We begin our first of three topic 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 relates to the interrelatedness of the movements we discuss and the potential for understanding 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 06. As we mentioned in class, this is a new 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” related to it an in anticipation of being selected to participate in the seminar.
We’ll follow-up our in-class discussion with a lecture on Mexican American history, leading up to the story of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers movement.
On THURSDAY we will continue our discussion of the UFW. If you have time, you are expected to watch the documentary “The Fight in the Fields,” available via Youtube. It’s not a big deal if you watch it after class because you also have your second Critical Evaluation exercise (CE2) due in class. This is a 2-3 page interpretation of the primary source provided to you as DCR 07. The document is a speech by Malcolm X titled “The Ballot or the Bullet.”
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 12th. A detailed assignment sheet for the entire project can be downloaded on our Assignments page, along with other resources to guide your thinking. The key at this stage will be finding and selecting a usable historical primary source that you will teach as part of your project. Finding primary sources takes time, so please start now.