We conclude the first of three “transitions” this week as we move from the Black Freedom Struggle to the farmworker and Chicano/Latino movements. This doesn’t mean we leave our discussion of African American movements behind. One of the fundamental arguments of our class is that there is a profound interrelatedness of the movements we study and a meaningful understanding can occur when we examine them in concert with one another.
To begin to suggest that interrelatedness, we’ll be reading and writing about one topic this week while also learning about another. On TUESDAY we’ll read selected chapters from the book Black Against Empire, provided to you as DCR 08. As I mentioned in class, this is a groundbreaking book that is the first comprehensive history of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers are an important organization for our class, inspiring countless other radical movements in the era. We’ll discuss the reading in our regular collective discussion. As usual, write your “prep sheet” in anticipation of being selected to participate in the seminar.
We’ll follow-up our in-class discussion with an interactive lecture on “black power.”
On THURSDAY we will watch part of a documentary on the Black Panther Party. You are also expected to read a few chapters from a book on organizer Fred Ross. Ross was a formidable figure in 20th century Mexican American history. You’ll get a slice of that in the reading, which is provided to you as DCR 09.
Now also might be a good time to start thinking about our semester project, “Teaching the Freedom Struggle.” The first part of our project will be due on Thursday, March 2nd. A detailed assignment sheet for the entire project can be downloaded from our Assignments page, along with other resources to guide your thinking. The key at this stage is about framing an usable questions and identifying both “primary” and “secondary” sources to use in answering it. Finding primary sources takes time, so please start now.