Spring 23 NIGHT SECTION Feb 7: Africana Studies Foundations

Hi everyone,

Expect a new post here every week with full details on what to do. Posts will usually go live on Thursdays.


First a few housekeeping things before we get to the assignment itself. There’s a lot in this week’s post but there’s a lot to cover. It will be shorter after the first few weeks.

  • You might find it helpful to subscribe to new posts for this site: use the e-mail sign-up form on the main page.
  • If you’re new to the class, welcome! Be sure to carefully review class policies on the syllabus.
  • Get the required course book: Dr. Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies, 4th edition.. You will need it to do the reading assignments for the rest of the semester. You can also buy the book directly from the publisher at the list price. See links on the books page.

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 81010 and type the following as the message: @aas166nite.

General Announcements:

  • 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.
  • NY State has reinstated TAP financial aid eligibility for part time students! Details here

Quick highlights from week 1: Tuesday January 31

  • REVIEWED 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?

DO THIS for Tuesday February 7:

There are 3 short PDF readings (total about 28 pages) and one video (20 minutes) for next week.

WATCH Prof. Jeffrey Kaplan’s video on how to read texts to remember and understand information on YouTube. (23 minutes)

(RE)READ Dr. Leonard Jeffries’s essay The Essence of Black Studies.” (PDF on the Readings page if you lost/don’t have it)

READ Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s essay “Africana Studies: A Decade of Change, Challenge, and Conflict” (13 page PDF file on the Readings page)

READ pages 1-16 from chapter 1 in the Introduction to Black Studies textbook (13 page PDF file on the Readings page–POSTED ON WEDNESDAY)

Things to think about while viewing and for discussion

Watch Dr. Kaplan’s video for tips on the process of reading and taking notes. List the key strategies he suggests in your notebook and try them for the readings this week.

Dr. Clarke’s essay was presented at a conference of the African Heritage Studies Association. In this essay, he makes an attempt to trace some of the early history of the discipline (academic major) of Africana Studies and present some of the key issues he thinks it faces.

Dr. Karenga in the textbook chapter places the emergence of Black Studies/Africana Studies within the historical framework of the 1960s movements.

Try to understand the following key points from the essay:

  • What is the issue with naming the major–specifically Black Studies vs Africana Studies?
  • What is the dilemma that Black scholars/writers face?
  • What is the significance of the contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois and Carter G. Woodson?
  • What’s the importance of the search for ideology Dr. Clarke mentions in the last few pages?
  • How does the political climate of the 1960s shape the beginning of Black Studies as an academic discipline?

BRING a copies of Dr. Clarke’s essay and the selected pages from the textbook to class with you.

What’s Next?

We start reading from the Introduction to Black Studies textbook. We’ll start with chapter 1.