Frederick Douglass and Us

Mary Hicks December 8, 2016

Frederick Douglass and Us: Teaching Black Atlantic History in the 21st Century

In a composite nation like ours, as before the law, there should be no rich, no poor, no high, no low, no white, no black, but common country, common citizenship, equal rights and a common destiny.

- Frederick Douglass

Twenty years ago, on the cold and snowy mornings that characterize Iowa winters, my father James Hicks would drive me and my brother to school. In an age before smart phones and tablets, I would silently sit in the back seat imagining what the day would hold and staring aimlessly out the window. My father, on the other hand, loved to start the day off either with NPR blaring or by popping his favorite cassette into the car stereo.

Adventures in the Life of a Storyteller

Ashanté Reese September 27, 2016

Ashanté Reese teaches in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Spelman College. She is guest blogging here in anticipation of her public talk on Wednesday, December 7th at 4:30pm at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (Frost Library, Amherst College), in which she will discuss the relationship between food, gender, and race in Black liberation struggles. The talk is entitled "From Black Panthers to the Movement for Black Lives: Food in the Struggle for Black Liberation." A poster for her talk is at the end of this reflection.

When I decided to become an anthropologist, I realized why it was on the "Stuff White People Like" blog. Most of my friends and family from my largely black, rural, working class background had no idea what anthropology was or what it meant to say you are an anthropologist. (See this interesting interview with Karen Brodkin, a well-known anthropologist, in which she refers to anthropology as "white public space.")

On the National Museum of African American History and Culture

John Drabinski • September 27, 2016

It was a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, but my family and I managed to get tickets to the opening day of the National Museum of African American Culture and History on Saturday, September 24th. The museum is here forever, so the first day is just an especially festive day. And that it was. There were thousands of people gathered out front to witness the opening, in line to go inside according to timed entry, and inside across the five distinct floors of works reflecting on and presenting the African American experience.

Making Sense of Violent Resistance

John Drabinski • September 20, 2016

I’m teaching a course this semester entitled Black Power, Black Panther. The course is pretty much what it sounds like: a course on the Black Power and Black Panther movements. There are plenty of similarities between the movements, and of course plenty of very intensely contested differences. More about those in another post.

We started with two essays outside that frame for the course: Achille Mbembe’s “Necropolitics” and Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence.” From each, I wanted a few basic insights:

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