DAY section Week 5: Black History/ African Background

IMPORTANT SCHEDULE NOTE: No class next Monday (9/26) for Rosh Hashanah but we meet on Thursday (9/29) instead, which is a Monday schedule in CUNY! Classes meet on Wednesday (as usual) and Thursday

Now back to your regularly scheduled course updates …

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
  • QUIZ NEXT THURSDAY. It will be short (10-15 min) at the beginning of class. Topics are: Marimba Ani‘s idea of worldview & Ethos and the African vs European worldview; Cheikh Anta Diop’s arguments for the importance of Egypt (Kemet) and how he proved the African character of the Egyptians; and Molefe Asante’s theory of Afrocentricity–both from chapter 2 in the textbook.

Quick highlights from week 4 classes on 9/19 and 9/21

  • Finished discussion of Marimba Ani’s reading on worldview
  • Reviewed Chapters 1 and 2 from Introduction to Black Studies
  • See the Lecture Notes page for a PDF of the slide decks presented in class
  • See the video of Temple University’s Molefe Asante defining Afrocentricity on YouTube
  • Musical selections: Gregory Porter’s “1960 What?” (YouTube) and …

What to do for Week 5

Do THIS for Wednesday September 28:

READ sections 3.1-3.5 in Chapter 3 (“Black History: African Background”) in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 65-87). Pay special attention to the section on Egypt’s legacy

Do THIS for THURSDAY September 29:

READ sections 3.6-3.9 in Chapter 3 (“Black History: African Background”) in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 88-end of chapter).

Specific areas to focus on

  • 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 in this chapter to the points in section 2.6 (“Classical African Studies”) to the sections from Chapter 2 and Dr. Karenga’s reasons for the importance of Egypt and Nile Valley civilization on pp. 56-57
  • Focus on Critical Thinking questions 2,3 and 5. You don’t have to write out extensive answers, but take brief notes on each. 

General reading strategies:

  • Underline/highlight key points in the text
  • Read the table of contents to give you an outline of points in the chapter
  • 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

Key points:

  • Understand why African civilizations are foundational to the human and African experience in the world
  • Understand the major contributions of Nile Valley Civilization and following groups/areas
  • Understand the contributions to Europe (and European thought) of the Moors
  • Understand reasons for the decline of African societies and European conquest

What’s Next?

Chapter 4 in Introduction to Black Studies: “Black History: Africans in America”