December 18: Final exam!

Announcements:

  • The final exam is on December 18 from 6-8 PM in our usual classroom. DO NOT MISS IT. THERE WILL NOT BE A MAKE-UP!
  • If anyone’s interested, I also teach a Contemporary Urban Writers course in the English Department, which is English 229. It focuses on Black, Puerto Rican, and Dominican New York City-based writers from the 1960s to the present. It’s Writing Intensive and meets the Creative Expression distribution requirement. There are 2 sections, meeting either on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons or evenings. More details here.

Kwanzaa Events:

  • Sister’s Uptown Bookstore (1942 Amsterdam Ave near 156 St in Manhattan) is having several Kwanzaa events. There’s a screening of the documentary film The Black Candle on Friday December 20 and an actual Kwanzaa celebration on Saturday December 28 from 1-5 PM. Details on both events on their Facebook page. The Kwanzaa event on the 28th will have elements specifically geared for children.
  • CEMOTAP  (Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People) is having a pre-Kwanzaa event in South Ozone Park Queens near JFK Airport on Saturday December 20 starting at 2 PM. Details at the Facebook event page.
  • Parkchester’s annual Kwanzaa celebration in The Bronx is on Saturday December 28 from 4-8 PM at St. Helena Church, 1315 Olmstead Ave in The Bronx. There is a small suggested donation. Details here
  • the Kwanzaa Celebration in Brooklyn mentioned by Dr. Segun Shabaka in class will be on Sunday December 29 from 4-8 PM at IS 258, 141 Macon St, Brooklyn NY. It is intentionally a family friendly program. You should plan on bringing children and there will be music, an exciting African dance presentation, and vendors selling clothing, books, and other goods in addition to a talk by Dr. Maulana Karenga (the author of our textbook). There’s a small admission fee (that you can negotiate if you’re truly broke). Details (soon) at their website.

Final exam overview

  • Format will be two written blue book essays on the themes listed below. You will have a choice of essays
  • Written notes and books will not be allowed

Areas to focus on for exam

  • Africana Studies approaches to religion, psychology, social sciences, politics
  • 3 Major Modal Periods in Africana history
  • Harold Cruse’s paradigm for social organization of economics, politics, and culture
  • Role of culture and/or religion
  • Different approaches to Pan Africanism
  • Garvey, DuBois, Washington, Clarke and role of Education
  • Cheikh Anta Diop’s importance/contributions to field of Africana Studies (from IBS)

Quick highlights from 12/12 class:

  • Reviewed  “Can African People Save Themselves?” in Dr. Clarke’s Notes for An African World Revolution (pp. 383-420)
  • Exam overview
  • Notes for approaching essay exams: mine and others. See my handout on essay exams: coming soon

 

Week of December 11: Final class and review

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Image: Detail from X Clan To the East, Blackwards

Announcements:

  • Our last class is next week (12/11)
  • The final exam is on December 18 from 6-8 PM in our usual classroom
  • SAVE THE DATE: the Kwanzaa Celebration in Brooklyn mentioned by Dr. Segun Shabaka in class will be on Sunday December 29 from 4-7 PM at IS 258, 141 Macon St, Brooklyn NY. It is intentionally a family friendly program. You should plan on bringing children and there will be music and an exciting African dance presentation in addition to a talk by Dr. Maulana Karenga (the author of our Introduction to Black Studies textbook). There’s a small admission fee (that you can negotiate if you’re truly broke). Details coming soon at the Int’l African Arts Fest website.

On Wednesday December 11, we’ll have our final class meeting. Please bring Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies textbook with you also, since the second half of the class will be a review for the final exam.

Read the following:

  •  “Can African People Save Themselves?” in Dr. Clarke’s Notes for An African World Revolution (pp. 383-420).
  • The Introduction of Chapter 11 in Introduction to Black Studies on Critical Thinking (pp. 425-429) and “An Ethics of Sharing” (pp. 474-479)

What to read/look for:

  • What challenges does Dr. Clarke pose for the future of African people globally?
  • What are the key points Dr. Karenga suggests are part of the critical thinking process?

Quick highlights from 12/5 class:

  • Thanks to Dr. Segun Shabaka for his guest lecture! See more info on the US Organization at their website. Info on his trips/tours is available at the Pyramid Productions website and info on the annual International African Arts Festival is at their website.

Weeks of November 28/December 4: Off week/ Kawaida with Dr. Segun Shabaka

Photo: Dr. Segun Shabaka. Credit: Joyce Jones/SugaBowl Photography

Announcement:

Wednesday 11/27 we will not meet because of the holiday the next day. CUNY has not cancelled classes though so check any other classes you may have scheduled.

On Wednesday 12/4, we’ll have a guest speaker, Dr. Segun Shabaka, who will do a presentation on the background of the Kawaida philosophy developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga and the US Organization and Kwanzaa. Dr. Shabaka is currently co-chair of the New York chapter of NAKO: the National Association of Kawaida Organizations and formerly a member of the Brooklyn-based cultural center The East, which was a strong presence in the 1970-mid 80s and were the founders of the still-running International African Arts Festival, held annually in Brooklyn over the Fourth of July weekend.

Guests are welcome! Invite classmates, family members, boy/girlfriends, or whoever you think needs to be here!

To prepare for his talk and our class session:

  • (Re)read the sections on Kawaida Theory in Introduction to Black Studies (pages 160-162, 260-263, 420-421)
  • Watch the following presentation on Kwanzaa via YouTube (It’s 48 minutes long)
  • Write 2-3 questions for Dr. Shabaka based on Dr. Karenga’s talk below.

 

Quick Highlights from 11/20 class:

  • Reviewed Chapter 10 on Black Psychology  in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 265-283).
    • Focused on sections
  • Lecture notes posted in the usual spot
  • Musical interlude: Ice-T “Mind Over Matter” from O.G. (1991). Watch on YouTube

 

Week of November 20: Black Psychology and Quiz #2

Photo: Dr. Wade Nobles

For Wednesday 11/20, read chapter 10 (Black Psychology) in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies. Read the entire chapter (pp. 397-422), but pay special attention to the following sections:

  • Intro and historical origins (10.1, 10.2)
  • 3 major schools: differences between approaches (10.3)
  • Radical School (10.4)
  • Ethos (10.5)
  • See the six study questions at the end of the chapter to further focus your reading

Our second (and last) quiz will be next Wednesday (11/20) in the first 20 minutes of class.

Quiz topics:

  • Section 6.2 (Ghettoization: know key points that define the ghetto)
  • Section 6.4 (Culture: know the Deficiency and Crusian Paradigms)
  • Section 6.5 (Black family: know the Pathological/Pathogenic School)
  • Section 6.7 (Quality Relations and The Connections)
  • Sections 7.2  (Politics in U.S. context)
  • Section 7.6 (Black elected officials: know Limitations/Constraints and Functions)
  • Section 7.8 (Misconceptions of coalitions)

Highlights from last class:

  • Reviewed Chapter 7 on Black Politics  in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 265-283).
    • Focused on sections 7.2, 7.6, 7.7
  • Did not get to Dr. Clarke essays
  • Lecture notes posted in the usual spot
  • Musical interlude: The Chi-Lites “Give More Power to the People.” Live TV performance on Soul Train. Watch on YouTube

Announcements

  • Schedule change: Class meets on Wednesday November 20 and doesn’t meet on Wed November 27 (the night before Thanksgiving).
  • Our next quiz is moved to 11/20 (not 11/13, as on the syllabus)
  • If you earned less than a B on the midterm, email me for an optional makeup assignment. I’ll email instructions back to you. This option is only for those who earned a C or below! You don’t need to email me again if you signed the contact sheet after the last class.

Week of November 13: Black Politics

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Photo: It’s Nation Time. Amiri Baraka. Black Forum Records (Motown). 1972.

For Wednesday 11/13, read chapter 7 (Black Politics) in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies.

Also read “Kwame Nkrumah, The Political Rehearsal: His American Years” (101-113) in Dr. Clarke’s Notes for an African World Revolution. Also read “On Leadership” (pp.33-34) and “On Alliances” (pp. 39-40). Obviously this means you must bring both books with you.

What to read for/concentrate on: TBA–will post this weekend

Highlights from last class:

  • Reviewed the parts of Chapter 6 on Africana Womanism  in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 265-283).
  • Did not get to Clenora Hudson-Weems’s “Africana Womanism: an Overview” (PDF on the Readings page)
  • Musical intro: Nana Camille Yarbrough’s “Hand Me Down Love” Listen on YouTube
  • Musical interlude: Queen Latifah “U.N.I.T.Y.” Listen on YouTube

Announcements

  • Schedule change: Class meets on Wednesday November 20 and doesn’t meet on Wed November 27 (the night before Thanksgiving).
  • Our next quiz is moved to 11/20 (not 11/13, as on the syllabus)

November 6: Black Relationships and Africana Womanism

Image: Friends. Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012). via Princeton University Art Museum collection.

For Wednesday 11/6 we’ll finish chapter 6 in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies. Read last part of the chapter (pp. 268-285) on the various feminisms/womanisms and the section on relationships, with a focus on “the connections.”

Also read Clenora Hudson-Weems’s “Africana Womanism: an Overview” (PDF on the Readings page)

You do not need to bring the Dr. Clarke book this week. We won’t be using it.

The schedule on the printed syllabus has some changes. Most notably, the schedule mixed up dates for the Thanksgiving holiday week: class meets 11/20 but does not meet on 11/27. Basically, we don’t meet the day before the holiday. Check here weekly for details, as usual.

Quick highlights from 10/30 class:

  • Reviewed the parts of Chapter 6 on sociology and the Black Family  in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 250-268).
  • My lecture notes are in the usual spot
  • Resource/for further reading: Joyce Ladner The Death of White Sociology
  • Musical interlude: The Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion”: on YouTube here
  • We watched an excerpt from the PBS series Race: the Power of an Illusion. Lots of good stuff at the companion website. The section we saw was focused on housing discrimination in the US by official government policy as an example of institutional racism (racism supported/done by official institutions/governments.) See the 30-minute clip here:

Announcements

Week of October 30: Black Sociology

Image: US American Black. Faith Ringgold. via artist’s website. 1969. Oil on canvas. 60 x 84″. From Ringgold’s “Black Light” series.

For Wednesday 10/30, we’ll go to chapter 6 in (Black Sociology) Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies. Read up to section 6.6 (pp. 249-268).

You do not need to bring the Dr. Clarke book this week. We won’t be using it.

Short chapter/reading this week to accommodate midterm exam schedules and because the info is important. Focus on study questions 1-6 at the end of the chapter.

Quick highlights from 10/23 class:

  • Midterm exam!
  • Presentation by saxophonist Tyrone Birkett and vocalist Paula Ralph Birkett of Tyrone Birkett Emancipation! Follow the Birketts at their website, which also has links to their social media accounts and you can stream some of their music. You can also watch their live performance at WNYC Radio below (and see other videos on YouTube):

Announcements

  • Following a change in NY State election laws, you can now vote early! Early voting runs from October 26-November 3, then polls open on the traditional election day of Tuesday November 5. Details on early voting are here (note that this will be different from your usual poll site!) and the main NYC Board of Elections website can answer most of your questions here.