Week of October 4: Black History/ African Background

Image: the sankofa bird, an Adinkra symbol translating into “return and fetch it”, meaning reaching back to the past for wisdom needed to go forward into the future.

First, a few housekeeping details:

  • Remember to check the course website every week for updates and detailed reading instructions which will appear on this page
  • Book update: Both books are now available at the bookstore. Remember to get your copy of Dr. Clarke’s Africans at the Crossroads from there or elsewhere. You’ll need it for next week’s reading. If ordering online, you should order it now so it’ll arrive in time. See the books page for details.

For Wednesday 10/4:

  • Reread section 2.6 (“Classical African Studies”). Focus on pp. 54-57, particularly the section on Cheikh Anta Diop.
    • Know why Diop is a significant figure and his intellectual contributions.
    • Also be able to explain Karenga’s reasons for the importance of Egypt and Nile Valley civilization on pp. 56-57
  • New reading: Chapter 3 (Black History/ African Background) in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 65-101).
    • Look for differences in the various approaches: Afrocentric, Black Women’s Studies, Multicultural Studies, Classical African Studies
    • As usual, start with the Key Terms and Study Questions at the end of the chapter to guide your reading. Focus on the following: the concepts of Maat, sankofa, and Sebait. And the following people: Imhotep and Ptah-hotep.
    • Focus on Critical Thinking questions 2,3 and 5. You don’t have to write out extensive answers, but take brief notes on each. 
  • 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.

Quick highlights from previous class:

  • Covered chapters 1-2 in Introduction to Black Studies