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Posts Tagged ‘Black Professors’

Why Are Most Universities Missing Black Professors?

February 6, 2011 1 comment

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

During a four-year college career, most students take roughly 40 courses. Personally, I went to graduate school for another 7 years after college, taking an additional 40 – 50 more classes. During my entire undergraduate, masters and doctoral experience, I never had one single African American professor.
This experience made the educational process incredibly uncomfortable for me. I never experienced the privilege of my white classmates, who had teachers they could relate to, work with and connect with on a meaningful level. I did meet one African American professor (I never took his class) named Dr. Tommy Whittler. He is the sole reason I became a professor today because he was the first faculty member who’d ever taken time to mentor me as a human being.

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Julianne Malveaux: A Tragedy and My Apology

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

JMHeadshotBEH

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President – Bennett College

 

My cellphone pinged on Saturday to say I had a message. I was in the middle of lunch and chose to ignore it. When I picked it up a couple of hours later, I felt the same sickness that millions did, learning that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was shot in an assassination attempt. Television news bubbled over with the news, with fact, spin, and interpretation. Would all 435 members of Congress need ramped up security? Was hate speech the basis of this shooting? I even saw Neil Boortz, the peripatetic Atlanta lawyer and talk show host suggest that President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama had been guilty of some of the same hate speech that the right has been accused of. Please.

The talk about hate speech, however, is important and I’m going to own my part of it, and apologize. A bazillion years ago (actually in 1992) I made a wisecrack about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Anyone who knows me would see it as a wisecrack, but those who don’t saw it as hate speech. Here’s the background. Thomas said he would live to be 120 to stay on the court to frustrate liberals. I replied that the average black man had a life expectancy of about 65, and that if his wife fed him lots of butter and eggs (if her recent call to Anita Hill is any indication she isn’t cooking much these days), ingredients for high cholesterol and heart trouble, he’d die an early death. Conservatives called it a death wish. Death by breakfast, I responded, still in jest. As if someone were standing over Thomas with an Uzi forcing him to eat that butter and eggs. The wisecrack has to be taken even less seriously if Justice Thomas’ purported commitment to physical fitness and working out is taken into consideration.

 

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Republicans Cut References to Slavery Out of the Constitution: How Quaint

January 9, 2011 Leave a comment

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

With the new Republican-led Congress comes the excited arrival of Birthers, Tea Partiers and other strange characters who are seeking to undermine the political stability of our great nation. The week ended with the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, with the sheriff of the town implying that racial animosity and divisive rhetoric of the Right Wing played a role in creating the atmosphere where a political leader was shot in the face and a little girl was killed.
The language of the Tea Party has consisted mostly of thinly-veiled animosity thrust toward the black man in the Oval Office who doesn’t seem to know his place. The idea of "taking back America" and "returning America to its roots," can be translated to saying that America isn’t a country that’s supposed to be run by that " hoity-toity, high fallutin, black guy with the Muslim name."
So, what better way to celebrate new-found Republican power than to read the United States Constitution out loud in the chambers of Congress? Sure, we might bore the heck out of a few lawmakers and waste a day that could be spent doing something productive, but why aim for substance when symbolism is a far better marketing tool?

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YBW Gives Obama a grade for the Year 2009

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

The other night on the Oprah Winfrey Christmas special, President Barack Obama made an unwise move. When asked what grade he deserves as president, Obama gave himself a B+. Giving himself a grade was not necessarily the best decision, since there are over 300 million Americans who then realized that they should be giving him grades as well.
So, allow me to be the first to provide our president with a grade for his performance. I’ve been giving grades to college students for the last 16 years, and one thing my students will tell you is that I am fair. My other argument is that I never actually GIVE you a grade; I simply report the grade that you’ve earned.
1) Handling of the Economy (B-): President Obama is better than John McCain ever could have been when it comes to managing our economic downturn. The problem is that while the president has spiraled our deficit out of control, our nation has yet to see any concrete evidence that the economy’s fundamental strength has returned. He has made an enemy out of Wall Street by grandstanding around executive pay issues, but he has lost the backing of Main Street because job losses continue to mount. That’s the problem with always reaching across the isle: Sometimes, you don’t have firm support on either side of it. The president’s inability to translate massive spending into real jobs is going to cost him big time.
2) Management of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (B): On one hand, the president must face the stern reality that you can’t just walk out of a war in the middle of it. We all know that Bush got us into these messes, and Obama must get us out. At the same time, Obama pledged to get us out of the wars faster than he is actually doing it, and it is incredibly awkward for a man to accept a Nobel Peace Prize while simultaneously escalating the troop presence in an occupied country. Sure Obama didn’t give himself the Nobel Prize, but he still must be held accountable.

 

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Dr. Julianne Malveaux speaks on Dr. Niara Sudarkasa

October 28, 2009 2 comments

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President: Bennett College

Dr. Niara Sudarkasa, the first woman President of Lincoln University, has a name that reflects her reality. Niara means woman of high purpose, and that she is, indeed. After leaving Lincoln University in 1998, she traveled and consulted, and has recently been scholar-in-residence at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Last week, she donated her papers and personal library, including more than 3800 books, 4100 issues of journals and periodicals, plaques and other collectibles, including the outfit she wore when she was enstooled as a chief in the Ife Kingdom of Nigeria. This is a sister and scholar whose name ought to be spoken frequently among African American people, especially those who have concerns about the African American family, and those who have interests in things African. We are more likely to know entertainers, however, than we are to know scholars. This is a scholar certainly worth knowing.

I had the honor of traveling to Fort Lauderdale to help salute Dr. Sudarkasa on the occasion of her very generous gift (valued at more than $270,000) to the library. In thinking about Niara’s life and career, I was especially focused on the work she has done as an Africanist and anthropologist, long before it was fashionable for African American people to look at our African roots. Indeed, Niara learned Yoruba as part of her doctoral work and studies the work that women did in African society for her dissertation. Her early work lays the foundation for contemporary work on linkages between Africa and the United States.

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President Obama Wins the Nobel Prize: Black Scholars Speak Up

October 12, 2009 1 comment

Marvin Lynn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction
Faculty Affiliate, African American Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

 

I think he deserves the award because, as they said, he has established a different tone in the world. Two years ago, America was despised around the world. This is not the case today. Of course people still have criticisms of our policies etc but our global neighbors hated Bush so much that it was making global travel a frightening experience for Americans. There has been a shift in how people see us. That is directly tied to President Obama’s diplomatic stance on a variety of issues.

 

 

 

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon

Political Science Professor at Howard University

Host of “On with Leon” – Sirius/XM Satellite

 

This is an incredible personal accomplishment for the Obama’s, a wonderful international recognition of the shift in American foreign policy, and a compliment to the intelligence of the American electorate The Nobel committee is acknowledging the positive shift away from the unilateral exclusionary foreign policy of the Bush 43′ administration to the multilateral inclusionary foreign policy direction of the Obama administration. The illegal invasions of sovereign nations, torture, and the ignoring of ecological issues of the Bush 43′ administration only brought instability and insecurity for America and the rest of the world. President Obama offers hope through honest diplomacy and open dialog. This is the true path towards peace and security for all.

Dr Boyce Money: Big Money and Big Power at the G20 Summit

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

A whole bunch of G-20 racket, but is anybody listening?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

From MSNBC’s TheGrio.com

Uncle Ben from Spiderman made the most prophetic statement of the entire film series in his dying days (I almost cried, but don’t tell anybody): “With great power comes great responsibility.” Most of us understood what Uncle Ben was trying to say, and that includes Barack Obama.

Uncle Ben should have been the keynote speaker at the latest G-20 Summit, taking place this week in Pittsburgh,PA. The G-20 Summit is a gathering of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the world’s 19 wealthiest countries, plus the European Union. These countries encompass 85 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, so they would probably meet Uncle Ben’s qualification for “great power,” at least when it comes to money.

The G-20 Summit’s primary objective is to achieve broad cooperation on the preservation of international financial stability. The motivations of the group, created in 1999, are seemingly noble and make perfect sense in light of the fact that the global economy has reached an unprecedented level of integration. If large nations do not work together, the world’s financial system will be subject to alarming amounts of volatility.

Not everyone can see the vision behind G-20 ambitions. Usually, the gatherings of the G-20 are as out of control as a frat party, as protesters have made a game out of disrupting the meetings as much as they possibly can. To prepare for this year’s economic fiesta, the city of Pittsburgh has brought in 4,000 police, 2,000 National Guard troops and 11 Coast Guard vessels.

Police, in an overwhelming show of force, declared Thursday’s march illegal almost as soon as it began, firing rubber bullets and canisters of pepper spray and smoke after small bands of anarchists responded to calls to disperse by rolling huge metal trash bins, throwing rocks and breaking windows. As of Friday morning, reports said nearly 70 people had been arrested and police were bracing for scattered protests around downtown.

President Obama, being the conflicted capitalist/black man/ex-community organizer that he is, made some telling comments about the demonstrators.

Click to read more on MSNBC’s TheGrio.com.