About

imageThe blog of Samuel T. Livingston, Ph.D., Africana Studies Associate Professor and Director of the African American Studies Program at Morehouse College. The author is a native of the North Santee Gullah commune in Karolina ya Kusini.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Dr Livingston: read your post on Robert Gates and the honorary degree awarded by Morehouse. I’m somewhat baffled by the accommodations made to Gates and other “good Republicans” by the Obama administration. Your post is courageous and well documented. Morehouse is not likely to withdraw the honor given to Gates, it’s true, but you’ve let the college administration and others know that there are voices of dissent and resistance in the Morehouse community. Good for you. Has this post cost you politically in the college community/system? Peace, Steve Powers

    1. Steven,
      Thank you for taking the time to read this post. And, by the way, thank you for sitting in on the Black Lives Matter class. Everyday I see that the students are growing in confidence and in their ability to critique texts that are placed before them.

      About the honorary degree to Robert Gates, I am very clear that our administration will not rescind that award. But, it is important that we raise the issue of what is at stake in cozying up to the national security state apparatus. I haven’t felt any specific feedback and haven’t suffered recrimination. That is probably due to my ineffective self-promotion. A handful of students have read it… and of course Big Brother 🙂

      Take care,

      Sam

  2. Dr Livingston: I’m still a student, but I do see some of the young people in the intro to gender studies class (Dr Liz Cannon) becoming more articulate and self-assured and capable of voicing their insights in that class. That really is exciting. It’s one of the reasons that I tell people that I learn so much from the students (as well as from the prof, of course). If I’d known about your course offering during the 3 week interim, I would have been participating in your class. Intro to gender studies will be offered again, but I doubt that we will have anything close to your course offered at UW-O anytime soon. The young man sitting next to me at the table on Friday said that he’s involved in math and science, having interests in engineering. But when he knew that your course was being offered, he decided to sign up for that. There is a hunger here for some in-depth analysis of what’s going on in the larger world, yes, including the world of Black Lives Matter. I feel that I should order the book you’re using, but if I do, how will we have on-going discussion of these issues on this campus, without someone such as yourself to pull us together and challenge us to think and possibly to act? I’m thanking you for allowing me to visit your class and have my consciousness raised once again.
    I’ve been thinking about the essay we have by Richard Thompson Ford; can’t get it out of my mind. Why does he begin with a discussion of heterosexual marriage, his own marriage? I wonder if he feels a need to situate himself squarely in a heteronormative context before he touches the questions of race and queer. Maybe he doesn’t want anyone to have any reason to associate him too closely with “queer”. I’m only supposing here, because I don’t know enough about him and his writings to say much.
    Hope you’re having a good weekend/holiday. Peace, Steve Powers

  3. Dr Livingston: Greetings from Wisconsin! I just finished reading BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME, Ta-Nelhisi Coates. A friend, Sandra Muinde, gave it to me to read. Sandra is “bi-racial”, as she says. She is a kind of window into black experience in this country for me, but she hasn’t read the book herself yet. By the way, Sandra studied in the diocesan school to become a deacon in the Diocese of Fond du Lac (the Episcopal Church).
    All that I can tell you at this point is a feeling or two: the first is frustration. Who can I talk to about this book and this author? Who’s our guru in Oshkosh, Wisconsin? Who has the time to talk with me about what this book means and what the author is saying? Of course, I have some impressions, but I feel that I’m missing levels and depths. I feel that I need instruction. I had similar feelings when I finished Go Tell It On The Mountain earlier this summer.
    Secondly, I feel profoundly humbled by reading Coates. At the conclusion, I felt that tears were welling in my eyes. I’ve never known that basic, elemental fear and distrust which Coates describes. I wanted to cry for Mabel Jones, the mother of Prince Jones. Too sentimental? Maybe. I’m not ashamed of thinking of myself as “white” but I’m not sure that I know what that means now. I’m not sure that I know what the “American Dream” is or means to people who think that we are white. I definitely don’t know what “the Dream” means to people who do not think of themselves as white.
    Jordan Landry mentioned to me that people are comparing Coates to Baldwin and I can see that now. I looked on-line to find some of his essays written for the Atlantic Monthly. He’s a powerful writer. I took some comfort, I suppose, in telling myself that Baldwin is dead, that his struggles were the struggle of a past generation, of a past time. But Coates puts all the same struggle in the present. I want to say: Damn! Is this my fault? My problem? And I’m afraid (another emotional response) that the answer is YES.
    Well, if you’ve read this ramble, I thank you.
    Peace to you and all best wishes for a great fall semester at Morehouse, Steve Powers

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