Daily Archives: May 12, 2023

Blog – Cory Killip

I will be writing my blog about the “Black Present and Presence – Ubiquitous Black Ideologies & Conceptions of Art” Lecture presented by Dr. Susie Bhaka (Department of Theology and Religious Studies at University of San Diego), and Dr. Corey Barnes (Department of Philosophy at University of San Diego). This lecture aimed to highlight historical African American communal traditions, ideologies, and arts practiced throughout recent history. Doctrines discussed in this lecture allow us to deeply analyze, empathize with, provide insight and detail to, and better understand African American History.

One of the Main topics from the lecture was the Black Aesthetic Experience. The Black Aesthetic Experience is a term used to describe the cultural and artistic expressions of black people throughout history. It encompasses a wide range of creative practices, including literature, music, visual art, theater, dance, and film, and is rooted in the historical experiences of black people. One example of the Black Aesthetic discussed in the lecture described in detail how black people on slave ships would cut each other’s hair in order to maintain a certain look. According to John Gabriel Stedman who was a white oppressionist aboard one of these slave ships, “All slaves are led upon deck, where they are examined by the purchasers, who are very attentive to their persons. Here they are also separated from their companions and relations, with whom they had been brought on board. The next step is to shave off all the hair from their heads…, their hair being made into different figures, such as stars, half-moons, etc. which they generally do one to the other, having no razors, by the help of a broken bottle, and without soap”. Even without the proper equipment and in extremely poor living conditions, the black people still made it a priority to cut their hair and preserve their cultural aesthetic. This dedication conveys how important cultural practices and expressing themselves was to them. A quote from The Birth of American-American Culture: An Anthropological Perspective by Sidney Mintz and Richard Price, summed this up perfectly. It reads, “It is hard to imagine a more impressive example of irrepressible cultural vitality than this image of slaves decorating one another’s hair in the midst of one of the most dehumanizing experiences in all of history”. This goes to show the resilience and creativity of enslaved people that showed through even in the face of extreme oppression.

Another main topic in the lecture was ubiquitous cultural vitality that was practiced in everyday life for African Americans. An important artistic part of this culture was song and dance. An example of the artistic practices highlighted in the video was something called the “Ring Shout”. The Ring shout involves a group of people moving in a circular motion while singing and dancing to music being played. The participants would frequently be dressed in all white and “moved counterclockwise while shuffling their feet, clapping, singing, calling out, or praying aloud.”(FOMM 370) Africans who practiced the ring shout were able to uphold their cultural customs and proclaim their religious beliefs. Though Ring Shout proves to be a good example of a specific artistic cultural practice, zooming out, The significance of singing and dancing as a whole was extremely important to black people. It served as an outlet for expression and a release of suppressed feelings. Slaves could express their pleasure, sadness, hope, and anguish through song and dance in a therapeutic and liberating way. Additionally, it contributed to the development of a sense of camaraderie and solidarity among slaves, who frequently felt alone and alienated throughout their captivity. It also served as a form of resistance against their masters. Many of the songs and dances included cryptic undertones and secret meanings that alluded to the longing for independence and the optimism for a brighter future that provided them with the hope they needed to keep going. Slaves may speak with one another without their masters hearing them by singing and dancing together. Not to mention, song and dance allowed African Americans to teach, practice, and preserve cultural traditions for generations to come. A quote included in the lecture that describes how powerful black music was states, “Black music is not artistic creation for its own sake, rather it tells us about the thinking and feeling of the African People, and the kinds of mental adjustments they had to make in order to survive in an alien land. The work songs were a means of heightening energy, converting labor into dances and games. Providing emotional excitement in an otherwise unbearable situation. The emphasis was on free continuous creative energy as produced in song.”(James Cone). 

The last main topic from the lecture was the contrast between black aesthetics and white aesthetics. In the last few hundred years in America, beauty and art have been looked upon using the “white yardstick of civilization”(Bell Hooks). Essentially, what was thought of as beautiful or valuable art was determined by white people and toward other white people. The black aesthetic valued the beauty of imperfections, the roughness of the unpolished, and the authenticity of raw emotion, whereas the white aesthetic frequently favored formal beauty and idealized portrayals of reality. The white aesthetic tended to be more independent and secular in character, whereas the black aesthetic was frequently deeply linked to social and spiritual experiences. This gap between what both races valued was large and resulted in the dominant white majority completely disregarding black art as a form of art, just because it was different than what the whites were used to. According to Cornel West, “The authority of science, undergirded by modern philosophical discourse, promotes and encourages activities of observing, comparing, measuring, and ordering the physical characteristics of human bodies. Forms of rationality and science prohibited the legitimacy of black equality and beauty culture and intellectual capacity to think about black and white equally was deemed irrational, barbaric or mad”. Another similar quote by Bell Hooks from the lecture reads, “art in black communities intrinsically serves a political function. Whatever African Americans in music, dance, poetry, painting, was regarded as a testimony bearing witness challenging racist thinking which suggested that black folks are not fully human, were uncivilized, and that the measure of this was our collective failure to create great art”. These quotes provide an idea of how oppressed black art and the black aesthetic was in society. Despite extreme oppression in pretty much all facets of life, black people continued to practice their artistic culture or aesthetic and didn’t let the attitude of the masses stop them. Ultimately the difference between the black aesthetic and white aesthetic is significant in understanding the historical context of how white supremacy shaped the dominant cultural narratives and aesthetics in America, while also recognizing the resilience and creativity of black people in the face of systemic oppression.

In conclusion, the lecture on “Black Present and Presence – Ubiquitous Black Ideologies & Conceptions of Art” presented by Dr. Susie Bhaka and Dr. Corey Barnes sheds light on the historical and cultural significance of the Black Aesthetic Experience, the ubiquitous cultural vitality of everyday life for African Americans, and the contrast between black aesthetics and white aesthetics. By examining these topics, we can gain a better understanding of the resilience, creativity, and cultural vitality of black people, who were able to preserve their cultural traditions and express their feelings through art, despite facing systemic oppression which ultimately gives us a better opportunity to understand and empathize with African American history as a whole. It is essential to acknowledge the value of the black aesthetic as a unique and significant artistic expression that deserves recognition and respect in its own right. Furthermore, we must continue to learn about and appreciate the cultural contributions of black people, as we strive towards a more equitable and just society.

“‘Red Lip Theology’ & Black Womanhood in Contemporary Christianity” -Lauren Forsterer

On February 27th, my fellow peers and I gathered into our very own Copley Library to hear Candice Marie Benbow discuss her latest book. Her novel,“Red Lip Theology”, discusses the blurring boundary of irreverent and righteous, and her experience in Christian faith as a Black woman. The book dives deep into the cross-section between Theology, feminism, sexuality, and activism. She gracefully discussed her experience and beliefs regarding her Faith, as well as what steps we can all take to help benefit minorities, especially Black women. She dives into her background of how being a Black millennial woman who is of Faith has shaped her understanding of the world. She also discusses the power of religious institutes, and the importance of decolonizing Faith in order to create a more understanding and accepting space. 

Benbow starts off her talk explaining her experience as a Black woman trying to navigate the Christian faith. Her speech takes place between the cusp of February and March, which she explains is an interesting time for her community. February is Black History Month where Black women are not represented, and figures like Malcom X and Dr. Martin Luther King are at the forefront of the movement. Then, in March, Women’s History Month is celebrated which fails to highlight the hardwork and dedication of Black women in the Women’s Rights Movement. In her talk, the author also highlights how Black women are never heralded as the forerunner of religious history, even though they are extremely influential. For example, Prathia Hall created the famous “I have a Dream” phrase that Dr. King showcased in 1963, and is still taught and commended around the globe. If it were not for Reverend Prathia Hall’s work, the speech’s central message would have never made it to the public and affected the Civil Rights Movement. Benbow also mentions a few other influential women that are forgotten in our History, such as Jarena Lee and Julia A. J. Foote. Both of these women, and many more, do not get the recognition they deserve for their trailblazing work over their lifetimes. This is a prime example of how Black women are left out of African American history and do not receive the recognition they deserve. Before listening to Benbow’s talk, I also did not recognize these powerful women’s names and did not understand their impact on our world. This also illustrates how Black women are also not as recognized for their accomplishments, and therefore is significant to our understanding of African American History in seeing a more equal and inclusive narrative of the influential scholars who fought to create a better world for future generations. 

Another aspect that Benbow highlights in her talk is the complexity of modern day religious institutions. The operation of Church spaces are important to understand African American History because religion is a huge component in the past and present of uniting and establishing Black communities. Our textbook, Freedom on My Mind,  states in Chapter Nine that, “Next to the family, the black church provided the most important institutional support in the transition from slavery to freedom. Joining a church was an act of physical and spiritual emancipation and.. also empowered blacks because they operated outside white control. In addition, black churches anchored collective black identification — a sense of peoplehood, of nationhood” (White, 2020). This quote highlights the importance of religious institutions in Black history, and how closely tied they are to culture and community. However, Benbow suggests that some modern religious establishments are not as inviting and empowering as they are promised to be. The author explains how faith spaces have the power to build you up, as well as tear you down with shame and guilt. This evaluates how religious institutes are operating today, and how they can sometimes feel isolating and distressing. 

Benbow posed a provocative question during her talk regarding whether or not we owe it to sacred spaces to push them to be better for future generations, or if we should choose to all together disconnect from the establishment. Her question illustrates the importance of religion in African American culture, and how it should evolve with modern times, rather than not accepting new courses of actions. For example, the author mentions in her talk an experience her Mother had with the Church that changed the trajectory of both her and her daughter’s life. Benbow describes that her Mother was unmarried when she was conceived, and the Church obligated her Mother to stand in front of the congregation and apologize for her sins. Benbow’s Father was also involved in the Church, and did not have to ask for forgiveness for his part of the sin.

Her Mother then refused to beg for forgiveness because she didn’t want her daughter to grow up in a church that was shameful and unfair towards women. Benbow reminds the audience that although her Mother did not apologize for her sin, many other women before and after her have to take on the opposition. This personal experience from the author helps highlight the relationship between Black women and the Church, and how it has not always had their best interest in mind. It is important to evaluate the mandates enforced by religious institutions over African American history in order to see the progress of accepting and recognizing Black women. 

Benbow also discusses her view on deconstructing Faith in order to create the space for herself and many other Black women to be acknowledged for their devotion within their denomination. The author explains how Black women are the most religious demographic, yet they are the least significant group rendered in most religious establishments. She aims to embody a Faith that loves and accepts Black women. Religion is essential in understanding African American history because its roots run deep into Black culture. For example, “the sense that devotion and faith in God more strongly connect black men and women to their slave ancestors, who leaned on religious faith to help maintain their dignity in the face of discrimination and harsh and unjust treatment” (Labbé-DeBose, 2012). This quote demonstrates the importance of Faith within the daily lives of African American individuals throughout the generations, and how it intertwines their experience and livelihood. The author emphasizes the need for a more inclusive Faith in order to keep her community united and satisfied. 

For hundreds of years, Black women have strongly influenced religion and culture in and outside of their community, with little to no recognition of their hard work. Candice Marie Benbow’s talk at our University enlightened myself, and many other students on her journey of modern Black womanhood, and the challenges she and her community experience within their daily lives as well as their Faith. The author shared with the audience that she got inspired to write her book to further examine the question of what is owed to Black women for their devoted religiosity, and how her community can shine. She also explains how deconstructing Faith and identifying the issues within her religion can help her community thrive.Her novel emphasizes the current relationship between Black womanhood and Christianity, and looks ahead to a turning point where her community is recognized and appreciated for their generations of dedication and diligence. 


Sources Cited

Labbé-DeBose, Theola. “Black Women Are among Country’s Most Religious Groups.” The Washington Post, 6 July 2012, www.washingtonpost.com/local/black-women-are-among-countrys-most-religious-groups/2012/07/06/gJQA0BksSW_story.html. 

White, Deborah Gray, Mia Bay, and Waldo E. Martin Jr. Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents, Third Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, (2020).

“A Luminary’s Journey: Mae C. Jemison’s Inspiring Story and its Significance in African American History”- Alaon Saulet

Alaon Saulet

Professor Miller 

African American History 

May 12, 2023 


On Wednesday, March 29th, I had the privilege of attending a Women’s History Month conference in the KIPJ Theater featuring Mae C Jemison, the first African American woman to enter space, as she was interviewed by USD professor Dr. Dominguez. As Jemison spoke, it was clear that she is a true trailblazer, having broken barriers throughout her career as a scientist and astronaut. During the conference, Jemison shared her journey, discussing her upbringing and the challenges she faced as a woman of color. Her insights and experiences were both thought-provoking and inspiring, and I found myself completely engrossed in her story. As Jemison spoke, she answered questions from Dr. Dominguez and the audience, providing even more insight into her rise to success. Not only was Jemison’s words inspiring as she recounted her story and accomplishments but it was also clear that her story is significant to our understanding of African American history, in several ways.

Breaking Boundaries: Dr. Mae Jemison’s Journey of Perseverance and Passion in African American History

First of all, Mae C Jemison is a Luminary in every sense of the word. As she shared her success story, she inspired the audience to pursue their passions and never let societal expectations limit their potential. Jemison recounted her journey of starting young, joining Harvard University at the age of 16, and paving the way for many young women of color to pursue higher education. Here Jemison’s story demonstrates the importance of education and the pursuit of knowledge in African American history. Her early admission to Harvard University at the age of 16 highlights the power of education in overcoming systemic barriers and providing opportunities for upward mobility. 

     Dr. Jemison also shared how she maintained her passion for science and exploration, which led her to join the Peace Corps and go overseas. Her experiences in the Peace Corps showed her that there was more to life than just science, and she developed a passion for the arts and culture. She encouraged young women to explore their interests and not limit themselves to one field of study. Jemison’s work with the Peace Corps and her passion for the arts and culture highlight the multidimensional nature of African American experiences. African Americans have made significant contributions to various fields, including the arts, education, politics, and science. Jemison’s accomplishments and diverse interests serve as a reminder of the complexity and richness of African American history. 

When Dr. Jemison decided to pursue her dream of becoming an astronaut, she faced significant opposition from society and a fear of heights. However, she refused to let fear and societal expectations sway her judgment. As she stated, “What do we do with fear, we have to put it in context.” She encouraged women to challenge themselves and take risks regardless of the fear that is present. Instead of letting fear win, she put her fear in context and used it as a tool to propel herself forward. This mindset allowed her to achieve her goal of becoming the first African American woman to travel to space.

Here Dr. Jemison’s message was clear – pursue what you ultimately want to do and don’t let anyone take you off that path. She articulated how she made some of her life choices by taking the next step, leaving where she was, and/or starting something new. She emphasized the importance of taking risks and following your passion, even when it is not the most conventional path. Dr. Jemison’s words serve as a powerful reminder that success and fulfillment come from fulfilling and following one’s passions. Jemison’s message of pursuing one’s passions and staying true to oneself is also a significant part of African American history. Throughout history, African Americans have had to overcome obstacles and societal constraints to pursue their dreams and passions. Jemison’s determination and conviction in pursuing her dream of becoming an astronaut exemplify this spirit of perseverance and self-determination.

The Power of Breaking Down Stereotypes and Challenging Societal Limitations

One example that effectively conveyed Jemison’s message is when she told a story she remembers when she was young and she recalls a time in school when a teacher asked what she wanted to be. Jemison had said she wanted to be a scientist, to which the teacher replied “don’t you mean a nurse.” Jemison explained how she knew that the teacher was just trying to guide her to her best career as African American woman, but then encourages the audience not to fall into a category that people put you in, but to instead know that you have the choice to do whatever you want. In this statement, Jemison is acknowledging the good intentions of her teacher who tried to guide her towards a career that was suitable for African American women. However, she also emphasizes the importance of not limiting oneself to a particular category or stereotype that people may try to put them in. Jemison’s message is that individuals should have the freedom and agency to pursue their dreams and aspirations, regardless of their race, gender, or any other societal label. She believes that everyone should be encouraged to explore their interests and talents, without being confined to preconceived notions of what they should or shouldn’t do. Jemison’s own life and career serve as a testament to this message. As the first African American woman to travel to space, she broke down barriers and defied expectations, demonstrating that anyone can achieve their goals with hard work and determination. Jemison’s statement encourages individuals to recognize and challenge societal limitations and stereotypes, and to pursue their passions with the confidence that they have the power to shape their destiny. 

 The Resonating Messages of Mae C. Jemison and the Struggles of Black Women and Men in Overcoming Societal Norms and Achieving Success

As Mae C. Jemison spoke and answered questions, she constantly focused on the theme of breaking free from societal categories and pursuing one’s passions and dreams, regardless of what others may say or think. She emphasized that people should not let others define them or limit their potential based on their gender, race, or any other category they may belong to. This message aligns with the struggles and triumphs of the black women highlighted in Chapter 16 of Freedom on My Mind, who fought against similar societal expectations and restrictions.

In Chapter 16, the authors highlight the experiences of black women who fought against the intersectional oppression they faced as both black and female in American society. These women fought for their rights and recognition as individuals with agency and the ability to determine their paths, despite facing significant obstacles and opposition. For example, Ida B. Wells fought against the lynching of black men and women and worked to expose the injustice and violence of the practice, while Mary Church Terrell fought for women’s suffrage and equal access to education and job opportunities.

Jemison’s message of individual agency and self-determination resonates with the struggles of these black women, who refused to be confined to societal categories and expectations. Their examples inspire us to break free from these constraints and pursue our passions and dreams with determination and courage as Jemison did. 

As I analyze Jemison’s experience and speech another exemplary figure of black resistance from the documentary, A Choice of Weapons; Inspired by Gordan Parks, comes to mind. This exemplary figure is Gordon Parks, a photographer working during the Harlem Renaissance. Parks was the first black man to work for LIFE Magazine as well as have his work published on the front cover. Park’s photography captured the black experience and narratives, a perspective that fought to reject the white imaginary that perpetuated stereotypes, violence, and discrimination. Overall Parks broke societal barriers as he challenged systemic prejudices in his field. 

Gordon Parks and Mae C Jemison both show that barriers can be broken as African Americans defy societal norms and achieve success by pursuing their passions, breaking down barriers, and overcoming systemic and institutional challenges. Both Parks and Jemison defied societal norms and challenged systemic and institutional barriers to achieve success in their respective fields. They serve as role models for future generations and demonstrate that with hard work, dedication, and a willingness to challenge the status quo, barriers can be broken and dreams can be achieved regardless of race, gender, or social background. 

Overall Impact of Mae C Jemison’s Life and Career on African American History

In conclusion, attending the Women’s History Month conference featuring Mae C Jemison was a truly inspiring and thought-provoking experience. Hearing Dr. Jemison answers questions about her life and success truly inspires her, making her the luminary that she is. Dr. Jemison’s life and career serve as a reminder of the importance of education and the pursuit of knowledge, as well as the multidimensional nature of African American experiences and accomplishments. Her message of perseverance, determination, and self-determination was clear throughout the conference and serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of pursuing one’s passions and staying true to oneself. As the first African American woman to travel to space, Jemison broke down barriers and defied expectations, demonstrating that anyone can achieve their goals with hard work and determination. Her story and insights are significant to our understanding of African American history, and her legacy serves as a source of inspiration for generations to come.

Works Cited 


Maggio, J, (Producer). (2021). A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks [Documentary]. HBO Documentary Films 

White, D. G., Bay, M., & Martin, W. E. (2021). Freedom on my mind: A history of African Americans, with documents. Bedford/St. Martins. 


Rationalizing Religion and Modernity-Christian Mattei

Rationalizing Religion and Modernity


Out of the many black history events held this year at USD, I eventually decided the program I would like to attend would be Candice Marie Benbow’s Red Lip Theology Seminar sponsored by the USD Copley Library and San Diego Public Library.  Through the course of the speech, Candice Benbow narrates her experience growing up in a feminist Christian family. Candice demonstrates through the narration of her experiences the lack of understanding the church often had for her and her family. She shares her disillusionment with the church over the years but details how she has not lost her faith and remains a Christian. She encourages the audience to think critically and make sure to question all beliefs. One should understand why it is they believe something before fully subscribing to any idea.  Benbow ultimately expresses that the modern black church is losing modern black women and that it must adapt to become a more welcoming and inclusive environment. The program’s message of taking action to make real change in the world resonates with the “Black Freedom Struggle” and expands one’s understanding of African American History. This is because African Americans have always been the ones to take control of their fate and fight against the shackles of oppression.

The first thing I would like to talk about is the role of the black church in early African American history. Even with all the negative aspects of the church Candice brought to light it is important to acknowledge that the church was one of the first outlets African Americans had for expressing any form of freedom. It was the church that originally brought African Americans a community that they could feel accepted in. The abolitionist movement, which aimed to abolish slavery and protect African Americans’ freedom and rights, was fundamentally influenced by the Black Church. African American activists and leaders like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were given a platform to inspire their people and rally support for the battle against slavery. The Church acted as a hub for protest planning, literature distribution, and gatherings to discuss and advance the abolitionist cause.

African Americans benefited from the Black Church’s cultural and spiritual empowerment in addition to its political and social activism. African customs have been preserved, and they have been combined with Christian teachings to produce a distinctive and vivacious religious experience. The Black Church gave birth to gospel music, which is known for its beautiful melodies and impassioned sentiments. This strong form of cultural expression gives people suffering hardships courage, hope, and inspiration. Freedom on My Mind Chapter 9 even brings to light the fact that “Joining a church was an act of physical and spiritual emancipation, and black churches united black communities.” This appreciation for the church is shared by Candice Benbow herself as she believes that even in the present day the church should be a place black people can feel accepted and free in. She states “Give us room to live, and be, and thrive, and grow, and flourish.” Candice believes that when African Americans are given room to flourish the world will flourish along with them. Candice calls out the church’s mistakes not because she wants it to burn but because she wants it to be better. She wants it to serve the same purpose it served long ago for those who needed it the most.

The Black Freedom Struggle is a concept that has existed since the beginning of black enslavement. Throughout the course of African American History, black people have always been fighting against their oppressors. It was understood from very early on that the only way black people would ever be able to attain freedom is if they fought for it. This struggle can be seen in many ways depending on what era of history is being examined. It was seen when African Americans decided to fight in the War of Independence in hopes of achieving emancipation. It can be seen in the various slave revolts during the 18th and 19th centuries. It can even be seen in the modern day with many African Americans today still striving for true equality in all aspects of life. This struggle is often overlooked, and many believe it was the “white savior” who truly freed African Americans. This viewpoint fails to take into account all the hard work and sacrifices that have had to be made by black people to get as far as they have come. The Civil Rights Movement made progress, but the fight for racial equality is ongoing. The Black Freedom Struggle is still evolving, tackling new challenges, and pushing for social and economic justice. The Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the deaths of unarmed black individuals at the hands of law enforcement, is renewing the fight against systemic racism and police brutality.

The article “Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle by Rebecca Tuuri” brings to light the efforts of The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and how this group helped fight against injustice during the Civil Rights era in the 1960s and 1970s. This group was one of the first organizations to strive for an end to both racism and sexism in the United States. The NCNW understood the value of encouraging women to speak up for themselves and effect change by amplifying their voices. They encouraged African American women to participate in politics, leadership positions, and public service through its Women in Public Life program. Conferences, workshops, and training sessions were conducted by the NCNW to provide women with the knowledge and abilities they needed to be effective leaders and champions in their communities. The NCNW has survived and evolved in the face of changing socioeconomic problems.

Racial and gender inequality is still a problem, so they continue to confront it by promoting laws that support and empower African American women and their families. The organization’s programs now cover topics like systematic racism eradication, criminal justice reform, and health inequalities. This organization has made tremendous contributions to the civil rights movement. The movement in and of itself is a demonstration of African American perseverance and strength. The movement represents what Candice preaches in her speech very well. If you want to see change then you must take action. Sometimes the only way to achieve this is to go against authority and rebel against the status quo. This defiance is similar to the defiance Benbow displays against the Baptist church. In order to improve something sometimes you must take that something apart and rebuild it with new pieces. If the institution itself is flawed, then it must be deconstructed and changed intrinsically.

The Church should be an outlet for black expression and should never serve to shame or make its congregation uncomfortable. Candice Benbow emphasizes that the black freedom struggle should be valued above all else and that one should always be analytical regarding their most important beliefs. She preaches against indoctrination and encourages one to cultivate the individual. She calls the audience to ask themselves who they truly are and who they want to be in the future. The black freedom struggle is integral to understanding African American History as it is the main force that has propelled it forward. It is thanks to the centuries of struggle and battle brought upon by black people in the United States that a more equal society has been reached. This struggle will rage on and will continue until true equality has been reached.

Works Cited


CHAPTER 9 Reconstruction: The Making and Unmaking of a Revolution, Freedom on My Mind, Deborah Gray White, Mia Bay, and Waldo E. Martin Jr.

Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle by Rebecca Tuuri (review) Sariah Orocu Alabama Review, Volume 74, Number 3, July 2021

“The inaugural Roy L. Brooks distinguished lecture series” – German Gandara

The University of San Diego hosted the inaugural Roy L. Brooks distinguished lecture series for the first time ever. Honoring a scholar whose work has profoundly impacted the field and emphasized the importance of community involvement in promoting educational equity and racial justice. The USD community wanted to show their appreciation for Professor Roy L. Brooks for his innovative research, excellent teaching, and unyielding commitment to improving the world. Hence, they created a lecture series in his honour. Professor Brooks has made significant contributions to law and society, which several publications and books have recognized. He delivered the inaugural lecture at the American Society as a professor at USD.

Well-known sociologist and researcher Dr Derrick R. Brooms talked about the educational goals and experiences of Black males who work in Hispanic social organizations. Dr Brooms argued that the Black community must have community support and investment to achieve educational equity and racial justice. In addition, he stressed the significance of people’s efforts in making a difference and encouraged his listeners to shoot for the stars in their quest to impact the world positively.

Dr Brooms was moved to give this talk after reading a poem Professor Brooks’ late wife had written about him in which she praised his dedication to bettering the world. Dr Brooms used the poem to stress the value of having a lasting, positive effect and making progress. He also emphasized the need to counter stereotypes about Black males and their pursuit of higher education.

Significantly, Dr Brooms’ talk highlighted the necessity for community support and investment in the Black community to achieve educational equality and racial justice, shedding attention on Black males’ difficulties in accessing higher education institutions. His talk was important because it encouraged his listeners to think big and make a difference in the world via their efforts.

The problems Black males experience in higher education institutions, the significance of community support and investment in the Black community, and the need for individual acts were the central storylines and topics of the presentation (Nobles, 1976). Dr Brooms used a statement by James Baldwin, “You were not expected to aspire to excellence, you were expected to make peace,” to highlight the bias against Black men’s academic aspirations (Baldwin, 1965). He suggested that these stereotypes do more damage than good by lowering Black men’s expectations for themselves and maintaining racial inequity in educational opportunities.

Dr Brooms’s research objective is to understand better what Black males need to succeed in college. He contends that helping the Black community financially and morally is essential to achieving educational equality and racial justice. He stresses the need for genuine connections and cares for pupils to create an atmosphere encouraging achievement and belonging.

The importance of Dr Brooms’ lecture to our understanding of African American history stems from his emphasis on the difficulties Black men face when attempting to enroll in and succeed at universities, as well as the necessity of community support and investment in the Black community to advance educational equity and racial justice (Brooms, 2021). His talk encouraged his listeners to think big and make a difference in the world, stressing the significance of personal initiative.

Dr Brooms’ talk and the readings from Freedom on My Mind and “Racism and White Denial in the American Criminal Justice System” by Cheryl Harris are harmonious in their ideas and storylines. Both novels highlight how preconceived notions about African Americans stifle their potential and contribute to the upkeep of injustice in various settings. They also stress the significance of financial and social investments in advancing social justice and equality.

The part of Dr Brooms’ presentation when he read the poem his late colleague Professor Brooks’ wife had written about him stuck out the most. Professor Brooks’ wife wrote a beautiful poem about how much she adored him because he worked to make the world a better place for everyone. This event encapsulated the spirit of the first Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series by highlighting the power of one person to change the world.

Professor Brooks’ enormous publishing record—more than 100 papers and 20 books—attests to his dedication to academic rigor and originality. As a result of his prominence as an expert in his profession, he was the first professor at USD to be asked to lecture at the American Society. Professor Brooks’s unique selling point is his capacity to engage and motivate his pupils. His pupils like him because of his boundless enthusiasm for teaching and his knack for simplifying seemingly intractable concepts.

The presentation by Dr Brooms focused on the idea of global excellence and transformative influence. He spoke on the significance of equal education and racial equality for black males and their societal place. He stressed the importance of true connections and cared for pupils in creating an atmosphere where black males may flourish.

Dr Brooms plans to study black male college students to learn more about their perspectives and identify strategies to help them succeed in school. He discussed the outcomes of his research on the needs and expectations of black males when they engage with organizations that primarily serve the Hispanic community. He talks about the value of engaging in and dedicating oneself to the black community and studying with them rather than just conducting research on them.

During his talk, Dr Brooms was often asked, “How do we get from problems to possibilities?” He claimed that we need to think that our actions may make a difference and that it is necessary to confront and disprove unfavorable views. He also tells us about the need for a setting that encourages and facilitates students’ intellectual and personal growth.

The lecture’s key storylines and themes were important for our comprehension of African American history because they shed light on the never-ending fight for racial justice and educational fairness. They also stress the significance of people’s efforts and determination to effect change. Professor Brooks inspires us all because of his commitment to scholarly and educational quality and his transformative influence on the globe via his work as an educator, researcher, and mentor (Gurin et al., 2002).

Using material like Freedom on My Mind from an African American history class might help put what you’re teaching in perspective and help students connect the lecture and their studies. The Black Power movement and the turn to a more radical, militant approach to attaining racial justice are discussed in Chapter 10, one of the most relevant chapters. Similar to Dr Brooms’ lecture, this section emphasizes the power of the person to effect change via grassroots engagement.

It is essential to use academic, secondary sources to back up our analysis, in addition to primary literature used in the course. Robert T. Palmer and J. Luke Wood’s “Navigating the Ivory Tower: The Experiences of Black Men in Graduate and Professional Education” is one such piece. This essay delves into the realities of higher education for black males, examining their obstacles and how they overcome them. This article’s ideas and tales are pertinent to Dr Brooms’ presentation and may enrich our knowledge of the difficulties he raised.

In conclusion, Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series was enlightening because it brought light on the obstacles. Black males face higher education and the need to provide spaces that encourage and facilitate their success in the classroom. Dr Brooms’s talk focused on shifting focus from issues to opportunities and developing nurturing classroom communities that put students first. His findings highlight the need to provide Black male college students with tools and assistance to help them succeed in their studies. Dr Brooks’s talk praised the achievements of a legendary educator and researcher while also stressing the need to set lofty goals for one’s professional and educational future (Wenger, 1998). The lectures were thought-provoking and educational overall, shedding light on vital topics relevant to the world of higher learning and society at large.


Baldwin, J. (1965). The American Dream and the American Negro. New York: New York Times.

Brooms, D. R. (2021, February 25). What’s Going On? Black Men’s Educational Desires and Navigating Hispanic Serving Institutions [Lecture]. Inaugural Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Gurin, P., Dey, E. L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3), 330-366.

Nobles, W. W. (1976). African Philosophy: Foundations for Black Psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 32(3), 119-127.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Pr


“We are The People” – Jack Morrison

Jack Morrison

Dr. Channon Miller

African American Studies

12 May 2023

We are The People

We as beings of spirit living the human experience often find labels to be an efficient way of navigating the strange world we live in. It certainly makes sense that creating words to ascribe a potentially very dynamic dimension of our being can make communication with other individuals much easier. In particular, labels may provide us with a sense of safety and security, especially if a label identifies one’s self with a larger group of other individuals. Labels can be fun and can fill us with a sense of pride. Many feel a deep and profound attachment to the words that they feel construct their sense of self, so much so that they may even experience suffering if they feel their identity becomes challenged. In my experience, I have come to understand this phenomenon of attachment to identity as unsustainable behavior.

On February 28, 2023, I received the privilege of attending the “Black and Female Identifying” discussion panel sponsored by the Black Student Resource Center. During this panel, I found myself on multiple occasions mesmerized by the passion that 6 humans felt for their journey of navigating this world in the body of a black female. Observing their discussion, I felt internally a deep reverence for the subtle ways they expressed themselves as individuals cultured as one. From the subtle shifts in intonation in their voices to the electric body language, their shared experience, especially facing adversity navigating a culture on a wider scale providing them an uphill battle in order to maintain empowerment, joyfully reminded me of the resilience of the human spirit, and the way we manage to still have fun preserving it. I felt that during their showcase I understood the meaning of something they collectively referred to as “black girl magic”. One instance strung a dissonant chord in this story’s song, however. Upon being faced with the question of how they all managed to remain strong the consensus between them was that they found sanctity in their collective womanhood, and more specifically their “blackness”. They continued to describe the various ways in which they were “forced” to construct walls within their minds separating themselves from those who did not fit the archetype of their identities whether that be because of “whiteness” or manhood as to shield themselves from the onslaught of those who desire to degrade them because of their identities as black females. Hearing this disappointed me. I understood that if I were to walk by these women on the street whom, thanks to the facilitation of the event, I was able to experience more or less the full reality of, they would treat me differently as a white man. If i were to walk by these women on the street, I would never have experienced this black girl magic.

The quality of this adversity that I face at first may appear to be different in nature than the kind that these women experienced facing racial and sexual discrimination from other humans, however, the only real difference is the level of shared consciousness that is being limited by a resistance to the expression of love. One case requires the foremost attention as in order to experience life at its highest consciousness (a world where everybody is enlightened and practicing whatever form of magic they see as enjoyable) you must refine its qualities that manifest at a lower level (maintaining things like safety and rudimentary standards of living). In other words, it is not reasonable for me to ask that any marginalized ego allow itself to remain that way, and it is also reasonable for me as a human being to dream of a world where not a single drop of white, black, boy, or girl magic is wasted. If one is to consider the ego and separation as material and love and connectedness as divine, I see the upbringing of this world the way Martin Luther King Jr. does when he suggests that we must fight “physical force with soul force” (White 1466 of pdf version).

This lack of consciousness that arises comes from the illusion experienced by the self of separation from the rest of reality. This separation is perpetuated by the attachment to identity as if you internally associate yourself with the concept of any thing, there is a disconnection to whatever proportion of reality is not conceptualized as included in that thing. For example, if one identifies themselves as a black person, they conceptualize themselves as something other than things they don’t consider to coexist with their idea of “black person-ness”. It is for this reason that many individuals withhold their innermost magical selves. If one draws into consciousness that they are existing as a part of the universe and also that they consider that the universe is only made of one thing (the universe) a beautiful understanding unfolds that all is one. As understood by a vast variety of spiritual scholars this reality of one-ness manifests as the center point for most major religions and theologies. This understanding however is not yet fully realized by many individuals and so in this world, we have people who still value their separation. People are always going to do what feels right to them and many are content with remaining in conceptual boxes they construct for themselves. 

An individual who hasn’t fully grasped the concept of one-ness, what ceremonial magic practitioners call the “knowledge of the waters”, or what some are content conceptualizing as simply “OM” is not doing any wrong in the same way that a blue whale exploring the ocean is entirely free to do as they please. The skill of remaining in touch with this one-ness requires much meditation and practice for most people. To those who are unsure whether they believe this practice will be worth their valuable time on this planet, I shall recall the story of Matthieu Ricard. Matthieu lived his life pursuing the expansion of what he understood was knowledge and material success by working diligently and attaining his doctorate in cellular genetics. After realizing that material abundance and expansion of the collective ego did not fulfill him, he abandoned his life at the prestigious Pasteur Institute in France to find peace at a monastery in Darjeeling, India. There he studied with masters of meditation and has since dedicated his life to it. A study performed by the University of Wisconsin aimed to measure the varying levels of happiness in people who live varying lifestyles and Mattheiu was one of them. The strata for measuring happiness consisted of measuring the concentration of neurotransmitters that are associated with happiness and well being such as serotonin and oxytocin, as well as brain waves which are associated with maximizing overall brain function. Matthieu’s scores were “unprecedented” (Dell’Amore). “Sustained electroencephalographic high-amplitude gamma-band oscillations” and “phase-synchrony” were essentially supercharged in his brain while engaging in meditation;  “attention, working memory, learning, or conscious perception” are all impacted “crucially” by these phenomena (Lutz et al.). Resulting from the measurements, the University of Wisconsin dubbed him “the happiest man alive” (Dell’Amore). Matthieu is now a published author and photographer and continues to engage in meditation daily. Ricard’s story is what inspired me personally to enter the path of enlightenment, and I physically could not be more at peace in this present moment.

No matter what, we as the human race will be okay. I have seen more than enough magic from every sing human I have encountered to remain trusting in that belief. And still, I will always ask why we should be okay with being okay when we can be so much more. This world we live in has far too much potential for us to sit idle in our boxes of race, class, sex, religion, or anything else when we could all dance together to this one big beautiful song that is our strange universe. 


We Are the people

By Jack Morrison


Your body and mine see there might be a difference

Your shape your color your face, but be-

tween your loving and mine oh there is no distance

When it comes to people there’s only one


The apes, the silly primates

They call us the dancers or the human race

So if life gets tricky just remember one thing

Monkeys never stress no monkeys only swing


They play, they eat fruit, and they party

Up in the trees see they never ever let anybody

Tell them they’re anything less than magical

If you don’t know what I mean now listen here I’ll spill it all


There’s not a single human out here living knowing what they’re doing

We just go with the flow and live life the way we choose and

Some things work and some things don’t and you see that’s the beauty

At the end of the day it all keeps on moving


So beware the belief of stagnation

Down to the atoms you are made of vibrations

No matter how you see it everything changes

Including the bad times so lets have patience


Graciously accept the energy and stay in

The headspace that your and my meditation

Saves us from suffering and pain and

Together as a nation, we can be elation



Works Cited:

Dell’Amore, Christine. “The World’s Happiest Man is a Tibetan Monk.” Smithsonian Magazine: SmartNews, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Nov. 2012, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-worlds-happiest-man-is-a-tibetan-monk-105980614/.


Lutz, Antoine, et al. “Long-Term Meditators Self-Induce High-Amplitude Gamma Synchrony … – PNAS.” PNAS, 8 Nov. 2004, www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.0407401101


White, Deborah Gray. Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, with Documents. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 


“Dr. Mae Jemison: 1st African American Woman in Space” – Joseph Barewin



     The African American story takes students through an immersive experience of pain and struggle, that both celebrates its impressive accomplishments as well as calls us all towards a continuous fight for equality. Mae Jemison, astronaut, author, and renowned scientist, blessed our university with a speech about her own story in becoming a trailblazer for both women and African Americans alike. Along with becoming the first African American woman to go to space, she has earned countless awards such as joining the 1993 Women’s Hall of Fame, written several novels, and is the current principal and founder of the DARPA 100 Year Starship, a program designed to develop a sustainable journey for humans to nearby stars.  The story of Mae Jemison provides knowledgeable lessons on the importance of inclusivity that mimic key themes throughout African American history such as  lasting sustainability, self empowerment, and undeniable pride.


     The Earth is a marvelous place of life and beauty. Yet, as Mae Jemison reminds us, humankind is dependent on the Earth to survive. The Earth, in turn, is not necessarily dependent on human survival. Thus, she chose to pursue an education in sustainability in order to carry out her vision of inclusivity. Sustainability is a key factor in all forms of science that often gets overlooked. It requires a way of thinking that maximizes benefit, while at the same time minimizing impact. Jemison was passionate about not only creating a lasting impact on the world, but also in finding her own personal sense of success. While she enjoyed her time as an astronaut, Jemison spoke of her lack of satisfaction from such a career, even with NASA pushing her to continue, saying “People want you to behave in the model that they want, rather than what you as an individual want. How do you stay true to yourself, and use your platform so people truly hear you?” This quote illustrates her understanding that being sustainable requires a passion combined with a powerful voice. The Montgomery Bus Boycott mimics this narrative with its use of Rosa Parks. Many know the story of Rosa Parks as a strong woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus to her white counterpart. Yet, what is often overlooked is the thousands of other men and women who contributed to the same movement, and agreed to have Rosa Parks stand as their representative for such an important protest. This decision was made using the same logic as Mae Jemison, choosing a representative to maximize the impact of a voice so as to be truly heard, and have a lasting impact that is as inclusive as possible. 

     What does it mean to be empowered? Mae Jemison attempts to answer this question with a statement from her own experiences in self-empowerment, saying “You have to take your power, you have to own it. To be empowered, you must believe that you have the right to participate . . . You must also believe you have the right to contribute something, and that you have something to contribute. You then have to risk making that contribution.” This quote directly relates to the same narratives of black power and self-help during the fight for civil rights. Just as Jemison had to take her own power, black people had to find their own strength, separate from a government that had abandoned them. This was accomplished by using concepts like self-help, being fully inclusive of black communities through supporting black business and black leaders (White 625). What began as self-help, would eventually grow into a larger black power movement. This movement included strategies to more specifically target methods to regain empowerment for all African Americans. These tactics ranged from obtaining political relevance to supporting the safety of black people from lynching or police brutality. In each case, it was absolutely necessary for the involvement of all black people nationwide in order to empower each individual. 


     During the closing statements of her speech, Jamison was asked a question to provide one piece of advice that she has learned from her struggles as an African American woman. She responded with a powerful quote, saying “you must be able to get dirty”. This remark goes beyond her youthful upbringing of playing in the mud, and instead speaks to the resilience required to be successful as a minority in this country. This resilience mimics the struggles faced by fellow African American women fighting for feminist rights during the civil rights movement. Freedom on My Mind states, “the phenomenon of being black and female, in a country that is both racist and sexist” (White 970). To combat these struggles, it was necessary that women of color prioritized inclusivity. An individual black woman stood little chance of triumphing her oppression alone. Thus, many turned to organizations such as the National Black Feminist Organization (Barnes). Mae Jemison was no different. She spoke of the discrimination she faced as a black woman in a field dominated by white men. Yet, she drew power knowing that she could be an inspiration for many to come. If she were able to continue to stand proud, she would be able to empower many more like her and increase inclusivity in the scientific community. Even at a young age, Jemison was able to recall her Kindergarten teacher doubting her goals of one day becoming a scientist. When revealing her dream, the teacher responded “Don’t you mean you want to be a nurse.” Tragically, it was not uncommon for educators in predominantly black areas to look down upon the capabilities of black students. Chapter Sixteen of Freedom on My Mind reminds us that as gang violenced increased during the late twentieth century, even more so were innocent black people grouped into the stereotype that all Black people were violent criminals. These stereotypes existed everywhere from poverty-ridden cities to middle-class school systems, never were black people safe from prejudice. Yet, Mae Jemison reminds us that with pride in your desires and dreams, black people are capable of superimposing the systemic racism that has plagued the nation for so many centuries, and move toward an inclusive community. 


     Mae Jemison is one of many African Americans with a story of struggle, perseverance, and eventual success. Her remarkable achievements as a scientist inspire women and African Americans alike in the growth towards a fully inclusive world. With her story, powerful parallels can be drawn to the rich tapestry of history through key themes of sustainability, self-empowerment, and pride. Each of these themes directly correlate to lessons that can be viewed as growth in our march towards equality, but also as a constant reminder to continue fighting. 




Alexander, Kerri Lee. “Mae Jemison.” National Women’s History Museum, 2019.

Accessed: 1 May 2023.



Barnes, Sharon L. “Black Feminism.” The American Mosaic: The African American 

Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2023, Accessed 8 May 2023. 



U.S. Department of the Interior. (2021, August 6). Women in the Civil Rights Movement 

Historic Context Statement and AACRN listing guidance (African American Civil Rights Network) . National Parks Service. Accessed 10 May 2023. https://www.nps.gov/articles/women-in-the-civil-rights-movement-historic-context-statement-and-aacrn-listing-guidance-african-american-civil-rights-network.htm 


White, Deborah Gray, Mia Bay, and Waldo E. Martin Jr. Freedom on My Mind: A History 

of African Americans with Documents, Third Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, (2020).

“Challenges Faced by Black Boys in America: An Examination of Education, Criminal Justice, and Discrimination” -Clay Marshall

The United States of America is a land full of potential and promise, but it also has a long history of racial discrimination and inequality. The continuous struggle for civil rights and racial justice is still a daily reality for many people of color, particularly young black guys, who frequently encounter problems that other groups do not. I recently heard a guest speaker describe his and his friends’ experiences, shining light on what it’s like to be a young black boy in the United States.


The lecturer began by debunking one of the most prevalent preconceptions among young black males: that they are criminals. He discussed how people see young black boys with mistrust, even when they have done nothing wrong. Jeff, the speaker’s companion, stated that being perceived as a criminal or as someone who does not belong is a very typical experience for young black males in the United States. This is a deeply embedded stereotype that has endured in American society for decades and is one of the most significant barriers that young black guys encounter.


Chauncey, the speaker’s friend, brought up another significant issue: police violence. He used the case of LaQuan McDonald, who was shot sixteen times, to illustrate how young black guys are undervalued in society. For years, police brutality against young black males has been a contentious issue in the United States, with numerous reports of unarmed black men being killed or abused by police officers making headlines. These incidents sparked massive protests and calls for law enforcement laws and tactics to be revised.


Quinten, another speaker’s acquaintance, discussed his schooling experiences as a young black boy. He expressed gratitude for the diversity on his college campus and the sense of belonging it gave him. He mentioned that the presence of other black male leaders on campus made him feel appreciated and motivated him to achieve his ambitions. He did, however, concede that every community has problems, and that being a young black male presents its own set of challenges.


The speaker’s acquaintances’ stories provide insight into the difficulties that young black boys face in the United States. They underlined the numerous myths, discrimination, and institutional biases that prevent young black men from realizing their full potential. Young black men face issues that are not unique to them, but they are sometimes exacerbated by their color and gender, making success much more difficult for them.


The criminal stereotype is one of the most important barriers that young black boys face. Because bias is deeply ingrained in American society, many young black males are treated unfairly by law enforcement and society at large. According to research, young black males are more likely than white peers to be stopped, searched, and jailed, even when they have committed no crimes. This bias extends to the criminal justice system, where black males are more likely to be convicted and sentenced harshly than white men for the same crimes. These biases can have long-term consequences, making it more difficult for young black males to gain future employment, housing, and other opportunities.


The criminal stereotype is one of the most important barriers that young black boys face. Because bias is deeply ingrained in American society, many young black males are treated unfairly by law enforcement and society at large. According to research, young black males are more likely than white peers to be stopped, searched, and jailed, even when they have committed no crimes. This bias extends to the criminal justice system, where black males are more likely to be convicted and sentenced harshly than white men for the same crimes. These biases can have long-term consequences, making it more difficult for young black males to gain future employment, housing, and other opportunities.


Another area where young black boys encounter distinct problems is education. Despite recent great advances, there is still a significant achievement gap between black and white children in the United States. Young black boys are more likely than white counterparts to attend underfunded schools, have less access to competent teachers and resources, and endure greater rates of suspension and expulsion. These obstacles make it more difficult for young black boys to succeed academically and limit their possibilities for higher education and job advancement.


To address the issues that young black boys experience, a holistic approach that includes both individual and societal change is required. Individually, young black males must be supported and encouraged to follow their dreams and goals. This includes giving kids resources, mentorship, and positive role models. It also entails addressing societal assumptions and biases and attempting to build a more inclusive and inviting environment for young black boys.


Systemic change is also required to address the core causes of the issues that young black guys experience. This involves tackling gaps in education financing, providing additional resources and support to low-income schools, and overhauling the criminal justice system to guarantee that young black males are treated fairly and justly. It also entails trying to eliminate bias and discrimination in all aspects of society, from hiring procedures to access to healthcare.


The struggle for racial justice and equality continues, and young black guys are in the vanguard of it. Their stories and experiences underscore the critical need for change and remind us of the work that remains to be done. We must work together as a nation to overcome the issues that young black men face and to establish a more just and equal future for all.


The struggle for racial justice and equality continues, and young black guys are in the vanguard of it. Their stories and experiences underscore the critical need for change and remind us of the work that remains to be done. We must work together as a nation to overcome the issues that young black guys face and to establish a more just and equal future for all.


The description of the criminal stereotype and police brutality in the paragraph echoes the experiences of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, who confronted systematic racism and police brutality. The course highlights how black people were frequently subjected to arbitrary arrests and police brutality, and how they formed protests and other kinds of resistance to fight back.


The statistics on the problems that young black boys experience in the United States are alarming. According to a Department of Education analysis, black students are more than three times more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled. This uneven treatment continues throughout their education, as black pupils are more likely than white students to attend schools with less experienced teachers and fewer resources. The criminal justice system also contributes to these discrepancies, as black individuals are more likely than white people to be arrested for drug offenses, despite identical rates of drug usage. According to The Sentencing Project, black males are six times more likely than white men to be incarcerated in the United States. This gap in imprisonment rates is enormous, with black males imprisoned at roughly six times the rate of white males. The repercussions of these discrepancies are clear, with 44% of black men in the United States saying they have faced discrimination because of their ethnicity, compared to 26% of black women, according to a Pew Research Center research. These figures show the importance of systemic change and a determined effort to confront and overcome the persistent racial inequities in the United States.


The educational challenges that young black boys encounter are a frequent issue in “Freedom on My Mind.” The book explains how black people were denied access to high-quality education and the tools they required to succeed, resulting in a disparity in accomplishment between black and white pupils. In Chapter 7 Confrontations in “Bleeding Kansas” and the Courts, the book delves into how black students encountered prejudice and segregation in schools and colleges, as well as how they campaigned for equal access to education.


Overall, the passage’s descriptions of the difficulties and challenges experienced by young black boys in the United States reflect the greater struggles of African Americans throughout the Civil Rights Movement, as detailed in “Freedom on My Mind.” The book emphasizes the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality, as well as the importance of systemic change in addressing the core causes of prejudice and inequality.