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The young folk chant a series of miraculous changes that will occur “When Obama

comes”; some of us are critical that after just a few months in office Obama
has not accomplished difficult political and social transformations that in the best

of circumstances likely would take years or decades.

 

 

Books by Muhammad Ahmad

 

We Will Return in the Whirlwind

 

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Black Studies in the Age of Obama

By Dr. Muhammad Ahmad
 Conference Co- Convener,  Chairman, PCIAS Inc.

 

In assessing the state of the field of African American Studies from its  origins as the academic wing of the Black liberation movements of the 1960s  to the onset of the inauguration of Barack Obama there are several  groups of ideas that may be helpful. First there are Max Weber’s classic analyses of  bureaucracy, second the insights of C.L.R. James on the relationship of intellectuals to mass social movements, and third the contributions of  Du Bois, Woodson, and Doxey Wilkerson on the nature of  American education as it relates to African Americans.

1. routinization of charisma/bureaucratizion

Few would doubt that the movements that generated the rapid increase in numbers of African American students in U.S. institutions of higher education during the period from 1967 through the mid 1970’s no longer exist. As early as the mid 1970s, observers such as St. Clair Drake remarked on the taming of Black Studies as a field. By this he meant the shifting of the major focus of efforts and concerns from the community at large to the campus and the professional organizations based on academic disciplines. The audience  no longer was  the  broader Black  community both in and outside the academy  but institutional and disciplinary colleagues and peers.

The receding of the high tide of the liberation struggles of the 1960s left many of us in fledging Black Studies departments or programs in that circumstance that my grandparents would say “it’s root hog or die.” And those of us who have survived over the years with any degree of success had to master the politics and bureaucracies of the Institutions in which we were employed or “die.”

The dynamic speeches, manifestoes, calls to arms, rallies, March, etc. yielded to memos to deans, provosts or chancellors, to interminable meetings about personnel decisions, outside evaluations, self-studies, fundraising campaigns and the like. The set of skills, talents, and attitudes that enabled us to breach the walls of academe were different from those necessary to survive once inside. (We all of course reserve the God given Negro right to “go off on white folks” at least once a year just to keep them on their toes and off of your back.) That aside a good chunk of our time and energy by necessity had to be devoted to satisfying the demands of the modern bureaucracy that is the college or

University. All of the rhetoric which we use about commitment to a larger community and struggle often is puzzling to our current students who don’t see any movement to attach themselves to or any struggles in the form that we have described to them. The vast majority of them have little if any experience with political organizations in their home communities. The world of crack, aids, and lethal gang violence is not the world that us “old heads” grew up in.

Our students want knowledge about themselves their history and culture, but the political and economic system that they must engage demands that they find a way to get a job that will allow them to begin to pay back the financial debt that they have incurred in securing a college education while they try to maintain what they see as a reasonable standard of living. They do not have the luxury that many of our generation had to study the subjects that interested us or that were relevant to our political concerns.

When we were attending school, “black studies” did not exist. Our political efforts, both on and off campus, called into being the jobs that we now hold. The faculty that we are hiring to replace us is not and cannot be “movement” people. They generally are quite intelligent, hardworking individuals, dedicated to the study of the aspect of the African American experience that interests them. But they also care about research grants, reappointment, promotion and tenure and the material rewards offered by academia that were of secondary concern to us, if at all. They live in a world where worth is determined overwhelmingly by market value. How much you make and where you make it is important to them. That is the hand they have been dealt and that is the hand that they play. The charisma of Black Studies has been routinized “big time.”

2. C.L.R. James

Does this mean that Black Studies are irrelevant, that its time has passed, that what we do is of no consequence. Of course not. Our ongoing indispensable task is to continue to work as diligently, as hard, and as honestly as we can to prepare our students to survive, function and advance in a society whose fundamental assumptions still are anchored in a belief in white supremacy. Is the racism of today different from the racism of the 1950s, 1940s, 1930s? Was Jim Crow different from slavery? Of course. Does the existence of Barack Obama signify that racism has disappeared? Of course not. Our challenge is to think through the complexities of this new reality, ground our conclusions on evidence that is persuasive to as many of our people as possible, and to produce work that will stand the test of time. We still read The Souls of Black Folk because it made sense in 1903 and it makes sense today. Teaching students through an analysis about past events is more about teaching them how to evaluate conflicting assumptions, explanations, and how to interpret and bring meaning to and out of many different forms of what we call evidence than about filling their heads with random bits of information no matter how interesting.

Where does C.L.R. James come in this process?  James tells us what should be the role of intellectuals who make at least some claim to being committed to the transformation of the existing social order to one based  on more humane and just principles. James thought, wrote and acted on the beliefs that if there was  a movement or group of people, working people not the ruling classes or their lapdogs and running dogs (don’t you just love that language, so clear, so precise) then the task of the revolutionary intellectual  was to put her/his talents in their service.  The task was not to lead the masses any where, but to work with them to help them get where they want to go. The intellectual task is to clarify issues, i.e., to make complicated matters simple, not make simple matters complicated.

In the absence of a movement of any significant size and strength then the task of the intellectual is to try to see what James called “the future in the present.” By this he meant that a serious effort should be devoted to the study of any and all tendencies, trends, ideological  currents, patterns of behavior, cultural artifacts, etc. that could be interpreted as being in opposition to the dominant order. James’ MODERN POLITICS and his studies of art, literature, sports, film and some other  aspects of popular culture  were part of his attempt to identify, interrogate, analyze  possible sites and instances that either could encourage or coalesce  into  forces of  radical transformation. The role that James thought Black Studies could play, if it was to have a serious role to play at all, was to reveal and explain the relationship between the specific conditions and struggles of peoples of  African descent and those of other oppressed and exploited peoples and groups.

James focused on political, intellectual and cultural trends in the broadest possible terms with no concern at all for the limitations imposed by the ways that colleges and universities defined, produced and disseminated knowledge. You looked for signs of the future in the present wherever they might appear.  To define one’s intellectual work as James used to say to writing books about other people’s books was a waste of time and irrelevant at best, counterproductive, and reactionary at worst.  This to James was the major shortcoming of university based intellectuals. To lay claim to James legacy means not only to study modern society, but to link your studies to the struggles for social transformation which to James meant socialism.

If James is to be our guide then we in Black Studies should subject the ideas and actions of Barack Obama to our most rigorous and principled scrutiny. We should be as precise and as detailed as possible in writing or talking about why we support or oppose any particular policy or action. This type of work can be included under the current umbrella of Black Studies even while we continue to teach about the social, historical and cultural experiences of African Americans during the pre-Obama period that extends from Africa at least during  the time of the slave trade and slavery, through the dispersal of peoples of African descent throughout the western hemisphere, through the periods of Civil Wars and emancipations, post emancipation adjustments, the rise of Jim Crow and disenfranchisement, and the struggles of African Americans to dismantle that apparatus in the second half of the twentieth century. Our works of art and literature will contain critiques of what now exists as well as glimpses of a more just and humane future.

How artists will do this, and to what extent, of course will be based on their individual interest and talents.  That the range of artistic expression in all genres is as broad as it has been at any time in our history is too be welcomed despite our many and legitimate critiques of  some of its forms and content. I believe that James’ many writings still have much to offer us and our students in our search for ways to understand the world in which we live.

Conclusion

So where does all this leave us. If the Obama presidency is to have any lasting effects beyond his personal success and the success of his programs (read CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN), then we in Black Studies, if we are not just blowing smoke or living off of past glories to make ourselves feel good and to rationalize our positions of relative privilege within our communities, have to renew our efforts to continue and intensify the struggles to achieve the goals we set for ourselves four decades ago. The establishing of Black Studies in the academy was a good beginning, but there is much work left to be done. The Obama presidency gives us hope that things are moving again and space for us to renew our struggle once again.

Postscript: Implications of a post racial world for the racist right

The view that the Obama election has signaled the onset of a post racial U.S. also has implications for how the racist right presents its views. Just as African Americans might have to negotiate new constraints on their ability to raise concerns and demands based on race the relative success of conservatives in legitimating the idea of post racial and color blindness has placed constraints on them. Notice the difficulty that the racist opposition to Obama has had in finding language to oppose him that does not open betray the racist intent. The shift to the language of the need for a new American Revolution, carried out by armed bands of citizens if necessary, is one such approach that they have settled on at this moment.

The idea that the Constitution has been abrogated and that the country has been “lost” is just the Right’s way of saying that the Founding Fathers were sincere in their belief that the new nation should be one led by white males, that was their “original intent” and to cede power to women or to members of any minority group is by definition “unconstitutional” and an abrogation of the goals of the American Revolution. The system was designed to maintain white supremacy and if a Black person has managed to become president that the system obviously is broken and a new American Revolution is needed to restore the racial hierarchy that they view as the natural order of things.

A key component of this worldview is the necessity to obtain and stockpile arms and ammunition since Obama as Commander-in-Chief has taken control of the military power of the state. The call for the formation of citizen militias and the reenactment of “Tea Parties” are attempts to dramatize these views as at this point they do not seem to be able to carry them out in reality. It is quite likely that a sizable portion of poor and working class whites will hold on to the “wages of whiteness” when it is clear that their role in any New World Order will be diminished. 

Influential segments of the corporate, political and military elites recognize the necessity for a leader such as Obama to guide the U.S. to its new status in the world in the safest most advantageous way as possible. The shift from fossil fuels, direct control of foreign resources and the hugely expensive military apparatus that this requires, to an economy based more on alternative energy sources that don’t require military bases on every continent and in space, is vital to the survival of the U.S. as a nation and a civilization.  If we want to survive the transition, from imperial power to member of a world community than we should do what we can to support Obama’s initiatives in that regard.

Of course we also are obligated to raise the legitimate concerns of people of African descent and to try our best to insure that we as Black people, wherever we might reside on the planet, do not fall by the wayside. If Black Studies has any meaningful role to play it will be that of preparing our students not only to understand who we are and where we have come from, but to develop the intellectual tools and attitudes that will enable us to best comprehend and prepare for the significant changes that the Obama presidency portends.

Finally, as intellectuals and teachers who are used to serving as critics and outsiders we have to think about what it means to us as a people to have won such  a major victory as the Obama presidency and the implications of that victory in all its dimensions. The enthusiastic acceptance of Obama by segments of the population that we have not been able to reach, calls for understanding, not condemnation. When our young people use such phrases as “Barack alakim”;” What’s up my Barack” (instead of the “N” word); “Barack You” instead of  “ Bless you” and when they chastise each others misbehavior with “Barack is in the White House” we need to include those feelings into what we see as our more sophisticated political and economic analyses.

We need to acknowledge that to a great extent we share the messianic feelings that we condemn in others. The young folk chant a series of miraculous changes that will occur “When Obama comes”; some of us are critical that after just a few months in office Obama has not accomplished difficult political and social transformations that in the best of circumstances likely would take years or decades. We as Black people are in a new place now, we in Black Studies need to keep our eyes open, our heads clear and our wits about us or we will betray our mission of being of service to our people and guarantee our irrelevance.

Black Studies Workshop Resolutions

We had rather wide ranging discussions on both the past and possible futures of Black Studies. Much concern was expressed about the current situation in Africa and about the declining awareness of an interest in it on the part of Africans in the Diaspora. Our conclusions put in the broadest terms are as follows:

      1. Black Studies wherever possible should reaffirm its original commitment to a Pan- African approach. We should try to help our students develop an understanding of African history, culture, religion, politics, and economics on the continent and in every place where there are significant populations of African descent regardless of language, current nationality, and immigration status.

      2. We should reaffirm the original commitment that our scholarship should be of the highest quality, but also that it should be written, spoken and disseminated in a fashion  that will make it accessible to broad segments of our communities. We should make every effort to produce work in formats and at levels that can be used at every level of schooling from K to graduate school. Our task as intellectuals and teachers is to render the complex simple, not the simple complex.

        3. The Obama presidency provides us with an opportunity to a) study the many and complex ways that Africans and people of African descent have interacted with larger worlds since the onset of the slave trade, slavery and colonialism, as manifested in Obama’s own biography, and b) study how Obama’s life experiences have enabled him to see problems and propose solutions in ways that try to get us to move beyond the assumptions, analyses, and ideologies that have been dominant in our pasts.

June 22, 2009 Report on the May 2009 Black Studies Conference at Temple University.

posted 8 July 2009

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Max Stanford

The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) was the only secular political organization that Malcolm X joined before his fateful trip to Mecca in 1964. Early in 1963, Malcolm took the young Philadelphia militant Max Stanford under his wing. During the last few years of Malcolm's life, few persons were as closely associated with him as was the young Max Stanford. Stanford was a student militant who had influenced both the National Student Youth movement and the Students for a Democratic Society in the early 1960s with a vision of radical black nationalism.

Stanford fused the thought of Robert F. Williams on armed self-defense with the philosophy of Malcolm X on black self-determination. To these tenets, Stanford added a sophisticated Marxian revolutionary philosophy, which he derived from a close personal association with the legendary Queen Mother Audley Moore. Malcolm put his blessings on Stanford's Revolutionary Action Movement by becoming an officer of the organization.

Among the most important of Stanford's contributions were his assistance to Amiri Baraka and the Newark, New Jersey, movement, his support for members of the Black Liberation Army under Assata Shakur, and his encouragement of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in Detroit.

He was influential in efforts to encourage Robert F. Williams to assume a nationally prominent leadership role upon Williams return from exile in China. Stanford helped found the African Liberation Support Committee and promoted the concept of "reparations" to descendants of American slavery. And he remained an important voice of criticism of Black Panther strategies of the 1970s.

He established the African Peoples Party in the early 1970s in an effort to keep the flame of revolutionary nationalism alive. While underground he embraced Islam and since the early 1970s, he has been known as Muhammad Ahmad. Since the 1970s, he has been one of the leading historians and theoreticians of revolutionary black nationalism. "The Papers of Robert F. Williams," Lexis/Nexis

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Dr. Muhammad Ahmad was national field chairman of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) during the mid-60s and founder of the African People's Party in the 1970s. He has worked closely with Malcolm X, Jesse Gray, Amiri Baraka, Stokely Carmichael, James and Grace Lee Boggs, James Forman, Robert and Mabel Williams, Queen Mother Audley Moore and others, in founding and carrying out various Black liberation projects and organizations. Who better, then, to pen a major assessment of some of the most important Black radical organizations of the 60s? Here is a study of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panther Party (BPP), the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), that only he could have done. "Drawing upon his extensive network of personal and political contacts and his unique understanding of the connections between persons, organizations, and events (too often viewed in isolation), Ahmad has made a significant contribution toward deepening our understanding of a period whose complexities might otherwise be lost to future generations." [from the Introduction by John Bracey]

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On Cecil Brown's Dude, Where's My Black Studies Department  -- Thus Africans and Caribbean Negroes were in many cases less radical, even though much of the African American radical tradition comes from immigrants, such as Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, Kwame Toure, Malcolm X and Farrakhan. As Amina Baraka informed me, "We're all West Indians."

And this is true because kidnapped Africans were brought to the Caribbean for "the breaking in," then transferred to North America and elsewhere. And we must ask ourselves would we rather have a radical immigrant African in black studies or a reactionary Negro only because he is a Negro.

Marvin X,  Africa or America: The Emphasis in Black Studies Programs

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From Black Power to Black Studies

How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline

By Fabio Rojas

The black power movement helped redefine African Americans' identity and establish a new racial consciousness in the 1960s. As an influential political force, this movement in turn spawned the academic discipline known as Black Studies. Today there are more than a hundred Black Studies degree programs in the United States, many of them located in America’s elite research institutions. In From Black Power to Black Studies, Fabio Rojas explores how this radical social movement evolved into a recognized academic discipline. Rojas traces the evolution of Black Studies over more than three decades, beginning with its origins in black nationalist politics. His account includes the 1968 Third World Strike at San Francisco State College, the Ford Foundation’s attempts to shape the field, and a description of Black Studies programs at various American universities. His statistical analyses of protest data illuminate how violent and nonviolent protests influenced the establishment of Black Studies programs. Integrating personal interviews and newly discovered archival material, Rojas documents how social activism can bring about organizational change.

The Trouble with Black StudiesScott McLemee—9 May 2012—Black studies was undeniably a product of radical activism in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. Administrators established courses only as a concession to student protesters who had a strongly politicized notion of the field’s purpose. “From 1969 to 1974,” Rojas writes, “approximately 120 degree programs were created,” along with “dozens of other black studies units, such as research centers and nondegree programs,” plus professional organizations and journals devoted to the field. But to regard black studies as a matter of academe becoming politicized (as though the earlier state of comprehensive neglect wasn’t politicized) misses the other side of the process: “The growth of black studies,” Rojas suggests, “can be fruitfully viewed as a bureaucratic response to a social movement.”

By the late 1970s, the African-American sociologist St. Clair Drake (co-author of Black Metropolis, a classic study of Chicago to which Richard Wright contributed an introduction) was writing that black studies had become institutionalized “in the sense that it had moved from the conflict phase into adjustment to the existing educational system, with some of its values accepted by that system…. A trade-off was involved. Black studies became depoliticized and deradicalized.” That, too, is something of an overstatement—but it is far closer to the truth than denunciations of black-studies programs, which treat them as politically volatile, yet also as well-entrenched bastions of power and privilege.

As of 2007, only about 9 percent of four-year colleges and universities had a black studies unit, few of them with a graduate program. Rojas estimates that “the average black studies program employs only seven professors, many of whom are courtesy or joint appointments with limited involvement in the program”while in some cases a program is run by “a single professor who organizes cross-listed courses taught by professors with appointments in other departments.” The field “has extremely porous boundaries,” with scholars who have been trained in fields “from history to religious studies to food science.”

Rojas found from a survey that 88 percent of black studies instructors had doctoral degrees. Those who didn’t “are often writers, artists, and musicians who have secured a position teaching their art within a department of black studies.” As for faculty working primarily or exclusively in black studies, Rojas writes that “the entire population of tenured and tenure-track black studies professors—855 individuals—is smaller than the full-time faculty of my own institution.” In short, black studies is both a small part of higher education in the United States and a field connected by countless threads to other forms of scholarship.

The impetus for its creation came from African-American social and political movements. But its continued existence and development has meant adaptation to, and hybridization with, modes of enquiry from long-established disciplines. Such interdisciplinary research and teaching is necessary and justified because (what I am about to say will be very bold and very controversial, and you may wish to sit down before reading further) it is impossible to understand American life, or modernity itself, without a deep engagement with African-American history, music, literature, institutions, folklore, political movements, etc.

In a nice bit of paradox, that is why C.L.R. James was so dubious about black studies when it began in the 1960s. As author of The Black Jacobins and The History of Negro Revolt, among other classic works, he was one of the figures students wanted to be made visiting professor when they demanded black studies courses. But when he accepted, it was only with ambivalence. "I do not believe that there is any such thing as black studies," he told an audience in 1969. ". . . I only know, the struggle of people against tyranny and oppression in a certain social setting, and, particularly, the last two hundred years. It's impossible for me to separate black studies and white studies in any theoretical point of view."—insidehighered

 Left of Black: Race, Writing and the Attack on Black Studies

with Adam Mansbach & La TaSha Levy

Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by writer Adam Mansbach, the author of several books including Angry Black White Boy (2005), The End of the Jews  (2008) and the New York Times Bestseller Go the F**K to Sleep.  Mansbach discusses the inspiration for Macon Detornay—the protagonist of Angry Black White Boy—the surprise success of his “adult children’s book” and his new graphic novel Nature of the Beast.  Finally Neal and Mansbach discuss race in the Obama era and the legacy of the Beastie Boys.

Later, Neal is joined, also via Skype, by LaTaSha B. Levy, doctoral candidate in the Department of African-American Studies at Northwestern University.  Levy and several of her colleagues including Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor and Ruth Hayes, the subjects of a celebratory profile in The Chronicle of Higher Education, were later attacked by a blogger at the same publication, raising questions about the continued hostility directed towards the field of Black Studies.  Neal and Levy discuss the responses to the attack, as well as her research on the rise of Black Republicans.—newblackman

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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From Black Power to Black Studies

How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline

By Fabio Rojas

The black power movement helped redefine African Americans' identity and establish a new racial consciousness in the 1960s. As an influential political force, this movement in turn spawned the academic discipline known as Black Studies. Today there are more than a hundred Black Studies degree programs in the United States, many of them located in America’s elite research institutions. In From Black Power to Black Studies, Fabio Rojas explores how this radical social movement evolved into a recognized academic discipline. Rojas traces the evolution of Black Studies over more than three decades, beginning with its origins in black nationalist politics. His account includes the 1968 Third World Strike at San Francisco State College, the Ford Foundation’s attempts to shape the field, and a description of Black Studies programs at various American universities. His statistical analyses of protest data illuminate how violent and nonviolent protests influenced the establishment of Black Studies programs. Integrating personal interviews and newly discovered archival material, Rojas documents how social activism can bring about organizational change.

*   *   *   *   *

On Cecil Brown's Dude, Where's My Black Studies Department  -- Thus Africans and Caribbean Negroes were in many cases less radical, even though much of the African American radical tradition comes from immigrants, such as Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, Kwame Toure, Malcolm X and Farrakhan. As Amina Baraka informed me, "We're all West Indians."

And this is true because kidnapped Africans were brought to the Caribbean for "the breaking in," then transferred to North America and elsewhere. And we must ask ourselves would we rather have a radical immigrant African in black studies or a reactionary Negro only because he is a Negro. Marvin X,  Africa or America: The Emphasis in Black Studies Programs

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We Will Return in the Whirlwind

Black Radical Organizations 1960-1975

By Muhammad Ahmad (Maxwell Stanford Jr.)

Drawing upon his extensive network of personal and political contacts and his unique understanding of the connections between persons, organizations, and events (too often viewed in isolation), Ahmad has made a significant contribution toward deepening our understanding of a period whose complexities might otherwise be lost to future generations.—John Bracey

Dr. Muhammad Ahmad was national field chairman of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) during the mid-60s and founder of the African People s Party in the 1970s. He has worked closely with Malcolm X, Jesse Gray, Amiri Baraka, Stokely Carmichael, James and Grace Lee Boggs, James Forman, Robert and Mabel Williams, and Queen Mother Audley Moore, among others, in founding and carrying out various Black liberation projects and organizations. Who better, then, to pen a major assessment of some of the most important Black radical organizations of the 60s?

Here is a study of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panther Party (BPP), the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), that only he could have done.Charles H Kerr (2007)

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Ghosts in Our Blood

With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

By Jan R. Carew

Carew, an activist, scholar, and journalist, met Malcolm X during his last trip abroad only a few weeks before he was killed in 1965. It made such an impression on Carew that he felt compelled to search out Malcolm's family and friends in order to flesh out the family history. He interviewed Wilfred (Malcolm's older brother) and a Grenadian friend of Malcolm's mother named Tanta Bess. Comparing his family's experiences with that of Malcolm X, he gives the most complete picture yet of Malcolm's mother. Carew also offers a tantalizing glimpse of Malcolm X's transforming himself into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, a man less blinded by his own racial prejudices yet as committed to the betterment of his race as ever. Just before his death, Malcolm X became convinced that a U.S. agency was involved with those trying to kill him, and Carew here reveals the evidence Malcolm X gave him to support these beliefs. The mystery of Malcolm's death remains unresolved, and we are once again filled with regret that he was cut down before he could fulfill the promise of his later days. While this book will not replace The Autobiography of Malcolm X (LJ 1/1/66), it is an important supplement. All libraries that own the autobiography should also purchase this one.—Library Journal

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Home   Education & History

Related files: Africa or America: The Emphasis in Black Studies Programs   Askia Touré and Marvin X on Black Studies    Black Studies Forty Years Later

    No New Thinking on Africana Politics and Philosophy  Interview with Franklin Knight  Black Studies in the Age of Obama    Reading Africana

  Introduction White Nationalism  Legitimacy to Lead   No New Thinking on Africana Politics and Philosophy  Black Schools Kill Smart Niggers?  State of HBCU Archives 

The State of HBCUs  (13 December 2005)   Corporate Plantation: Political Repression and the Hampton Model  Should BAM Conference at Howard University Be Boycotted?