Book Talk: We Are an African People, with Russell Rickford
By: Education Program Gottesman Libraries
Published: 10/01/2016
Uploaded: 12/16/2016
Uploaded by: Education Program Gottesman Libraries
Pockets: Book Talks, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Gottesman Libraries' Education Program
Tags: African culture, Black Lives Matter, Black power, history of education, Rickford, Urban Education

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Description/Abstract: Book Talk: We Are an African People, with Russell Rickford, Monday, 10/17, 4-5:30pm


Please join us on Monday, October 17th, as Dr. Russell Rickford of Cornell University speaks on his latest book, We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2016).

"During the height of the Black Power movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, dozens of Pan African nationalist private schools, from preschools to post-secondary ventures, appeared in urban settings across the United States. The small, independent enterprises were often accused of teaching hate and were routinely harassed by authorities. Yet these institutions served as critical mechanisms for transmitting black consciousness. Founded by activist-intellectuals and other radicalized veterans of the civil rights movement, the schools strove not simply to bolster the academic skills and self-esteem of inner-city African-American youth but also to decolonize minds and foster a vigorous and regenerative sense of African identity.

In We Are An African People, historian Russell Rickford traces the intellectual lives of these autonomous black institutions, established dedicated to pursuing the self-determination that the integrationist civil rights movement had failed to provide. Influenced by Third World theorists and anticolonial campaigns, organizers of the schools saw formal education as a means of creating a vanguard of young activists devoted to the struggle for black political sovereignty throughout the world. Most of the institutions were short-lived, and they offered only modest numbers of children a genuine alternative to substandard, inner-city public schools. Yet their stories reveal much about Pan Africanism as a social and intellectual movement and as a key part of an indigenous black nationalism."
-- Publisher's Description

Russell Rickford is Associate Professor of History at Cornell University where he teaches courses entitled, "African-American Politics and Identity Beyond U.S. Borders" and "African American History From 1865". He is the author of We Are An African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2016), Betty Shabazz: A Remarkable Story of Survival and Faith Before and After Malcolm X (Sourcebooks, 2003), the co-author of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English (John Wiley, 2000), and the editor of Beyond Boundaries: The Manning Marable Reader (Paradigm, 2011).

Dr. Rickford spoke in Ithaca this summer at Black Lives Matter.

This book talk is part of The Educating Harlem Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by the Program in History and Education and Institute for Urban and Minority Education.

Please rsvp and/or e-mail histanded@tc.columbia.edu with your interest by Friday, October 14th.

Where: 306 Russell