For February 14th: Power’s Social and Cultural Origins/ Guest Speaker

Lehman alum Lamont Badru of Yonkers CGDC

First, a reminder that even though it’s Valentine’s Day, we still have class as usual!

We’ll start class with a talk from Lehman alum Lamont Oyewole Badru of the Yonkers Community Governance and Development Council. He’ll talk about his organization’s work, how they relate to the community, and his experience as an organizer. We then turn to Amos Wilson for the second half of class.

Read chapter 3 (Social and Cultural Origins of Power) in Amos Wilson’s Blueprint for Black Power. As a reminder, you must have the book with you to fully participate in class. Copies of the selected pages are acceptable, but not having the book means you are unprepared for class and will be reflected in your final grade.

Questions to think about as you read:

  • How is power developed and transmitted socially and culturally?
  • How does Wilson argue that these methods can be used by the Black community?
  • What is the importance of consciousness to power?
  • What institutions does Wilson highlight as transmitters of power?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses Wilson presents about the church as an institution?
  • What is the role of the Nation of Islam in his view?
  • What is his prescription?

Finally, send me an e-mail with the following info if you haven’t done so:

  • A short list of community issues you might want to work on/ be involved in (about 2-3)
  • What geographical areas you can travel to. Be realistic here: there are neighborhoods you might want to be involved in, but are difficult to get to and you’ll end up not doing consistent work. Choose something you can stick to.
  • Begin to do some mapping and research of your own on a community organization that might be a good fit.
  • If you have some ideas in mind, send them to me along with a short description of the type of work the org does.

Lastly an announcement. CUNY’s Cultural Corps is an opportunity to get a paid internship with a museum, arts, or other cultural org in NYC and learn about arts administration, grants, marketing/publicity, and more. There’s an info session on Thursday.

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