Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience

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Manning Marable
Columbia University Press, 2000 - Education - 333 pages
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What constitutes black studies and where does this discipline stand at the end of the twentieth century? In this wide-ranging and original volume, Manning Marable -- one of the leading scholars of African American history -- gathers key materials from contemporary thinkers who interrogate the richly diverse content and multiple meanings of the collective experiences of black folk.

Here are numerous voices expressing very different political, cultural, and historical views, from black conservatives, to black separatists, to blacks who advocate radical democratic transformation. Here are topics ranging from race and revolution in Cuba, to the crack epidemic in Harlem, to Afrocentrism and its critics. All of these voices, however, are engaged in some aspect of what Marable sees as the essential triad of the black intellectual tradition: describing the reality of black life and experiences, critiquing racism and stereotypes, or proposing positive steps for the empowerment of black people.

Highlights from Dispatches from the Ebony Tower:

Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Manning Marable debate the role of activism in black studies.

John Hope Franklin reflects on his role as chair of the President's race initiative.

Cornel West discusses topics that range from the future of the NAACP through the controversies surrounding Louis Farrakhan and black nationalism to the very question of what "race" means.

Amiri Baraka lays out strategies for a radical new curriculum in our schools and universities.

Marable's introduction provides a thorough overview of the history and current state of black studies in America.

  

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Contents

Black Studies and the Racial Mountain
1
Race in the Postcolonial
29
The Dimensions
52
Prostitution and Race
75
African American Perspectives
90
Harlem and Its Discontents at
108
Crack Cocaine and Harlems Health
121
Political Communities and
153
Afrocentricity Race and Reason
195
The Dialectics of Identity
210
Afrocentrism Cultural Nationalism and the Problem
216
Afrocentricity and the American Dream
224
Multinational Multicultural America Versus White Supremacy
236
The Problematics of Ethnic Studies
243
Cornel West
265
A Conversation with
280

A Critical Reassessment
162
Black Studies Revisited
171
The Continuing Role
177
A Debate on Activism in Black Studies
186
Contributors
301
About the Editor
309
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Manning Marable is professor of history and political science and director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of W.E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Democrat; Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance, and Radicalism; Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945--1990, and Black Leadership (Columbia, 1998).

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