NIGHT March 7: African history

All Giza Pyramids | Roberto Libertato photo. Wikimedia. Creative Commons license

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 TUESDAY 3/7. It will be short (20 min) at the beginning of class. Focus on book chapters 1 & 2. 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. Basic context for founding of Africana Studies from chapter 1. REVIEW keywords at the end of both chapters. Format: approx 10 short answer, multiple choice questions.

Quick highlights class on 2/28

  • Musical selection: John Trudell’s “Look at Us” (YouTube)
  • News story: 50th anniversary of Wounded Knee: NPR
    • INFO: AIM activist Leonard Peltier’s Defense Committee (Link)
  • Reviewed Chapter 2 from Introduction to Black Studies
  • Molefe Asante interview on Afrocentricity on YouTube
  • See the Lecture Notes page for a PDF of the slide deck presented in class

DO THIS for Tuesday March 7:

REVIEW NOTES for the quiz at the beginning of class: see topics/format above ^

READ Chapter 3 (“Black History: African Background”) in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 65-102).

  • 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
  • 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”