Welcome to Fall 2017! Week of September 6

First, a few housekeeping details:

  • Please sign up for the class text message service run by Remind if you didn’t in class. Send a text to 81010 with the message “@introaas” to sign up. (Don’t include the quotation marks around the @introaas). If that doesn’t work, send a text with the message “@introaas” to (608)-467-4328. This gives me a simple way to contact the entire class for important updates or emergencies.
  • If you do not have a cell phone capable of text messages, sign up for email notifications at: rmd.at/introaas
  • Note that this class doesn’t use Blackboard. Check the course website every week for updates and detailed reading instructions
  • Get copies of the two required course books. You will need them to do the reading assignments for 9/13 and the rest of the semester. The main textbook is on reserve at Lehman’s library.

For Wednesday 9/6:

  • Read Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s “Africana Studies: A Decade of Change, Challenge, Conflict” (PDF on the Readings page) Password hint: what year is it?  Reading notes: Dr. Clarke’s essay is organized very informally and confirms to his storytelling-based style. It can be read quickly or while traveling, but be sure to highlight or underline key points and take good notes.
  • Read Dr. Karanja Keita Carroll’s “Africana Studies and Research Methodology: Revisiting the Centrality of the Afrikan Worldview” (PDF on the Readings page). Reading notes: Dr. Carroll’s essay talks about and defines several concepts that may be unfamiliar to you. You’ll have to read it slowly and carefully and take good notes.
  • Read “About Us” and “AHSA Matters” on the African Studies Heritage Association website (Clarke refers to this in his essay).
  • Buy a copy of the Amsterdam News newspaper, published weekly on Thursdays and bring the paper with you to class. Read one (news, not entertainment) story and be ready to discuss it in class.

Reading points/ questions to consider:

  • Think about how Clarke is defining the field of Africana/Black Studies
  • Note key issues, approaches, and dilemmas/challenges he outlines
  • How does Carroll define the discipline and methodology?
  • What is worldview?
  • What’s the importance of worldview to the discipline of Africana Studies?

Quick recap of first class highlights:

  • Who’s in the room/ what brought you to this class?
  • Reading of Dr. Leonard Jeffries Jr’s “The Essence of Black Studies” (handout and also on the Readings page). What’s his view of a Black Studies methodology (i.e. ways to analyze information and do research) and how should it approach the world?
  • Viewing of first half of the John Henrik Clarke documentary film A Great and Mighty Walk. [EDIT: we didn’t get to this. We’ll view it next week. And you can watch on your own if you want.] Embedded below via YouTube: