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Re: The End of the Black American Narrative

But back to my point,the "Black Studies "courses in the 60's did not teach these facts but sought out and tayght material while perhaps true had really very little relevance to our experience in America.And that is something we as a community,society need to address and demand answers why and critize those Blacks,African Americans,whoever led us astray and down a useless path.Which brings us to a fundamental issue i believe exists in our community one which i believe is a strong impediment to our progree;and unwillingness to critically assess positions put forward by other Blacks and a willingness to accept destrutive message put forth by other Blacks without protesting.The destructiveness of "gangsta rap" for example.We need to be able to rationally discuss the pros and cons; but to often any such discussion,debate winds up in name calling.I only use that as an illustration there are many more issues that end up the same way.
Mr. Mann,
If I may respond to the above statement, as far as the depth of content of Black Studies Programs of the past, I would argue that it depended on the program. Let's remember, that the programs were in their infancy and much scholarship and research had to be mined in order to establish appropriate coursework. That said, San Francisco State's renowned Black Studies program, where Black Studies was born, led by Dr. Raye Richardson and other esteemed scholars in the 70s, provided/s a worthy curriculum.

In additon to have benefited from Dr. Richardson's tutelage and wisdom, I have had the pleasure of working in the community college system with two other outstanding women who held Black Studies in high esteem and expected, no demanded their students respect, dissect and be able to defend their Black Studies education. Dr. Cecelia Arrington, was a history teacher at Castlemont High School in Oakland, California when the emerging Black Panther party members, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, heard of her teachings; campaigned and fought an all-white administration in the late 60s, early 70s, to hire Dr. Arrington. She was a phenomenal teacher and when she retired a few years ago, Dr. Siri Brown, took up the mantle. Her energy is boundless and her scholarship is undeniable and she has shared her knowledge and talents with thousands of students. She and other Black Studies in our district are striving to uphold the integrity and viability of Black Studies in these trying times of cutbacks and pared down budgets.

The community college system often gets students who are on the edge of society; returning students over age 30 and those who have been in the criminal justice system. To see these students leave there with a sense of pride and purpose after gaining knowledge of their past in order to pursue their futures, is what we in the community college strive for.

As far as gangsta rap and the sort, I put it in perspective. It is a form of art, whether we agree or not, whether we like it or not. More to the point of different, or other kinds of "our stories", street life and prison life is a part of our existence. Those voices, those stories are being told as well as we go back to Donald Goins or Iceberg, or even Claude Brown (Manchild in a Promised Land)and have a place in our narrative. I have always in my discussions and coomentaries in the venues where I have contributed, have maintain that we strive for balance in our stories; the good, the bad and the ugly. It is up to each and every one of us to tell/write the stories we want to hear and read about.

I didn't mean to go on so long but I wanted to express my thoughts. I'm lovin' this dialogue and would love to see more of it on this forum. Thanks for your input.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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