Sunday, January 08, 2012

from black power to black studies...,

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.

Shedding light on the black power movement, Black Studies programs, and American higher education, this historical analysis reveals how radical politics are assimilated into the university system.

Wikipedia | One of the major setbacks with Black Studies/African American Studies Programs or departments is that there is a lack of financial resources available to student and faculty. Many universities and colleges around the country provided Black Studies programs with small budgets and therefore it is difficult for the department to purchase materials and staff. Because the budget allocated to Black Studies is limited some faculty are jointly appointed therefore, which causes faculty to leave their home disciplines to teach a discipline of which they may not familiar. Budgetary issues make it difficult for Black Studies Programs and departments to function, and promote themselves.

Racism perpetrated by many administrators hinders the institutionalization of Black Studies at major university. As with the case of UC Berkeley most of the Black Studies programs across the country were instituted because of the urging and demanding of black students to create the program. In many instances black students also called for the increased enrollment of black students and offer financial assistance to these students. Also seen in the case of UC Berkeley is the constant demand to have such a program, but place the power of control in the hands of black people. The idea was that black studies could not be “realistic” if it was not taught by someone who was not accustomed to the black experience. On many campuses directors of black studies have little to no autonomy—they do not have the power to hire or grant tenure to faculty. On many campuses an overall lack of respect for the discipline has caused instability for the students and for the program.

In the past thirty years there has been a steady decline of black scholars.


chauncey devega said...

I know fabio. he is cool people. you should read the book. you would also like from revolutionaries to race leaders.

your link on the plantation black blogs is one I agree with. surprised? i have had some "interesting" interactions with the editors at those sites. 

CNu said...


lol, should I be?  Ed does yoeman's work and quite a few folk follow his dispensations and agree with them heartily.

Uglyblackjohn said...

We now have to take classes on being Black or what it is to be Black?
Isn't 'life' a better lab for knowing this?
IMOHO - Black Studies is the MOST USELESS DEGREE invented.

CNu said...

IMOHO - Black Studies is the MOST USELESS DEGREE invented.

Why exactly do you say so?

Here's my take on the history and use of black studies. Viewed from the perspective of those who designed and funded these programs, they've served their purpose magnificently as a counter-revolutionary pressure valve. If you think about what the Black Panthers, Karenga, Angela Davis and others were up to - establishment of these programs brought autonomous community organizing and political activism to a virtual standstill by buying off, redirecting, and mainstreaming the energies of folk who might otherwise pose a political hazard to the status quo wherever they operate.

How much more governable are folks "studying" black political organizing and reporting to peers and supervisors for a paycheck, than folks organizing and acting out politically on their own?

nanakwame said...

I am lost to the focus on said folks. Anglea and Kathleen Cleaver have been good in keeping the Prison system abuses alive and in the Press. There is no vital Black Panther Party and it is history, archaic dreams. The studies on Afro-Americana and the History of Africa (UN book store) from its beginning has been worth it for many reasons. The problem was and has been why must folks have 4 year college degrees over skills gained at 14 years of schooling. Who sold that bill of goods, which included cities w/o industrial work, pushed by the Colleges, themselves. The rest is just BS talking points, it doesn't matter what the folks are "studying" to be more governable, it just takes the right" massmen" and the right timing.

chauncey devega said...

And practically do what? They have a narrow clique with their own agenda where certain topics are out of bounds, and to be frank, and this is based on limited interactions, a very condescending attitude towards what their "black readership" finds interesting and/or is capable of following. My plan is to get together with some other folks and start a competing project in the next few years. The audience is there; they just need to be reached out to.

If you want a good show watch the 2011 Black Weblog Awards on vimeo. 

CNu said...

Nana, I'm struggling to understand what you've just now written - please help me out.  My contention is that the Ford Foundation funded Black Studies as a Black Power counter-insurgency. Agreed/Disagreed?

Don't know what a massman or timing is/or purports to be. I know that a host of issues that would've provoked political reaction and action have simply been absorbed into passive mainstream consideration - rather than public political action.

Further, that no measures appear to be in place to gauge the effectiveness of elected officials and the results they've obtained, which results seem pretty paltry from a constituent services perspective.

nanakwame said...

I am glad when Black Folks have this discussion more often and not what Ron Paul or any other can do for us, at this crucial transition we are in. Folks deal with boredom and setbacks differently. Let me go back and read that guy who says no real travel to Mars in the near future. I still hold on to the ability to colonize, as our ants, bees, and human cities. 

nanakwame said...

First of all what is your time frame, and the demand was correct on our part about what was missing from the study of American History,1960's. What the Foundation did means what today, I am not sure. Are you saying that Black Power should have split the nation into a war? It wasn't just the operatives of the State, but the citizens who pushed back on the demands of Black Power/Socialist Agenda. I am not sure where the co-relations between Black Study and Black Power fit so tight, w/o other variables. There been many who were not part of the movement who champed pan-African studies and disliked Karenga, Dr. Henry Clark for one. Your take on cabals is not mine.  I believe Heron, War, Prison and Entering the Donkey Party by the sell-out Rev Jackson, did more on us than The Ford Foundation. I believe in Field Theories, can't be as simple as you place it. 

nanakwame said...

"Further, that no measures appear to be in place to gauge the effectiveness of elected officials and the results they've obtained, which results seem pretty paltry from a constituent services perspective "  Is this a broad brush indictment of all in all status quo's, and folks don't have the consciousness you have? Isn't why many will die and a few will move on???

CNu said...

Thank you for introducing the element of unelected "leadership" and the plantationization of political partisanship. The Rev became quite the profligate multi-millionaire thanks to his leading role in the 2nd/3rd line inheritor movement.

nanakwame said...

They now say that 40% of the electoral  is Independent, we were the second generation to fight for it and we were stab in the back. Now on to ending the 19th C Party System! Yet!  Life has a way of returning to the unresolved problem, which now is in our face, those who are alive and not zombies. There is nothing new my friend being said by anyone in politics today. Politics reacts and carries old memes; creativity resolves and shapes beauty. Why I get on  you so hard, stay with the present future and build towards it. Fuck the Negress and Rednecks.  You censored me but I don't mind. For the core battle for the coming human will still be a balance between self-happiness and group discipline.  We Americans lead the way for over 160 years, even with the stupid decisions.  Very few move towards real enlightenment and it's by our faith and healthy rituals.

There is more faith in an
honest doubt,

Believe me, than in half the


Gee Chee Vision said...

I think I get CNU's point.

Thinking about Bunchy Carter's murder, the Panthers & Karenga and them  were approached by the black students to help build a black studies program. I wonder if this is the point the Panthers 1st began to consider this as an option.

 I can see how starting such a program appeared as some kind of immediate progress "changing things from the inside" when in actuality it was becoming exactly what Malcolm criticized about the march on Washington.

CNu said...

my man...,

nanakwame said...

And Marcus Garvey paper wrote in three different languages, and ask a young black over 25 about studying a different language. As Jimmy Castor says we are the only ethnic group to give up our classic art and artist. That is my point and Carter died - 1/17/1969 and Fred Hampton 12/4/1969, and I don't need see too many of the so-called Black blogs commemorate.  Do You? I have all the Jet Mag articles for a digital book, sure don't here Ron Paul note it when it comes to the fight for liberty.

JET Magazine

March 21, 1983 p. 5 NATIONAL REPORT

Panther Plaintiffs Get  $1.85 Million Settlement

Fred Hampton the biggest personal settlement in history, Doc

CNu said...

I don't need see too many of the so-called Black blogs commemorate.

including your own of course..., but to whatever I can reconstruct from your endless self-justifying ramble above - perhaps if the 2nd/3rd line inheritors had maintained, shown some administrative, organizing, and political courage over the long haul, instead of being bought off so easily and inexpensively, perhaps then there would be a more vibrant, healthy, and thriving COMMUNITY?

If there was such a hypothetical COMMUNITY, then the elders would get their props as a  matter of course. Absent such a COMMUNITY - the elders are reduced to an irrelevant and largely forgotten piece of living-memory history, a mere footnote in some or another foundation subsidized black studies program....,

nanakwame said...

You are not telling truth Doc. For example: On the 100th Anniversary of Langston Hughes show me who spoke of the man? It was on my blog. No one is disagreeing about  "assimilation, co-option, and demise" even of the Socialist or Libertarian  movements. I have raised Hampton time and time again even on Shay's.  Here is another that I placed there
Martin Waldseemüller’s world map showing the 1st use of the name “America”1507.You make a lot of generalization, for there are Charter schools under "Black Consciousness" that are doing well after 30 years and better. The benefits of studying pan-African history has helped even Euros. I don't know what Black Studies means, then or now. You got a personal bone, sad to say. I guess we all got our own recursions. 

CNu said...

No one is disagreeing about  "assimilation, co-option, and demise" even of the Socialist or Libertarian  movements.

lol, then why your gums still whoopin?

You got a personal bone, sad to say. I guess we all got our own recursions.

I often throw rocks into packs of dogs just to see which one will yelp the loudest because it got hit.