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 a copy of the two required course book if you haven’t done so already. You will need it to do the reading assignments for the rest of the semester. If ordering online, you should order it now so it’ll arrive in time. Details on the books page. I’m aware of the issues with the bookstore and am looking into the situation.
- Sato has generously volunteered to provide copies of this week’s reading for anyone who doesn’t have the book yet: see the class WhatsApp group for details
- Please sign up for the class text message service run by Remind(.com) if you haven’t done so yet
- You can sign up online here or send a text message to (608) 467-4328 and type the following as the message: @aas166.
- Makes it easy for me to quickly send out important messages–like today when I was way too sick to run my classes
On the weekly Zoom sessions:
- The sessions will be recorded starting from now on: still figuring out the best way to post them. Stay tuned.
- Sign-up info for weekly Zoom sessions is on the Zoom meet info page. I recommend saving the meeting ID and password in your calendar or elsewhere to easily join
- Lehman has emergency grants available to quickly provide money for housing, medical, food, transportation, and other needs. Details at the Student Affairs office.
- The Lehman Food Bank offers food assistance. Details here.
- Lehman has a very comprehensive page of students resources including laptop/tablet loans. Details here.
Quick highlights from second class on 2/10
- Website review
- Zoom wait room music: Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage“
- Musical selection: Kamasi Washington’s “Change of the Guard.”
- Re-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?
- Reviewed key points of the Dr. John Henrik Clarke documentary A Great and Mighty Walk. It’s on YouTube if you want a refresher. (Consider sharing the link with your own intro to it on social media. Think about watching it with family members, your church group, tenants’ association, PTA chapter, etc.)
What to do for Week 3–February 17:
READ Chapters 1 and 2 in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 1-60).
- Skim (read quickly and to gain an overview) pp 1-17 on history and development of the discipline.
- Focus (read carefully and closely) on the following sections: (pp 17-27) 1.3 (Relevance of the Discipline) and 1.4 (Scope of the Discipline) and sections 2.3-2.7 — the different developmental initiatives.
- Read only pp 39-60 (“Developmental Initiatives”) in chapter 2
- This book is on reserve at Lehman’s library if yours doesn’t arrive in time.
- Pay special attention to 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
RESPOND to the questions at the bottom of this post and DISCUSS them with classmates and myself
ATTEND the weekly Zoom session @ 6 PM EST on Wednesday February 17
General reading strategies:
- Underline/highlight key points in the text
- Use the reading questions at the back of chapters to focus you: read those first
- Try to understand the definitions of the key concepts listed at the back of the chapter
- Make a note to ask the instructor to clarify anything you don’t understand
- Note key issues, approaches, and dilemmas/challenges Dr. Karenga outlines
- What is worldview?
- What’s the importance of worldview to the discipline of Africana Studies?
- How does the origin of the discipline shape the approach?
- How does the issue of relevance shape the discipline?
- Why is Cheikh Anta Diop important to Africana Studies?
Chapter 3 in Introduction to Black Studies: “Black History: African Background”
Comments on posts:
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the post for the “Leave a Comment” button below. Here’s how it works: you can use this to discuss points raised here. A few points:
- Your first comment will have to be approved by me: after that, you can comment without approval
- Comments section will only be open to enrolled students
- You have to leave your name (enter as first name and last initial only) so a) I can make sure only people in the class are commenting and b) you get credit for the comment
- Remember to be respectful, especially when responding to classmates
- The comments section closes 14 days after a post goes live
To ‘participate’ in the class, I’d like to see everyone 1) post a substantive comment of their own based on either the reading or my lecture using some of the questions raised or conversation prompts, and 2) to respond thoughtfully to someone else’s comment—not just agree/disagree, but add on evidence or ask a follow-up question. You can also ask a question–for me or others–but that doesn’t count toward your comment and reply needed for the grade. It’s fine with me if conversation continues in a thread as long as it does, but two responses showing a clear engagement with the reading will count for being ‘present.’ Does that make sense? You have two weeks to write those two comments for credit.