February 27: Chapter 31 The Black Crisis of Leadership/ Guest Speaker

Our visit last week by Lamont Badru of the Yonkers Community Governance and Development Council was postponed, so we’ll start class with his talk for the first 75-90 minutes. We’ll spend the last hour on Amos Wilson.

Read Chapter 31, “The Crisis of Leadership” in Amos Wilson’s Blueprint for Black Power: pages 824-859. Here are some questions to guide your reading:

  • What are the key ideological orientations of leadership Wilson identifies?
  • What are the weaknesses/strengths of each?
  • How does Wilson define nationalism and what type does he call for?
  • Why the need (in Wilson’s mind) for Black Nationalist-oriented leaders?

Pay particular attention to Wilson’s critique of and analysis of nationalism at the end of the chapter in the section “Contemporary Black Nationalism: Absence of Organization, Creed, and Plans.” Think about (if?) this relates to the current situation more broadly and examples/evidence of these issues.


  • Tuesday February 26 is a special election day to fill the office of Public Advocate left vacant by Tish James, who is now NY State Attorney General. Voting rules and locations are same as usual. See Gothamist’s guide for details, a full candidate list, and links.
  • See our readings page for the revised list of student presentation dates. The page is password protected: see your paper syllabus for the password or think about what year it is. NOTE: Dates are subject to change to accommodate guest speaker schedules. Any changes will be announced in class and posted here on the website in weekly updates.

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