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jerryking : black_studies   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
Roy Bryce-Laporte, Who Led Black Studies Program at Yale, Dies at 78 - NYTimes.com
August 8, 2012 | NYT | By DOUGLAS MARTIN.

Professor Bryce-Laporte taught a core course in the new program, “The Black Experience: Its Changes and Continuities,” which spanned the history of New World blacks from pre-slavery recruitment in Africa to 20th-century slums. He emphasized that black studies must address hot-button topics like racial stereotyping while retaining academic rigor.

“Black studies is the way by which respect is to be given to blacks and to knowledge about blacks,” he said in an article in The New York Times in 1969.

In an interview on Tuesday, the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who has written influentially on the black experience, said that as a Yale freshman he was inspired by Professor Bryce-Laporte to become a professor himself. “A different model was available to me,” he said.

Professor Gates said Professor Bryce-Laporte had urged students to involve themselves in activities like writing for the college newspaper and joining secret societies as steps to acquiring influence in the larger society. He said Professor Bryce-Laporte told students, “You’ve been chosen, you’ve been blessed.”...In 1986, when the centennial of the Statue of Liberty was being celebrated, Professor Bryce-Laporte curated an exhibit at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Manhattan that focused on black immigration. He collected old photographs, diaries and certificates of nationality given to laborers. “If there is a forgotten or overlooked fact of black history, it is migration,” he said in an interview with The Times.
academic_rigor  African-Americans  black_studies  Colleges_&_Universities  migrants  obituaries  Yale 
august 2012 by jerryking
What Should African-American Studies Students Learn?
October 1, 2009 | The New Republic | by John McWhorter.

This piece is simply a call for a true African-American Studies paradigm: a study of black people entire, with ample room for views from all sides. Black conservatives should be read alongside Du Bois and Baldwin, with no clucking and hedging. Any hovering consensus that leftist positions are “truth” should be a mark of failure.

Here is what I would hope to see in the wake of what I write.

Since I started writing and speaking on race in 2000, it has been typical that when I am invited to speak at a university by an African-American Studies department, often I am expected to yield some time to someone assigned to give a riposte--i.e. speak up for the usual leftist line. That is, the inviters pride themselves on being open-minded enough to hear me out, but consider it the duty of good-thinking folk to provide, shall we say, “balance.”

But then, when “proper”-thinking black writers are invited to speak, there is no sense that their talk is incomplete without a “conservative” person spending fifteen minutes having their say.

African-American Studies departments typically see themselves as doing their jobs in harboring a “controversial” speaker, partly out of a wan gesture towards true intellectual engagement, but equally as much because they know that person will, because of shock value, fill seats.

However, they are not engaged in true exploration, in the intellectual sense, until they can process the “controversial” speaker as simply, and only, a speaker, with one view among many. And, if articulate enough to merit invitation, worthy of engagement without some “right-minded” black faculty member dragged in as a “corrective.”

In an African-American Studies department of the kind I suggest, speakers and teachers of all walks would be permitted--note: not just conservative ones--and students would be able to come to their own conclusions. That is, be educated in the true sense.
African-Americans  John_McWhorter  Colleges_&_Universities  intellectual_diversity  intellectual_exploration  academia  victimhood  students  syllabus  curriculum  black_studies 
october 2009 by jerryking
globeandmail.com: Black is not only beautiful, it's brilliant and heroic
February 14, 2009 G&M book review by JOHN HAREWOOD of A
BLACK STUDIES PRIMER
Heroes and Heroines of the African Diaspora By Keith A. P. Sandiford .
Asks the questions, Why is black history necessary? What topics should
be studied? Who will teach?

Summary
An essential text for students and scholars of black history. Features over 1,000 biographies of historical and contemporary black figures that have made a significant contribution to the development of modern civilisation. It is a celebration of the impact made by black people in areas including politics, engineering, agriculture, entertainment, literature, medicine, sport, philosophy and more. This easy reference encyclopedia has been compiled to fill the gaps in black studies in the school curricula, and will inspire students and teachers alike.
African-Americans  slavery  heroes  heroines  book_reviews  books  curriculum  Diaspora  Africa  primers  blackness  black_pride  black_studies  Black_Is_Beautiful  Negritude  self-identification  history  scholars 
february 2009 by jerryking

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