September/October 2016: African American Mentions, News, and Articles of Interest



Jean Genet knew how to speak his heart without pity or condescension. Now, we have learned how not to mistake solidarity feelings for feelings of pity among the representatives of the ruling culture. Genet, he already knew how to distinguish them. In his Yale speech, on the Mayday Speech day, he even goes so far as to advocate the development of a “tactfulness of the heart” when dealing with Black folks. He also says that Blacks had silently been observing Whites for centuries and had learned a lot about them and their cultural background. And Whites did not even realize they were being observed. What we develop nowadays in our lectures means the same: White folks have got to go to Black school; they have to learn something from them. From Black folks but also Indians, Chicanos and the whole multicultural U.S. population. – Angela Davis, speech at the Odeon Seminar in Paris (May 1991)


  1. ‘‘Why Wait Years to Become Something?’’ Low-income African American Youth and the Costly Career Search in For-profit Trade Schools: Dr. DeLuca noted that “some of these students might have been better suited for a two-year community college, which is a lot less expensive, or some could have gone straight into a four-year program. This is about how young people in some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods are trying to navigate the transition to a career with very little information.” Link:
  2. Department of Education, DeVry University Reach Settlement – On Thursday, DeVry agreed through a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to stop making that oft-repeated claim because the school didn’t have the evidence to back it up. “What DeVry has done here is as serious as anything Corinthian and ITT Tech did,” said Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, speaking in reference to two recently shuttered for-profit colleges. “It’s just that DeVry hasn’t run out of cash yet. Link to article:
  3. Which profession can be off limits to a person with a felony?  Laws that impose restrictions on professional licenses for former inmates are common and vary from state to state. Some statutes are tied to a certain offense (for example, someone who was convicted of rape or sexual assault may be ineligible for licenses in professions that would place them in intimate contact with another person, such as massage therapy and health care). Others are less tailored to the crime. In some states, anyone with a felony conviction of any kind can be denied a license in cosmetology. In many cases, these laws are discretionary, meaning the commissioner who issues the professional licenses can make exceptions. Link:
  4. Book Recommendations: Devils Walking: Klan Murders along the Mississippi in the 1960s by Stanley Nelson – Stanley Nelson details his investigation―alongside renewed FBI attention―into these cold cases, as he uncovers the names of the Klan’s key members as well as systemized corruption and coordinated deception by those charged with protecting all citizens.
  5. –  Black Girl Tragic is an online space to tell stories of girls and women of color who have had their lives cut short by violence, whether inflicted on self or by others. We aim simply to tell stories. We do not witchhunt. Nor do we take up causes, other than to illuminate the plight of black women.
  6. Enslaved Women, Violence, And The Archive: An Interview With Marisa Fuentes: Does gender in eighteenth-century slave societies mean the same thing for enslaved and white women?  If female/feminized gender in this context means domesticity, motherhood, protection—even if these things weren’t applicable to all white women—do enslaved women fit into this schematic? Link:
  7. Book Recommendation: Scandalize My Name: Black Feminist Practice and the Making of Black Social Life by Terrion L. Williamson – From sapphire, mammy, and jezebel, to the angry black woman, baby mama, and nappy-headed ho, black female iconography has had a long and tortured history in public culture. The telling of this history has long occupied the work of black female theorists–much of which has been foundational in situating black women within the matrix of sociopolitical thought and practice in the United States.
  8. Remedial Education Is a “Black Hole From Which Many African Americans Won’t Emerge” – The report concludes by saying that “unfortunately, too many students head to college underprepared for the rigor of college coursework. Once in college, students can ill afford the additional time and resources demanded by the remedial courses required to complete their degrees, and as a result, too many of the most vulnerable students drop out.  Link to report:
  9. Scholar reflects on Black Lives Matter movement – I view it as a human rights movement. In my opinion, the movement is seeking recognition of the challenges that black Americans face in the areas of environmental injustice, food insecurity, mass incarceration and gender justice, to name a few that are affecting black Americans. – Link to article:
  10. Two Black Historians take on “The Birth of a Nation” movie directed by Nate Parker – The Birth of a Nation is not an excerptable, classroom-ready movie. A screening of Parker’s film is not the place to learn about antebellum Southampton County or the lives of the enslaved and free African Americans who lived and labored there. It is also not the place to learn about the slave rebellion produced by this community in late August 1831. Parker’s film bears only a fleeting resemblance to the well-documented historical event that shocked the Old Dominion.  Link to article:; Nearly everything in the movie—ranging from Turner’s relationship with his family, to his life as a slave, and even the rebellion itself—is a complete fabrication. Certainly the film contains sprinklings of historical fact, but the bulk of Parker’s story about the rebellion is fictitious: Nat Turner did not murder his owner, nor did he kill a slave patroller. Turner’s rebellion was not betrayed by a young boy, or by anyone else involved in the revolt. Link to article:
  11. Book Recommendation: Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination by Vaughn Rasberry – During World War II and the Cold War, the United States government conscripted African Americans into the fight against Nazism and Stalinism. An array of black writers, however, deflected the appeals of liberalism and its antitotalitarian propaganda in the service of decolonization. Richard Wright, W. E. B. Du Bois, Shirley Graham, C. L. R. James, John A. Williams, and others remained skeptical that totalitarian servitude and democratic liberty stood in stark opposition. Their skepticism allowed them to formulate an independent perspective that reimagined the antifascist, anticommunist narrative through the lens of racial injustice, with the United States as a tyrannical force in the Third World but also as an ironic agent of Asian and African independence.
  12. What it means to be black in the American educational system – Many people still think that racism is no longer a problem in America. After the election of President Obama, academic John McWhorter argued that racism in America is, for all intents and purposes, dead. The prominent conservative scholar and African-American economist Thomas Sowell has argued that “racism isn’t dead, but it is on life support.” Harvard professors William Julius Wilson and Roland Fryer too have argued about the declining significance of race and discrimination. Link to article:
  13. Ava DuVernay’s  film, 13TH explores the history of racial inequality through mass incarceration with African Americas as the disproportionate population filled in the United States prisons.  It’s on Netflix and this is the trailer.  Link to Trailer:
  14. Scholar: Texas Textbook an ‘Intentional Assault’ on Psyche of Mexican American Students – The truth is, I now feel dirty and in need of a “limpia” or a “cleansing.” It is that bad. It is actually not even a textbook, but rather, an anti-Mexican, anti-Mexican-American, anti-Black and an anti-Indigenous ideological screed. Link to article:
  15. Civil Rights Stalwart Jack Greenberg Dies – “At just 27 years old, he helped argue the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case that desegregated our schools,” said Obama. “A decade later, he represented Dr. King in Birmingham Jail. He learned quickly that change would not come overnight ― that it would take many generations, more court cases, and nationwide movements to even begin realizing the dream of civil rights for all Americans. Link to article:
  16. In Memoriam: Gloria Naylor, 1950-2016 – Naylor is best known for her 1982 novel The Women of Brewster Place, for which she won the National Book Award for the best first novel. The book was later adapted into a television miniseries produced by Oprah Winfrey. Link to article:




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