April 3: Power Processes of the Ruling Class

First, thanks to Dequi Kioni-Sadiki and Sekou Odinga for their talk on political prisoners this week! See more about their work at the Jericho Movement website and Sekou Odinga’s website. You can also buy a copy of the CD there.

Note: if you’ve finally settled into your fieldwork assignment and got an extension on the intro paper, see the sheet posted on the assignments page to write it up and turn it in.

Read Chapter 8 (“The Power Processes of the Ruling Class”)  in Amos Wilson’s Blueprint for Black Power.

Presentation by Biancy, Annice, Jamai, and Maureen

Questions to think about as you read:

What does Wilson mean by the ruling class?

  • How does the ruling class use legislation to consolidate its power?
  • What role do special interests and lobbyists play?
  • What’s the “government within a government” and what’s its role?
  • What relationship do Blacks have (as a group) to government process?

Focus on:

  • The “Special Interest Process,” “Second Government Within a Government,” and “Blacks and Government” subsections of chapter 8

Think about this in relation to your chosen fieldwork assignment via their funding source and how it might impact their work if they’re getting grants from foundations.


  • The ASCAC (Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations) Conference is coming to Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College from April 18-21! The main days are Friday-Saturday April 19-20. It’s a conference of academics from across the country working in the field of Africana Studies with an African-centered focus and it also has very strong cultural and spiritual elements–so it’s not just people talking at you all day. You should strongly consider attending if you have any interest at all in graduate school, teaching, or are wondering “what else can I do with my Africana degree?” Details here.


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