March 2: The Crisis of Leadership

Sababu Plata, Afrikan World Info Systems editor and publisher at Lehman College, March 2020. Photo: Hank Williams

First, some logistical points:

  • Please remember to check the site weekly for reading assignments! Subscribing to the website updates (see box on the right of the page) will get you notifications as soon as I do a new post
  • If I’ve approved your fieldwork choice, you can start working with your organization.
  • SEND ME a cover letter and resumé for your top two choices for fieldwork organizations. See details on the assignments page
  • CHECK the date for your paired presentation–sheet on the assignments page
  • Missed class or Zoom connection dropped? Archived audio is on the new Archive page
  • INFO: National Black Political Convention (August ’22 Newark NJ): conference details here

Highlights from 2/23 class: 

  • Reviewed chapter 2 (Organizations) and sections of chapter 3 (from the previous week) on religious institutions

For Wednesday March 2, we’ll start class with a guest lecture by Sababu Plata of Afrikan World Info Systems, editor and publisher of Dr. Amos Wilson’s works. He’ll talk about Wilson, Blueprint for Black Power, and the logistics of publishing/furthering the work.

For the second half of class, we’ll return to our reading of Blueprint.

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. Focus on this part and think about how this might apply to your organizations this semester. What parts of this do they do well? What do they do poorly? What might they do better?


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