NIGHT section week 9: Black Religion

Image: Ethel Shariff in Chicago, 1963. By Gordon Parks (1912-2006)

General/community Announcements

  • Job opportunity: The NYC Board of Elections hires poll workers for every election. Pay is decent. Details here.
  • Also, see the Board of Elections site for info on voting early or to submit an absentee ballot to avoid voting in person.
  • Lehman’s Pre-Graduate Advising Office offers workshops on the graduate school application process and has drop-in hours each week via Zoom. Their October 26 event “What Does it Take to Get into Graduate School” is highly recommended–especially if you haven’t thought about it. Details at their site

Course Announcements:

  • Reminder that you can join class via Zoom if you’re not feeling well or can’t make it for some reason. email me at least an hour before class begins and use my personal Zoom link.
  • See the FAQ page for quick answers to common questions about the course.
  • Next Monday (October 24) the take-home midterm will be given out in class. You’ll have a week to finish and return it.
  • Midterm format: two short essays to be done at home
  • The midterm exam will focus on chapters 2,3,and 4.

REVIEW: the legacy of Cheikh Anta Diop from chapter 2

REVIEW: the importance of Nile Valley Civilization from chapter 2

REVIEW: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey. Be familiar with their political positions, organizations, the differences between them. (Re-reading Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s essay will help here in addition to the textbook chapters.) Think of how you might write an essay on them.
REVIEW: The 3 Modal Periods in Africana history from chap 4
REVIEW: Tendencies of the Black Power era from chap 4: Religious, Cultural, Political, Economic thrusts
REVIEW: Legacy of nationalist influence on the Black Power era from chap 4

To prepare for it, do the following:

READ the weekly updates on the course website! They point you to the specific sections of book chapters to focus on
Read the slide presentations on the Lecture Notes page
Read the sections of the book the notes are pulled from! The slides only give you an outline; you need the full discussion from the book for this to make sense!

In short, you have to spend some time and read/process/ understand the info!

DO THIS for week 9–Monday October 24:

This week, there are two things to read.

  • Selections from Chapter 5 in Introduction to Black Studies
  • Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s essay “Image and Mind Control in the African World.” (PDF on Readings page.) Read this first to gain a conceptual understanding for Karenga’s approach in the textbook chapter

From chapter 5 in (Black Religion) Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies.

  • Read pages 189-222 and the section on the Nation of Islam/Malcolm X (232-239) only.
  • Focus on the sections on:
    • The Dogon Tradition,
    • Maat,
    • Social Ethics of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
    • Black Liberation Theology
  • Read for the following:
    • How central tenets (beliefs) of the Dogon and Maat shape the worldview of African people
    • How Dr. King and Malcolm X’s interpretations of Islam and Christianity form a challenge to the US

For Dr. Clarke’s “Image and Mind Control in the African World.”

  • Pay attention to how Dr. Clarke frames religion and religious images
  • What role does Clarke suggest religion should play?
  • How does religion shape people’s view of the world, according to Dr. Clarke?

Quick highlights from Week 8 (10/17):

  • Reviewed sections of Chapter 4 on Civil Rights-Black Power in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 150-168).
  • Reviewed Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s essay “Malcolm X: the Genesis of His African Revolution” (pp. 139-159) in Notes for an African World Revolution.
  • See the Lecture Notes page for a copy of my presentation with highlights from the text
  • Music: Sarah Webster Fabio: “Together to the Tune of Coltrane’s Equinox”–on YouTube here
  • Resource/for further reading: Peniel E. Joseph’s Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour a narrative history of the Black Power movement. In the CUNY library system here, the NYPL here, and you can buy it used online starting at about $5.

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

Discussion questions

  • See chapter/essay highlights above

What’s Next?

First half of Chapter 6 in Introduction to Black Studies

Midterm exam: will be a take-home of 2 short essays based on concepts in chapters 2-4