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Martin Kilson, Scholar and Racial Pathbreaker at Harvard, Dies at 88
April 30, 2019 | The New York Times | By Richard Sandomir.

Martin Kilson, a leftist scholar, fierce debater and follower of W. E. B. Du Bois who became the first tenured African-American professor at Harvard, died on April 24 in Lincoln, Mass. He was 88.....Professor Kilson was a prolific writer, an expert on ethnic politics in Africa and the United States, and a mentor to generations of students, among them the writer, teacher and philosopher Cornel West......Professor Kilson, an avowed integrationist, was already teaching courses in African politics in the 1960s when black students were starting to assert themselves on predominantly white campuses like Harvard.......Professor Kilson was a faculty sponsor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Association of African and Afro-American Students. But after the university’s Afro-American studies department was established in 1969, he became disenchanted with its governance, criticizing it as lacking academic rigor and maintaining that it had become an enclave for radical black students.

“Black solidarity forces are distinctly anti-intellectual and anti-achievement in orientation,” he wrote in a provocative essay about Harvard in The New York Times Magazine in 1973. “They indulge in the ‘black magic’ of nationalism, believing that miracles are possible if Negroes display fidelity to black nationalism or separatism and its anti-white attitudes, rituals and symbols.”....Kilson argued that the radical politics of separatists was an academic dead end.....“It took extraordinary courage in 1969 to challenge Black Panther and black power rhetoric,” the Rev. Eugene Rivers III, a former student of Professor Kilson’s, said in a telephone interview. “And he was right.”......Professor Kilson encountered Du Bois, the pioneering urban sociologist who was a founder of the N.A.A.C.P., as a freshman at Lincoln University, a HBCU....Du Bois remained an influence throughout Professor Kilson’s career....Harvard hired him as a lecturer in government in 1962. He was named an assistant professor two years later and granted tenure in 1968.

“He took a lot of pride in that accomplishment,” his daughter Hannah Kilson said in a telephone interview....Kilson used that sharp pen in 2002 when he challenged Randall L. Kennedy, a distinguished African-American professor at Harvard Law School, over the title of Professor Kennedy’s book “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”
academic_rigor  African-Americans  Black_Panthers  black_nationalism  black_power  black_separatism  black_studies  Cornel_West  Eugene_Rivers  Harvard  Henry_Louis_Gates  integration  left-wing  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  trailblazers  W.E.B._Du_Bois  wishful_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle: Article from Canada - THR
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle

PUBLICATION: GLOBE AND MAIL
DATE: 2005.11.24
PAGE: A25
BYLINE: MARGARET WENTE
Margaret_Wente  Eugene_Rivers  churches  Boston 
august 2012 by jerryking
Guns, gangs and Boston's miracle & Race is the elephant in the room
November 24, 2005 | G& M | Margaret Wente.

Mr. Rivers argues the black middle class has failed its poor by refusing to confront the cultural catastrophes that sweep boys into thug life. First, there's father absence, which leaves them unmoored and out of control. "The failure of black men to discipline their sons has created a generation of de facto orphans." Next, there are the toxic messages of gangsta rap that glorify outlaw life.

Gangsta rap and hip-hop -- which have spread to the slums of Paris,
Brixton and Rio -- moved into the void left by the decline of the
civil-rights movement. "The globalization of thug life," he says, "is
the direct result of the failure of the black middle class to engage
the crisis of the underclass." Tough words....Boston's anti-crime initiative has three legs: prevention, intervention
and enforcement. There are a lot of strategies to intervene with
high-risk kids before they turn into thugs. When it doesn't work, the
reverend is unequivocal about the consequences. "The thugs must be
locked up for a long time. They must be made an example of." One of his
challenges was to bring on board the people he calls the "hug-a-thug
liberals" -- those who see only victims, never criminals.

But he also challenged the law-and-order crowd -- the ones who see a
thug in every kid. All sides had to get past the rhetoric and focus on
what works. By now, there are strong networks among Boston's community
leaders, police and politicians; they regularly work together on crime
issues.
Margaret_Wente  pastors  Toronto  Eugene_Rivers  guns  gangs  Boston  fatherhood  African_Canadians  leadership  hip_hop  churches  voids  middle_class  African-Americans  thug_code  crisis  underclass  race  outlaws  toxic_behaviors 
august 2012 by jerryking

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