Sandra L. Barnes, Vanderbilt University
Does America Still Need Black People?
Patricia Hill Collins, University of Maryland, College Park
This analysis references 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, to pose a provocative query about the utility and/or disposability of segments of the African American population. According to the author, New Orleans has long relied upon tourism as part of its urban economy, reflects an area that has both an important growth industry, and has a sizable Black population. Thus, the city provides a useful site for raising questions about the connections between global tourism as a growing industrial sector, the status of urban Black populations, and how different class segments of African Americans are positioned in relation to global shifts. The chapter makes a case for the use of an intersectional framework that engages the intersections of multiple systems of power as analytical versus descriptive devices.
Towards a New Narrative of the Civil Rights Movement
Aldon Morris, Northwestern University
The theoretical essay describes a conceptual strategy as part of the development of a comprehensive explanation of the Black freedom struggle. The author calls into question the master narrative of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) by assessing the empirical reality that “regional protests” actually consisted of overlapping, merging, and intertwined episodes of activism. The analysis suggests that such an approach is essential to shape a new narrative of the CRM. The “South meets North” thesis compares movements across the South, East, North and West historically to develop a comprehensive analysis of the CRM and transcends the limitations of the existing master narrative.
Quince Duncan’s ‘Two Roads’ and ‘Dawn Song’: Race, Identity, and Love in Costa Rica and the Americas”
Emmanuel Harris II, University of North Carolina Wilmington
In the Caribbean, a region renowned for the transgenerational mixing of mostly indigenous, African, and European ancestored peoples, the area’s racial composition has been described as consisting of everything from a completely heterogeneous conglomeration of people, to a highly segregated and racially stratified region not too unlike the United States. This article demonstrates how two short stories in Quince Duncan’s Una canción en la madrugada (Dawn Song) may be used to address topics of racial diversity, multi-cultural acceptance and the many forms of love in Costa Rica and consequently in the Americas as a whole. Though originally published in 1970, the ideals and experiences espoused in the collection constitute a timely perspective on the role, contributions and social realities of people of African descent in the Caribbean. The writings also present an aspect of Hispanic fiction that is not often celebrated and arise from an author, who despite his brilliance, is too often considered non-canonical. Not only do the texts examined in this essay celebrate the diversity of Latin America, particularly Afro-Hispanic cultural and social elements, they offer a profound and apropos message applicable to modern societies grappling with communities inundated with demographic, ideological and ethnic changes. Duncan’s text, juxtaposed in our world of political and transnational conflict, underscores the uncompromising importance of love.
‘I Need Drive and Determination’: A Qualitative Analysis of Inner-City Black Males’ Educational Experiences
Derrick R. Brooms, University of Louisville
Studies on the educational experiences of Black males often focus on their underachievement or quantitative indices such as retention and graduation rates. Although important, they often omit the voices of the very people on which they focus. In response, this endeavor relies on in-depth interviews with fifteen Black males who are recent Chicago Public High School graduates to explore their high school experiences, college plans, and perceptions about their collegiate preparedness. Findings suggest the importance of healthy intra-school teacher and mentor relationships, particularly with Black male instructors, as key in enhancing their academic efforts as well as intentionally creating learning spaces where Black males can interact with other high –motivated young Black males. Moreover, such males must feel agentic as they negotiate academia. Lastly, Black males plan to rely on academic skills and expressive characteristics such as determination to succeed in college. Results may provide best practices and strategies to enhance the high school and collegiate educational experiences of young Black males.
Leadership Responsibilities in Education by Professional Educators
Charles V. Willie, Harvard University
Contemporary educational challenges experienced by Black youth provide the context for this essay and call to educators. The author suggests that successful educational outcomes require systemic and community change that is championed by dedicated leaders who are able to help student thrive in a complex, heterogeneous world. This essay is the first of a series that will be provided by founding members of the Black Caucus/Association of Black Sociologists.
Living and Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home by Sampson Davis
Renee E. Spraggins, University of Maryland-University College
The Wrong Kind of Different: Challenging the Meaning of Diversity in American Classrooms by Antonia Randolph
David G. Embrick, Loyola University-Chicago