A Beautiful Day

        What a beautiful day today. Fall is here. Not as cold as it has been and a definitely not as cold as it will be. The leaves ar

Paul Cuffe

Paul Cuffe

Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

e falling and there is a buzz on campus. Everybody is excited about the election. I swear, I have not seen one McCain supporter anywhere. I am sure they are here, I just can’t find them. Ever since I got here, at least once a day, I get harassed by an Obama supporter trying to sign me up along Mass. Avenue. Can’t wait to see what happens Tuesday. Classes were interesting today. Gates lectured in African American Studies and we read the speeches of Malcolm X in Black Nationalism. Gates is funny. He said that someone told him that white people are scared that if Obama wins, black people will treat them as bad as they have treated us for 400 years. He said, blacks will at least give them Saturday AND Sunday off. Check out theroot.com on Wednesday, he mentioned that he has a fascinating story about the history of blacks running for president that will run on the site. Quick question, “Who was the first black person to go to the White House.”(Not the slaves that built it.) It was Paul Cuffe, the abolitionist and ship builder who visited James Madison in 1812. But the first to dine in the White House was Booker T. Washington in 1901. Gates and Higginbotham, couldn’t agree of Booker T. came for dinner or lunch. Gates lectured on the “Politics of Disrespectability.”

        The Politics of Respectability,” is a theory created by Higginbotham, which examines black resistance. It asks the question, “Why would black people put on their Sunday cloths to go protest in tense and dangerous situations?” The theory signified a class and status within the working class by evoking manners and morals. This is essentially what Rosa Parks represented

            “Politics of Disrespectability,” was a movement designed to bring down blacks. Between 1890 and 1920, the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance, there were thousands of published images of blacks known as “Sambo Art.” Big red lips. White teeth. Overdressed. There were also images of mammies. Racist paraphernalia. Racist cartoons and comics. A “New Negro” soon came along with the express purpose of rehabilitating the negro. Destroying the old negro to create, “a new and different, black Anglo-Saxon,” different from the “unwashed Negro,” and capable of doing anything that the white man could do. The “New Negro” was tall, erect, and as strong and powerful as “Michelangelo’s Moses.” Mammy was turned into a Brown Madonna.  You get the point.

            In Black Nationalism, we ended the class by discussing “The Ballot or the Bullet.

            “The time when white people can come in our community and get us to vote for them so that they can be our political leaders and tell us what to do and what not to do is long gone. By the same token, the time when that same white man, knowing that your eyes are too far open, can send another negro into the community and get you and me to support him so he can use him to lead us astray — those days are long gone too.”

            Lets see what tomorrow brings. I am sure it will be a lovely day.

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Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 5:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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