African American Studies Notes Essay
African American Studies Notes
1. Discuss the four basic thrusts of the student movement which led to the founding of Black Studies * The Civil Rights Movement (1960) * Break down the barriers of legal separation in public accommodations * Achieve equality and justice for Blacks * Organize Blacks into a self-conscious social force capable of defining, defending and advancing their interests * SNCC emerged as a vanguard group in the CR struggle.
* Mobilized, organized and politicized thousands of Black students * Politicized many White students and their leaders through recruiting and training them and bringing them to the South to work in the struggle * The Free Speech Movement (UC Berkeley, 1964) * White student protest against the rigid, restrictive and unresponsive character of the university * Demand for civil rights on campus.
* The Anti-Vietnam War Movement (1965) * General student protest against the Vietnam war and university complicity in it through its cooperation with the government in recruitment and research and development programs * Launched by new leftists, especially the Students for a Democratic Society * SNCC, Us, the Congress of Racial Equality participated * Based on opposition to:
* The threat the draft posed to Blacks and other males of color not covered by student deferment and especially vulnerable in the South * The government’s war against Third World liberation movements and peoples in general and Vietnam in particular * Fighting an unjust war for a nation depriving Blacks of basic and human rights * The Black Power Movement (1965) * Led to direct establishment of Black Studies * The Watts Revolt in Los Angeles.
* Ushered in a new dialog about relations of power in society and the university, the pervasive character of racism, and the need for struggle to overturn the establish order and create a more just society * Stressed the importance of self-determination, need for power, relevant education, cultural grounding, studying and recovering African culture * Organizations stressed the need for the university and society to recognize the diverse cultures of the U. S.
* Called on students to engage in struggle in the classrooms, on campus in general and in society to improve life of African people and society itself 2. Discuss the emergence of Black Studies at SFSU * It began in 1966 * Led by black students * It was the rising tide of the black power movement and reflected its sense of social mission and urgency * Black students at SFSC and other campuses responded to the national activism of the Black Power Movement and the Watts Revolt.
* 1966 changed their name to Black Student Union (BSU) to indicate a new identity and direction. * Black students developed a black arts an culture series * BSU demanded a legitimate Black Studies Department funded by the college and controlled by black people brought stiff resistance * BSU also demanded special admissions programs for a given number of black studies but it was also resisted. 3. Identify the major groups involved and the contribution of Dr. Nathan Hare * In 1968, Dr.
Hare, an author and former professor, was appointed to be coordinator of Black Studies * He was given the task to formulate an autonomous Black Studies Department * He was fired from Howard University for his activism in support of students and the struggle of “relevant education” * He continued to stress on “relevant education” when he came to SFSU * By April 1968, Hare had completed his proposal and a program for special admission for Black students * The board of trustees continually delayed implementation of the program and it is this which led to the student’s strike * The university was shut down.
* Eventually the students won the strike, which ended march 1969 * San Francisco State (SFSU) became the first institution of education to establish a Black Studies program and department. * GROUPS INVOLVED: Black Power Movement, Civil Rights Movement, Free Speech Movement, Anti-Vietnam War Movement 4. What were the early academic and political concerns of the advocates of Black Studies * Academic 1) concerned with traditional white studies. White studies was seen as inadequate and a distortion of the lives and culture of African people.
White studies posed whites as the exemplary model for everyone, was seen as Eurocentric. 2) White studies was also seen as resistant to change which was necessary for relevant education. Black Studies argued for the need to teach Black Studies from a black frame of mind. This later became known as Afrocentric perspective. * Political 1) concerned with the low number of blacks on campus, which was seen as racist exclusion to maintain a white monopoly.
So it was demanded that special admission and recruitment efforts were made to solve this problem. 2) Concerned with the treatment of racism. Sought out to make blacks respected and politically involved on campus. 3) Concerned with social problems of the black community and how black students and black studies could address and solve them. 5. What were the early objectives of Black Studies * To teach the Black experience in all its variedness and with special attention to history, culture, and current issues.
* Black Studies assemble and create a body of knowledge that contributed to intellectual and political emancipation. (Developing an intellectual and dependent mind and using that knowledge in the interest of Black and human freedom). * Create intellectuals who were dedicated to community service and stressed the importance for Black intellectuals who were conscious, capable, and committed to Black liberation and a higher level of human life.
* To nurture, maintain, and continue expansion of an equally beneficial relationship between the campus and the community. Dr. Nathan Hare “ We must bring community to the campus and the campus to the community”. * To establish and confirm its position in the academy as a discipline essential to the educational project and to any real conception of a quality education. (Both an academic and political challenge). Chapter Two Study Questions 4. Discuss the emergence of the Afrocentric initiative and Molefi Asante’s founding role in it.
* Emerging in the late 70s and finding its theoretical foundation in a work by Molefi Asante titled Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change and published in 1980 * Asante introduced Afrocentricity as the indispensable perspective of the Black Studies project and initiated a wide-ranging discourse which had both academic and social implications and consequences * Asante energized Black Studies discourse and gave a fresh and added thrust to the pursuit of new research directions in Black Studies with his insistence on African location or centeredness, African agency, and an African frame of reference in research and methodology and intellectual production * He became a much sought after lecturer and commentator * He defines Afrocentrism as a term used to negate and miscast Afrocentricity by its opponents 5. What does multiculturalism and pluralism have in common?
* Multiculturalism can be defined as thought and practice organized around respect for human diversity * Expression in four basic ways: * Mutual respect for each people and culture as a unique and equally valuable way of being human in the world * Mutual respect for each people’s right and responsibility to speak their own special cultural truth and make their own unique contribution to society and the world * Mutual commitment to the constant search for common ground in the midst of our diversity * Mutual commitment to an ethics of sharing in order to build the world we all want and deserve to live in * Pluralism * Based on exceptional values as determined by the host of society Chapter Four Studying Questions 1.
What arguments does Van Sertima make to prove African presence in Olmec civilization? * Unearthed evidence like more Olmec heads, especially one at tres zapotes showing Ethiopian type braids; more clay sculptures of African types which reflect the coloration and texture of African hair; reaffirmation of skeletal evidence; new evidence from ancient maps; new comparisons of African and south African pyramids; and further discussion on dating of the voyages. 2. What are some basic misconceptions about the holocaust of enslavement? Discuss its impact. * The enslavement was not a “trade” but instead the whole process by which captives were obtained on African soil was through warfare, trickery, banditry and kidnapping.
* Europeans blame Arabs and Africans for participation in the process of enslavement, however they were always the ones benefitting from it. Basically, what looked like an Arab-controlled “trade” was in fact a European dominated “trade” with Europeans using Arabs as middlemen. * Although some Africans enslaved others, it was a part of their culture and they were able to be civil with the rest of society. * Impact: depopulation through mass murder, societal disruption/destruction, forced transfer of populations, caused loss of youth and skilled personnel, thus affected scientific, technological and cultural progress of africs. Economic destruction. 3. What was the basis for enslavement and some of its basic aspects?
* Based on brutality, cultural genocide, and machinery of control. * Brutality: physical, psychological, sexual * Cultural genocide: destruction of political identities and ethnic units, families, cultural leaders, the outlawing of African languages. * Machinery of control: involved five mechanisms of control- laws, coercive bodies, the church, politically divisive strategies, plantation punishments * 4. List and discuss the major forms of resistance to enslavement * Day-to-day resistance: daily refusal and challenge with which Africans confronted the enslavement system. Included sabotage, breaking tools, destroying crops etc. * Abolitionism (underground railroad).
* Emigrationism: the push to emigrate back to Africa or go elsewhere where Africans could be free. * Armed resistance: revolts, ship mutinies, etc. * Cultural resistance: used culture to inspire and maintain one’s humanity through dances, moral narratives, music etc. 5. What were some of the basic reasons for the failure of reconstruction? * White terrorist societies intensified. Ex: ku klux klan * Congress did not give blacks the support they needed and they were essentially reintegrated back into the southern economy under semi-enslaved conditions as sharecroppers. * “Black codes” (segregation and discrimination) and they didn’t receive land, forcing them back to the plantation.
* Supreme court’s benefit through rulings favorable to the south * The Hayes-Tilden compromise in 1877- president hayes granted south federal troop withdrawal, leaving blacks to fend for themselves in racist society 6. What were some of the reasons for the great migration? * To escape the racist south * Wanted to escape crop failures, natural disasters like floods in the south * Growth of industry in the north, labor demands due to WWI * No more immigration from Europe, therefore no more unskilled laborers and domestic servants * The north promised blacks greater opportunities- recruited them 7. What were some of the major organizations founded to struggle against injustice in the early 1900s? Discuss the black womens club movement.
* Rose out of African cultural traditions which stressed responsibility to family and community which led to free black women and men establishing numerous mutual aid societies during enslavement * Founded first national conference of the colored women of America which established the national association of colored women * Also the Niagra movement, the NAACP and the urban league 8. Identify the major groups and leaders of the 60s * Booker T. Washington: “major black leader of his time” * W. E. B. DuBois: white activist-scholar * Marcus Garvey: pan-africanist dedicated to building a nation-state in Africa * Ida B. Wells-Barnett: journalist, organizer, lecturer and teacher 9. What are some major challenges and achievements of the 70s, 80s and 90s? * 70s: 1.
Challenges- began with recovery from the massive suppression on the black movement by COINTELRO (counterintelligence program launched by the FBI by director J. Edgar Hoover) 2. Hoover tried to stifle any form of a black revolution 3. Affirmative action- “reverse discrimination” 4. Achievements- blacks penetration and victories in electoral politics 5. Sought to build national independent power structures 6. Resurgence of pan-africanism * *80s: 1. Challenges- continuing crisis of US society, rise of the vulgar and “respectable” right, continuing struggle to rebuild a black mass movement and appropriate alliances and coalitions in order to defend black gains, win new ones and minimize losses 2.
Problem of alliance and coalition 3. Achievements- heightened level of electoral political activity among blacks 4. First black governor (Virginia) * 90s: 1. Challenges- increasing negative attitude of the Supreme Court to racial injustice and affirmative action, continuation of hate crimes, veto and later passage of 1991 civil rights act, increase in poverty 2. Achievements- election of Bill Clinton and 39 blacks on congress and one black senator 10. Discuss the million persons marches. What were their similar concerns and their effect on the black community?
* **Million man march/ day of absence- voiced concern about increasing racism, deteriorating social conditions, etc.and the impact on the world * -Day of absence: women organized communities to stay away from business/ school and to register people to vote and empower the community as a whole * -Created a sense of possibility and promise; after there were increases in membership in organizations, adoption rates, mentoring programs and social activism.
* Million woman march- needed to energize the lives and struggles of black women * Million youth march- same thing, but with youths (not a huge turnout) * –All of these marches were a statement for self-consciousness as black men, women, and youth and the responsibility to community and struggle which this implies and requires 11. What are some major challenges of the beginning 21st century? * 2000 presidential election and voter suppression (gore and bush), tragedy and aftermath of hurricane Katrina, HIV/AIDS epidemic, continuing police abuse, deteriorating socio-economic conditions
Subject: Black people,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 December 2016
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