During the Caribbean Studies Association 2016 conference I met a number of brilliant young Haitian-Americans, including a 20-something Cornell PhD candidate whose project focuses on Black feminist political theory in contemporary novels by Caribbean authors. Her mother emigrated from Haiti before she was born and left the country permanently in the early aughts. I had to admit to her my ignorance of the precise details of Haitian history that motivated her mom to leave Haiti.
All posts in category Black Resistance Reading List
“I got Indian in my family” is a phrase not foreign to Black folks, especially Southerners. It quickly rolls off the tongue as an explanation for phenotypic attributes such as keen noses, high cheekbones or “good hair.” Often dismissed as cliché, the notion is brushed off as foolish banter, but once upon a time Native American and Black communities did merge. With everyone so quick to claim “Indian blood” has anyone really questioned why and how this historic alliance came to be and why it dissolved?
William Loren Katz, a former public school teacher, wrote Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage to turn one dimensional accounts on their heads, shine a light of shame on American “heroes”and fill in where the blatant omission of textbooks fail us. While it is an insightful read targeted at middle and high schoolers, don’t be ashamed to walk into the young adult literature section of your local bookstore or library and pick it up. This factual work is a great resource for adults who have been deprived of this history, too!
Posted by Progressive Pupil on November 9, 2013
Is my black beautiful? This is the question that plagues Black people across the globe, young and old. Although J. Cole recently asserted that his success is attributed to his complexion, I disagree with this statement when studying the way the African American male is perceived and valued as successful within not only rap culture, but also in mainstream media as a whole. There have been a plethora of artist, in particularly in the hip-hop community, that have failed the, “paper bag test”, and have still been able to obtain success .Diddy, the Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Tupac, Outkast, and so on and so forth. Often times for African American males their dark skin helps to personify their image as thuggish and dangerous and acts as an affirmation that they are stronger and more powerful than the average man (an assumption that is not reserved solely for Black men) while their fairer counterparts often perceived as being “soft” or emotional.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 19, 2013
Thanks to artists like Lady Gaga, Diplo, and Daft Punk Electronic Dance Music (EDM), has become the dominant force in pop music today. When we remember electronic artists of the past thoughts of Fatboy Slim and Moby’s bald head may come to mind but long before it became the soundtrack to European debauchery and car commercials EDM was once the life force that kept minority clubs across America’s innercity’s bumping. If you believe that Skrillex as as soulful as dance music gets here are five names that you need to know.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on October 8, 2013
To an earlier generation, Angela Davis, born today in 1944, is largely remembered as the woman at the center of one of the mid-20th century’s most notorious court cases, an experience which led the President at the time Richard Nixon to refer to her as a “dangerous terrorist.” She was also a lightening-rod for controversy during her days as a professor in California and even ran for president (twice) on the Communist Party ticket.
However, she describes her interaction with members of a later generation in a different way:
…it is both humiliating and humbling to discover that a single generation after the events that constructed me as a public personality, I am remembered as a hairdo.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on January 26, 2013
Beloved Japanese-American Black Panther Party member Richard Aoki was recently accused of being a FBI informant by investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld in his new book, Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power. Aoki passed away in 2009 and is therefore unable to defend himself against these accusations. However, a number of activists and scholars, including Professor Diane Fujino, Aoki’s biographer, question whether Rosenfeld presents conclusive or even sufficient evidence to support his claims.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on August 27, 2012
Black and Cuba features photographs taken at Zucotti Park during the Sankofa Day march last fall organized by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Last weekend, we dropped in on the Spring Awakening NYC General Assembly in Central Park to share information about the May 17th screening of Black and Cuba at Cinema Village. There was an interesting medley of activists working on HIV prevention in the African American community, transforming US policy towards Latin America and a group conducting a teach-in about “The Roots of Racial Prejudice”. The teach-in was based on a public class offered Mondays at Freedom Hall (113 W. 128th Street between Malcolm X Blvd and 7th Avenue) in Harlem called “Overcoming Racism: A Radical Approach”. Texts include “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander and one of my personal favorites “Black Reconstruction in America” by W.E.B. DuBois.
by Robin Hayes
Posted by Progressive Pupil on April 23, 2012