Weeks of September 11: 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 that this class doesn’t use Blackboard. Check the course website every week for updates and detailed reading instructions which will appear on this page
  • Get copies of the two required course books if you haven’t done so already. You will need them to do the reading assignments for the rest of the semester. They are on reserve at Lehman’s library. If ordering online, you should order them now so they’ll arrive in time. Details on the books page.
  • Please sign up for the class text message service run by Remind if you haven’t done so yet. 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. Ignore this: not using the service anymore.

For Wednesday 9/11:

  • Re-read 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).
    • 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.
    • Read the sections “The Legacy of Egypt” and “The Decline of African Societies” slowly and carefully and take good notes. Connect points from these sections to the sections from Chapter 2 listed above
    • Focus on Critical Thinking questions 2,3 and 5. You don’t have to write out extensive answers, but take brief notes on each. 

Quick highlights from previous class:

  • Covered chapter 1 in Introduction to Black Studies: see my lecture notes for highlights [Update: posted!]
  • Did not get to chapter 2: we’ll start next class with this
  • Dr. Clarke documentary A Great and Mighty Walk: watched second half, almost to the end. Consider sharing the link on social media. Organize a viewing of it with your family, friends, church group, tenants’ association, union chapter, poker group, etc. Show it to other children in your building. Cook some food or order pizza and invite them over to watch–and learn. (If you offer to feed children, they will come–and their parents will appreciate the break!)