (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), 11–12. Rosario Ferré, The Youngest Doll (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991), 1. Ibid. 2. Ibid. 1. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 6. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. An ebo is a sacrifice offered to a deity to reciprocate a prayer answered or gift bestowed. Hintz, Rosario Ferré, 145. Ibid. 127. Ibid. 145. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Sloan, “Caricature, Parody, and Dolls,” 40. Edward Kamau Braithwaite, “The African Presence in Caribbean Literature,” Slavery, Colonialism, and Racism: Essays, ed. Sidney Wilfred Mintz (New York: Norton, 1974), 81. Hintz, Rosario Ferré, 144. Sloan, “Caricature, Parody, and Dolls,” 36. Olga Jiménez de Wagenheim, Puerto Rico: An Interpretive History from PreColumbian Times to 1900 (Princeton: Marcus Weiner Publishers, 1998), 30. Quoted in Alan West-Durán, “Puerto Rico: The Pleasures and Traumas of Race,” CENTRO Journal 17 (Spring 2005), 48. Ibid. 32. Ibid. 33. Gordon Lewis, Puerto Rico: Freedom and Power in the Caribbean (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1963), 280. Andrés I. Pérez y Mena, “Cuban Santeria, Haitian Vodun, and Puerto Rican Spiritualism: A Multiculturalist Inquiry into Syncretism,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37 (March 1998), 22.

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17 Diversity and Representations of Blackness in Comic Books Grace D. Gipson

Comics represent imagination and inspiring people to imagine things beyond their realities. — Sheena C. Howard

For more than a century,1 comics have existed as a form of political and social commentary, tools to promote literacy, as well as an outlet to step away from reality. From an academic standpoint, comics have also provided an avenue to interrogate and explore representations of race, gender, sexuality and disability. Particularly for Black Americans, with the major success and popularity of Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster hit Black Panther (2018), the CW’s Black Lightning, and the Netflix series Luke Cage, Black comic book characters are steadily becoming more prevalent within popular culture. Previously, however, and even today, these representations have not been without controversy and problems. This essay serves as an introduction, and provides an overview into the intersections of race and gender within the comic book medium. Historically, Black characters represented in comic book storylines have been placed on the margins, misrepresented, relegated to minimal leadership roles or presented simply as supporting characters. Many of these characters have been given derogatory names, and were depicted as savages, circus sidekicks, whitewashed heroes and ghetto gangsters. Early examples include a 1920s Black sidekick named “Asbestos”; a 1930s “Lothar” (a “Sambo”-like circus strongman); from the 1940s, Ebony White (a short-statured sidekick of the “Spirit” character, with exaggerated facial features, resembling the stereotypical “pickaninny”); and the 1970s Marvel Comics villains “Cockroach,” “Piranha” Jones and drug kingpin “Cottonmouth” Stokes. Despite the physical characteristics and name changes in the 1970s and 1980s, the stereotypes still continued to carry over into storylines. A dramatic and effective shift in

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the portrayal of Black characters would not come until the 1990s, with the development of companies like Black-driven Milestone Comics, artist Dawud Anyabwile’s Brotherman Comics series and the appearance of the first Black lesbian hero “Amanda,” from Image Comics’ Amanda and Gunn series. This shift created a representational change that allowed Black fans to see themselves more accurately in the comic book medium. According to pop culture critic and professor Dr. Sheena Howard in an interview for Vibe magazine, In some ways, the 1990s were considered the “Dark Age” of comics, but what happened in the ’90s was a boom in independent comic companies and selfpublishing . . . Black creators really took ownership of their characters and gained control and access to publish the things they wanted to see outside of the “Big Two” [Marvel and DC].2

This breakthrough in the representation of Blackness in comics is significant, as the shift continues to create more outlets for diversity today. As a result, the growing representation has expanded into more Black female representations (like RiRi “Ironheart” Williams, and Anissa “Thunder” Pierce); more characters that appeal to a younger audience (like Miles Morales and Kamala Khan); characters moving from comic book pages to cinematic and television representations; and the influence of Black representation in other popular mediums like Japanese anime and manga.

Resetting the Standard In spite of the lackluster portrayal of Black characters, Black creators and artists of the past would find a space to share their talents. Although few, they would help to shift the misguided norms and establish new standards that uplifted the Black race, reflected diverse Black experiences, defied Jim and Jane Crow stereotypes, and pioneered the comic and cartoon industry. George Herriman, a New Orleans native, became the first major Black or “colored” cartoonist with his creation of the comic strip Krazy Kat. Wilbert Holloway and Jay Jackson were the first self-identified Black cartoonists who published in such newspapers as the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier during the 1920s and 1930s. Holloway and Jackson’s cartoon work would be the first of its kind to critique the lynching attacks from the Ku Klux Klan, produce integrated Pepsi advertisements and incorporate lessons of humor and understanding between races. Black women cartoonists would also take part in resetting the standard, as seen especially in the work of Jackie Ormes. Ormes became the first Black female syndicated cartoonist and creator of the Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger singlepanel cartoon, the Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem and Torchy in Heartbeats comic strip series. Ormes confronted social and political issues ranging from segregation to free speech, to environmental pollution, anti-war efforts, dating and even to creating fashion trends. Her work also rewrote the roles expected

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for Black women, dismantling the stereotypical media portrayals placed on them. These achievements and opportunities also expanded beyond the Black press and into the publishing of all-Black comic book series. Journalist Orrin C. Evans, known as “the Dean of Black Reporters,”3 rose to recognition by writing for the oldest Black newspaper, the Philadelphia Tribune, before crossing over into mainstream assignments. Similarly to Ormes, Evans would also speak out against segregation, particularly in the military, while providing outlets for representing African Americans in a positive light. This eventually led to an interest in studying the representation of heroes in comic books more closely. As a result of witnessing the lack of Black representation, Evans, with the assistance of past and present associates, developed and created All-Negro Comics #1 in June 1947. With the vision of All-Negro Comics coming to fruition, a number of narratives that depicted Black heroes, created by Black writers and artists, could be portrayed. Ultimately, the work of these cartoonists and creators defied expectations, gave their readership strong models, laid the foundation and opened doors for the next generation of Black women and men trendsetters and innovators. Each cartoon series, panel, comic strip and comic book paved the road for more firsts, like that of Dell Comics’ “Lobo,” Marvel Comics’ “Falcon,” and Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks series. Also, as a result of their contributions, the doors opened for such writers as Micheline Hess, Dwayne McDuffie, Christopher Priest, Roxane Gay; comics editors Joseph P. Illidge and Paul Hendricks; and television showrunners Cheo Hodari Coker and Salim Akil, to produce compelling, engaging popular content. Also, artists such as Afua Richardson, N. Steven Harris, Ashley A. Woods, Sanford Greene and Alitha Martinez have been able to create and illustrate multidimensional, complex Black characters. Prior to the advent of social media, these creators, among many others, challenged the White norm, pushed against racist, oppressive systems, all while resetting the standard for the creation of diverse, complex Black characters.

Black Superheroes Matter Since the inception of the comic book medium, creating diverse characters and storylines has not been an immediate concern. This is especially true as it relates to the medium’s superhero characters. Although “Superman” arrived on the scene in 1938, it would be almost another thirty years before the first Black superhero, “Black Panther,” premiered in mainstream comics. With his arrival to Marvel Comics in 1966, the Black Panther character and his various storylines immediately challenged Western/colonial scripts, as he was the king of a fictional, technologically advanced African nation that had never been colonized by foreign outsiders. Unlike some of his other Black male superhero counterparts, Black Panther was afforded the privilege of not being relegated to stereotypical Black experience clichés. In many cases he becomes the exception to the rule of

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the Black male body being seen as a threat, or something that requires being negated. After Black Panther’s appearance, many characters to follow would be portrayed in real-world consequences/scenarios. With the lack of racial diversity in comics during the American Civil Rights movement and the Blaxploitation era, this served as a reflection of White America’s racial anxieties, especially toward Black men. According to Jeffrey Brown, the anxiety about the Black man is expressed as a “potentially threatening cluster of masculine signifiers.”4 This anxiety was regularly expressed in many Black male superhero narratives. For example, one of the more complicated and concerning figures, Marvel Comics’ Luke Cage, reflected a superhero that deeply conjured the Blaxploitation movement. As a popular figure with impenetrable skin, in early depictions Luke Cage personified a superhero more concerned with getting paid versus saving lives. This depiction does take a somewhat unique shift in his 2016 Netflix series (a superhero in a hoodie). Hindered by a White framework of “Black anger” that consistently disrupted systemic racism, original interpretations of Luke Cage had him fighting “street-level”/trivial villains and problems. Nevertheless, throughout his many iterations, Luke Cage’s character does open a discourse surrounding notions of redeeming masculinity. This complicated nature of masculinity would also be seen in DC Comics’ John Stewart/“Green Lantern.” As DC Comics’ first Black superhero, appearing in December 1971 (Green Lantern #87, vol. 2), John Stewart/Green Lantern intentionally serves as a superhero who diversifies their narratives. He often functioned in the “angry Black man” archetype, while also providing commentary on the state of race relations. More specifically, John Stewart/Green Lantern delved into the politics of Affirmative Action, due to his replacing a White Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. This anxiety, and internal fear, symbolized White people’s feelings toward Black people whom they felt were unqualified for such positions of leadership. Stewart would also break superhero tradition with his refusal to wear a mask, as he felt there was no need to make his identity private. Along with being subjected to White fears and anxieties, Black superheroes were not exempt from issues of experimentation. Influenced by the real-life story of the Tuskegee Experiment, Isaiah Bradley, known as the Black Captain America, provided a unique story about heroism and the ways in which “art imitates life.” Created in 2003 by writer Robert Morales, as part of the Truth: Red, White, and Black series, it tells the story of Bradley, who is injected with a Super Soldier serum. In this story, Morales deals with the ugly past of Black Americans’ subjugation to institutionalized chemical warfare. Distinctively, the Truth series expands on the Captain American mythos, and offers an understanding of the ways comic book publishers and fans navigate the waters of forming a racially inclusive comic book world. In spite of problematic narratives and societal fears, each of these characters ultimately pushes the boundaries of how we can interrogate race and masculinity in superhero comics. As Adilifu Nama notes, these heroes “serve as a source of potent racial meaning that has substance and resonance far beyond

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their function and anticipated shelf life.”5 Past and present, the superheroes explored the performances and challenges of Black masculinity and its linkage to power. With more than seventy years of representation of Black men and superheroes (ranging from “Lothar” [1934] to “Miles Morales” [2011]) in comics, there is no one monolithic version of his portrayal.

Ain’t I a (Black) Woman The Black superheroine within popular culture is a character that has crossed boundaries, challenged mainstream standards and shed light on continued issues of racism and sexism. Not only do they invite conversations regarding the portrayals and depictions within comic books, but they also open the door to conversations regarding the ‘Black body’ and the Black woman. With the first appearance of a Black superheroine in 1971, “The Black Butterfly,” and the first Black superheroine to have her own series, Marvel Comics X-Men’s “Storm” in 1975, Black female characters have been slowly building traction and acknowledgement despite their many challenges. According to Deborah E. Whaley, in her 2016 book Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime, traditionally there have been “erroneous depictions of women of African descent in popular culture”6 and there needs to be more consideration and analyses about Black women characters in comic books. DC Comics character Amanda Waller is one that is able to speak to the erroneous depictions that Whaley refers to, and to the way the character is able to reclaim her body representation. As a character who has been primarily depicted as plus-size, her character allows for a discourse on body positivity, and the ways in which she pushes against Western standards of beauty. Nicknamed “The Wall,” her assertive, persistent and at times manipulative behavior has made her one of the most feared and respected people in the U.S. government. Her attitude and personality, in past and present-day representations, is reminiscent of previous popular culture Black female film icons like Blaxploitation figures Foxy Brown, Cleopatra Jones and TNT Jackson, and influenced such comic book characters as Milestone Comics and Blood Syndicate member “Brickhouse” and Image Comics’ Bitch Planet character “Penny Rolle.” Further exploration of the multifaceted depictions in Black female comic characters can be seen in Marvel Comics’ character Monica Rambeau. Monica Rambeau is a significant character primarily due to her status of becoming the second “Captain Marvel”7 in October 1982, the first and only African American to hold the title, and to her long-standing leadership with the Avengers. In contrast to the commonly discussed Black female characters like Marvel Comics’ “Storm” or DC Comics’ “Vixen” and “Catwoman” (as played both by Eartha Kitt and Halle Berry in the television and film versions), Monica disrupts several stereotypes that have been attached to the Black woman. For example, unlike other Black female characters, she is not unduly exoticized,8 nor does she fit the mold of other Black female

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media stereotypes such as mammy, jezebel, gold-digger or welfare queen,9 or “angry Black woman.” These notions speak to Monica Rambeau’s determination to be respected as both a Black woman and superhero. With the emergence of more Black women characters in comic book narratives, the quest for diverse representation continues.

Queering Their Stories As society continues to embrace and acknowledge all sexual identities, the inclusion of LGBTQ themes is relatively new in comic books. Although queer characters of color, specifically those who are Black, have had a minimal presence, their narratives do exist in both mainstream and independent publishing comics. Storylines about queer people of color have primarily existed in underground and alternative comic book publishing companies. For example, independent comic publisher Fantagraphics’ series Love & Rockets was a pioneer in the way comics redefined the White, male, cis standard. It would be one of the first series to provide complex, honest and progressive representations of race, gender and sexuality from a Latina/o point of view. Another series that intentionally and explicitly incorporates a Black queer narrative, under a Black feminist framework, is that of Dark Horse Comics’ Concrete Park. Voiced through the two Black/Latina leads Luca and Lena, gender and sexuality are prioritized throughout the series, and not just utilized as token props in a creative storyline. Image Comics’ Bitch Planet series takes on a similar task of welcoming an openness to love with anyone, with the inclusion of a lesbian relationship between two female characters, Fanny and Renelle. Furthermore, both Bitch Planet and Concrete Park incorporate creative narratives that critique the prison-industrial complex system, all through the lens of futuristic and dystopian realities. Image Comics has also created a lane to discuss Black masculinity through the graphic novel VIRGIL. VIRGIL’s storyline complicates the Black male hero archetype and disrupts the traditional masculinity model with Jamaican/West Indian culture. Lastly, Marvel Comics recently embarked on the queer narrative with the first African queer couple (Ayo and Aneka of the “Dora Milaje”) in mainstream comics, through the World of Wakanda (2016) series, written by author Roxane Gay. All in all, each of these stories provides representations of Black survival, endurance and resistance, which are often unacknowledged or minimalized in comic book narratives.

Race and Disability Over the past forty to fifty years there have been numerous changes in our society with respect to the perceptions and treatment of disability. Within popular media culture, the portrayal of disability has been complicated, challenged, uniquely performed, with both created and pushed boundaries. Media platforms such as television, movies and comic books have contributed to the

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reinforcement of both affirming and undesirable images and ideas with regards to people with disabilities. More specifically, comics have played a consistent and evolving role in the way disability is defined, portrayed and represented. This has been seen recently in conversations and realms of inquiry surrounding the fame of the Marvel Comics Netflix series “Daredevil.” Series such as these welcome possibilities for revisiting narratives like the “super-crip,” the “tragically disabled,” and the representation of people with disabilities through an “inspiration porn” mentality. Within academic scholarship, recent work on this cultural juxtaposition of comics and disability can be found in the edited collection Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives,10 and in Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond,11 in addition to various graphic novel memoirs and autobiographies. Although each of these texts speaks to a diverse group of issues surrounding disability, specific discussions on the complexities of Black characters in comics with disabilities are rare. With few disabled Black characters in comics, the ones that do exist are often relegated to being characterized as having enhanced hyper-ability, or they are alienated, or their disability is made invisible. It is important that their narratives are represented, acknowledged and, in some cases, reimagined. These characters have the potential to provide a balance between reflecting diverse, real-life situations and challenging the way we construct disability. For example, Marvel Comics’ superheroine “Silhouette” is a character paralyzed from the waist down, due to a police raid gone wrong. As a result of her paralysis, she is given a special pair of combat crutches and leg braces. Additionally, she has the ability to teleport over short distances and “melt into shadows,” which allows her to enter into other dimensions, with her human–mutant make-up. Even though Silhouette is given these special abilities and weapon-like tools, her character is not exempt from the stereotypical tropes, as she is also portrayed as a “brainwashed bodyguard.” By and large, Silhouette’s story is one that creates a discussion regarding the blending of science fiction, technology and human experimentation. Another character who complicates the disability narrative and gives new meaning to the idea of “human machine” is that of DC Comics’ “Cyborg/ Victor Stone.” Cyborg, who is best known as a member of the Teen Titans as well as of the Justice League, creates a discussion on the idea of disability and adjustment as he goes through several incarnations in his character’s history. In early depictions, Cyborg is portrayed as a Black hero who conflates tokenism with diversity. Due to the loss of his mother in an accident, which led to him becoming a human-machine, and a strained relationship with his father, his character often personifies a self-deprecating and self-pitying mentality. Consistently throughout his storyline, he struggles with trauma, pain and a need to be “normal.” For some critics, Victor/Cyborg’s self-pity was an indirect commentary on the way White society felt about Black people’s complaints toward White supremacy and anti-Black racism,12 and conveyed the idea that, in essence, Black people were the source of their own suffering.

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This anti-Blackness was further exemplified in his DC Universe “New 52” appearance. Prior to the New 52 appearance, Cyborg’s sexual nature was not clear. However, in the New 52, he is literally emasculated and asexualized, as he is given no genitals. And, as a cyborg, in his interactions with women characters, especially Justice League teammate Wonder Woman, he is read as a safe, nonviolent, non-sexual threat who conforms to White standards in a Black body. Nevertheless, despite these narratives, Victor/Cyborg does have a degree of importance, since he possesses a logical nature and a balance of light-heartedness and seriousness. When he is working in a team, primarily the Justice League, his teammates are able to trust his intelligence and abilities. In the midst of trauma and pain, Cyborg is able to adjust and create new meaning for himself. Marvel Comics also created another character who must balance disability and adjustment, “Misty Knight.” Within the comic pages, Misty was primarily a supporting character in the Heroes for Hire and Power Man and Iron Fist series until branching into a partnership with fellow superheroines “Colleen Wing” (Daughters of the Dragon) and “Valkyrie” (Fearless Defenders). Prior to these partnerships and relationships, Misty served as a patrolwoman in the 12th Precinct of the New York Police Department. Unfortunately, while trying to intercept a group of terrorists attempting to bomb a bank, Misty retrieves the bomb, but it explodes before she is able to disarm it. As a result of the explosion, Misty’s right arm is amputated and replaced with a cybernetic limb. Given the insufficiency of representations of women of color in the arts and media, as well as disabled protagonists, representations at the intersections of these two seem particularly important, and visualizing them contributes to their normalization. Bringing her story to the forefront provides an alternative narrative that disrupts the argument that “female, disabled and dark bodies are supposed to be dependent, incomplete, vulnerable, and incompetent bodies . . . portrayed as helpless, dependent, weak.”13 Thus, her narrative contrasts against superhero narratives that have suggested disabilities are limitations to overcome. Instead of embracing this reality of supposed limitation, and succumbing to depression, Misty uses her new abilities as an enhancement. Since Misty’s character functions in regular society, her story is unique in providing a lens into day-to-day experiences, and how a person functions with a technologically advanced limb. As popular culture increases and improves upon its representation of disability, it is important that when including and discussing characters with a disability they are not simply portrayed as characters to feel sorry for or as having to overcome great odds in order to be relevant. Making disability a part of a character’s identity helps to normalize and humanize their narrative, and potentially resituate the gaze. Both Misty Knight and Cyborg as comic book characters become examples of transformation and redefinition in how we approach disability. While Misty Knight functions in real-life situations, both Cyborg and Silhouette’s sci-fi prosthetic enhancements may not fully

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capture real-life experiences of disability in today’s society. Silhouette, Cyborg and Misty Knight notably allow for the opportunity to “reimagine disability,” as a way to be more inclusive of people with disabilities, and blend the regular with fantasy. With each, their superpowers/disability addresses the difficulty some disabled people experience, and highlights the intersections between disability, gender and race.

Black Speculative Intersections in Comics Comic books, at their core, function as a blend between fantasy and reality. However, for Black characters there is a constant desire to escape traumatic realities, even within the comic book pages. Comics create opportunities to imagine worlds that are filled with science-fiction realms, magical realism, African spiritual explorations and technological advancements. Historically, this has been a rare opportunity afforded to Black and African Diasporic characters. Take for example Marvel Comics’ character “Brother Voodoo/Dr. Jericho Drumm,”14 a lesser-known character who made his first appearance in 1973, not long after the introduction of other Marvel Comics characters Black Panther (1966) and Luke Cage (1972). Brother Voodoo, a Haitian-born character, was a superhero character that blended horror and supernatural motifs, while reinforcing conflicting and problematic themes. These included serving as a sidekick who brought in occult/mystic-like elements; the generic representation of his native homeland Haiti as the home of voodoo cultists, along with unnamed villagers; and a story filled with tragedy. Despite these misrepresentations, Brother Voodoo was one of the few characters in a mainstream comic that had a narrative composed of majority Black and brown faces, with a Black hero. Another character with similar characteristics was DC Comics’ “Papa Linton Midnite,” who made his first appearance in January 1988. Also from a Caribbean background, Papa Midnite is portrayed as a Jamaican voodoo priest who was taught the art of voodoo mysticism by his father. For Papa Midnite, becoming a voodoo priest can be likened to a spiritual calling and a means of survival. Unfortunately, this calling, along with the skills obtained, would be used in nefarious ways, as he often pretended to help people, but then tricked and conned them out of their money. The speculative has also been showcased from a Black American mythological point of view. This is seen in the 2009 Zuda graphic novel Bayou, written by Jeremy Love. Bayou as a graphic novel blends elements of the “Civil War, blues, African mythology, Southern Gothic and American folklore,”15 while also challenging the expectations of stories that comics can tell. The main character, Lee, a young Black girl, follows in the tradition of young girls exploring fantastical realms, similar to Alice (Alice in Wonderland), Wendy (Peter Pan) and Dorothy (Wizard of Oz). However, Lee’s fantasy world is an actual American historical reality filled with pain and prejudice. Starting out with a web comic and then moving to print form, Love is able to craft an emotional

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and original storyline that engages with the harsh realities of African American life in the 1930s American South. Additionally, while Bayou is able to address such issues as post-slavery and lynching through a supernatural lens, it does so without glossing over the horror or sensationalizing the trauma. These characters, among others, provide a wide variety of interpretations of the African Diaspora that also gives meaning to the blending of race, religion and culture identity.16 However, in some cases Voodoo and Hoodoo culture is appropriated as an African mystical superhero ability, thus leading to missed opportunities to further engage with the religion and culture. The use of African cosmology, Afrofuturism, historical fiction, religion and spirituality, invoked in many of these characters and their storylines, does not simply constitute commodifications of popular culture, but world views that highlight the complexities and richness of what the African Diaspora consistently offers.

A Youthful, Black Approach to Comics Not only do comic books serve as a form of entertainment, but they have also become tools for children to get excited about reading, and teenagers to develop their imaginations and express their viewpoints. However, this can be somewhat of challenge, considering the majority of comic book characters are adults. It becomes even more of a daunting task for Black children, since in the past many of the characters that Black youth looked up to were Marvel Comics’ “Wolverine” and DC Comics’ “Batman” and “Superman,” who happened to be White men. However, there has been an influx of youthful, age-appropriate Black characters that have entered the comic book realm. Many of their narratives engage with a variety of fun and provocative topics, ranging from “geek” culture to teenage pregnancy. One of the most prominent Black youthful characters, specifically oriented to a pre-teen audience, is that of Milestone Comics’ “Static Shock/Virgil Hawkins,”17 who makes his first appearance in 1993. Static, who draws inspiration from Marvel Comics’ “Spider-Man,” is a highly gifted student who has precise interests in the sciences and possesses a “fanboy”-type of knowledge for comic books, pop culture, science fiction, technology and role-playing games. Static, for a pre-teen audience, serves as an example that engaging with “geek” and “nerd” cultures can be accessible and acceptable. Along with discussing the intersections of Black youth culture and “geek” culture, Milestone Comics would also deal with more challenging issues. This was personified in the character of Raquel “Rocket” Irvin. Although Rocket is a sidekick to title character “Icon,” she often outshines him in the series. As noted by writer/creator Dwayne McDuffie, Rocket, who aspires to be a writer like Toni Morrison, is said to be influenced by W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk. Rocket’s character provides an existing reality and a story of perseverance. Early in her superhero career, she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son. While Rocket’s pregnancy presented a temporary halt in her superhero

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adventures, she eventually is able to resume these activities while maintaining the role of a mother. Another character that follows in the legacy of Static and Rocket is Marvel Comics’ “Lunella Lafayette” from the Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur series.18 Created in 2015 by writers Amy Reeder Hadley and Brandon Montclare, and illustrated by Natacha Bustos, the character and the series were seen as a push to diversify the comic book narrative. Lunella has already been deemed the smartest person in the Marvel Comics Universe. This makes her the youngest Black character and puts her ahead of other super-genius comic characters who happen to be White and male, like Tony Stark/“Iron Man” and Reed Richards/“Mr. Fantastic.” Lunella’s narrative also serves as an example of the ways in which comics can collaborate with STE[A]M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and provides another entry point for young Black girls to engage with these disciplines. Lunella, as a gifted Black child, shows that intelligence can be associated with youthfulness and Blackness. Gifted and talented characters like Virgil, Raquel and Lunella face many barriers, whether in school, their communities or at home, ranging from the lack of support and valuing from non-Black educators, to being treated as outcasts, or being bullied. Nevertheless, through each struggle they manage to survive and thrive. Stories like these offer the opportunity to humanize the experiences of young Black girls and boys, while also celebrating their intelligence through fictional characters.

A Space to Represent The representation of Blackness is not only important in the personification of its characters, but in the discussions that we have about them. The need for spaces to increase the awareness of these characters, and foster conversations, has led to the birth of conventions and conferences that serve communities often pushed to the margins. Taking inspiration from the 1960s–70s Black Arts Movement, conventions such as the Black Age of Comics convention, which was first organized in 1993 in Chicago, Illinois, highlighted the importance of Black ownership in comics, while providing young African American readers with positive messages, and giving aspiring creatives a venue to showcase their talents. This convention, named after the movement of the same name, has expanded and inspired others to follow suit. The largest all-Black convention is the East Coast Black Age of Comics (ECBACC), held annually in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Other conventions which push for the representation of Blackness in comics include ONYX-CON-Sankofa (Atlanta, Georgia), Sol-Con (Columbus, Ohio), BlerDCon (Washington, DC) and the Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival (Harlem, New York), plus numerous others in Los Angeles, Detroit and Oakland/San Francisco. At their core these conventions have centered Black voices and their experiences, thus sparking a domino effect.

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Black Futures in Comics African American representation in comics has been evolving within the landscape of popular culture. There have been improvements to the portrayals of Black character and the amount of coverage and commentary continues to grow. To be groundbreaking does not simply mean including one Black woman, or a child with a disability. Even with many of the characters discussed in this chapter having been rebooted, defying clichés and stereotypes and better reflecting today’s diverse American population, there is still the need for a constant push for change. This is key, as people want to see themselves portrayed in these entertaining mediums. Thus, as popular culture invests and engages more into the comic book medium and their corresponding narratives, Black characters, whether female or male, speculative in nature, queer or operating with a disability, should not be marginalized, confined to racial and gender stereotypes, devalued or minimized. With more comic book narratives coming to the movie and television screens and streaming networks, representation in comics will continue to matter. The existence of these characters speaks to the overall success of comic books and their continued representation of Blackness.

Notes 1. Historically, the timeline of the American comic book has been divided into four eras, the Golden Age of Comic Books (late 1930s–56), the Silver Age of Comic Books (1956–70), the Bronze Age of Comic Books (1970–85), and the Modern Age of Comic Books (mid 1980s–present). In between these eras, a surge of creativity reflecting the counterculture would also produce the eras of alternative and underground comix (late 1960s–early 1990s). The alternative and underground comix era created a space outside of the mainstream borders, which allowed publishers, writers and artists to depict diverse characters that pushed the margins of representation by experimenting with sexuality, race, gender and disability. 2. J’na Jefferson, “The Black Comic Book’s Long Journey to Positive Representation,” Vibe, www.vibe.com/2018/02/black-comic-books-positive-representations/ (last modified 13 February 2018). 3. Evans was given this name by the New York Times. 4. Jeffrey A. Brown, “Reading Comic Book Masculinity,” in Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005), 178. 5. Adilifu Nama, “Introduction,” in Super Black American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014), 8. 6. Deborah E. Whaley, “Comic Book Divas and the Making of Sequential Subjects,” in Black Women in Sequence: Re-Inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016), 182. 7. The first Captain Marvel was previously portrayed by an alien military officer in 1967. 8. William Svitavsky, “Race, Superheroes, and Identity: ‘Did You Know He Was Black?’” in Age of Heroes, Eras of Men: Superheroes and the American

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9.

10. 11. 12.

13. 14.

15. 16.

17.

18.

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GRACE D. GIPSON Experience, ed. Julian Chambliss, William Svitavsky and Thomas Donaldson (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), 153–62. Tia Tyree, “Contemporary Representations of Black Females in Newspaper Comic Strips,” in Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, ed. Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), 45–64. Chris Foss, Jonathan W. Gray and Zach Whalen, eds., Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Jose Alaniz, Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2015). Robert Jones Jr., “Humanity Not Included: DC’s Cyborg and the Mechanization of the Black Body,” The Middle Spaces, https://themiddlespaces.com/2015/03/31/ humanity-not-included/ (last modified 30 December 2017). Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, “Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory,” NWSA Journal 14.3 (2002), 1–32. Brother Voodoo would star in his own series, Strange Tales #169–#173, from September 1973 – April 1974 and a feature in the black-and-white horror-comics magazine Tales of the Zombie #6 (July 1974, in a story continuing from Strange Tales #173) and #10 (March 1975). www.cbr.com/jeremy-love-talks-bayou-trade-paperback/ (last modified 19 February 2009). Yvonne Chireau, “Graphic Voodoo: Africana Religion in Comics—AAIHS,” AAIHS—African American Intellectual History Society (blog), www.aaihs.org/ graphic-voodoo-africana-religion-in-comics/ (17 November 2016). Static’s main identity, Virgil Hawkins, was named after a Black man who was denied entrance into the University of Florida’s law school in 1949 (Margalit Fox, “Dwayne McDuffie, Comic-Book Writer, Dies at 49,” New York Times, 23 February 2011). Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is the reimagining of 1978 Marvel comic Devil Dinosaur.

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18 Black Athletes and the Problematic of Integration in Sport Jamal Ratchford

Introduction In the 1995–6 regular season, Denver Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf sat during the national anthem before his National Basketball Association (NBA) games. To him, the American flag was symbolic of tyranny and oppression, and invalidated his religious rights as a Muslim. He said, “You can’t be for God and for oppression. It’s clear in the Koran. Islam is the only way. I don’t criticize those who stand, so don’t criticize me for sitting. I won’t waver from my decision.”1 He was suspended by league officials, heavily criticized by national and local media pundits and ostracized by many peers and fellow athletes. Sanctions against his self-determination in an alleged land of freedom required him to stand or risk suspension. Abdul-Rauf compromised that self-determination in order to appease NBA officials and their politically charged mandate requiring all personnel to stand in a dignified manner. So, he stood and prayed silently during the anthem. By the end of the 1998 season, one of the best point guards in the entire league was out of work. His career in the NBA was finished. American responses against Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf illustrate the myopic interpretations, praxis and complicated politics of integration in American sport and society. Integration of American sport is often imagined as having advanced race relations in the United States. By allowing for meritocratic, rules-based competition among persons of varying racial backgrounds or of difference more broadly, Americans have supposedly overcome a long history of racial oppression. This defining achievement has affirmed an exceptionalist notion of America as the land of the free. Integration remains commonly and narrowly understood as interpersonal interactions of people of difference in a physical space. Pervasive assumptions are that equity somehow then occurs, if people of difference occupy a physical space. Integration also is often solely framed in a Black–White

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binary and excludes everyone that does not fit those demographics. My research program builds on recent scholarship that challenges these assumptive myths and offers new conceptual ideas to understand intersections of race, sport, memory and freedom narratives.

Integration and Protest Scholars must revisit the inner workings of integration, and question its origin, meaning and value. More succinctly, what is integration, how does it work and who is it for? This chapter suggests that integration as an imagined concept was formed and executed to appease White citizens, and not to address structural or institutional inequities that continue to strangle Black pursuits toward freedom and full participatory democracy. An analysis of American integration in sport history remains timely because it offers an investigation of the ideological underpinnings that frame interpersonal interactions of difference in a physical space. This chapter challenges the notion that structural and institutional components of sport are inherently equitable, apolitical, universal and objective for people of difference, with reference to race, gender, class, sexual orientation and disability. Further, this chapter illustrates that productions of knowledge, that frame the structural and institutional components of sport in allegedly integrated spaces, remain fundamentally political, subjective, hegemonically Eurocentric, sexist and at times explicitly racist. This chapter also explores protest narratives by Black, brown, and at times White athletes, coaches and administrators against the problematic of integration in sport. Framed as an archive of freedom, many sportspersons have not willingly or passively accepted bigoted structural and institutional frameworks in sport or society.2 Rather, they actively protested in a variety of ways. Irrespective of their successes or failures in protest, action by sportspersons against exclusivity in sport illuminates two reminders. First, the agency, narratives and contributions of sportspersons rightfully become recentered as integral in their dialectical and dichotomous relationships with sport. Second, by extension of actions by sportspersons, the structural and institutional components of sport as exclusive, and the imagined concept of integration as inclusive, become doubly exposed. The intention of this chapter is to outline, against a broader historical backdrop, selected moments about Black athletes through the lens of new conceptual frameworks that investigate sport as a production of knowledge and the inter-workings of integration for sportspersons.

Scholarship on Sports Historian Steven Riess defined sport as a competitive, rule-based pastime that requires physical dexterity. Allen Guttman defined sport as highly secularized, rationalized, bureaucratized and obsessed with records and record-keeping— traits fundamentally opposite to pre-modern games, play and leisure. By the

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1980s, scholarship on sport boomed. It was perceived as a new analytical venue for investigation on common issues in history. Young scholars wanted a broader and nuanced specialty in the discipline. Students demanded relevant curricula, and general populaces proposed that sport could inform American experiences in groundbreaking ways. These refreshing beliefs on sport were not always commonplace. Many people, both inside and outside of academia, assumed sport was not as important a sub-field of study as political, economic, social or diplomatic histories. By extension, work on sport was not deemed scholarly or credible.3 Ironically, sport studies encompass all those analytical areas. C. L. R. James, author of the seminal work Black Jacobins, also wrote Beyond a Boundary—a text seen as one of the most important in a canon on sport studies. In Beyond a Boundary, James situated the 1960s West Indies as an investigative site for exploration on cricket, poverty, Blackness and colonialism. His Marxist analytical lens informed his understanding of the Haitian Revolution in Black Jacobins, as well as of sport in Beyond a Boundary.4 James was not alone in this way of thinking. Cultural Studies were also perceived to blend narratives on power, history, race, gender and class. For example, scholars investigated sexual orientation, sexism and gender throughout the basketball career of Brittney Griner. Another example concerns gay women on the South African women’s national soccer team who faced the trauma of “corrective rape” by heterosexual men who felt inclined and justified to sexually assault women due to their sexual orientation. The Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN) devoted an investigative report to these egregious acts for the E:60 program. Scholars have also grappled with drug culture and gambling in baseball, and analyzed intersections of sex and violence in professional sport more broadly. In short, sport has been increasingly understood as an ideal medium to investigate human experiences and the ways people act, react and interact.

Sport as Eurocentric Tradition The study of sport has now become more respected academically. Even though people throughout the world have always engaged in games, play and leisure in varying capacities and contexts, sport is generally seen as a Western production, taught and understood as a Eurocentric tradition. Medieval games functioned for the nobility and ruling classes in the Middle Ages, and tournaments were used as mock warfare demonstrations that warned those who challenged authority. In this regard, games fit in a Michel Foucault[-like] tradition of discipline and punishment.5 Marxist scholars often framed working-class games as reflective of their subordination and acceptance of authority. Nevertheless, working-class persons crafted their own local, traditional games and customs for entertainment. Americans have tended to view Great Britain as the progenitor of games. England has been seen as the spatial scene that set the cultural tone for sport in

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the American colonies, Early Republic and antebellum eras. Primary accounts from the seventeenth century reported ways the English aligned work with pain, toil and servitude. Conversely, play reflected freedom and gentility. In 1618, King James identified lawful sports in England. The English danced, partook in archery, jumped, drank, hunted, wrestled, played cricket and hurling and participated in horse racing, quoits, rounders and skittles. Puritans were pressured to conform and embrace sport, or leave. Many left and settled in the American colonies. Rules were local in scope, transferred, retained and brought to their constructed and alleged New World. The only mandate was about Sundays. There were to be no blood games or excessive recreation in ways that neglected Divine Services.6

Gambling, Blood Games and White Male Identity American sport, as hegemonically Eurocentric, was also inherently destructive through gambling culture and blood games. Virginia elite men emulated English gentlemen with ostentatious displays of sport that reaffirmed them as the ruling class. If work was negative, then play, the opposite of strenuous slave-based societies, represented the utmost of freedom and liberty. Gambling culture reinforced their liberty. It featured high-stakes contests, social dramas, and was symbolic of broader social structures. Concepts of wagers, winners and losers, rooted in competition, and individualism and materialism, all aligned with social norms in Colonial Virginia. Quarter races in Virginia were intense contests that involved personal honor, elaborate rules, heavy betting and community interest. The goals of competition among the gentry were to improve social position and increase wealth. Materialism was determined by a person’s visible estate, including land, slaves, buildings and quality of garments. Gambling then was a social agreement among White men who were free to determine the contours of a game. The gentleman who accepted a challenge risked his honor and material possessions for engaging in a recreational contest. White men gambled over cards, dice, backgammon, harness racing, shuffleboard and bowling, often on Saturday afternoons over brandy. Leisure was affordable only to members of this class and removed from those perceived as socially inferior. By the late 1690s, legal contracts were formally written and enacted to ensure fair play. Gambling in an exclusive recreational Virginian culture was said to be aspirational for subordinate White groups, and something worth emulating.7 Blood games encompassed a bellicose, gambling, gendered and destructive sporting culture in Colonial America. In 1710, German traveler Zacharias Conrad wrote, “As soon as the birds were brought in, the crowd roared, shouted and argued. These gentlemen gambled, acted like madmen, and cheered to a crescendo when the razor-like spurs on the birds equipped them to bleed and pick at each other in blood-soaked contests.”8 In 1787, the sentiments of Elkanah Watson mirrored Conrad’s on the debasement of cockfighting. He was astonished to see men of character and intelligence find

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amusement in “scandal so abhorrent to humanity, and injurious in moral influence.”9 In 1860, police officers went to the North End of Boston and found a room engulfed in fumes of tobacco, and filled with pickpockets. They paid roughly twenty-five cents to witness rat pits and the dog Flora. Bets were placed on how many rats Flora could kill in a few seconds. People shouted, “five dollars on rats in ten seconds, twenty rats killed in twelve seconds, or two dollars on Flora in fifteen seconds.”10 In addition to cockfighting and rat-baiting, blood games included: bear-baiting, bull-baiting and gander-pulling. For the two former games, bears or bulls were pitted against dogs in a ruthless gambling format. Gander-pulling, also rooted in gambling culture, featured White men on horseback who rode toward the greased head of a dead or live goose with the intention of ripping the head off the animal. Wagers were placed on the riders. These crowds were deemed inhuman and thirsty for blood sports by Watson. Blood games were brought from Europe, assumed a hierarchy of physical prowess, and were models of patriarchal rule and domination that reinforced the liberty and freedom of White men.11 Blood games also extended to human beings and White men. In the eighteenth-century Southern backcountry, fighting in all-male societies was less about breadwinners in nuclear familial settings, and more defined by ferocity. Honor was predicated on loyalty, hospitality, protection of women, defense of patriarchal prerogatives, reputation, community standing and respect from kin and clansmen. All these values were key to an imagined White Southern gentleman and a man’s constructed sense of self. Thus, White men undertook name-calling, ridicule, poor manners and shaming in an immensely violent cultural setting. To be called poor or a buckskin, or non-American (such as a Scotsman), often led to bouts that lasted through submission, serious injury or death. It was assumed that violence toughened men. By extension, the understood goals of the fight were to inflict maximum disfigurement through eye-gouging, biting limbs and sharpening fingernails. Eyes were labeled trophies. There were stories of bushels filled with severed noses, eyes and ears. It was said that every third man wanted an eye. The preponderance of these bouts was vast, and fights were documented in Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.12 In 1842, hundreds of White citizens in New York City took two steamboats 20 miles outside of the city to Westchester County to witness a brawl between English American Christopher Lilly and Irish American Thomas McCoy. There was a confrontation between the men, and bravado prevailed. Lilly challenged McCoy’s (heteronormatively constructed) manhood, and used pugilism as a medium to justify his nativism and to delegitimize his opponent as Irish or un-American. Doctors, judges, significant others, and gentry classes in general, highly anticipated a fight that lasted two hours and forty-three minutes, over roughly one hundred and twenty rounds. McCoy was hit no less than one hundred times and was thrown or knocked down eighty-one times. Reports wrote

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that, when he stood erect, “his eyes were closed in funeral black, his nose destroyed, his face gone, and clots of blood choking the throat which had no longer power to eject them.”13 Lilly was declared the victor in front of a crowd of more than fifteen hundred spectators. McCoy could not walk, gasped for breath and died. One voice in the crowd said, “Come, carry off your dead, and produce your next man!”14 Writers blasted McCoy, and foreigners more broadly, for his death, and for infusing pugilism and vice into their imagined pure American society. These examples in tandem with a rising boxing culture in the United States and England cemented an international rise of and enthusiasm for blood games.

Black Bodies, White Resistance in Sport, and the Color Line Blood games also inform on Black athletes, particularly with regard to property rights and ownership in sport. This chapter challenges readers to consider frameworks on Black athletes as spectacles to be seen and gazed at, and simultaneously deprecated in terms of their humanity. Scholars therefore must rethink inclusion of Black athletes as inhuman spectacles, validated only for public consumption when manipulated as property rights for White ownership. Historians naively discredit the prospect of Mandingo fighting without any methodological or even historiographical engagement on sport. So, for example, additional scholarship is needed on Virginian slave Tom Molineaux, who won his freedom, and fought and lost multiple competitive bouts against Englishman Tom Cribb. Numerous slave advertisements noted the alleged strength of “bucks.” In 2012, Huffington Post and Slate featured brief articles on the reality of Mandingo fighting, and the prospect of enslaved Africans forcefully pit against each other on the demand of White slaveholders. Edna Greene Medford argued that, although brawls in the South allegedly occurred, she had not seen any evidence of bouts to the death. David Blight proposed that slave owners would not have pit their slaves against each other, for economic reasons. Although both noteworthy scholars have made significant contributions to literature on race, memory and slavery in the nineteenth century, neither of them are sport historians. Clearly there are substantial methodological and historiographical gaps on race and sport in the nineteenth and previous centuries. Historians and experts on race have sometimes made premature conclusions, without academic rigor or engagement in sport studies and blood games that defined subversive forms of recreation in America since its inception.15 Despite historiographical and methodological ambiguities on the preponderance of blood games as forced on Black bodies, the structural and institutional components of sport as holistically and fundamentally political, subjective, hegemonically Eurocentric, sexist and at times explicitly racist solidified in the nineteenth century, and especially after the Civil War. In 1867, the National

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Association of Baseball Players drafted an explicit color line. They unanimously prohibited admission of any new club that featured persons of color. In the late nineteenth century, numerous athletic clubs arose throughout the country, including in San Francisco, New York and Illinois. The San Francisco Olympic Club was notorious for not allowing Black members. The New York Athletic Club denied housing and membership to Black and Jewish athletes. In 1930, the Illinois Athletic Club denied lodging to Eddie Tolan, an African American sprinter who later won a gold medal in the 100 meters at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. In the early 1950s, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prohibited Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from competing in their national basketball tournament. Structural and institutional residue on limitations in sport carried over and on to individual decisions by White Americans. In the 1880s and 1890s, Irish boxer John Sullivan was a heavyweight boxing champion. He was considered a sports hero by media pundits, who admired his love for White children and for fans. Sullivan also took advantage of the structural and institutional color line in sport as a White citizen. He avoided prospective world championship bouts against Afro-Australian pugilist Peter Jackson and Afro-Canadian fighter George Godfrey. Sullivan would not fight either man, due to claims of racial inequity. His views aligned with discourses on scientific racism, social Darwinism and the Eugenics movement that dominated political, academic and cultural spaces in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Sullivan took pride in his refusal to fight anyone he considered to be beneath him. He deemed Black people as fundamentally inferior and would not step in the ring against an opponent he considered was subhuman. Jackson later defeated Godfrey, and drew a no contest against James Corbett, one of the few boxers that defeated Sullivan. Other White citizens took advantage of sport as structurally racist. In the build-up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, there was a qualifying meet in Maryland. It was a regional meet held to determine who ultimately would represent the United States in track and field. The overseeing White administrator at that event decided to advance two Black athletes rather than permit them entry at that Maryland competition. The structural and institutional racism in sport allowed him individual choice to decide the fates of Black citizens. That White administrator was not alone or unique. George Preston Marshall was arguably the most racist person in American sport history. To him, the NAACP meant “Never at Anytime Any Colored People” on a franchise he named (problematically) the Washington Redskins. He wanted no money from his death to be used for what he understood as racial integration. The song “Dixie,” its origins in blackface minstrelsy, was played before his home games, and his marriage proposal featured a black-faced rendition of “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.” He was openly anti-Semitic, anti-Black, and favored states’ rights football over the imaginary of integrated football. It took federal action from Secretary of the Interior Stewart

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Udall and Attorney General Robert Kennedy to force the Washington football team to include Black players in 1962. All in all, sport was holistically racist in its institutional structure.

Black Resistance, Protest and Struggle for Liberation Through Sport Despite structural and institutional components of sport as hegemonically Eurocentric, sexist and racist, Black athletes refuted limitations that attempted to stifle their participation, existence and agency. During and prior to enslavement, African people throughout the Diaspora engaged in Kalinda (stick fighting), Capoeira and wrestling that was practiced by the Serer people in Senegal. In the Americas, uses of games, play and recreation were relevant culturally and, at times, in protest against a cruelly aggressive system enslaving Africans. Leisure provided reprieve from violent slave societies and could have been a space for resistance against the peculiar institution of slavery. Some scholars frame mere competition against White athletes as a form of protest and a reimagining of Black athletic agency. Prior to and after the Civil War, sport was a space that offered access to refute racist stereotypes imposed on Black people, validate American citizenship and individually pursue economic opportunities. Other archives of freedom were more explicit. In 1944, Jackie Robinson was court-martialed by the United States Army for his protest on a bus at Fort Hood. Prior to that incident, Robinson refused participation on baseball and football teams at Fort Riley due to segregation on military sport teams. At Fort Hood, Robinson openly refuted racial subordination by a racist passenger and bus driver. He was acquitted of all charges. In the 1950s and the 1960s, the Tennessee State Tigerbelles were the premier team in world sport for women. They built track and field for the United States despite there being few to no resources for women’s participation in sport. At the Amateur Athletic Championships in Ponca City, Oklahoma, they were refused dining service due to their Blackness. Star athlete and young phenom Wilma Rudolph recalled racism in Hawaii as a member of the 1956 Olympic Team on route to Melbourne, Australia for the Games. In her home town of Clarksville, Tennessee, she pushed a segregated restaurant to grant access to Black customers. Non-athletes and administrators also pursued an archive of freedom. From the 1930s through the 1950s, Black writers, led by Wendell Smith of the Pittsburgh Courier, pushed Major League Baseball for the imaginary of integration in sport. Their direct action through publications, workshops, meetings, try-outs and all-star games highlighted key themes. Debates reinforced the autonomous work ethic, vision and entrepreneurial spirit of Rube Foster and Negro League Baseball. Debates too, fostered by Black writers, also dreamt and advocated for participatory democracy of Black athletes in a baseball league occupied by White players, staff and management. In the early 1950s,

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the National Athletic Steering Committee (NASC) refuted racist structures outlined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) particular to their postseason basketball tournament. The NASC was a collaborative of Black coaches, perhaps most notably John McClendon. NCAA members denied their lodging at a Dallas hotel, and Black coaches even faced racism in the elevator. Their demands included: NCAA membership for HBCUs; publication of a newsletter; HBCU presence on NCAA committees; a National Tournament for HBCU schools; better communication between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and HBCU staffs; and NASC approval by HBCU conferences and the NCAA. By the 1960s, Muhammad Ali inspired people throughout the world, and Black athletes in the United States, to position sport as a medium for protest. In September 1967, the United Black Students for Action at San Jose State University shut down the campus with protests aimed to improve their quality of life. There was a campus-wide forum with President Robert Clark on racism in housing, Greek organizations and administration broadly defined. Tommie Smith, the fastest man in the world, spoke at the Racism in Housing forum. Former athletes Harry Edwards and Ken Noel organized the forum, and Lee Evans, the fastest man in the 400 meters, was also a key organizer and advocate for freedom politics and human rights on campus. In October 1967, these four men and three others started the Olympic Committee for Human Rights (OCHR). The wing of the OCHR that dealt with a proposed boycott of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics was the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). By November, Tommie Smith suggested in Tokyo at the World University Games that Black athletes should consider an Olympic boycott. Pro-boycott sentiments were reinforced at the Western Youth Black Conference at Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Smith, Evans, Edwards and other Black athletes attended that conference, which aligned sport with activism. In February 1968, Black and White athletes at the collegiate and high school ranks boycotted the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) Indoor Meet due to its anti-Black and anti-Semitic bigotry in housing and membership. The NYAC meet, by extension, became the pre-eminent domestic example of a boycott prior to the Mexico City Olympics. Protests surrounding and at the 1968 Olympics were broader than proposed boycotts. In addition to anti-NYAC measures, the OPHR wanted the following: apartheid teams from South Africa and Southern Rhodesia barred from the Olympics; an additional Black coach added to the Olympic coaching staff; at least one Black staff member not named Jesse Owens to be included on the United States Olympic Commission; and Muhammad Ali’s reinstatement as world heavyweight boxing champion. By August 1968, Black athletes agreed to participate at the Mexico City Games, and, through the U.S. men’s track and field trials at Lake Tahoe, proposed individual articulations of protest at the Olympics. On 16 October 1968, gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos raised their black-fisted right and left hands respectively in the air during

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the Star-Spangled Banner. It was an iconic moment. It was a call for freedom. It symbolized Black pride. It highlighted Black poverty. It illuminated stains of American racism. Although the United States Olympic Committee initially was not going to reprimand Smith or Carlos, the International Olympic Committee overrode their decision and mandated immediate removal from the Olympic Village. Smith and Carlos eventually left Mexico City with their medals.

The Black Lives Matter Era Notable shifts particular to difference in sport occurred after the 1960s “revolt of the Black athlete” through the 1990s, but perhaps none were as wide-sweeping as protests during the twenty-first-century era of Black Lives Matter. Unjust murders of innocent Black people by police officers were not new, but the advent of social media allowed viral attention in unprecedented ways. The assassination of Oscar Grant in 2009 by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police was filmed on cell phones. Ryan Coogler directed a film in honor of Grant called Fruitvale Station, in which actor Michael B. Jordan starred. By 2012, police and public violence against Black and brown people was frequently exposed through social media for public consumption and awareness, always with the hope for justice for those killed. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner were two Black teens and one Black man whose deaths galvanized millions of Americans in calls for action. Although the Black Lives Matter Movement was started by three queer Black women who pushed for holistic change, including attention to racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, the organization became known by many as the key advocacy group against police brutality. Prior to the Black Lives Matter Movement, athletes such as Brendon Ayanbadejo and John Amaechi publicly supported LGBTQ rights. Amaechi came out as gay in 2009, two years after NBA star point guard Tim Hardaway announced his homophobia and hatred for gay people. His bigoted comments sparked a firestorm of debate on gender in heteronormative sport. However, by 2014, Black athletes tapped into renewed activism that intersected race and sport. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was heard making racist comments on a recording to his girlfriend V. Stiviano. He mentioned his disdain for Black people at Los Angeles Clippers games and chastised her for associating with them. NBA players were infuriated, took immediate union action, and pushed Commissioner Adam Silver to remove Sterling from the sport. Sterling was removed but earned 2 billion dollars as an outgoing owner. His net worth increased nearly 14,000 percent from when he purchased the Clippers to his dismissal. In July 2016, four members of the Minnesota Lynx from the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) wore “Change Starts with Us” shirts in protest against the police assassinations of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. As a league, women athletes spearheaded protests against police violence in professional sport. On 1 September 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback

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Colin Kaepernick knelt during the Star-Spangled Banner for a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. He was joined by teammate Eric Reid, and both silently protested during the anthem. Then, a bevy of others across the country at the professional, collegiate and high school ranks also knelt against a variety of injustices. Even political officials knelt. As a result of his demonstration, sport in this moment of Black Lives Matter perhaps should be referenced as the ‘Age of Kaepernick.’ Backlash against him was swift and profound. By 2017, he was unsigned and out of work. An estimated 72 percent of White Americans interpreted his protest demonstration as unpatriotic. In 2018, Eric Reid was signed by the Carolina Panthers. Although both men signed a collusion agreement in February 2019, by August of that year, Kaepernick remained out of employment and, to this day, remains unsigned. In 2019, Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross was exposed as a benefactor and financial supporter for President Donald Trump, who is widely considered to be bigoted in his words and actions. Ross planned a lucrative big-ticket fundraiser for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Entry costs ranged from $5,600 to as high as $250,000. The highest-priced tickets warranted access to the President. Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills labeled his boss, Ross, hypocritical for having a non-profit initiative on equity in sports and simultaneously supporting a man generally considered to be anti-Black and demeaning to people of color and other marginalized groups. New York Daily News journalist Mike Lupica pushed further and harder against Ross. He called out the entire NFL, the sporting world and the nation on paradoxes of American freedom and patriotism. Lupica wrote that “Stephen Ross will get the pass that Colin Kaepernick never did,” meaning that although both men were American, the Black quarterback was silenced and ousted for his freedom of expression and political thought. Ross, a wealthy White team owner, on the other hand, would not face reprimand for his freedom of expression and political thought. On 25 May 2020 George Floyd, a former high school and college athlete, was killed by a police officer, assisted by three of his peers. Perhaps because of variables related to Covid-19, a virus that hit Black U.S. citizens and residents inordinately hard, and with a general population quarantined at home and more attentive to the news media, the response to this particular case of police violence against a Black man resulted in an unprecedented uprising of expressed empathy, followed by public, multiracial Black Lives Matter protests across every state in the country and countless countries overseas. In this context emerged a sudden, new, yet widely held acknowledgement that Colin Kaepernick had been right in his protest against police brutality all along, and calls went out for the NFL to offer him an official apology. Further, teams of athletes, from different sports, have indicated that they will kneel in unity in the future at the commencement of events in the upcoming season. On 13 July 2020, after eighty-seven years, the announcement was made, at long last, that the “racist and disparaging” Washington Redskins name and logo would be changed.

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Culture is dynamic and evolutionary. Two consistent threads in race and sports are tensions between athletic competition as allegedly inclusive, and restrictions on the self-determination of Black athletes. Whether the repercussions following the death of George Floyd will significantly impact these and other matters related to sport, remains to be seen. Still, the struggle continues.

Notes 1. Jim Hodges, “NBA Sits Abdul-Rauf for Stance on Anthem,” Los Angeles Times, 13 March 1996. 2. “Archive of freedom” is borrowed from a lecture given by Professor Tony Bogues at Colorado College in 2018. It is predicated on recentering the experiences, narratives and agency of Black people as integral to understanding knowledge production. See also Molefi Kete Asante, The Afrocentric Idea (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998); Manning Marable, Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). 3. See Steven Riess, Major Problems in American Sport History (Boston: Wadsworth, 1997); see Allen Guttman, “Capitalism, Protestantism, and the Rise of Modern Sport”; Elliott J. Gorn and Michael Oriard, “Taking Sports Seriously”; Stephen Hardy, “Urbanization and the Rise of Sport.” 4. See C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1989); C. L. R. James, Beyond a Boundary: 50th Anniversary Edition (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013). 5. See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Vintage Books, 1995). 6. See Riess, Major Problems in American Sport History. 7. See Ibid.; see Timothy Breen, “The Cultural Significance of Gambling Among the Gentry of Virginia.” Also see Elliott Gorn and Warren Goldstein, A Brief History of American Sports (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2004). 8. See Riess, Major Problems in American Sport History; Gorn and Goldstein, A Brief History of American Sports. 9. Ibid. See “Elkanah Watson’s Misgivings on Cockfighting, 1787.” 10. Ibid. See “A Policeman Visits the Dissipated Rat Pits of Boston, 1860.” 11. Michael Vick, for example, must be situated in historical contexts particular to racial, gendered and class histories of blood games in and out of American sport and society. 12. See Riess, Major Problems in American Sport History; see Elliott Gorn, “The Social Significance of Gouging in the Southern Backcountry.” 13. See Riess, Major Problems in American Sport History; see “Horace Greeley Decries the Slaughter of Boxer Thomas McCoy, 1842.” 14. Ibid. 15. Aisha Harris, “Was There Really Mandingo Fighting Like in Django Unchained,” Slate, 24 December 2012; “Django Unchained Mandingo Fighting: Real or Not?” Huffington Post, 26 December 2012.

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19 African American Music: The Ties That Bind Alphonso Simpson Jr.

Introduction As far back as we know, music was almost as much a part of African life as was speaking. Next to our heritage, our native land and the continuous struggle for civil rights and human dignity, arguably the most all-encompassing life force uniting the global community of Black people has been our music. Not only did our African ancestors bring songs and dances to the North American continent, they reconstructed musical instruments that were played in Africa. Music was the cause and cure for everything: for when a person was born; for when a person died; for worship; to celebrate homecomings from war; to welcome guests to any particular village; and to celebrate harvests of food. Overarching to all of this was the sheer joy and delight of making music. African American music is a language that seems universal. It speaks to the center of the soul, and tugs at the core of every human emotion. Its melodies and lyrics are both mesmerizing and haunting as they etch into the heart of every listener, the joys and pains, the triumphs and struggles, the gratitude and attitude of the Black experience, in a form that unites through the commonality of human experience. Black people created it, Black people esteem it, we commemorate it, and at times we repress and condemn it. No matter the reaction, it is the soundtrack to our lives. So, what is African American music today? African American music is an amalgam of several different musical styles, reaching back to the ancestral homeland, through centuries of struggle, all the way forward to the twentyfirst century. Often it has served as a prototype for forms of music deemed “popular.” Gwendolin Sims Warren asserts that African American music has been, and will always be, a gift to the world. Additionally, it is easy to hear the influence of African American music on genres such as country, rock, metal and even contemporary Christian, since all of these forms have borrowed from

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its repertoire, the character, feeling and ethos, including its intricate rhythmic patterns, rich harmonies, Black vernacular, vocal techniques and performance styles.1 Black music has endured, just as Black people have, since the first African stepped on colonial soil. It has been copied, changed and even challenged to “cross over,” for the comfort of others. It has given to America a gift that has multiplied many times over. W. E. B. Du Bois, in his 1903 work The Souls of Black Folk, gave credit to the enduring legacy of Black music as he wrote: Little of beauty has America given the world save the rude grandeur God himself stamped on her bosom; the human spirit in this new world has expressed itself in vigor and ingenuity rather than in beauty. And so by fateful chance the Negro folk-song—the rhythmic cry of the slave—stands to-day not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side the seas. It has been neglected, it has been, and is, half despised, and above all it has been persistently mistaken and misunderstood; but notwithstanding, it still remains as the singular spiritual heritage of the nation and the greatest gift of the Negro people.2

While suffering through centuries of rejection, shame, duress and defeat, music has always been a voice for Black people in America. Looking back to Africa, master musicians and poets would pass the history of their villages down in song form. Aural transmission has always been the foundation of Black music, as African griots held a very special place in ancient agrarian society. Griots would sing praises about their influential leaders or pivotal moments in their villages, and would sing and create verses to relate historical episodes to honor and venerate the superior strength and fortitude of their elders. Long before contact with Europeans, African nations made contact with one another. Despite the great number of ethnic groups (with their specific language patterns and diverse idioms), an underlying unity existed in the music of traditional Africa. Akin Euba, in his “Introduction to African Music,” argued that “African [precolonial] traditional music represents a fine balance between unity and diversity, and there are enough unifying principles to enable us to speak of an African music in the same way in which we identify a European or Chinese music.”3 Based on tradition, Africans learned their music directly from its creators. They learned, through actual performance, to understand, describe and reproduce from memory the structure and practice of music that involved highly developed rhythmic and tonal patterns. Instrumental African music tended to be percussive, with hand-clapping, drum and other percussive instrument accompaniment. Because of the use of music for almost all events, musical instruments functioned as a language, to convey certain signals, and to combine with voices. Today, Black music has become both an institution and a science. Whatever shape or style it has taken, the common denominator in all varieties of Black

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music is that it is the only voice of Black people that has always been heard. Even when the people themselves in many cases were still shut out of the mainstream, making good music made Black artists palatable, from minstrels to the Miracles, albeit so long as they stayed in their place on stage.4

Enter the American Negro . . . The “Negro” was invented in America. African people did not come to this land bringing with them the supposed nature of the Negro as was imagined in the minds of Europeans. Africans who were transported to the Americas against their will were forced into slavery. The slave trade across the Atlantic, in tandem with the Civil War and the era of Reconstruction, served as the background for the earliest musical contributions to American music by Black people. As the numbers of African people grew in the Americas, so did the zeal to transport even more by ship. Hildred Roach affirms that, by the process of either bargaining or stealing, Africa became the primary source of enslaved people. Although taken from various areas of the continent, the greatest numbers of Africans were gathered from points nearest the Gulf of Guinea. One of the strongest and most famous of these West African areas was Ashanti (modern Ghana), whose magnificent coasts along Tema, Accra, Winneba, Cape Coast and Elmina became common ports of call. Some parts of Africa remained untouched by European enslavers, and certain distant locations from the coast, such as Egypt, supplied a relatively small number of captives, as the journey prevented large numbers from surviving the ordeal in the desert.5 Europeans labeled Africa backward and uncivilized despite the reality that it was a continent of many languages, cultures and world foundations. Even within a small radius, thousands of tribal constituencies, such as the Ashanti, Wa, Twi, Akan, Ga, Ewe, Kwa, Yoruba, Mandingo, Tshi and Ibo evidenced this variety. There were also several social, political and religious practices found among Africans, some of whom had converted to Christianity, while others held onto their indigenous religions and others were of Muslim traditions.6 One thing that remained constant among all Africans who were captive in the Americas was their cultural memory. Even though stolen Africans were not permitted to bring tangible items with them when they were forcefully kidnapped, their cultural memory allowed them to recreate musical instruments as they sang songs and danced dances that reminded them of home. Heritage was evident throughout early forms of music created by African captives and their successive generations of offspring in the Americas. Later, the convergence of African and European musical culture created categories of music never before heard. The unique rhythmic patterns, the spontaneity, the colorful melodies and complex yet distinct harmonies of Africa, melded over European song form, yielded the era of modern American music. In short, African culture has made a lasting impression on music as a celebrated American art form.

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The Musical African in America Enslavers in the colonies sometimes required Africans to adapt and play European music because, at the time, being a performing musician was seen as too low a status for White people. Many states prohibited enslaved Africans from using drums, but their captors procured fiddles, banjos and other stringed instruments for them, and encouraged them to participate in musical practices. In the midst of garnering their participation, enslavers continued to ban the more rhythmic drum-oriented music in favor of Eurocentric music. This practice forced these stolen Africans into two creative patterns: the development of neo-African music for themselves and the transformation of European music to their African aesthetic. The moment this began to happen, African American music was born. Africans in America began, then, to merge African and European musical forms while trying to preserve their African cultures. By the end of the era of slavery, Africans in America had intermingled their own survival traits with the newly acquired lifestyle of the Western world. This post-emancipation music, developed vocally and instrumentally by Blacks in America, transcended what was considered to be true folk music. What has come to be known as “country” music used hands, fiddles, harmonicas, guitars, washtub basses, kazoos and a variety of percussive instruments. From its foundation, the musical conceptions of Africans here in America (work songs, shouts, hollers, spirituals, blues, “jazz” and rhythm and blues) and what are considered to be contemporary African American forms of musical expression have influenced most, if not every style thought of as typical “White American” folk and popular music today. When the claim is made that music in the African American tradition is, and has been, the major influence on the music of this country, and furthermore the world, that is not an implication that other music forms did not make significant contributions. If, however, African American music is left out of conversations about the musical heritage of America, it is only because some White American cultural historians have either chosen to deny its significance, or tended to give White people in the field of music undeserved credit. The African as a musical presence in a fledgling America has been at the center of one of the most contentious debates in the history of American music. However, noted African American intellectual, aesthetician and cultural scholar Dr. Alain Locke reminded us: Early America was mostly Anglo-Saxon . . . and that meant a weak musical heritage, a very plain musical taste, and a Puritan bias against music as a child of sin and the devil, dangerous to work, seriousness and moral restraint.7

In fact, the amalgamation of African culture/influence and European music has produced the world’s most sustainable and prolific art forms. Even as enslaved people were seen as not capable of producing such rhythmic and

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harmonic complexities, Europeans were intrigued and captivated by the seamless musical creation and uninhibited structures of the music of Africans in America.

Work Songs Work songs grew out of activity in the fields, in prisons, on railroads, on the waterfront and other work sites. These songs proved to be functional, since they regulated the flow of work, particularly tasks that were communal. Essentially, these songs were not only for psychological relief from physical tedium, but they depicted graphically the workers’ situations and they built on a sense of shared responsibility and fate. During slavery in the United States, because of team-type plantation work, Africans in America created work songs out of necessity. Most of the time, the enslaved laborers were not allowed to communicate freely amongst themselves while working in the fields. In order to maneuver around this stipulation, they found ways to communicate and pass messages to one another. One way they did this was a kind of work song called a field holler. These field hollers contained coded messages about a number of things that were pertinent to the lives of the enslaved, including coping mechanisms and other forms of resistance that could eventually lead to escape. The lyrics covered everything from religious affirmation, to bitterness, humor and courage in the face of danger and adversity. Some work songs resembled African praise, historical or even satirical songs. Africans in captivity would sing songs that made them feel good, in the midst of their living nightmare, and even worse realities, hoping they would take away some of their pain and despair. This approach gave rise to a resilience that carried Africans in America through some almost insurmountable times.

Spirituals The earliest form of Black religious music to develop in the United States was what is commonly referred to as the folk spiritual. The designation “folk” is necessary to distinguish this late eighteenth-century creation from the arranged spiritual or concert version that emerged following the Civil War. The folk spiritual was an outgrowth of slavery; it was a uniquely African response to an institution that engaged in a systematic, though unsuccessful, attack on the cultural legacy of Black people in America.8 The clue to the meaning of the spiritual—both folk and arranged—and how it came into being, can be found in the religious experiences and spiritual discernment of the enslaved. Enslaved Africans in America were in violent, brutal and dehumanizing environments to which they offered both social and religious resistance. The spiritual, in sum, is reflective of this period, following a specific line of development in that it was closely associated with the music of the Protestant

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Church.9 Arranged performances offered were African American musical compositions based on biblical stories—therefore called spirituals. Many White scholars have gone to great lengths to claim European origins of the spirituals, while an equal number of both White and Black scholars have established African origins. No such controversy surrounded the work songs or field hollers. Some writers have attempted to resolve the argument by claiming that the spirituals were born of the suffering of Black people in slavery. Although there is some validity to this assertion, the spiritual is a folk composition, spontaneously composed as an expression of religious feeling in response to a new-found hope in Christianity. It is true that some African American spirituals evolved from the reworking of hymns by White people, but even then, the interpretations of these songs remained African. The overwhelming amount of evidence supports the fact that, while spirituals are genuine American folk music, their form, like all music in the African American tradition, can be traced back to Africa.

Ragtime In the late nineteenth century, European and White American music had almost become synonymous. However, not all composers in the United States were writing music in the styles of European art music. Large numbers of Black musicians were not even aware of its existence, and many who could read and understand European art music were not very interested in it. Ragtime was one of the earliest manifestations of these emancipated Africans, at the time referred to as Negroes. It was also a new musical experience for most Americans in the late 1890s, and fascination with the music extended to curiosity about its origins.10 From its beginnings, ragtime was associated primarily with the popular theater of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Basically a piano music, composed and intended to be performed according to how it was written, ragtime emerged from minstrel bands and required strong technical ability. The picture of the earliest ragtime musician is usually of a lone piano player— substituting for an entire band—performing in cheap eating-places, honky-tonk spots, saloons, bordellos and riverside dives for low wages or maybe even tips. Because of economic reasons, the piano (being a solo instrument) prevailed. Other elements also influenced the playing style, including dances such as quadrilles, marches and country dances; songs such as “coon songs,”11 shouts, clogs, jigs and ballads; barrelhouse rhythms; minstrel bands; banjo pieces and other instruments. In fact, the piano’s strength developed because it imitated the “missing” instruments. The name, “ragtime,” probably came from the clog dancing, which was called “ragging,” and/or the “rag” dance that involved mostly shuffling to banjo music. Banjo music divided one beat into two short notes similar to hand-clapping patterns.12 Ragtime represented the clearest fusion between African American and European music, borrowing more European elements than any other music commonly

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associated with Black people. It was especially designed for Black consumption and was played by anonymous Black musicians. The men who mastered and provided this type of music were called “professors.” Despite the strong European features in ragtime, this musical form also linked with African American traits, particularly the right-hand syncopated rhythm that can be found in Brazilian, Caribbean and blues patterns. Over time, the ragtime of New Orleans and the East Coast had a significant impact on American music, but it was the ragtime of the St. Louis School, led by Scott Joplin, that had the greatest initial impact and attracted the widest attention. Sometimes called the “Apostle of Rag” or “Rag King,” Joplin produced more than fifty rags and light classics. One of the most famous of his piano rags was the “Maple Leaf Rag,” in A-flat Major.13 Ragtime incorporated rhythms from the cakewalk and march patterns like Scott Joplin’s “Combination March.” Moreover, ragtime used cross-rhythms with the right hand against the left hand and constructed melodies from short and repeated rhythmic phrases with frequent variations. The left hand used a “walking” characteristic, which means it accented the offbeat in the bass pattern in duple time. Ragtime musicians labeled the technique “stride.”14 As ragtime music was closely associated with European musical practices, it contributed much to the development of Negro music, as it went from an almost purely vocal tradition to one that could begin to include melodic and harmonic complexities and instrumental music. It is essential at this point to also realize that the minstrelsy era (with White men imitating and presenting dehumanizing, stereotypical caricatures of Black people in America, in order to entertain other White people) was, ironically, an extremely important sociological phenomenon in America, because of the Negro’s reaction to it. In fact, Scott Joplin paved the way for many Black musicians (again, who were oftentimes anonymous) by transforming these musical materials, i.e. highlighting the syncopation and the rhythmic complexities found therein, while making use of the elements of the musical minstrelsy era. This helped to proliferate a sense of pride amongst a population of people who were at the time perceived as unintelligent and incapable of creating anything worthy of widespread social clamor.

Blues The Blues ain’t nothin’ but a good woman feelin’ bad — Thomas A. Dorsey15 Out of Ragtime grew a further development through both white and black composers. The “blues,” a curious and intriguing variety of love song from the levees of Mississippi, became popular and was spread by the first colored man who was able to set it down, W. C. Handy of Memphis. Other men, white and colored, from Stephen Foster to our day, have taken another side of Negro music and developed its haunting themes and rippling melody into popular

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songs and into high and fine forms of modern music, until today the influence of the Negro reaches every part of American music, of many foreign masters like Dvorak; and certainly no program of concert music could be given in America without voicing Negro composers and Negro themes. — W. E. B. Du Bois16 Blues music is rooted in the totality of the Black experience in the United States, including the historical and social burden of being Black in a racist society. All of this became clear as blues music began to take form in the late nineteenth century. By the early twentieth century, blues had become a major form of Black musical expression. One could characterize the ballad as a romantic or sentimental musical narrative which expressed emotion in short simple stanzas, whereas the blues generally involved commentaries and conveyed moods of depression, self-pity, love, despair and often cynicism.17 Many critics argue that the blues are just secular spirituals; secular in that their focus is primarily on the cares of day-to-day life in the world; and spiritual in that they have the propensity to call on the Lord while expressing deep sorrow, compelled by the same search for the truth of the Black experience. So, the blues are reflective of real-life situations, possibilities and aspirations. There are two kinds of blues: primitive (which was dominated by men), and classic (which was dominated by women). Classic blues popularized blues music as a genre more than primitive blues. While the primitive itinerant/traveling blues singers spread a certain style of blues-singing, the performers of classic blues served as models and helped to standardize other forms of music that would develop.18 Blues is but a window to Black life in America. It chronicles history and captures the rich textures and hues of a complex people, navigating creatively in an ever more complex society. The blues was the glue that held Southern Black America together during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was created with the understanding that all Black people have the blues, had the blues or will surely get the blues. The blues also represents the great vitality and resilience of Black culture. It binds Black people to a rich and creative cultural legacy that is emotionally and spiritually uplifting in its richness, creativity, imagination and range of feelings. Within the blues is hunger, disappointment, betrayal, anger and more. After World War II, Black Americans literally and metaphorically distanced themselves from the legacies of slavery in southern sharecropping and Jim Crow violence. Large numbers of African Americans migrated to northern urban industrial centers to pursue the promise of higher wages and upward social mobility. African Americans’ musical tastes generally reflected a declining interest in blues songs that featured instrumentation and imagery reminiscent of the rural South. Black Americans used music to dramatize new visions of their experiences.19

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From a psychological and political perspective, it must be understood that the blues was in place as a voice to those without one. Blues was a way of understanding the world during confusion, an outlet of pent-up anger, and a bridge over troubled waters. When oppression for Black people was so complete that to attempt resistance meant sure death, the blues provided relief. When White oppressors declared Black people worthless, the blues proclaimed their magnificence and beauty. When the work was so hard and the pay was so low, the blues took Black people by the hand and lightened the load. The blues have been with Black Americans from the time our ancestors were first delivered to the shores of this land. It has been our language, our way of expressing our duality and, along with religion, it has been our rock while all else has seemed to be sinking sand. Black people are all products and beneficiaries of the blues, for it links us to our ancestors, and it follows us as we continue our journey of faith and freedom.

Jazz During both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a primary social function for Americans was dancing, and enslavers exploited the talents of their captives. The high demand for musicians and entertainment, at least in part, created a long-standing tradition of using African Americans for “dance music.” New and innovative forms of musicality were introduced by Black musicians during this era. Gone were the European concepts of squared rhythms and true tonal harmony. A new pulse was created as Black musicians began to be more prominently featured as entertainment for the delight of White people in postCivil War America. At the time, White musicians, who were used to scribing their musical creations, found that the Africanisms found within the stylistic phrasings of Black music could not be accurately captured and duplicated on paper in the form of European notation. This new form of rhythmic extemporization blurred the boundaries of European art music while challenging the traditional rules of musical form and analysis. Jazz was a new musical style that grew in popularity rather quickly. Like blues, it had its beginnings in the memories of the first Africans who were brought to the Americas. The music of West Africa was known for its highly complex rhythms, the driving beat of the drum and the collective spontaneity of its performers. Jazz was not at all far from this tradition. Collective improvisation was a staple of this emerging art form in Black America. It has been said that New Orleans is where jazz, as we know it today, was born. Although the historical narrative of New Orleans, as the point of origin for jazz, has been supplanted by one that emphasizes the interplay of local, regional and national musical trends in its development, there is no doubt that the city of New Orleans occupies a special place in the story of jazz. The presence in New Orleans of French, Spanish, Creole and African American (free and enslaved) populations, as well as the immigrant influx from Cuba and the

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Caribbean, created an unusually diverse mixture of cultural influences. Most pertinent to the story of jazz is the tripartite division of New Orleans into White, Black and Creole social spheres.20 From the early eigtheenth century, New Orleans granted special privileges to Creoles (people of mixed ancestry: French, “Indian” and African, or some other combination, neither “fully” Black nor White). Creoles—a people of all complexions, some indistinguishable from Whites and others identical to very dark-skinned African Americans—over time developed a distinctive culture with their own language, myths, folklore and social customs. Then, in 1877, Jim Crow legislation separated all U.S. citizens into two categories, Black or White. The imposition of the Jim Crow (apartheid) laws stripped the Creoles of their privileges and pushed them uptown into the African American community, a move they resented. Within this close proximity, however, the Creoles with their European musical orientation came into greater contact with the African- American musical tradition. The Creoles shared trumpet, trombone, clarinet, tuba and saxophone techniques in exchange for the rhythms and bent notes of the African American blues musicians. Twenty years later, Spanish–American War bandsmen disbanded in New Orleans, flooding the city with musical instruments. About the same time, the city officials of New Orleans created Storyville, an area restricted for vice, especially “houses of ill repute.” These establishments hired musicians to keep the customers entertained. In addition to working in the Storyville section, Creole musicians played marching-band music in street parades, public ceremonies, funerals, dances and parties. They mixed in spirituals, hymns, other types of church music, popular songs, arias and other concert pieces. The Creole musicians tended to embellish a little figure here and there, but not to improvise. They either read or memorized their parts. The African American blues bands usually played dance halls and beer joints. Made up of smaller groups, they almost always improvised their music. During this time ragtime and the New Orleans style emerged.21

Gospel The spiritual was born in the rural setting of the camp meeting, where thousands assembled under the stars amid the blaze of campfires to listen to itinerant preachers. Also, thousands of Black churches throughout the South are still keeping alive the traditions of the spirituals as handed down from slavery. This is the same spirit that propels the truth and conviction in gospel music. Gospel music arose out of the late nineteenth-century and early twentiethcentury folk church, as opposed to the twentieth-century middle-class church. Essentially, it was created in a context of individual and collective spontaneity, improvisation for church services, and has often been called “church songs.” The pioneer gospel song creator and Methodist minister Charles Albert Tindley wrote his first songs in the early 1900s, and Thomas A. Dorsey, another pioneer,

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contributed to the emerging genre a ragtime blues piano style, blues-based melodies and harmonies and an interest in religious spirit and faith. Chicago, Illinois is regarded as the birthplace of Black gospel music, because its churches have traditionally produced most of the celebrated, pioneering writers and singers and have therefore established the most enduring gospel traditions. The decade of the 1920s started the era of Chicago gospel. Thomas A. Dorsey, born in Villa Rica, Georgia in 1899, and known as the “Father of Gospel Music,” settled in Chicago in 1915. Dorsey’s parents were both involved in the church, with his father an itinerant Baptist preacher and his mother an organist. It was in Mount Prospect Baptist Church that Dorsey was first exposed to music. In 1908, Dorsey’s family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where the young Thomas was exposed to early jazz music and blues, to which he took a particular liking. Against his parents’ wishes, he ventured out and started playing blues music locally, calling himself Georgia Tom. Dorsey began to hang around other musicians, asking them to show him how to play certain songs and learning about the business side of music. However, it was the formal teaching he gained as a child, from a music teacher who had a piano studio near Morehouse College, where he learned proper fingering techniques and most importantly how to read written music. For most of the 1920s, Dorsey made a lot of money as a blues singer/songplayer as he performed “off color” blues locally. From this experience, Dorsey had become well known in the blues arena and, by the age of 30, had over 500 tunes that he knew how to play, performing on the blues circuit with Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, as their piano player. As Dorsey seemed to be living a pretty lucrative life, he is recounted as saying that “The voice of God whispered” and said, “You need to change.” It was shortly after this epiphany that Dorsey, and his friend Theodore Frye, organized the world’s first gospel choir in 1931 at the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. From the founding of this choir, the Chicago Gospel Choral Union (CGCU) was formed. Dorsey was called upon to “do that gospel stuff” all over the country. He traveled from city to city working revivals and spreading the good news of the gospel through song. Then, in 1932, almost at the height of his career, he suffered a personal tragedy. At this time he was serving as his church choir director, and also promoted the gospel through the formation of the National Association (Convention) of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. (NCGCC). While he was away from home, on stage in St. Louis at a large revival meeting, he was informed that his wife had just died during childbirth. Not many days later, his infant son died as well. The deeply grieving Dorsey wrote his most famed work, “Precious Lord.”22 Dorsey’s “Precious Lord” was introduced to the world by the “Queen of Gospel” Mahalia Jackson, who served as Dorsey’s demonstrator for many years. The relationship between Mahalia Jackson and Thomas A. Dorsey was one that set the standard for gospel music creation for decades.

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In the 1940s, contemporary gospel music emerged, with the introduction of the “gospel choir,” an amalgam of traditional gospel quartets, soloist and ensembles. From this phenomenon, mass gospel choirs, consisting of state-wide, city-wide and church-denomination-wide choirs were formed. College and university gospel choirs were also introduced as a spin-off from the Fisk Jubilee Singers, of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Gospel choir pioneers, such as the Reverend James Cleveland, advocated for the place of gospel choirs with the introduction of the inaugural Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) in Detroit, Michigan, in March of 1967, at the King Solomon Baptist Church and Masonic Temple.23

Rhythm and Blues (R&B) and Soul Rhythm and blues is the sound of soul as it is manifested in the overlapping forms of blues, jazz, gospel and popular music. Its essence is indisputably Black. In the long and dismal decades that must have seemed like eons to those forced to endure them, chants and hollers, not markedly unlike those to be heard in the popular music of today, were sent up from rural Dixie’s cotton fields by sackcloth-clad Black men and women who labored under relentless sun, from predawn to post-dusk, knowing that no matter how hard they worked, or how many bales they picked, tomorrow would be no better than today, and might well be far worse. In the low, vibrato-laden drones emanating from the Black enslaved’s religious meetings (forbidden at first, the meetings were later encouraged as a possible preventative of insurrection), the spirituals were born, and seeds were sown for their procreation through a step-child called the blues and its close relative, jazz. Throughout two hundred and fifty years of slavery, and yet another century of pseudofreedom, the permutations of this compellingly human sound have developed. And suddenly, in the crushing tumult of mid-century America, the sound has become a very big thing24 . . . and the “soul” of rhythm and blues was born. To distinguish one sub-genre of R&B from the others in many cases proves purely arbitrary. R&B comes from the inner soul of a person and tells about love, hardship and troubles: it encompasses a basic rhythm, slow or fast, and heavily accented after the beat. All, however, have universal appeal and reflect purely emotional qualities. These songs tend to be simple, with short, easily understood phrases, and the lyrics can even be semi-nonsensical. The songs came from early “race music” catalogues of recordings designed solely for African American audiences by African American artists. Few writers review the history of present multi-corporations such as CBS International Records (which exert tremendous control over the electronic media, music and entertainment industry) and recognize the significant debt owed to the African American community.25 During the “race records” era, African Americans not only served as the creators but also as the consumers of the products, thereby establishing the financial base of Columbia, Victor,

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Decca, Chess, Checker and Argo records, and many other early record companies. During the World War eras, the military needed the shellac used to make the old “78” records. At that juncture, many major record companies shifted to the jukebox industry. Smaller companies were smart enough to reach out to African American artists and, in turn, they reached a broader audience.26 By the end of the 1940s, the record business boomed and trade papers regularly reported about it. The term “race records” proved offensive to many readers, so by 1949, the trade papers put the “race records” under the categories of jazz and blues. Rhythm and blues became big business in its own right, spurred on by disc jockeys like Symphony Sid in New York who played jazz, R&B and occasionally spirituals. Also, during the early years of television, programming included late-night talk shows like The Frankie Lane Show on which numerous African American musicians were used because of their ability to improvise.27 Gradually airwaves began to reach wider, multiracial (rather than segregated) audiences. African American music as a whole changed the industry dramatically—both on television and radio. The infectious, rhythmic, easyto-dance-to tunes appealed to a cross section of listeners, particularly young America. Faced with a choice between the Sinatra/Crosby ballads or the rhythmic songs of the R&B artists, young America chose rhythm and blues tunes over the former. Many young people began to purchase records solely by asking for the tune rather than the artist, though many had been covered by other artists—White artists. Nevertheless, they enjoyed singing the songs and bouncing to the rhythms. Many African American artists during that time, like Joe Turner and his “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” came directly from the “race records” catalogue. But, to the irritation of most of the African American community, White imitators shot to commercial success copying the renditions of these African American singers. One in particular, Georgia Gibbs, copied Etta James’ “Dance with Me Henry,” Ruth Brown’s “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” and La Vern Baker’s “Tweedle Dee,” to name a few.28 On the surface, soul music presented purely utilitarian values—good-time entertainment for everyday life. Yet, as an indication of the times, soul music became a means of glorifying the essence of Blackness in America—proud, defiant, relentless, energized and openly assertive. “Black is Beautiful” was the slogan that echoed throughout the land. It was implicit in this musical celebration. In addition, the lyrics of many soul classics can be understood as containing racial messages to encourage and console the people, much in the same spirit as African music. For example, when “Soul Brother Number One,” James Brown, proclaimed that he “feels good,” the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, demanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Marvin Gaye asked “What’s Goin’ On,” and Nina Simone was “Young, Gifted, and Black,” an important factor was their racial pride. Of all genres of African American music, R&B was most popular because of the sub-genre of soul music and its many derivatives, like funk, disco, dance,

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neo-soul, hip-hop, slow-jam, smooth soul, boogaloo, psychedelic soul, deep funk, Afro-soul and even brown- and/or blue-eyed soul. Soul music captivated America and has been a mainstay in the American soundtrack since its foundation. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson coined the phrase “The Music of Young America.” Acts like the Motown Review, which featured artists like The Jackson Five, The Supremes and The Temptations, have produced some of the most celebrated and enduring sounds of the century.

Rap The use of vernacular speech—Black English and slang—is yet another manifestation of Black pride and power. In the 1960s soul music was an indication of its identification with the Black Power thrusts of that time. Emphasis was placed on distinctiveness from White music and an even heavier emphasis placed on self-respect and a self-celebration. This concern for socially conscious music led African Americans in the 70s to embrace and support reggae for its social commentary and criticism and then turn to socially conscious rap to celebrate community and reaffirm the necessity of the struggle. Although rap emerged in the 70s, it was in the 80s that it became a widespread definitive statement of new Black music. However, it would be correct to put the origins of rap back even further within the context of Black musical history as well as the African cultural tradition of oral and aural learning. Rap, then, evolved from an ancient tradition, passing through modern forms of that tradition, and then emerging in nightclubs and on the street corners of New York in the mid 70s. Rap got its definitive push on the national and international scene with Sylvia and Joe Robinson’s recording of the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979, which sold over 2 million copies, and right on its heels was Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” in 1980 and “Basketball” in 1984.29 The origins of rap can be traced back to several sources. First, there is a long-standing tradition in the Black community of using language creatively in everyday life. “Pattin’ Juba” or “hambone,” for example, which dates back to the early nineteenth century, was a two-person operation: the first person (the patter) provided dance music by using the body, and the other person would accompany him/her by reciting verses that were made up on the spur of the moment. This was done under the plantation system of slavery to pass messages along or to tell stories of things that happened in the village. Then, there is the modern ritual of “playing the dozens,” which sets people at each other’s throats verbally as they exchange clever insults via verses they improvise as the game proceeds. This tradition is still very much alive, as is seen on Nick Cannon’s “Wild ’N Out.” It is important to note that there were various schools of rap music defined by their self-definition and lyrical emphasis. The first kind of rap was identified as “Teacher/Nation Conscious Rap.” This kind of rap emphasized social consciousness along with social commitment and struggle. This included rap

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by artists like KRS-One, Sister Souljah, Poor Righteous Teachers and perhaps that premiere nation conscious rap group of the 1980s, Public Enemy. A second major form of rap was identified as “Gangster (Gansgta) Rap.” It was initially represented by rappers like N.W.A., Too Short, Tupac Shakur and 50 Cent. Their message was clearly a message of the hardcore urban inner-city street life that emerged as a result of nation consciousness “gone wrong.” The subject matter inherent in gangsta rap has always caused a great deal of controversy. Criticism has come from both left-wing and right-wing commentators, as well as religious leaders, who have accused the genre of promoting crime, serial killing, murder, violence, profanity, sex, drugs, homophobia, racism, promiscuity, misogyny, rape, street gangs, disorderly conduct, drive-by shootings, vandalism, theft, driving under the influence, drug dealing, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, disregarding law enforcement, materialism and narcissism. Thirdly, there was “Player (Playa) Lover Rap.” This sub-genre was represented by rappers like L. L. Cool J., Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliot and Kwame. The message found in this type of rap was that love relationships were competitive and worthy to be pursued—especially with the rapper and their lyrics that give promises of security, love and attention. What was mostly pronounced in these lyrics was and still is the focus on sexuality and seduction. Fourth in the line-up of rap sub-genres was “Pornography Rap.” This was represented by rappers like Luke Skywalker and the 2 Live Crew, Lil’ Kim and Eazy-E. The message found within this sub-genre of rap was extremely clear. It was based solely on the pursuit of promiscuity, sex and pornography. The lyrics were always vulgar and lewd and oftentimes were delivered over a very powerful bass beat that attracts the attention of the listener so much that the lyric and the message of the lyric was almost subliminal, secondary to the music. Fifth in the school of rap was “Gospel Rap.” This was presented by artists like T-Bone, Gospel Gangstaz, Lecrae, Tedashii and Canton Jones. Their message has always been evangelical and directed toward an audience that some analysts believe can relate to the suffering expressed through rap music, with a certain spirituality that was compatible with mainstream religious messages, although it approached religious ideas in a much less direct way than most forms of religious expression. Gospel (Christian) rappers made their mark by infusing many beats and samples from secular music into their songs. Most Christian rap was embraced due to its cross-over appeal. Although these five major sub-genres of rap are listed, there are other subgenres which can be categorized differently. However, these forms are not always clear-cut. Rather, they often overlap and resemble each other. Rap is a form of profound musical, cultural and social creativity. It expresses the desire of young Black people to reclaim their history, reactivate forms of Black radicalism and contest the powers of despair and economic depression that presently besiege the Black community. Besides being the most powerful form of Black musical expression today, rap projects a style of self into

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the world that generates forms of cultural resistance and transforms the ugly terrain of “ghetto” existence into a searing portrait of life as it must be lived by millions of voiceless people. For that reason alone, rap deserves attention and should be taken seriously, and for its productive and healthy moments, it should be promoted as a worthy form of artistic expression and cultural projection and an enabling source of Black juvenile and communal solidarity.30 Rap music, unlike any other music before it, initiates a passionate discourse of supporters and critics equally. Essentially this is because of its dual character, mixed messages, and relevance to both youth culture and the Black musical tradition. Rap’s relevance began with its providing a much needed challenge to the cross-over to the mainstream tendency of many Black artists. This tendency included the denial of Blackness, and some attempts to appeal to White audiences through both alteration of music and physical features and claiming desperate and vague universality which in the eyes of Black people was a denial of African authenticity. Black musicians in all genres have paid homage to the past even as they were forging new paths into the future of musical experimentation. The “old” in African American culture is never totally discarded, however, but absorbed into the “new.” Black music constantly renews itself at the same time as its innovations are being absorbed into the general language of Western music.

Notes 1. Gwendolin Sims Warren, Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit: 101 Best-Loved Psalms. Gospel Hymns, and Spiritual Songs of the African-American Church (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997), 15. 2. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1997), 185–6. 3. Akin Euba, “Introduction to African Music,” in African History and Culture, ed. Richard Olaniyan (Lagos: Longman Nigeria, 1982), 224–35. 4. “Black American Music: Its Origins and Development,” Ebony Man, July 1991. 5. Hildred Roach, Black American Music: Past and Present, 2nd ed. (Malabar, FL: Kreiger Publishing Company, 1992), 3. 6. Roach, Black American Music, 4. 7. Alain Locke, The Negro and His Music (Albany: J. B. Lynn Press, 1936), 7. 8. Mellonee V. Burnim and Portia K. Maultsby, African American Music: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2006), 52. 9. Eileen Southern, “An Origin for the Negro Spiritual,” The Black Scholar 3.10 (1972). 10. Edward A. Berlin, Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 21. 11. So-called “coon songs” were a genre of songs that presented stereotypes of Black people. The earliest date from minstrel shows. The word “coon” is understood to be a pejorative term. 12. Roach, Black American Music, 64. 13. Roach, Black American Music, 77.

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14. John S. Roberts, Black Music of Two Worlds (New York: Praeger Publishing, 1972), 69. 15. George T. Nierenburg, director, “Precious Lord Story,” Say Amen, Somebody [1982], DVD (Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2003). 16. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Gift of Black Folk (Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers, 2009), 132. 17. Roberts, Black Music of Two Worlds, 152. 18. Primitive blues musicians were not considered as “polished” as classic blues singers. Also, Black men were perceived in a negative light during this era compared to Black women, who were seen as much more “palatable” to White people. Therefore, the popularization of Blues as a definitive genre of music was given to the Black female blues singer, because she was responsible for “getting the song over.” 19. Susan E. Oehler, Aesthetics and Meaning in Professional Blues Performance: An Ethnographic Examination of an African-American Music in Intercultural Context (Ph.D. dissertation: Indiana University, 2001). 20. Ingrid Moon, “Jazz: Chronological Overview,” in African American Music: An Introduction, ed. Mellonee V. Burnim and Portia K. Maultsby (New York: Routledge, 2006), 147. 21. James Lincoln Collier, Inside Jazz (New York: Four Winds Press, 1973), 40–8. 22. George T. Nierenburg, director, “The Father of Gospel Music,” Say Amen, Somebody [1982], DVD (Burbank: Warner Home Video, 2003). 23. Gospel Music Workshop of America, “History,” http://gmwanational.net/aboutus/history/ (accessed 23 March 2020). 24. Phyl Garland, The Sound of Soul (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1969), 2. 25. LeRoi Jones, Blues People: Negro Music in White America (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1963), 101. 26. Smaller record companies like Chess, Checker, Argo and Okeh Records were able to record Black artists and market their recordings specifically to Black audiences, as Blacks were not frequenting public diners and bar hops where jukeboxes were commonly used by White patrons. 27. Jones, Blues People, 103. 28. Lynn McCutcheon, Rhythm and Blues (Arlington: Beatty Press, 1971), 75. 29. Samuel A. Floyd, The Power of Black Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 197–9. 30. Michael Eric Dyson, “The Culture of Hip-Hop,” in That’s the Joint: The HipHop Studies Reader, ed. Murray Forman and Mark Anthony Neal (New York: Routledge, 2004), 67–8.

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20 Afrofuturism and the Question of Visual Reparations Tiffany E. Barber

Are science fiction and speculative fiction the most appropriate genres for reflecting black experiences? — Alondra Nelson1 In the current period of Black Lives Matter, the [media] industry strives to compensate for an inability to coherently register threats of material violence to African Americans by repairing psychic wounds through representation. — Brandy Monk-Payton2

Imaginings of race-free futures, or worlds in which racial difference no longer matters, abound in the predominantly White genres of science fiction literature and film. Afrofuturism, a term that Black Panther’s 2018 Hollywood release and blockbuster success catapulted into the mainstream, is considered a form of redress to these discursive currents. Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler) is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first Marvel film composed of a predominantly Black cast. Set in Wakanda, a lush, highly resourced “promised land” under the cover of a third-world identity, the film posits a Black utopian space in the not-so-distant future where communities of African-descended people not only exist, but also thrive. Following his father’s death, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakanda and the newest Black Panther. But Killmonger, an estranged first cousin and adversary, challenges T’Challa’s sovereignty with the intention of abandoning the nation’s isolationist policies in favor of global revolution. This sharp contrast between characters inspired divergent criticisms. On the one hand, critics praised the film for its unprecedented representation of complex Black characters unbound by stereotypical casting traps, proof “to Hollywood that African American narratives have

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the power to generate profits from all audiences,” Jamil Smith proclaims.3 Others found the film to be regressive, full of redemptive counter-mythology concerning Africans in the African American imagination, and “a fundamentally reactionary understanding of black liberation that blatantly advocates respectability politics over revolution” for the purposes of White comfort, as James Wilt’s states.4 Despite the film’s divided reception, Black Panther, the fictive Wakanda and the film’s predominantly Black cast of complex characters have further popularized Afrofuturism and filmic depictions of Black life in the twenty-first century. Afrofuturism is an aesthetic and political mode of contemporary Black expression that has gained considerable currency in popular and academic discourse since its introduction in the early 1990s. Cultural critic Mark Dery first used the term in his oft-cited essay “Black to the Future” to describe “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture—and, more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future.”5 Dery’s notion of Afrofuturism engendered a troubling antinomy considering that a shared Black past has been “deliberately rubbed out,” giving rise to an inexhaustible yet exhausting search for evidence to redress the trauma of this loss.6 Given this devastation, is the imagination of (Black) futures possible? Furthermore, he asks, “Isn’t the unreal estate of the future already owned by the technocrats, futurologists, streamliners, and set designers . . . who have engineered our collective fantasies?”7 Scholars, cultural producers and public intellectuals at the turn of the twentyfirst century penned extensions and correctives to Dery’s initial conceptualization of the term.8 For Ytasha Womack, Afrofuturism exists at the intersection “of imagination, technology, the future, and liberation,” where “Afrofuturists redefine culture and notions of blackness for today and the future” by combining “elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western beliefs.”9 Alondra Nelson, Kodwo Eshun, Nettrice Gaskins and Ruth Mayer frame Afrofuturism as a revisionist discourse in which racialized, gendered bodies use technology to reparative ends—an ethos of “cosmic liberation” and “possibility in a world meant to destroy any and all forms of black life,” as Shanté Paradigm Smalls puts it.10 But Afrofuturism is about more than reclaiming the past, according to Lisa Yaszek; it is “about reclaiming the history of the future as well.”11 As the term has become more mainstream, scholars and authors have looked to the canon of African American letters to extend Afrofuturism’s purview. Sheree Renée Thomas’ twotime World Fantasy Award-winning Dark Matter anthologies (2000; 2004) position famed sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois as a speculative fiction writer—a novel intervention—by putting his short story “The Comet” in conversation with other Black speculative fiction pioneers and their writing. In the time since the two volumes were published (the second volume from 2004 included a second speculative work by Du Bois), a third story was discovered in Du Bois’ archives.

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Narrowly defined, Afrofuturist texts contain science fiction metaphors as well as employments of technology that construct alternate worlds with regard to racial politics and belonging. They center science fiction in Blackness and function as a way to make sense of how the traumas of slavery come to bear on our political present and future. During the transatlantic slave trade, Africans across Western, Central and Southern Africa were uprooted and subjected to brutal forms of terror, from cultural dispossession and sexual violence to branding and maiming. Under this regime, Black bodies were considered nonhuman objects lacking cognitive and affective faculties, ideas that Jim Crow laws reinforced after the constitutional end to slavery and ideas that presentday anti-Black violence continues to fortify. In light of these traumas, recovering lost and absented cultural knowledge and identities has preoccupied African American artists and thinkers since Emancipation. Thematically within Afrofuturism, the realities of captive slavery and forced diaspora are likened to instances of bodily transformation and alien invasion that appear in science and speculative fiction novels and films. In Isiah Lavender III’s summation, “One might argue that chattel slavery is an apocalyptic event that created black experience in the new world as a real science fiction.”12 For these reasons, Black cultural producers in the U.S. and the broader Atlantic world have often turned to the spheres of speculation and the imagination to make sense of their lived experience in the afterlife of slavery. This mode of Black speculative work celebrates the unique aesthetic perspectives that derive from fractured histories and the ongoing effects of displacement and alienation. Robots, cyborgs and androids as well as interstellar adventures and time travel all feature prominently in the otherworldly, intergalactic narratives at the core of Afrofuturist visual, literary and sonic texts. Afrofuturist works also at times subvert science fiction tropes to complicate issues of racial difference and highlight representations of Blackness that are often left out of generic plots or eclipsed altogether. These issues and representations include the structured absence and token presence of Black characters and actors, themes of racial contamination and racial paranoia as constitutive of a post-apocalyptic future, and the marginalized Black body as the ultimate signifier of difference, alienness and otherness.13 A new wave of scholarship and critical sensibilities about Afrofuturism has emerged in the last ten years, troubling well-worn visual and literary tropes such as magical or mutant Black characters, and interstellar travel and outer space as the ideal routes to liberation. In reconstituting Afrofuturism for the twenty-first century, a 2.0 version, Reynaldo Anderson defines the term as The early twenty-first century technogenesis of Black identity reflecting counter histories, hacking and/or appropriating the influence of network software, database logic, cultural analytics, deep remixability, neurosciences, enhancement and augmentation, gender fluidity, posthuman possibility, the speculative sphere with transdisciplinary applications [that] has grown into an important Diasporic techno-cultural Pan African movement.14

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Afrofuturism, in short, imagines ever widening definitions of Blackness and prospective futures where Black people thrive. Along these lines, films such as Black Panther, Get Out, A Wrinkle in Time and Sorry to Bother You have been lauded as path-breaking examples of contemporary Black visual culture. These media objects emerge from what Brandy Monk-Payton calls an era of “televisual reparations,” a curative desire for positive representation fostered in the Black spectator in response, at least in part, to the depiction of violence against Black bodies in our mediascape. “In the face of violence,” Monk-Payton writes, “Blackness in contemporary television performs an alterity that speaks to the racial futures of both the medium and the lives off-screen implicated within it.”15 The relationship between representation and visibility—both artistically and politically—holds unique purchase for artists of African descent living and working in the Atlantic world. Before the Civil Rights era, African Americans were excluded from the electoral arenas of U.S. institutionalized politics. Thus, formal political equality and moves toward it were seen as viable remedies to centuries of Black degradation and a way to establish community. Black artistic production was integral to this political transformation.16 The critical reception of the above films has also cast them as “firsts”— the first superhero film with a predominantly Black cast and a Black writerdirector in the case of Black Panther, for instance. This exceptionalism is seen as a victory, a marker of racial progress. To be sure, a film like Black Panther is unprecedented in Hollywood. However, elevating the film’s exceptionalism equates visibility with progress and at the same time erases the creative labors and contributions of those who came before. “For far too long,” Racquel J. Gates and Michael B. Gillespie tell us, “both the academic and popular study of Black film and media studies has focused too narrowly on the mere presence of Black bodies both in front of and behind the camera.”17 Alternately, Gates and Gillespie continue, Critical discussion around [Black Panther, Get Out, A Wrinkle in Time and Sorry to Bother You] tends to tacitly frame them in terms of a white film landscape, suggesting that their worth rests in their ability to look and sound like standard (i.e. white) films, severing their ties to black film history and distancing them from “unexceptional” black films in the present.18

To trouble such deferrals to exceptionalism, visibility and reparation, recent Black Media Studies scholarship has begun to reframe the relation between Blackness, the body and liberation. In addition to expanding Afrofuturism’s scope to encompass twentieth- and twenty-first-century interventions, Black Studies scholars, and Black Visual and Media Studies scholars in particular, are now rethinking the term’s early narrow definition in order to interrogate the restorative justice capacities of representation and visibility. These new intellectual currents investigate the roles of surrealism and pessimism within contemporary Black expressive culture. In 1924,

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French poet and philosopher André Breton defined Surrealism as “pure psychic automatism” by which one can express the actual functioning of thought free of reason and any aesthetic and moral concerns.19 For Breton, imagination is important to the life of the subject. Due to the constitutive roles violence and rupture have played in the formation of racialized subjectivities in the West, however, imagination is fraught terrain for Black bodies. This reality is the basis for Afrosurrealism, a term D. Scot Miller coined in his “Afrosurreal Manifesto.” Afrosurrealism, according to Miller, “presupposes that beyond this visible world, there is an invisible world striving to manifest, and it is our job to uncover it.”20 Drawing on the writings of Léopold Sédar Senghor, Miller makes a distinction between European Surrealism and African Surrealism. Of its more universal goals, “the Afrosurrealist life is fluid, filled with aliases and censusdefying classifications . . . Afrosurrealism rejects the quiet servitude that characterizes existing roles for African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, women and queer folk.”21 “Only through the mixing, melding, and cross-conversion of these supposed classifications,” Miller continues, “can there be hope for liberation. Afrosurrealism is intersexed, Afro-Asiatic, Afro-Cuban, mystic, silly, and profound.”22 Studies of new Black surrealisms and Afro-pessimism, a provocative strand of Black political thought, depart from emphases on stereotypical casting and multiracial promise. They instead critically examine the ongoing desire for racial repair and its cultural products in an era where Black lives matter by considering what other forms of the visual demand our attention. These studies and conceptual shifts urge us to meditate on the potential paradoxes and aporias that arise from juxtaposing Blackness and representation within our post-Civil Rights imagination. Afro-pessimism, according to Patrice Douglass, Selamawit D. Terrefe and Frank B. Wilderson, is a lens of interpretation that accounts for civil society’s dependence on anti-Black violence. One of the first principles of Afro-pessimism is that humanity is made legible through the irreconcilable difference between humanness and Blackness. In this frame, anti-Black violence functions as a regime that positions Black people as internal enemies of civil society. “Most critical theorists are convinced,” Douglass, Terrefe and Wilderson write, “that though structural violence performs differently on different populations (e.g., domestic violence against women in the home has a different performativity than the violence against striking workers), a common regime of violence (i.e. capitalism) undergirds the subjugation of all sentient beings.”23 Moreover, they continue, “it is assumed all sentient beings are human beings.”24 Afro-pessimists argue that critical theory’s lumping of Blacks into the category of the human (so that Black suffering erroneously becomes homologous to the suffering of Native Americans, non-Black queer folx, or non-Black women, to name three groups) subtends a false assumption: “that all sentient beings possess the discursive capacity to transform limitless space into nameable place and endless duration into recognized and incorporated events.”25 Afro-pessimism destabilizes such forms of optimism to interrogate culture’s emancipatory potential and the idea that the

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transformative power of occupying the category of the human is hardwired into being itself. Essentially, Afro-pessimism helps us to see how the regimes of antiBlack violence create structural antagonisms between humans and Black beings. These antagonisms not only discipline human subjectivity, leading to humanity’s categorical coherence; they also create irreconcilable, unbridgeable distances. The human, in other words, is a fetishized form, not a universal given. Orlando Patterson’s theory of slavery as a relational dynamic between “social death” (the slave) and “social life” (the human) animates Afro-pessimism. Building on Patterson, “The Black” is positioned, a priori, as slave for Afro-pessimists. Black feminist theory’s privileging of position (or paradigm) over performance also energizes Afro-pessimist thought. In her groundbreaking work, cultural historian Saidiya Hartman illuminates how slavery and its afterlives spurred irreparable conditions of loss and dispossession that continue to constrain Black women’s lives and creative labors.26 To this end, Afro-pessimism theorizes Blackness as an effect of structural violence, as opposed to thinking of Blackness as a performance and embodiment of cultural or anthropological attributes. Following Black feminist thought, Afro-pessimists elaborate the possibilities of refusal, renunciation, dispossession, distancing, disaffection, doubt and abjection—what Hartman calls a dispossessive force—in response to the traumas and ongoing effects of slavery and its afterlives. From this angle, dismantling anti-Blackness and White supremacy necessarily means destroying the social and political institutions of the modern world. Nihilism here becomes an ethical practice. Despite Afrofuturism no longer being bound to its original definition, the radical otherness—or alterity—of the concept is often elided by investments in racial redemption, exemplified by statements such as Yaszek’s regarding Afrofuturism’s recovery impulse. What does this impulse to redeem both the past and the future in the present tell us about the relationship between Blackness, history and memory? Why is redemption the goal? What are the visual and extravisual registers of Black life and death? Where and how do we imagine racial alterity and its futures on and off screen beyond the televisual? In a world where image content, and arguably Blackness, circulates with little restraint, where do we locate violence, fugitivity and refusal? Comparing two foundational visual texts within Afrofuturism in light of these questions models a new measure of Black cultural criticism that embraces aesthetic strategies of refusal to account for the speculative, irreconcilable ways of Black being and its construction. The Black Audio Film Collective’s 1996 experimental documentary The Last Angel of History and Cauleen Smith’s 2001 short film The Changing Same span the terrain between Afrosurrealism and Afro-pessimism to offer alternative visions of Black life and its futures. The Last Angel of History opens with a man standing in a flooded trailer park. The sun beams down as the man narrates the life of Robert Johnson, a blues musician said to have traded his soul for the spirit of music at a crossroads in Mississippi; he died in 1938 at age 27. From this origin myth and the image of divergent pathways intersecting amid the partially

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submerged, desolate landscape, the narrator talks of Black redemption. He chimes, “If you can find the crossroads . . . if you can make an archaeological dig into this crossroads, you’ll find fragments, techno-fossils. And if you can put those elements, those fragments, together, you’ll find a code. Crack that code and you’ll have the keys to your future.” Much like Space Is the Place, Sun Ra’s Black science fiction film of 1972 released in 1974, The Last Angel of History is considered a canonical visual text that exemplifies Afrofuturism. Kodwo Eshun calls The Last Angel of History “the most elaborate exposition on the convergence of ideas that is Afrofuturism . . . Through the persona of a time-traveling nomadic figure known as the Data Thief,” he continues, “The Last Angel of History create[s] a network of links between music, space, futurology, and diaspora.”27 Indeed, The Last Angel of History, along with the Black Audio Film Collective’s other works, broke new ground within British cinema. In response to civil unrest spurred by confrontations between police and various Afro-diasporic communities and growing support for independent film and artistic experimentation in 1980s Britain, the Collective reworked the generic expectations of documentary film-making to map the boundaries of Black identity and culture as constitutive of contemporary British social relations. At the same time, another group of Black film-makers were doing similar work in the aftermath of student protests and uprisings against racial violence on the west coast of the United States. Known as the L.A. Rebellion, these independent artists, who until recently were largely unknown and uncelebrated, crafted a unique cinematic landscape to comment on extant civil rights issues, anti-Black violence, and the U.S. occupation of Vietnam between the late 1960s and late 1980s. From the institutional walls of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and on the heels of demands for more diversity across faculty, staff, students and course offerings, L.A. Rebellion members arrived, mentored one another and passed the torch to the next wave of filmmakers. The L.A. Rebellion group, which includes Charles Burnett, Julie Dash and Haile Gerima to name three, created alternatives to the dominant modes of style and narrative continuity in American cinema, oftentimes producing unrelenting, despairing works that reflected the full complexity of Black life. The L.A. Rebellion’s fresh approach to time, landscape and open-ended narrative established a West Coast legacy of Black film-making and forms of world-building that younger Black film-makers coming out of UCLA elaborate in their work. Cauleen Smith is one of these contemporary film-makers. She upends traditional forms of narrative film-making by deploying disorienting jump cuts along with science fiction and fantasy tropes—rogue aliens, strange and multiple dimensions, time travel—to stage unconventional views of Black social relations. Because of this, her work, like the Black Audio Film Collective’s, has been framed as Afrofuturist. Experimental film-making isn’t the only thing Smith shares with the Collective, though; in the 1980s Smith spent a great deal of time in Brixton, South London and other Black-populated districts

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outside of Los Angeles, soaking up the dense international urbanism of such places. The transitional, formal and perhaps even cosmic connections between the Collective and Smith reorient staid understandings of Afrofuturism’s political value, and historiographies of Black cultural production more broadly. Smith’s short film The Changing Same demands that we rethink the relationship between Afrofuturism and redemption. The film shares its title with Amiri Baraka’s descriptions of Black music’s transformations alongside those of Black America; “the changing same,” for Baraka, explicates a Black position of otherness, of alienation and resistance, that generates social and aesthetic repudiations and about-faces that refuse amalgamation and assimilation.28 Smith’s work itself occupies this position—a kind of opposition—to address topics such as human and technological obsolescence, time, futurity and economic and ecological forecasting. Consequently, Smith composes a full and enduring picture of what plagues our collective contemporary consciousness. The film begins after the end of the world, and an alien in the form of a Black woman is beamed down to earth on a mission to investigate a species called the incubators for the Greater Goodship. The Black female alien has been instructed to study and mimic the behaviors of the incubators, and she reports that she “is acquiring the appropriate skills.” The incubators, however, are conspicuously missing from the film. The only being she encounters is a Black man, a rogue alien “agent” whom she quickly discovers she has been sent to replace. The film opens with non-diegetic dialogue that we later learn is part of the film’s story world, and in the dialogue, two voices discuss the fate of the rogue agent. The Black male alien survives by deciding which lies to tell—a trickster figure. He is resistant, disoriented, cold because the earth’s sun is too far away, and ready to return “home”; however, his contact commands him to stay on earth. The next sequence is a confrontation between the rogue agent and his replacement in which he attempts to steal the woman’s generator. He needs energy; he is dying as a result of prolonged exposure to the earth’s atmosphere. After the confrontation, the two meet again. They communicate verbally and telepathically, realizing their Greater Goodship commanders have lied to them both about their existence. They are not each solely one of a kind, or isolated individuals; they are two of a kind, members of the same race. Instead of finding solace in shared experience, however, the film stages the impossibilities of Black belonging. After the two “aliens” discover they are not alone, they strike up an intimate relationship based on their “sameness,” forging kinship. They share a cigarette, a long embrace, then each other—an action that the pair’s omnipresent commanders declare a corrupted core breach. Shortly after, the film ends in a double suicide, an abject move that stems directly from the couple’s attempt at sexual intimacy. In modern thought, particularly in terms of psychoanalysis, sexual intimacy and self-discovery are often seen as coterminous, what Leo Bersani describes as “the honored tradition that has idealized sexuality through the image of the intimately conjoined couple.”29 This cornerstone

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of modern identity formation is short-circuited in The Changing Same. In attempting to redress their isolation with sexual intimacy, the two characters are instead confronted with just how incompatible they are to this normative mode of identity formation. The promise of an alternate way of being—relative to the feelings of mutual belonging, love and futurity that sexual reproduction typically signifies—is unfulfilled. They do not, in the end, “find” themselves or each other through their various intimate encounters, from telepathic communication to shared experience to sexual contact. This break also occurs on the level of Blackness. Their strange Black bodies in intimate contact disfigure the system, a breach represented by a discordant soundscape and commanding voices that we hear but cannot see. By design, then, they negate features foundational to modern notions of subjectivity, marked by a tradition of heteronormative coupling, namely absorption in each other that supposedly results in enlightenment, or a finding of one’s self via sexual relations. We might read the rogue aliens who terminate themselves at the end of Smith’s film, then, not as collaborators in racial repair or even belonging, but as Black social outlaws who embrace their abjection and turn away from, to use Bersani’s words, “the field of transgressive possibility itself.”30 In this view, the film foregrounds the radical potential of otherness—of Black aesthetic practice, of criticism and of “the future.” The impossibility of Black intimacy exhibited in the final moments of Smith’s film translates to an anti-relational exchange that gives way to an inassimilable Blackness generated by the characters’ self-termination. What The Changing Same animates for us, then, is the idea that Blackness is a priori to queerness, displaced in and by both space and time. This equation necessitates a reconsideration of both Blackness and queerness as modes of otherness that exceed racial and gender performativity, identity or even sexual practices. In so doing, The Changing Same proffers an ethics of Black representation not constrained by racial duty or social norms concerning progress. Instead the Blackness of the film comes into view as a vision that resists the impulse to redeem the future. To paraphrase Stephen Best, this vision rests content with the fact that our orientation toward the future remains forever perverse, queer and askew.31 In elaborating the space between Afrosurrealism and Afro-pessimism to trouble the relation between Afrofuturism and redemption, the film ultimately offers fresh insight into the systems of containment that constrain Black experience in the past, present and future. Alternately, The Changing Same expands what we mean by Black study. As Petal Samuel asserts, “Hearsay, rumor, experimentation, and other forms of speculation have become the bases of innovative methodologies that open up new paths for thinking about black histories and futures.”32 In this vein, The Changing Same stages refusal as a form of speculation to cultivate alternative conditions of possibility for imagining Blackness and its persistent visualization in the twenty-first century.

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Notes 1. This question appears in the “About” section of the Yahoo group listserv Alondra Nelson founded on 31 January 1999. The group was devoted to “AfroFuturism—cultural production that simultaneously references a past of abduction, displacement and alien-nation; celebrates the unique aesthetic perspectives inspired by these fractured histories; and imagines the possible futures of black life and ever-widening definitions of ‘blackness.’” The site contains information about the group’s beginnings, including the group’s original ethos and mission, the number of members in the group and a log of how many posts were made in the group from 1999–2017. The site can be found here: https:// groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/afrofuturism/info (accessed 1 November 2019). 2. Brandy Monk-Payton, “Blackness and Televisual Reparations,” Film Quarterly 71.2 (Winter 2017), 12. Special thanks to Jerome P. Dent Jr. for this reference and insights regarding Black media production and Black speculative imaginative labors that have inevitably shaped this chapter. For more of these insights, see Tiffany E. Barber and Jerome P. Dent Jr.’s New Black Surrealism series on Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog for the African American Intellectual History Society. 3. Jamil Smith, “The Revolutionary Power of Black Panther,” Time (8 February 2018), https://time.com/black-panther/ (accessed 1 November 2019). 4. James Wilt, “How Black Panther Liberalizes Black Resistance for White Comfort,” Canadian Dimension (21 February 2018), https://canadiandimension.com/ articles/view/how-black-panther-liberalizes-black-resistance-for-white-comfort (accessed 1 November 2019). 5. Mark Dery, “Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose,” Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture, ed. Mark Dery (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994), 180. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 8. This notion of a Black speculative imagination has become the focus of numerous listservs and websites, academic conferences, Black comic book conventions, books, museum exhibitions and protest movements. Recent museum exhibitions such as Approximately Infinite Universe (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2013), The Shadows Took Shape (Studio Museum in Harlem, 2013) and Post African Futures (Goodman Gallery, 2015) confirm that Afrofuturism is part and parcel of twenty-first-century visual culture. 9. Ytasha L. Womack, Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2013), 9. 10. See Shanté Paradigm Smalls’ writing on X-Men character Storm, presented at the 2016 Black Portraitures conference hosted by New York University in Johannesburg, South Africa. This note comes from her paper description, which can be found here: www.blackportraitures.info/speakers/shante-smalls/ (accessed 1 November 2019). See also Alondra Nelson, ed., “Afrofuturism,” Special issue, Social Text 20.2(71) (2002); Kodwo Eshun, “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism,” CR: The New Centennial Review 3.2 (2003), 287–302; Nettrice Gaskins, “Alternate Futures: Afrofuturist Multiverses and Beyond,” vimeo (17 August 2010), https://vimeo. com/125214176 (accessed 1 November 2019); and Ruth Mayer, “‘Africa as an Alien

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11. 12. 13. 14.

15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.

24. 25. 26.

27.

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TIFFANY E. BARBER Future’: The Middle Passage, Afrofuturism, and Postcolonial Waterworlds,” Amerikastudien/American Studies 45.4 (2000), 555–66. Note that Gaskins’ “Alternate Futures” is an interactive, immersive, three-dimensional art experience primarily concerned with Afrofuturism “that combines elements of sci-fi, art science, fantasy and magical realism with non-Western concepts in order to investigate contemporary issues of people of color, but also to re-examine linkages to historical events of the past.” Lisa Yaszek, “Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future,” Socialism and Democracy 20.3 (2006), 47. Isiah Lavender III, “Neo-Slavery and Science Fiction,” Science Fiction Studies 40.2 (July 2013), 373. For a detailed explication of these phenomena, see Adilifu Nama’s Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008). Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. Jones, “Introduction: The Rise of AstroBlackness,” in Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016), x. See also Tiffany E. Barber et al., “25 Years of Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Thought: Roundtable with Tiffany E. Barber, Reynaldo Anderson, Mark Dery, and Sheree Renée Thomas,” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 39 (Spring 2018), 136–44; and Reynaldo Anderson, “Afrofuturism 2.0 and the Black Speculative Arts Movement: Notes on a Manifesto,” Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora 42.1–2 (2016), 228–36. Monk-Payton, “Blackness and Televisual Reparations,” 14. See Richard Iton’s In Search of the Black Fantastic: Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) for an explication of the relationship between Black cultural production and Black political enfranchisement. Racquel J. Gates and Michael Boyce Gillespie, “Reclaiming Black Film and Media Studies,” Film Quarterly 72.3 (Spring 2019), 15. Ibid. 13. See André Breton, Manifestes du Surréalisme (Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1962). D. Scot Miller, “Afrosurreal Manifesto: Black Is the New black—a 21st-Century Manifesto,” Black Camera 5.1 (Fall 2013), 116. Ibid. Ibid. Patrice Douglass, Selamawit D. Terrefe and Frank B. Wilderson, “Afro-pessimism,” Oxford Bibliographies (28 August 2018), www.oxfordbibliographies.com/ view/document/obo-9780190280024/obo-9780190280024-0056.xml (accessed 1 November 2019). Ibid. Ibid. See Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997); “Venus in Two Acts,” Small Axe 12.2 (2008), 1–14; and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2019). Eshun, “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism,” 295.

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28. See Amiri Baraka, Black Music (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1967). See also Nathaniel Mackey, “The Changing Same: Black Music in the Poetry of Amiri Baraka,” boundary 2 6.2 (Winter 1978), 355–86. 29. Leo Bersani, Homos (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 165. 30. Ibid. 163. 31. Stephen Best, “On Failing to Make the Past Present,” Modern Language Quarterly 73.3 (September 2012), 453–74. 32. Petal Samuel, “Black Speculation, Black Freedom,” Public Books (19 October 2018), www.publicbooks.org/black-speculation-black-freedom/ (1 November 2019).

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21 The Black Studies Movement in Britain Kehinde Andrews

At Birmingham City University we run the first, and only, Black Studies degree program in Europe. Given the racist history and continued exclusions of academia, it should really come as no surprise that it took until 2017 to finally launch a Black Studies degree. In Britain only around 1 percent of academic staff (faculty) are Black, and less than 130 out of the 19,000 full professors.1 As appalling as both of those situations are, in terms of leadership, the figures somehow manage to be even worse. There is currently one Black person, Baroness Valerie Amos at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), in the highest leadership position in any university, and her appointment was a watershed moment of almost unparalleled significance, because most years there are no senior managers in the sector at all.2 As bad as these inequalities are, in comparison, the state of higher education on continental Europe is so dire that it makes British academia look like the Promised Land. With so few Black academics it makes it almost impossible to build a critical mass of scholarship. An almost complete absence of Black senior staff and managers means the decision makers in higher education are nearly exclusively White. The fact that Black Studies has emerged at all in this environment is the surprise, not how long it has taken. But whilst Black Studies has only just emerged in the university it has thrived in Black communities in the country for decades.3 In building the Black Studies degree, we have rooted it in this tradition of community knowledge, which acts as a reminder of the “science of liberation” that was at the heart of the emergence of Black Studies in the United States. This chapter will explore the development of Black Studies in Britain and the importance of maintaining the “community component,”4 and will critique contemporary African American Studies/Black Studies in the United States of America.

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Establishing the Degree When Black Studies emerged in the United States it was due to a groundswell of student pressure. Universities expanded in the sixties, and when Black students found themselves not only in White spaces, but being taught Eurocentric, and frankly racist knowledge, they rebelled.5 Protests spread across the country, most notably with the five-month-long strike of students and staff at the San Francisco State College in 1968, and the occupation of Willard Straight Hall at Cornell, which ended with Black students leaving the building after arming themselves because of racist threats to their lives.6 Nathan Hare was right when he described the period as the “battle for Black Studies,”7 because the concessions had to be won through the process of struggle. In Britain the struggle has not been as hard-fought, but the students have been an important source of momentum in trying to change the university. Starting in 2015, “Why is My Curriculum White?” challenged the parade of dead White men that masquerades as a curriculum in universities.8 The movement, supported by the National Union of Students, has spread across the country forcing the sector to respond. “Decolonizing the curriculum” has become a cottage industry, with workshops, working groups and even watchdogs getting involved. Universities now openly engage in discussion of “decolonization” and deliberate strategies for this new agenda. Reserving cynicism at how meaningful these deliberations are, it is important to recognize just how different the nature of these conversations is from anything that has gone on previously. The curriculum has always been White; academia has long been a career dominated by the White elite; and as long as minority students have been attending universities, there has been an attainment gap. It is due to student pressure that these are now issues that universities have to engage in, even if they do so superficially. Student protest is the backdrop for the emergence of the Black Studies degree but not its genesis. Before the student campaigns transformed the debate, we had begun to build the basis for Black Studies in the university. In 2013 we held the first Blackness in Britain conference, at Newman University in Birmingham, where we wanted to bring together work on the perspectives, experiences and contributions of the African Diaspora to Britain. Just to note how much the discourse on Blackness has shifted in Britain since then, it was still seen as controversial to define Black in African Diaspora, rather than “non-White,” which has dominated the British scholarship on race and racism.9 One of the major contributions of the Black Studies work we have developed is to provide a platform in the university for the concept of Blackness that has been at the forefront of grassroots social movements. At the time, we assumed that it would be a small event, given the lack of Black presence in the sector in terms of representation and ideas. But we received over forty papers and around 150 people turned up from all over the country with a mix of academics, doctoral students, activists and practitioners attending. The

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conference demonstrated that there existed a critical mass of Black Studies, even if it was spread thinly across the various higher education institutions. From the success of the conference we started a Black Studies Association and began building a network of scholars and activists to push the research agenda. It was not quite as simple as this. Settling on Black Studies took some time, because there was resistance by some who thought it too confrontational and that it would not be accepted in academia. Not fully embracing Black Studies, however, would have been a critical mistake. I strongly doubt that had we gone with “multicultural studies” we would have had the impact that we have over the last few years. This is not just about putting a catchy label on a product, but actually goes to the heart of the work we are trying to do, and so we established clear foundations early on. At this stage the idea of a degree could not even have been imagined. We were just beginning to build a critical mass of interested parties. The acceleration to a full degree program is a story of chance, circumstance and taking advantage of the moment. But this also tells us a lot about some of the fundamental problems the degree faces. In 2014, I managed to secure a post at Birmingham City University (BCU) in the sociology department. At the time the department had very few members of staff, and I was the only one who had a Ph.D. This meant that I was given a leadership role in terms of research and went in with a plan to pursue such in Black Studies. It is no coincidence that Newman University and BCU were the institutions where Black Studies was able to emerge. Both of these are newer universities, far outside the elite institutions, with very little history or tradition of research. I never would have been (and still would find it difficult) to be hired into an elite university, and certainly not in a position senior enough to be allowed to set a Black Studies research agenda. It was only in 1992 that universities like BCU came into existence, and it is in this part of the sector that the majority of Black academics find themselves. As much as the platform for Black Studies research was vital, it could not by itself provide the platform for the degree. When I was hired at BCU we did already have a Black member of staff, Dionne Taylor, who researched Black Studies in the department, but the two of us alone would not be enough. Fortuitously, the sociology degree is linked to criminology, which has been one of the fastest-growing areas of study for the past few years. Because student numbers were rapidly expanding, the department grew and, from 2014–17, we hired six new members of staff. This is a complete reversal of the trend in most sociology departments, which are typically shrinking. With Black Studies driving the research agenda and a growing department, we were able to recruit a number of Black Studies scholars. At one point we hired three Black women in a row as well as getting support for three fully funded Ph.D. studentships in Black Studies, for which we also recruited Black women researchers. We were very quickly able to build a critical mass of scholars that has no precedent in European higher education. This was supported by our continuing to establish

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Black Studies research. In 2015 we held the second Blackness in Britain conference, this time spreading across three days and keynoted by Professor Patricia Hill Collins. We also published the edited collection Blackness in Britain; launched a book series of the same name; and secured research funding to hold a series of events that brought in speakers from across the African Diaspora. BCU became the legitimate home for Black Studies in academia in Europe through these and other endeavors, but were it not for neoliberal reforms to higher education the degree still would never have come about. In the same year as the Black Studies degree was launched, students in England and Wales for the first time paid for the full cost of their education. Until the nineties, universities were free, and when fees were introduced they gradually crept up, from £1,500 per year by 2002, to £3,000 up until 2016. But in 2017 the cost for students skyrocketed to £9,000 per year, with the government arguing that students should individually pay the cost for their education, which would after all supposedly guarantee them a better life. The increase in fees is important to Black Studies, because when the government was subsidizing university places there was an overall limit on how many people could attend university, and this was policed very heavily by regulators. To launch Black Studies would have meant having to reduce student numbers in a different subject (discipline), which would have been extremely unlikely. Under the new system, the limit on the number of students was removed, and universities were free to recruit whomever they could convince. This introduction of the free market meant that BCU could experiment with new courses, and a notice went out that we could suggest new degree courses. By this time we had built the critical mass of staff, and an international reputation for Black Studies, so when we proposed the degree to senior management it was an easy sell. To not run the degree would be to miss an opportunity to seize a corner of the market, especially in light of the student-led movements to “decolonize” the curriculum. Not only could BCU attract an array of new customers, it could also burnish its brand by being at the forefront of the battle to diversify universities. A lot of hard work went into putting us in the position to launch the degree. The research, groundwork and getting the university to hire lots of Black people is a story of struggle in itself. But the reality is that founding the degree was not a “battle” in the sense of what happened in the U.S. It was a process of negotiation that suited perfectly the neoliberal moment and intentions of senior management. In this context we have had to be clear and unshakeable on the foundations of what we are trying to do, because the road to neoliberalism is paved with good intentions.

Science of Liberation When we settled on Black Studies as the name for the movement we were starting in higher education, this was about more than just deciding what we

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should be called. Black Studies should not just be a label for anything produced by, or about, Black people. If we define Black Studies in such a narrow way, then we are simply ghettoizing Black thought by separating it off from the rest of the university. Black Studies therefore has to be based on creating new ways of knowing and crucial practices within the university. When Black Studies emerged in the U.S., the aim was to break down some of the fundamental problems within the taken-for-granted ways of Eurocentric scholarship. Central to the movement was a critique of the value-free scholarship.10 The Cartesian separation of mind from body, thought from action and academic from community are bases of the problem with the way knowledge is produced. These create the academic as an intellectual locked in an ivory tower, free to make pronouncements on society from their objective vantage point of privilege. False notions of rationality and objectivity insulate the knowledge produced in the university from the reality that is Eurocentric and rooted in maintaining an unjust social order. An exceedingly easy trap to fall into, when trying to change the university, is simply to aim to get more representation in the institutions. Black faces, repeating the practices of White academics, are not going to redeem us, and certainly do not constitute Black Studies. In rooting our movement within Black Studies, we were committing to building the “science of liberation,”11 aimed at truly transforming our knowledge and practices. This is obviously not the easiest of tasks given that all of us have been trained in the ways of White scholarships. But in doing so we have been guided by some key principles. Unapologetic Blackness, defined in African Diaspora, is utterly indispensable and underlines all of the work we are doing. But sometimes being Black is not enough in itself. There are plenty of Black scholars and Black political traditions that not only are not Black Studies, but are actually opposed to it. Rooting the degree in Blackness was about basing the discipline in the legacy of Black resistance that made any of these conversations possible. Black Studies has to be committed to improving the conditions of Africa and the Diaspora, to a politics of liberation. In defining Blackness, Diaspora was also essential in that we wanted to avoid getting trapped in the “narrow nationalism” of focusing our attention solely on what happened to Black people within the nation-state.12 We aimed from the outset to build organic connections across the Diaspora, particularly to the regions where language and Anglocentrism have created barriers. We also recognize that Blackness has been historically defined narrowly and by patriarchy. Culturally essentialist versions of Blackness, steeped in traditional gender roles, have blighted many a movement and school of thought. In order for Blackness to be liberatory, it must be based on the connection of all those of Africa and the Diaspora. That cannot be qualified by excluding LGBTQ communities as inauthentic, or by placing a gendered hierarchy in Blackness. To do so destroys the very basis of the collective, and undermines any claim at liberation. Therefore, the idea of intersectionality

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has been fundamental to establishing Black Studies in terms of the work produced13 and also the degree program. Blackness is a political essentialism that can incorporate any number of cultural forms. By removing the emphasis on culture, it is possible to theorize Blackness as a process of radical becoming, one that is never finished but always moving toward the goal of liberation. Articulating a critical Blackness dedicated to liberation has been vital to identifying the politics underlying the movement, but what truly distinguishes Black Studies from other intellectual movements is what Hare calls the “community component” of the discipline. Just as in the U.S., it is not only the students who are pushing for an end to the White curriculum. Movements, in the U.S., were sustained by community activists in the sixties,14 and that same source is a deep well of support for campaigns in Britain. This is because wider communities understand that this battle is not just academic. More equal knowledge being produced in the centers of intellectual power will transform the policies that impact the whole of society. Almost all politicians in the U.K. attend university and have their political ideas shaped by what they learn. For example, Britain recently voted to leave the European Union, in large part because millions of people were persuaded, by supposedly educated politicians, that Britain could be great again once it was out of one of the largest trading blocks to ever exist on the globe. The idea that the island nation of Britain was ever great, or stood on its own two feet, is only convincing because of the delusions of the White curriculum. Britain’s standing in the world was drawn from her empire upon which the “sun never set.” Without the colonies, Britain would have remained a provincial backwater, and the age of empire is now long gone. The absence of a fully rounded education on Britain’s past, however, has duped politicians and the public alike into fighting for a future based on a past that never existed. The ones who feel the brunt of these kinds of disastrous policies are always poor, and disproportionately Black. So it should come as no surprise that communities have been heavily involved in the movements to change the university. Black Studies, supported by people off campus, should include Black communities in the process of knowledge production. One of the main problems with academic knowledge is that it is produced in the bubble of the academic industrial complex. Knowledge is validated in an echo chamber of academic conferences, journal articles and university seminar series. It is no wonder that the Eurocentric curriculum is so firm in its commitment to itself when the only scrutiny that it receives is from those trained within it. It is by no means a coincidence that it is only when universities have opened up to a diversity of students that the taken-for-granted notions have been challenged. So it is vital that Black Studies knowledge is produced in collaboration with those off campus. One simple way that we have done this is by inviting the community into the university space. Even today, in the high fee regime, it remains the case that most of the money coming into universities comes as public funds. The

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government loans funds to students, which are only paid back gradually, when the recipients enter the workplace. Universities are therefore effectively public buildings, but you would hardly think that given the security and swipe-card access needed to get into them. I routinely ask audiences how often they have been into a university when they weren’t paying (students), paid (staff) or having the university advertised to them (potential students). The answers reinforce the nature of the academic bubble, closed off from the world around it. Before we launched the degree, the first step we took was to run events on a range of topics from the Social Theory of Malcolm X to a conference on Black Feminism(s). We have held countless events, large and small, over the last few years, hosting thousands of people on campus. We have built a community of practice through these engagements, and most of those who attend have no official connection to the university. By doing so, we have changed the audience for our work, which is vital, because it means we have to be accountable to those outside the university rather than the academic industrial complex. This has two important effects that should underpin Black Studies. Malcolm X professed that when he spoke he aimed to “make it plain,” getting to the point to address his audiences. It is this approach, the ability to explain complex ideas simply (think of the “House and Field Negro,” for example) that goes a long way to explaining why he was so successful a speaker. From the initial meeting to form a Black Studies Association in 2013 we were keen to embody this approach. You cannot have a community component to knowledge if most of the public cannot understand what you are saying. Black Studies must be accessible, and the way to do this is to write and speak to audiences where you cannot rely on jargon to get you through. Speaking to one of our audiences at BCU is so different to the usual academic forum that it is difficult to compare the two. The impact of this is not only on how we communicate but also what we produce. The crucible of the public audience means that ideas themselves are afforded a different level of scrutiny, and faculty members/staff cannot get away with the taken-for-granted notions of the White academy. Conceptual frameworks are, largely, defined by the audience. A good example of this is the notion of so-called “political blackness” that we briefly discussed earlier. Defining Blackness as everyone who is not White is problematic for any number of reasons that I will not go into here. One of my main objections is that it erases Blackness rooted in the African Diaspora, which has been such an important mobilizing tool for centuries and is by nature political. Political blackness has been able to survive for so long in British academia because it is reinforced by the university echo chamber, and this is still the case now to a large extent. But anyone whose audience is outside of the bubble knows that the concept is totally unworkable. Black people abhor it because it erases our identity, and South Asians and other groups rarely identify with it for precisely the same reason.15 Whatever arguments there are philosophically (which are also problematic), in terms of a supposed strategic essentialism to unite groups against

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racism, it is a complete failure. At one of our events, where Kathleen Cleaver was talking about the legacy of the Black Panthers, someone stood up and made the case for political blackness. He quickly sat down as the audience thoroughly booed him into retreat. Issues of public decorum aside (Birmingham has a reputation as a tough crowd), it demonstrates the different nature of the debates and concepts off campus. In fact, the main reason that Black Studies has unapologetic Blackness at its core is because the tradition is rooted in community, and not higher education. Sticking to the theme of political blackness, it was a completely alien concept to me until second year of university, where I studied a module called “race and racism.” I had, however, been brought up reading and thinking about Blackness in the context of community engagement. Due to being locked out of elite knowledge production, Black communities have had no choice but to develop our own networks of education. In Britain, the Black supplementary school movement is the longest-standing alternative space of education, with a history that dates back to at least 1967.16 The programs emerged because the racism in the mainstream schools was so vicious that many Black children were coming out of school with no qualifications. Concerned parents, community activists, teachers and anyone who was interested set up programs, often on a Saturday, to teach the children the basics of math and English as well as some history of Africa and the Caribbean, which was totally absent from schooling. These programs were a vital source of resistance and also helped the children survive the racial injustices built into the school system. They were also rooted in Blackness and connected into wider Black social movements. It is in spaces like these that Black Studies emerged in Britain as well as in community venues and publications. Claudia Jones founded one of the first Black newspapers in Britain, the West Indian Gazette, sparking a trend of publications from those with a circulation of a few hundred to much larger national imprints. Bookstores like New Beacon in London and Harriet Tubman in Birmingham imported works by Black scholars and disseminated them throughout Black communities. Presses like Bogle-L’Ouverture supported critically important work like Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Organizations like the Pan-African Congress Movement made links across the Diaspora and started celebrations like the annual Africa Liberation Day event on May Bank Holiday, which since 1977 has drawn in thousands of people to hear speakers from across the globe. In the seventies, Handsworth in Birmingham was a key stop on the African Diaspora knowledge network, hosting speakers from decolonial movements, including Herbert Chitepo from Zimbabwe, who was assassinated shortly after his appearance in the city. Black Studies has a vibrant history in these spaces, which have been vitally important for shaping how we understand the movement. The mission has been to continue this tradition within the ivory tower, but this does not come without difficulties. Black Studies in the community has always been

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organically linked to the struggles taking place on a daily basis. It is these struggles that necessitated the development of community education.

Challenge of Black Studies More than any other aspect, it is the community component that separates Black Studies from disciplines like African and Caribbean Studies. Both of these have existed in British higher education for decades, and emerged at times when there were even fewer Black academics than there are today. What these subjects represent is the difference between learning about Black people and Black Studies. There will undoubtedly be some overlap of content on a Black Studies course and African or Caribbean Studies, but this does not mean they are the same. Black Studies emerged out of community mobilization for liberation; African and Caribbean Studies were created as tools of White colonialists to understand the natives. Times have obviously changed, and there is some excellent work being done by scholars, many of whom are now Black, in both disciplines. But that does not change the nature of the discipline as one based on the classic relationship of the university (and academic) to knowledge. Black Studies is transformative, because it necessitates transforming our practice as well as our focus. The same critique that we can level at African and Caribbean Studies can also be applied in the U.S. context to some African American Studies programs and departments.17 The best example of their need for critique is the lack of a community component. Again, this is not the case across the board, but we have to accept that fundamentally engaging research and practice in communities off campus is not an essential ingredient for many academics in the discipline. In these academic programs, the core components originally outlined in Black Studies are not prerequisite. Just as with African or Caribbean Studies, these programs, some of which garner the best funding from their universities, have a different focus. Often their interdisciplinary approach, a common feature of U.S. higher education, and staple in some of the world’s most elite and prestigious universities, translates as a loss of the transformative, liberatory elements of Black Studies. Creating a foothold within institutions to explore Black life and produce knowledge from non-Eurocentric perspectives is an important project, but this can be done without altering the university itself. Teaching about Blackness in a space of White privilege is certainly a political act, but not necessarily a radical one. Blackness itself is what underpins Black Studies, an inescapable dimension that underwrites every aspect of the work. As we explored above, for Black Studies this has been defined in the Diasporic nature, political commitment and community component. Once Blackness becomes something that is studied, rather than the underlying basis of study, we have a different intellectual project, a valuable one but nonetheless different.

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In fact, Black Studies should not aim to change the university, one of the most important racist institutions set to maintain the status quo. We can neither bring down nor equalize the ivory tower, but we can colonize it. Gain positions of power within the institution and use them to build communities of practice with those outside its walls. The goal of the science of liberation is to use the resources of the university to subvert it by supporting liberation struggles off campus. Diaspora, liberation and community are the beating heart of Black Studies, that which really differentiates it from everything else. Black Studies in Britain draws its roots from the long history of community education and activism across the Diaspora, as well as the founding of Black Studies in the United States. In doing so we are attempting to colonize the ivory tower and to put the resources of the university into creating the science of liberation. Doing so opens a whole range of questions about the nature of our roles and work and place within the university. The challenge will be how these questions can be answered within an increasingly neoliberal landscape. By rooting Black Studies in communities of practice outside of the university, the aim is to build a movement that can withstand the pressures of the institution.

Notes 1. Advance HE “Equality in Higher Education: Statistical Report 2018” (2018), www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/equality-higher-education-statistical-report-2018/ (accessed 18 February 2019). 2. Higher Education Statistics Agency, “Higher Education Staff Statistics: UK, 2016/17” (2018), www.hesa.ac.uk/news/18-01-2018/sfr248-higher-educationstaff-statistics (accessed 18 February 2019). 3. See Mark Christian’s chapter (in the earlier edition of this textbook), “Black Studies in the UK and US: A Comparative Analysis,” in African American Studies, ed. Jeanette R. Davidson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010), 149–67. 4. Nathan Hare, “The Battle for Black Studies,” The Black Scholar 3.9 (1972), 32–47. 5. Ibram Rogers, The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstruction of Higher Education, 1965–1972 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). 6. Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012). 7. Hare, “Battle for Black Studies.” 8. Michael A. Peters, “Why Is My Curriculum White? A Brief Genealogy of Resistance,” in Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy, ed. Jason Arday and Heidi Mirza (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018), 253–70. 9. Kehinde Andrews, “The Problem of Political Blackness: Lessons from the Black Supplementary School Movement,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 39.11 (2016), 2060–78. 10. Abdul Alkalimat, “The Ideology of Black Social Science,” The Black Scholar 1.2 (1969), 28–35.

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11. Robert Staples, “What is Black Sociology? Toward a Sociology of Black Liberation” [1973], in The Death of White Sociology: Essays on Race and Culture, ed. Joyce A. Ladner (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1998), 168. 12. Kehinde Andrews, “Blackness, Empire and Migration: How Black Studies Transforms the Curriculum,” AREA (2019), https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12528. 13. Kimberlé Crenshaw, K. Kehinde Andrews, Annabel Wilson and Devon Carbado, eds., Blackness at the Intersection (London: Zed, 2020). 14. Fabio Rojas, From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). 15. Tariq Modood, “Political Blackness and British Asians,” Sociology 28.4 (1994), 859–76. 16. Kehinde Andrews, Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement (London: Institute of Education Press, 2013); Amanda Simon, Supplementary Schools and Ethnic Minority Communities: A Social Positioning Perspective (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). 17. A number of different names are utilized in the United States for programs and departments of the discipline: Black Studies; Africana Studies; African American Studies; Pan-African Studies etc. These names are often used interchangeably. The name of the unit does not generally indicate the philosophical or methodological approaches used by the faculty, nor does it indicate how closely tied the department is to original Black Studies tenets.

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Index

Note: page references in italics indicate figures; bold indicates tables; ‘n’ indicates chapter notes. Abdul-Rauf, Mahmoud, 251 activism, 71–3, 75, 77, 80, 163, 168–83, 187, 188, 196–200, 204n Adinkra symbols, 11–13 advocacy, 107, 109, 151, 163, 173, 175, 180, 209, 213 aesthetics, 93, 94 Affirmative Action, 183, 241 Africa, 28, 30, 85, 86, 95, 126–8, 234–5; see also Egypt; Ethiopia; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria; Pan-Africanism; Sierra Leone; Somalia and Somaliland; South Africa; Sudan African American Art and Culture Complex, San Francisco, “The Black Woman is God” exhibition, 197 African American Studies, 1–4 basic assumptions of, 120 development of, 71–3, 76, 80–1, 81n, 82n, 176–7 establishment of, 26–7, 34–5, 293–5 future of, 79–81 terms for, 3, 80–1 see also Black scholarship; Black Studies; research African and Caribbean Studies, 299, 300 African symbols, 11–13 Africana Critical Theory, 80 Africanity, 86 Africology see African American Studies Afrikanation Artists Organization, 194 Afrocentricity/Afrocentrism, 75–7, 80–1, 84–96 term, 87 Afrofuturism, 247, 280–8, 289n Afro-modernity, 38

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Afro-pessimism, 284–5, 288 Afrosurrealism, 284, 288 agency, 46, 81, 84, 87, 91, 92, 95, 96, 99–102, 122, 252, 258, 262n Akan, 11–13 Ali, Muhammad, 259 All-Negro Comics, 240 Amaechi, John, 260 American Civil War, 100–1 Amos, Baroness Valerie, 292 Ananse Ntontan (symbol), 12 Anderson, Reynaldo, 282 Anthony, Susan B., 210, 221 Anti-Apartheid Movement, 168–9 Applied Africana Studies, 119–25 Arbery, Ahmaud, 2, 114 art, 57, 93, 173–4, 178, 187, 188, 196–200 women artists of the African Diaspora, 187–203, 189, 192, 193, 196, 198, 199, 204n see also comic books; music artistic dimension, 94 Asante, Molefi Kete, 76, 94, 100, 108, 119 Ashanti (modern Ghana), 265 Atlanta University, 53–4, 58, 177 autobiography, 33, 160, 162–3; see also personal narratives/history axiology, 93 Ayanbadejo, Brendon, 260 Bâ, Amadou Hampâté, 126, 127 Baker, Ella Josphine, 181, 186n Baker, Houston A. Jr., 26–7, 227 Baldwin, James, 99, 107, 115n, 116n, 149 The Fire Next Time, 28–9, 35 Baraka, Amiri, 19, 20, 22, 25n, 287

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INDEX

Bederman, Gail, 214 Belafonte, Harry, 169, 183n, 200, 205n Bell, Herman, 131, 132–3 Berger, Dan, 133 Bersani, Leo, 287, 288 Best, Stephen, 288 Bethune, Mary McLeod, 153 bias, 76, 107, 116n, 122–4 Biko, Steve, 92 Birmingham City University, Black Studies at, 292–301 Black academics, 292, 294 Black Age of Comics convention, 248 Black Audio Film Collective, The Last Angel of History, 285–7 Black Captain America (Tuskegee Experiment, Isaiah Bradley), 241 Black Empowerment, 18 Black Freedom Movement, 71, 129–31 Black House, 19, 25n Black Lives Matter Movement, 2, 114, 260–2, 284 Black Male Studies, 209, 216–20, 221 Black Media Studies, 283 Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler), 280–1, 283 Black Panther Party, 21–2, 25n, 34, 130–4, 137n, 176 Black Power Movement, 18, 19, 22, 31–2, 35, 177, 276 Black Psychology Movement, 85 Black scholarship, 6, 26–7, 34, 35, 176, 180, 268, 296 Black Student Union (BSU), San Francisco State College, 18, 19–20, 21, 24n Black Studies, 1, 2 degree program in Britain, 292–301, 302n at San Francisco State College, 19, 22–4, 25n see also African American Studies Bland, Sandra, 106, 199 Blaxploitation Movement, 241, 242 Blight, David, 256 Blow, Kurtis, 276 blues, 269–71, 272, 273, 279n Blyden, Edward Wilmot, 43–4, 176, 185n bodies, Black, 187, 203, 256–8, 282 Boudreaux, Ray, 130–2, 137n Bowman, John (J. B.), 18, 24n, 130–2, 135, 137n

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Braithwaite, Edward Kamau, 234 Breton, André, 284 Bridges, Harry, 18, 24n Bridgforth, Sharon, 201–2 Brown, James, 195, 275 Brown, Jeffrey, 241 Brown, Michael, 106, 260 Brown, Richard, 130–1, 137n Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education (1954), 59 The Brownies’ Book, A Magazine for Children of the Sun, 60 Bryant, Kobe, 182, 186n BSU see Black Student Union (BSU) Bullins, Ed, 19, 24n Bunche, Ralph, 176, 185n Burnett, Charles, 286 capitalism, 33, 63, 64, 75, 80, 90, 101, 217, 284; see also neoliberalism Caribbean, 75, 86, 88, 176, 194, 202, 227–8, 234, 246, 269, 272; see also African and Caribbean Studies; Haiti; Puerto Rico; West Indies Carlos, John, 259–60 Carlos, Laurie, 201, 205n Carmichael, Stokely (Kwame Ture), 21, 25n, 31–2, 35 cartoonists, Black, 239–40; see also comic books Case, Karin, 107 Casimir, Marie, 187, 190–1, 192, 193, 194–5, 197, 201–2 Castile, Philando, 260 CBS International Records, 274 centeredness and decenteredness, 86, 87, 89, 96 centrality, 89 Césaire, Aimé, 128 Chafe, William, 129 Children’s Crisis, The, 60 Chipuamire, Nora, 202, 205n Chitepo, Herbert, 299 Christian, Barbara, 78 churches, Black, 18, 63, 106, 111, 146, 153, 184n gospel music, 272–4 cinema/film, 170, 173, 174, 184n, 280–8 citizenship, 31, 158, 165, 210, 258 civic education, 38–50 civic engagement, 157–66; see also community service

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INDEX Civil Rights Movement, 18, 19, 21, 28, 30–1, 34, 71, 77, 129–30, 133, 134, 158, 169, 183n, 221 civilization, concept of, 63, 64, 76, 209–16, 218–20 class, 63–4, 74–5, 78, 80, 81, 85, 253, 254 Clayton, Horace Roscoe, 176–7, 185n Cleveland, Rev. James, 274 coaching/mentoring, 94, 143, 147, 149, 153, 158, 165, 170, 286 Cohambee River Collective, 74, 77–8 collective, the, 12, 17–18, 38, 44, 47–9, 57, 81, 89, 93, 108, 114, 128, 153, 158–60, 164, 168, 169, 174, 228, 296 collective consciousness, 49, 50, 287 collective humanity, 38, 163 collective imagination, 39, 47 collective improvisation (music), 205n, 271, 272 collective memory, 28, 75, 133, 227 collective suffering, 92, 105, 198 collectivism, 160 Collins, Patricia Hill, 78 colonialism, 30–1, 216, 254 scientific, 119, 121, 123 colonization, 86, 95; see also decolonization color line in sport, 256–8 Columbia University, 180 comic books, representations of Blackness in, 238–49, 249n common rule in research, 119 community engagement, in strike of 1968, 18–19, 24, 25n community knowledge, in Black Studies in Britain, 292, 297–300 community leadership and organization, 61–3 community service Danny Glover on, 168–71 STRENGTH model in, 141–54, 144 see also civic engagement Conrad, Zacharias, 254 consciousness, 86, 89–90, 93, 95 collective, 49, 50, 287 double-consciousness, 56, 79, 101–3 national, 45–9 self-consciousness, 86, 87, 103 “coon songs,” 268, 278n Cooper, Anna Julia, 35, 44, 176, 185n, 218 Cornell University, 72, 73 corrective, 92–3, 175 cosmology, 93, 247

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305

Courlander, Harold, 127, 128 Couzins, Phoebe, 212–13, 221 Covid-19 pandemic, 2, 101, 261 Cranford, Alfred, 214 creative production, 56–7; see also art; comic books; dance; literature Creoles, 272 Crisis, The, 54, 60 Critical Race Theory, 79–80 criticism/critique, 87, 92–3 Crush, Jonathan, 42 Crutcher, Terence, 110–12, 200 cultural crisis, 85 cultural fidelity, 87 cultural legacies, 162–3 cultural validity of research, 121–2 cultural/aesthetics, 94 culture, 55–7, 64, 76, 81, 85, 87, 94–6, 157, 158, 160–3, 227–31, 235, 247 curriculum, 1, 5, 26, 33, 44, 48, 49, 59, 72–3, 96, 129, 165, 179, 253 decolonizing the curriculum, 3, 17, 293, 295 “Why is My Curriculum White?” movement, 293 see also pedagogy curvilinearity, 93 Dallas, Ebony Iman, 187, 188–90, 194–200, 203 artworks by, 188–90, 189, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 199, 200 dance, 187, 190–4, 192, 193, 201–3, 203n, 204n Dark Horse Comics, Concrete Park, 243 Dash, Julie, 286 data, 85, 86, 90, 94, 122–4 Davis, Angela, 32–4, 35, 79, 154 Davis, Ozzie, 169, 183n DC Comics, Black characters, 241, 242, 244–5, 246 death penalty, 171–2, 184n decolonization, 28–35, 38, 45–7, 50, 187, 299 decolonizing the curriculum, 3, 17, 293, 295 deconstruction, 73–4 Dee, Ruby, 169, 183n Delany, Martin R., 176, 185n, 216 Democratic Party, 134 democratic socialism, 181 Deren, Maya, 191, 204n Dery, Mark, 281

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INDEX

descriptive, 175 Diallo, Amadou Bailo, 181, 186n DiAngelo, Robin, 103 Diaspora Studies see African American Studies Dill, Augustus, 60 dimensionality and texture, 93 Diop, Cheikh Anta, 91–2 disability in comic books, 243–6 discourses, 71–81, 171 feminist, 74, 77–8 future, 79–81 inclusion, 72–3 legitimacy and relevancy, 71–2, 81n masculine, 74, 77 ownership, 75–7 of race, 74–5, 78, 80, 81 dispossession, 86 Djaspora Productions, 191 Dorsey, Thomas A., 269, 272–3 double-consciousness, 56, 79, 101–3 Douglass, Frederick, 176, 185n, 216, 217, 219 Douglass, Patrice, 284 Drake, St. Clair, 177, 185n Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 53–65 on African American music, 264, 270 and Afrocentricity and Africology, 89 and Afrofuturism, 281 and comic books, 247 life of, 53–5 Manning Marable on, 176, 177 on pedagogy and decolonization, 34 as role model, 200–1 and the suffragist movement, 216, 219 “Talented Tenth” concept, 44, 56, 61 themes in writings of, 55–64 transformationist perspectives of, 79 visibility of, 35 on White privilege, 99, 101–3, 114n The Black Flame, 58, 59–60 Black Reconstruction, 63 “The Conservation of Races,” 55 Dark Princess, A Romance, 57 “A Fellow of Harvard,” 56 The Gift of Black Folk, 270 The Philadelphia Negro, 59, 63 The Quest of the Silver Fleece, 56, 57 The Souls of Black Folk, 57, 247, 264 Star of Ethiopia, 60 The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States, 24

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Dumas, Henry, 228 Dunham, Katherine, 191, 203n Easton, Hosea, 219 economic organization, 94 Edwards, Harry, 259 Egypt, 64, 76, 89, 91, 95, 143 elite culture, 56–7 Ellison, Ralph, 113 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church murders, Charleston, S.C., 106 empirical knowledge, 162–3 empirical research, 120, 121, 125 empowerment, 1, 18, 32, 89, 175, 177, 179, 180, 182, 188, 211–13 within communities, 141–3, 159, 163–6 epic memory, 93 epistemic dimension, 94 epistemological inquiry, 84, 93 epistemological issues, 73–4, 78 equality/inequality, 99, 107, 113–14 wealth gap, 182–3, 186n equity, 113, 192, 251, 252, 257, 261 erasures, 77–8 Eshun, Kodwo, 281, 286 Ethiopia, 189, 191, 194, 203 Ethnic Studies, 3, 19, 22, 24, 25n, 37n ethos, 94 Euba, Akin, 264 Eurocentrism, 84, 90, 91, 95, 96, 122, 226–7, 253–4 Evans, Lee, 259 Evans, Orrin C., 240, 249n Evers, Medgar, 181, 186n Examiner, The, 217 exceptionalism, 283 exceptions analysis (principle), 148–9 family relationships, 62–3, 172–3, 187–90, 189, 200 Fanon, Frantz, 22, 79, 92, 169 The Wretched of The Earth, 39, 41, 43, 45–50 Fantagraphics, Love & Rockets series, 243 Farrell, Mike, 171, 184n Fauset, Jessie, 60 FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), 130, 132 Felton, Rebecca Latimer, 213–14

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INDEX feminism and African Diasporic literature, 228, 229, 235 and Black male emancipation, 209, 213–16, 218–22 discourses, 74, 77–8 Ferré, Rosario, “The Youngest Doll,” 229–35 Ferris, William H., 219 fiction see narrative; storytelling field hollers, 267 film/cinema, 170, 173, 174, 184n, 280–8 Floyd, George, 2, 114, 261, 262 folk culture, 56–7 Ford Foundation, 73 Forman, James, 21, 25n Foster, Stephen, 269 Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone, 43 Frankie Lane Show, The, 275 Franklin, Aretha, 275 Franklin, Grace, 198 Frazier, E. Franklin, 35 Free Breakfast for Children Program, San Francisco, 22 Free Speech Movement, 18 freedom, 28, 30, 38, 40, 43–6, 48, 76, 78, 89, 99, 103, 104, 107, 119, 128–31, 151, 211, 213, 215, 217, 228, 252, 254–6, 258–61, 262n Freedom School Movement, 31–2, 35 Freire, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 49 Funtummireku-Dɛnkyɛmmireku (symbol), 12 Gandhi, Mahatma, 30, 172 Garner, Eric, 260 Garvey, Marcus, 44, 146, 176, 185n Gaskins, Nettrice, 281, 290n Gates, Henry Louis, 175, 184n, 227 Gates, Racquel J., 283 Gay, Roxane, World of Wakanda, 243 Gaye, Marvin, 275 Geertz, Clifford, 175 gender, 61–2, 85, 209, 213, 216–17, 220, 222, 238, 239, 279n, 296; see also men; women Gender Studies, 77–8 Gerima, Haile, 286 Ghana, 12, 30, 40–1, 55, 265 Giddings, Paula, 221 Giffords, Gabby, 197, 204n Gillespie, John Birks (“Dizzy”), 178, 186n Gillespie, Michael B., 283

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Gilman, Charlotte, 214–16 Giovanni, Nikki, 149, 225 Glaude, Eddie S. Jr., 3 globalization, 81 Glover, Danny on activism, 168–74 films, 170, 173, 174, 184n memories from 1968, 17–24 on storytelling, 173–4 goal-setting (principle), 150–2 Godfrey, George, 257 González, José Luis, 234 Gordon, Jane, 44 Gordy, Berry, 276 gospel music, 272–4 Graham, Gary, 171, 172, 184n Graham, Mekada, 89 Grant, Oscar, 260 Green, Melorra, 197, 204n Greene, Lorenzo P., 27 Grimke, Archibald, 218 Griner, Brittney, 253 griots, 128, 135, 264 Grit, Glam, and Guts, 165 Group Economy Movement, 63 Guttman, Allen, 252 Guy-Sheftall, Beverly, 209 Haiti, 188, 190, 191–3, 195, 203n, 204n, 253 Haitian Revolution, 39, 45, 47–8, 174 HaitiDansCo, 192–3 Hale, Thomas, 128 Hamer, Fannie Lou, 181, 186n Hamilton, Charles, 31–2 Handy, W. C., 269 Hardaway, Tim, 260 Hare, Nathan, 19, 20, 22, 25n, 34, 293, 297 Harlem, New York City, 28–9 Harlem Renaissance, 54, 60, 200 Hartman, Saidiya, 285 Harvard University, 53, 56, 73 health, 163 Helms, Janet, 107 Herriman, George, 239 Hintz, Suzanne, 229 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), 34, 59, 176–7, 257, 259 histories, personal, 108, 160, 162–4, 187, 188, 190; see also autobiography historiographies, Western, 76 history (cultural element), 94

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308

INDEX

history, living, 182 history, revisionist, 23–4 Holiday, Billie, 147 Holloway, Wilbert, 239 Holtzclaw, Daniel, 198, 204n home ownership, 182 hooks, bell, 78, 209 Hoover, J. Edgar, 130 Horne, Winston Van, 93 Hose, Sam, 214 Howard, Sheena C., 238, 239 Howe, Florence, 32 Howe, Stephen, 95 Hudson-Weems, Clenora, 160 Huffington Post, 256 Huggins, Nathan, 26–7, 73 Hughes, Langston, 147 Hull, Gloria, 78 human capacity development (principle), 153–4 human rights, 29, 30–1, 35, 99, 100, 116n, 145, 175, 188, 200, 259 humanity, 38, 57, 104, 106, 128, 159, 161, 163, 166, 178, 180, 219, 284–5 Black, 72–6, 175, 194, 218, 256 crimes against, 182 Hutton, Bobby, 22, 25n identity, 26, 36n, 56, 76, 81, 187–90, 287–8 Ifa Paradigm in African Diasporic literature, 228–35 Illinois Athletic Club, 257 Image Comics, 243 inclusion discourses, 72–3 Indiana State University, 73 individualism, 40 infant health, 163 Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), 119, 120, 124–5 institutions, educational, Du Bois’ writings on, 59–60; see also Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) integration in sport, 251–2, 258 intelligent conclusion, 95 interdisciplinarity, 300 Manning Marable on, 177–80 International Art Exchange Project, 194 International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union (ILWU), 18, 24n International Peace Movement, 54

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international political economy, Du Bois’ writings on, 63–4 intersectionality, 78, 105, 296–7 Jackson, Jay, 239 Jackson, Jesse, 151–2 Jackson, Mahalia, 273 Jackson, Peter, 257 James, C. L. R., 79, 253 The Black Jacobins, 39, 43, 45–7, 49–50 jazz, 271–2 Jean, Botham, 106, 116n Jena Six, 170, 184n Jenkins, Bea, 134 Ji Yuan, 89 Jim Crow laws, 145, 176, 177, 201, 272 Jiménez de Wagenheim, Olga, 234 Jones, Charles, 141 Jones, Claudia, 299 Jones, Hank, 130–1, 137n Jones, Rev. Edward, 43 Joplin, Scott, 269 justice-making sites, 180–3; see also social justice Kaepernick, Colin, 261 Karenga, Maulana, 75, 76, 85, 94, 113, 176 Kawaida philosophy, 85 Kemet see Egypt Kendall, Frances, 104 Kendi, Ibram X., 3 Kennedy, John F., 29 Kimmel, Michael, 105 King, Cameo, 165 King, Deborah, 78 King, Martin Luther Jr., 18, 21, 29–30, 31, 34, 35, 148, 171, 179 knowledge access to, 181 collective, 160 community-based, 296, 297, 299 production, 43–4, 72, 76, 81, 85 L.A. Rebellion, 286 Lavender, Isiah III, 282 leadership, Du Bois’ writings on, 61 Lefkowitz, Mary, 95 legacies, 162–3, 180–3 legitimacy discourses, 71–2, 81n Lehman, Cynthia, 89 LGBTQ community, 243, 253, 260, 296; see also queerness

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INDEX Liberia, 43, 185n Liger, Candace, 198 Lilly, Christopher, 255–6 line in Africology, 87 Lipset, Seymour Martin, 36n Lisitz, George, 117n literature, African Diasporic, 225–35, 299 culturally specific analyses, 226–9 Ifa Paradigm in, 228–35 see also comic books; oral history; storytelling lived experience, 6, 88, 102, 103, 135, 145, 157, 161, 162, 175, 176, 226, 228, 282 living history, 182 location in Africology, 87, 90, 95–6 Locke, Alain, 200–1, 266 Lorde, Audre, 78 Los Angeles Clippers, 260 Love, Jeremy, Bayou, 246–7 Luper, Clara, 145, 197, 204n Lupica, Mike, 261 lynching, 182, 209, 214, 219 Maat in Kemetic cosmology, 124 McCarthyism, 20, 25n, 55, 183n McCoy, Thomas, 255–6 McDuffie, Dwayne, 247 McIntosh, Peggy, 104–5, 108, 109, 115n McKay, Nellie, 78 McPherson, Lena, Baby of the Family, 226–7 Major League Baseball, 258 Malcolm X, 21, 30–1, 34, 35, 147, 149, 176, 178–9, 180, 183n, 298 Mandela, Nelson, 148, 150 Mandingo fighting, 256 Maparyan, Layli, 163 Marable, Manning, 79, 168, 185n interview with, 174–83 Marcuse, Herbert, 33 marginality, 33, 34, 72, 74, 78, 84, 88, 91, 92, 93, 96, 108, 121, 249, 282 Marshall, George Preston, 257–8 Martin, Trayvon, 105–6, 260 Marvel Comics, 249n, 280 Black characters, 240–6, 248 Marxism, 22, 46, 61, 63, 226, 227, 235 Black, 74–5, 79 masculine discourses, 74, 77 masculinity in comic books, 241–2, 243 Masekela, Hugh, 20, 25n

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309

mass communication, Du Bois’ writings on, 60 Mate Masie (symbol), 13 Mayer, Ruth, 281 Mays, Benjamin, 152 Mazama, Ama, 85, 88, 94 Mbembe, Achille, 40, 41, 42 meaning, construction of, 76 Medford, Edna Greene, 256 media, 3 social, 260 television, 275 mediation, 44–9 memory, 180–3 collective, 28, 75, 133, 227 epic, 93 men, Black masculine discourses, 74, 77 and masculinity in comic books, 241–2, 243 White women against enfranchisement of, 209–22 mental health, 163 mentoring/coaching, 94, 143, 147, 149, 153, 158, 165, 170, 286 meritocracy, myth of, 103–5, 115n Merritt Community College, Oakland, 34, 37n Miami Dolphins, 261 Michigan State University (MSU), 163–4 Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) Engagement Model, 164–6 microaggressions, 105, 115n migration, 81, 187, 190 Miike, Yoshitaka, 94 Milestone Comics, 247–8, 250n militancy, 72, 73 Miller, D. Scot, 284 minstrel shows, 194, 200, 258, 265, 268, 269, 278n modernity, global, 79–81 Modupe, Danjuma, 87, 88 Molineaux, Tom, 256 Monk-Payton, Brandy, 280, 283 Morales, Robert, 241 Morris, Butch, 201, 205n Morrison, Toni, Sula, 227 motifs, 94, 230–4 Motown Review, 276 Muhammad, Nafeesa, 141 Muntaqim, Jalil, 131, 132–3

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310

INDEX

music, African American, 93, 263–78 Du Bois’ writings on, 57 genres of, 265–78, 279n musicians, 266–7, 269, 271, 272, 273, 275, 278 polyrhythm, 93, 203 record companies, 274–5, 279n and White folk music, 266 Myers, Linda James, 162 myth, 94, 227–9 Osun (African goddess), 230–5, 236n Nama, Adilifu, 241–2 narrative, 87–8, 194, 200; see also literature; myth; oral history; storytelling narratives, personal, 108, 160, 162–4; see also autobiography National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 54, 60, 181 National Association of Baseball Players, 257 National Athletic Steering Committee (NASC), 259 National Basketball Association (NBA), 251, 260 National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO), 74, 77 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), 257, 259 National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), 22, 25n, 157 National Football League (NFL), 261 nationalism, 49 Black, 71–2, 74–5, 81n nationality crisis, 85 Negritude Movement, 88, 128 “Negro, the” in music, 265 Negro League Baseball, 258 Nelson, Alondra, 280, 281 neoliberalism, 39, 40, 50, 295, 301; see also capitalism New York Athletic Club, 257, 259 New York Daily News, 261 Newman, Louise, 214 Newman University, Blackness in Britain conference, 293–4, 295 Newton, Huey P., 19, 22, 24n, 130 Niagara Movement, 54 Nicole, Tiffany, 198 Nigeria, 21, 40–1 Nkrumah, Kwame, 87 Nkyinkyin (symbol), 13 Nobles, Wade, 119, 121, 124

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Noel, Ken, 259 Nubia, 95 Nuremberg Code (1946), 118 Obama, Barack, 134 Obama, Michelle, 154 objectivity–subjectivity, 90–1 obliviousness, White, 103–5 Ohio State University, 73 OKC Artists for Justice, 197–8, 204n Olympic Committee for Human Rights (OCHR), 259 O’Neal, Richard, 131 ontology, 93 opposition, 73–4 oppression, 28–31, 92, 105, 109, 118–20, 151, 153, 161, 163, 220, 221, 226, 230, 251, 271 optimal living, practice of Africana, 162 oral history, 126–35, 137n, 178 as methodology, 129, 133 traditions in Africa, 126–8 see also autobiography; storytelling orientation, 38, 41, 86, 89–90, 93, 96, 105, 288 Ormes, Jackie, 239–40 Osun (African goddess), 230–5, 236n Other, the, 96 othering, 72, 74 otherness, 282, 288 Owens, Jesse, 150 ownership discourses, 75–7 Ozuzu, Onye, 193, 202, 205n Pan-African Congress Movement, 299 Pan-Africanism, 38–50, 51n, 63–4, 75 Paracka, Daniel Jr., 44 paradigms, 170–1 Afrocentric, 75–7, 80–1 Parker, Charlie (“Bird”), 178, 185n Parks, Rosa, 181, 186n Patterson, Orlando, 285 pedagogy of civic engagement courses, 163–4 decolonization of, 26–8, 31–5 Manning Marable on, 177–80 Pan-African civic, 38–50 see also curriculum; teaching Pennington, James, 219 Pérez y Mena, Andrés I., 234 Perry, Imani, 3

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INDEX personal narratives/history, 108, 160, 162–4, 187, 188, 190; see also autobiography personalism, 94 Phillips, Layli, 161 Phylon (journal), 54, 58–9 police brutality/violence, 6, 10, 25n, 29, 42, 106, 110–12, 116n, 130–2, 175, 186n Black Lives Matter Movement, 2, 114, 260–2, 284 women artists’ responses to, 188–90, 197–200, 203, 204n policy/action, 94 political Blackness, 298–9 political organization, 94, 175, 182; see also activism; advocacy polycentrism, 93 polyrhythm, 93, 203 position in Africology, 87 positives, noticing (principle), 149–50 postmodernity, 90 power, 3, 172, 177; see also empowerment; White patriarchy; White privilege; White supremacy praxis, 44–9 Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), 11, 34, 71 prescriptive, 175 pride, Black, 195, 260 prisons, 179–80 privilege, White see White privilege protest, through sport, 252, 258–62; see also activism; advocacy psychic duality, 56, 61 psychic integrity, 87 Puerto Rico, 229–31, 234–5 qualitative research, 123 quantitative research, 41, 123 queerness, 243, 288; see also LGBTQ community race, 1, 2, 120 and Afrocentricity, 85, 90–2 in Afrofuturism, 280, 287 in Black Studies in Britain, 293, 299 in comic books, 238, 241–6, 247 discourses of, 74–5, 78, 80, 81 Du Bois’ writings on, 55–6, 60, 61, 63, 64 and gender, 197, 209, 238 and sport, 252, 253, 256, 260, 262 and White privilege, 106, 107, 109 and White supremacy, 209, 214–20

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311

“race music” and “race records,” 274–5, 279n racism and African Diasporic literature, 227 and Black Studies in Britain, 299–301 covert and overt, 32 Du Bois’ writings on, 59 Manning Marable on, 180, 182–3 in sport, 251, 252, 256–62 systemic, 2, 110, 241 towards Black men in suffragist thought, 209–10, 211, 216, 219–21 Racism in Housing forum, 259 ragtime, 268–9, 272 Rahming, Melvin, 229 Ramachandran, Sujata, 42 rap, 276–8 R&B (rhythm and blues), 274–6 reasonable plausibility, 95 reconciliation and recovery, 163 redemption, 281, 285–8 redlining, 182, 186n Reid, Eric, 261 Reiss, Steven, 252 relevance discourses, 71–2, 81n religion, 247, 265; see also churches, Black; spirituality repetition, 93 research, 118–25 in civic engagement, 160–3 common rule in, 119 cultural validity of, 121–2 empirical, 120, 121, 125 objectivity–subjectivity in, 90–1 protocols and guidelines, 118, 120, 124–5 qualitative and quantitative, 41, 123 social research methodologies, 57–9 vulnerability to risk in, 118–20, 125 resilience, 152–3 resource development (principle), 147–8 revisionist history, 23–4 Revolution, The (suffragist periodical), 211, 212 rhythm and blues (R&B), 274–6 Roach, Hildred, 265 Robeson, Paul, 18, 169, 179, 183n Robinson, Cedric, 79 Robinson, Jackie, 258 Robinson, Smokey, 276 Robinson, Sylvia and Joe, 276 Rochdale Cooperative Movement, 63 Rodney, Walter, 79

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312

INDEX

Roger, J. A., 218–19 role models, 200–2; see also mentoring Roof, Dylann, 106 Ross, Stephen, 261 Rudolph, Wilma, 149 Said, Edward, 178, 186n Samuel, Petal, 288 San Francisco 8 (Black Panther Party), 130–4, 137n San Francisco State College Black Student Union (BSU), 18, 19–20, 21, 24n Black Studies at, 19, 22–4, 25n strike of 1968, 17–23, 24n Sankofa (symbol), 12 Sankofa (organization) 200, 205n savagery, concept of, 210, 211, 212, 213, 217, 218, 219, 221 Savio, Mario, 18, 24n Schiele, Jerome, 89 science fiction, 280–2, 286 science of liberation, 295–301 scientific colonialism, 119, 121, 123 scientific dimension, 94 Scott, Ruben, 132 Seale, Bobby, 130 Sekyi-Otu, Ato, 45 self-consciousness, 86, 87, 103 self-definition, 72–3 self-determination, 151, 251, 262 self-efficacy, 146 self-help see STRENGTH model Senghor, Léopold Sédar, 284 service learning, 159; see also community service Shabazz, Betty, 180 Shange, Ntozake, 201, 202, 205n Shelby, Betty, 111–12 Shinn, Allie, 110 Sierra Leone, 43 silences, 77–8 Simone, Nina, 275 Simpson, O. J., 182, 186n Slate, 256 slavery and African American music, 265–6, 267, 268, 270, 272, 274, 276 and African Diasporic literature, 227–8, 234–5 and Afrocentricity, 95, 96 and Afrofuturism, 282

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and Afro-pessimism, 285 and Black male enfranchisement, 211, 212, 213 Du Bois’ writings on, 62 and oral history, 128, 137n and sport, 256, 258 and White privilege, 100, 103 Smalls, Shanté Paradigm, 281 Smith, Cauleen, The Changing Same, 285, 286–8 Smith, James McCune, 216 Smith, Jamil, 281 Smith, Tommie, 259–60 Smith, Wendell, 258 Smitherman, Geneva, 128 SNCC see Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) social change, 33, 61 social justice, 171, 174, 175, 187, 188, 200; see also justice-making sites social media, 260 social organization, 62–3, 94 social research methodologies, 57–9; see also research social/behavioral, 94 socialism, 74–5, 181 socialization, 56–7, 61 solidarity, 39, 50, 51 solution-focus (principle), 145–6 Somalia and Somaliland, 188, 191, 194, 203 soul (music genre), 274–6 South Africa, 39–43, 49, 50, 253, 259 Soyinka, Wole, 227 spiritual activism/engagement, 162–3 spirituality, 229, 230, 234, 236n, 247; see also religion spirituals, 267–8, 270, 272 sport, 114, 251–62, 262n Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 210–12, 221 Star-Spangled Banner, kneeling protest, 260, 261 statehood neoliberal, 39, 40, 50 postcolonial, 44–5, 47–8 xenophobic, 39–43, 50 Stein, Melissa, 219 stereotypes, 62, 103, 104, 159, 213, 229, 258, 269, 280, 284 challenging in comic books, 238–40, 242–4, 249 Sterlin, Alton, 260 Sterling, Donald, 260

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INDEX Stewart, James B., 73, 77 Stills, Kenny, 261 storytelling, 35, 173–4, 178 STRENGTH model, 142–5, 144 principles 1–8 in, 145–54 Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 18, 21–2, 24n student programs see civic engagement; community service subjectivity–objectivity, 90–1 Sudan (Kush kingdom), 143 suffragism and Black male enfranchisement, 209–22 Sullivan, John, 257 Summerskill, John, 19, 25n symbolism, 227, 229–34 symbols, African, 11–13 Symphony Sid, 275 systemic change, 6, 107, 114, 171 systemic oppression, 101, 103, 104, 145, 148 systemic privilege, 106, 108, 109, 114 systemic racism, 2, 110, 241 systemic violence, 284–5; see also police brutality systems, 170–1 Tabono (symbol), 13 Tate, Claudia, 78 Tatum, Beverly, 107 Taylor, Breonna, 2, 114, 199 Taylor, Dionne, 294 Taylor, Harold, 130–4, 135, 137n teaching, 163, 187, 188, 202–3; see also pedagogy television, African American music on, 275 Temple, Christel, 162 Temple University, 76, 80, 90, 94 tenacity review (principle), 152–3 Tennessee State Tigerbelles, 258 Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn, 209, 211 Terrefe, Selamawit D., 284 Thomas, Sheree Renée, Dark Matter, 281 Thomas, Tony, 75 Thompson, Wayne C., 18, 24n Till, Emmett, 134 Tindley, Charles Albert, 272 Tolan, Eddie, 257 Torres, Francisco, 131 Toussaint L’Ouverture, 45, 47–8, 174, 184n Train, George Francis, 211–12 trajectory preview (principle), 146–7

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313

transformation, 44–6, 78–9, 161, 163 Trump, Donald, 261 Truth, Sojourner, 220–1 Tsuruta, Dorothy, 161 Tubman, Harriet, 145 Tulsa Race Massacre, 181–2, 186n Tutu, Desmond, 154 U. S. A. Patriot Act (2001), 130, 132 United Black Students for Action, San Jose State University, 259 United Kingdom, Black Studies in, 292–301 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 286 University of California, San Diego, Lumumba Zapata College, 33 University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), 292 University of Oklahoma, 51n University of Pennsylvania, 53, 177 Urban Bush Women, 201–2 value-free scholarship, 296 Vansina, Jan, 127 “Veil,” the, 101–3 violence, systemic, 284–5; see also police brutality visual culture, 283 volunteering, 159; see also community service Walker, Alice, 161, 228 Walker, David, 219 Walker, Madam C. J., 151 Wallace, Michelle, 77 Warren, Gwendolin Sims, 263 Washington, Booker T., 44 Washington Redskins, 257, 261 Watch Night, 174, 184n Watson, Elkanah, 254–5 Watts Riots, 20, 25n well-being, 162, 163 Wells, Ida B., 35 Welsh, Kariamu, 93 Wesley, Charles Harris, 180, 186n West, Cornel, 2, 147 West Africa, 265, 271 West Indian Gazette, 299 West Indies, 253 Western civilization, 76, 210 Western Journal of Black Studies, The, 160 Whaley, Deborah E., 242

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314

INDEX

White American folk music, 266, 268 White fragility, 103–5 White male identity in sport, 254–6 White patriarchy, 209, 211, 214–16, 220–1 White privilege, 33, 34, 99–114, 114n, 115n, 116n White resistance in sport, 256–8 White supremacy, 2, 90–1, 176, 182, 244–5, 285 White women and Black male emancipation, 209–20 White Women’s Movement, 77 wholism, 93 “Why is My Curriculum White?” movement, 293 Wilberforce University, 53, 177, 180 Wilderson, Frank B., 284 Williams, Eric, 79 Williams, Myrlie Evers, 181 Wilner, Odette, 192 Wilt, James, 281 Womack, Ytasha, 281 womanism, African-centered, 160–1, 163, 165–6, 228 women, Black in academia, 77–8 artists, 187–203, 204n

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athletes, 253, 258, 260 cartoonists, 239–40 in comic books, 242–3, 248 Du Bois’ writings on, 57, 62 in literature, 228 in the suffragist movement, 212, 220–1 women, White, and Black male emancipation, 209–20 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), 260 Women’s Rights Movement see suffragists and Black male enfranchisement Women’s Studies, 77–8 Woodson, Carter G., 27, 35 work songs, 267 xenophobia, 39–43, 50 Yale University, 72 Yancy, George, 116n Yaszek, Lisa, 281, 285 Yoruba people, 197, 201, 203, 205n Yousafzai, Malala, 197, 204n youth, Black, 158, 165–6, 247–8 Zollar, Jawole Willa Jo, 201–2 Zuda, Bayou graphic novel, 246–7

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