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jerryking : w.e.b._du_bois   7

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
In ‘Stony the Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Captures the History and Images of the Fraught Years After the Civil War
April 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nell Irvin Painter.

STONY THE ROAD
Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
By Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Illustrated. 296 pp. Penguin Press. $30.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung = coming to terms with the past — and it carries connotations of a painful history that citizens would rather not confront but that must be confronted in order not to be repeated.
20th_century  African-Americans  bigotry  books  book_reviews  disenfranchisement  Henry_Louis_Gates  historians  history  Jim_Crow  John_Hope_Franklin  KKK  lynchings  memorabilia  racial_politics  Reconstruction  stereotypes  torture  white_nationalism  white_supremacy  imagery  Vergangenheitsbewältigung  W.E.B._Du_Bois  iconic 
april 2019 by jerryking
The History the Slaveholders Wanted Us to Forget - The New York Times
By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr.

Except for the relatively few African-Americans who saw through such racist fictions of Africa, drawn upon to devalue their humanity and justify their relegation to second-class citizenship — people such as Garvey, Henry Highland Garnet, Martin R. Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois (who would die a citizen of Ghana), Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou — far too many of us felt that “Africa” was something of an embarrassment. Richard Wright, the great novelist, published a book titled “Black Power” in 1954 about feeling that way.
historical_amnesia  historians  history  slavery  Africa  ignorance  slaveholders  Henry_Louis_Gates  African-Americans  second-class_citizenship  humanity  W.E.B._Du_Bois  Black_Power  erasures 
february 2017 by jerryking
Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Restoring Black History
SEPT. 23, 2016 | - The New York Times | By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr.

The opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington helps to resolve the protracted debate about the contributions of black people to American history and, indeed, about whether they had a history worth preserving at all. Those questions were at the heart of the nation’s original debate about whether, and how, black lives matter.....“History,” James Baldwin wrote, “is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.”.... the opening of the museum ...reinscribes race at a symbolically central place in American culture, on the National Mall, where we celebrate our collective public histories, ensuring that a mountain of evidence about black contributions to America will be on permanent display....More than a museum, the building on the National Mall is a refutation of two and a half centuries of the misuse of history to reinforce a social order in which black people were enslaved, then systematically repressed and denied their rights when freed. It also repudiates the long and dismal tradition of objectifying black people in museums.
slavery  Jim_Crow  history  historians  Henry_Louis_Gates  museums  Washington_D.C.  African-Americans  Thomas_Jefferson  Enlightenment  Hegel  John_Hope_Franklin  W.E.B._Du_Bois  Carter_Woodson  Arthur_Schomburg  Obama  James_Baldwin  Smithsonian  David_Adjaye 
september 2016 by jerryking
Black Church Is Target Again for Deadly Strike at the Heart - The New York Times
By RACHEL L. SWARNS and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON JUNE 19, 2015

in those years after Emancipation is what the African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois and others have described as the “first social institution fully controlled by black men in America.” Black churches ran schools, offered burial assistance and served as clearinghouses for information about jobs, social happenings and politics. More than just spiritual homes, they embodied their communities’ growing political aspirations.

And before long, they became targets.

In 1963, a bomb tore through the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four girls. Black churches have long been a site of racist attacks.

In the fall of 1870, as the Ku Klux Klan battled to return African-Americans to subservience, nearly every black church in Tuskegee, Ala., was engulfed in flames. Ninety-three years later, as the civil rights movement gained momentum, a bomb blast killed four young girls in a black church in Birmingham, Ala., that was a well-known meeting place for movement leaders....In the 19th century, these centers of worship, small and large, rural and urban, stone and ramshackle, became vital community engines. More than 100 of the first black men to be elected to legislative office in the United States were ministers, according to Eric Foner, a Columbia University history professor known for his expertise in the Reconstruction era.

During segregation, churches became places where black men and women found leadership opportunities denied to them by white society.
clearinghouses  Charleston_shootings  African-Americans  churches  Civil_War  KKK  institutions  social_institutions  history  violence  Reconstruction  segregation  leadership  leadership_development  W.E.B._Du_Bois  19th_century 
june 2015 by jerryking
Africa? Why there’s no such place
November 1, 2013 | FT.com | By Simon Kuper.

In 1969, it still just about made sense to talk of “Africa”. True, the continent was impossibly diverse, but most African countries above the white-run southern tip shared some basic experiences: recently decolonised, largely agrarian, poor and heading for dictatorship. For that generation, the fall of colonialism provided a real continent-wide bond. However, since about 2000 the experiences of African countries have diverged so starkly that it makes almost no sense to speak of “Africa” any more.
The very idea of “Africa” came from outside Africa, starting with Herodotus. The most influential African pan-Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah, was inspired by black American and Caribbean thinkers such as W E B Du Bois and Marcus Garvey.
“Africa” stuck as a tag, because the continent rarely gets enough global attention to be discussed in more subtle terms. Typically the whole continent is labelled with a single phrase, supplied by Anglophone outsiders: Harold MacMillan’s “wind of change” in 1960, Bob Geldof’s “Do they know it’s Christmas?” in 1984, and The Economist’s “Hopeless Continent” in 2000. The global ruling class increasingly derives its conversation from The Economist and, in December 2011, the magazine’s cover proclaimed: “Africa Rising”.
… Dambisa Moyo, the Zambian economist, told me: “Francophone Africa versus Anglophone Africa versus Lusophone Africa – these are very different places.” Moyo says she uses the phrase “Africa” less and less: “I’ve moved away from that. I think it’s folly to put these countries in the same basket.” Nigeria’s economy, she notes, resembles other big oil exporters like Mexico and Indonesia more than it does Ghana or Zambia.
Indeed, African countries have been going off in different directions since about 2000, says Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, political scientist of Africa at Oxford university. Despite certain shared drivers – Chinese investment, cheap mobile phones, the end of the cold war – these countries have diverged sharply. Africa now has fast-growing democracies like Ghana and Botswana; repressive mini-Chinas like Rwanda and Ethiopia; corrupt oil states like Angola and Gabon; failed states like Chad and Somalia; and north Africa post-Arab spring. Not much connects these experiences. . . One-liners about “Africa” shroud this diverse reality. Morten Jerven, economist at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, told a recent Oxford Analytica conference that instead of asking, “Is Africa rising?” we should be asking things like, “Is Lusaka rising?” Some capital cities are booming, but anybody who goes around saying “Africa is rising” should be forced to read Michael Deibert’s new book, The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair.
True, the word “Africa” still expresses an emotional reality. Since the 1940s, many Africans have come to feel African. It’s one of the identities they have, beside a local and national and perhaps global identity. “African” can be a positive identity. Often, though, it is simply used to mean a victim, a member of the lowest economic category. If that’s the identity, then nobody wants to be African…ditch weak-minded generalisations such as constantly using a single Ethiopian shoe company, SoleRebels, to stand for Africa’s supposed manufacturing rise…. Some geopolitical phrases obscure reality rather than reveal it. Like “the Islamic world” or “the international community”, “Africa” doesn’t exist.
Africa  China  China_rising  Dambisa_Moyo  fallacies_follies  generalizations  Kwame_Nkrumah  Marcus_Garvey  national_identity  Simon_Kuper  W.E.B._Du_Bois 
november 2013 by jerryking

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