Ashley Montagu

Category : Race, Sociology
Ashley Montagu

Ashley Montagu, in full Montague Francis Ashley Montagu, original name Israel Ehrenberg (born June 28, 1905, London, Eng.—died Nov. 26, 1999, Princeton, N.J.), British

Paulo Freire

Category : Education, Race
Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire was born in 1921 in Recife, Brazil. He became familiar with poverty and hunger during the 1929 Great Depression. In school he

Franz Boas

Category : Anthropology, Race
Franz Boas

Photo: Wikipedia. Web. 24 Oct 2014. Franz Boas was a German-born anthropologist who founded the relativistic, culture-centered school of American anthropology that dominated 20th

James Baldwin

Category : Race, Students, Writing
James Baldwin

  Photo: MDCarchives – Own work. Web. 21 Oct 2014. Although he spent a great deal of his life abroad, James Baldwin always remained a

James Baldwin, “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”

Category : Race, Students, Writing

St. Paul de Vence, France – The argument concerning the use, or the status, or the reality, of black english is rooted in American history and has absolutely nothing to do with the question the argument supposes itself to be posing. The argument has nothing to do with language itself but with the role of language. Language, incontestably, reveals the speaker. Language, also, far more dubiously, is meant to define the other – and, in this case, the other is refusing to be defined by a language that has never been able to recognize him.

Source: The New York Times (29 July 1979)

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James Baldwin, “Notes of a native son”

Category : Race, Students, Writing

On the 19th of July, in 1943, my father died. On the same day, a few hours later, his last child was born. Over a month before this, while all our energies were concentrated in waiting for those events, there had been, in Detroit, on of the bloodiest race riots of the century. A few hours after my father’s funeral, while lay in state in the undertaker’s chapel, a race riot broke out in Harlem. On the morning of the 3rd of August, we drove my father to the graveyard through a wilderness of smashed plate glass.

Source: Beacon Press, 1955.

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James Baldwin, “Price of a Ticket”

Category : Race, Students, Writing

My soul looks back and wonders how i got over – indeed: but I find it unexpectedly difficult to remember in detail, how I got started. I will never, for example, forget Saul Levitas, the editor of The New Leader, who gave me my first book review assignment sometime in 1946, nor Mary Greene, a wonderful woman, who was his man Friday: but I do not remember exactly how I met them.

Source: Collected Essays  (1985)

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Franz Boas, “Race” in The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences

Category : Anthropology, Race

The term race is often used loosely to indicate groups of men differing in appearance, language or culture. As here understood it applies solely to the biological grouping of human types. On account of the lack of sharp lines of demarcation the attempts at classification, based on varying characteristics, have not let to a generally accepted system.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, Vol VIII (NY: Macmillan, 1930-35): 25-36

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Franz Boas, “The Universality of Cultural Traits” 

Category : Anthropology, Race

There remains one question to be discussed; namely, whether some tribes represent a lower cultural stage when looked at from an evolutionary point of view.

Our previous discussion has shown that almost all attempts to characterize the mind of primitive man do not take into account racial affiliations, but only stages of culture, and the results of our efforts to determine characteristic racial differences have been of doubtful value. It appears, therefore, that modern anthropologists not only proceed on the assumption of the generic unity of the mind of man, but tacitly disregard quantitative differences which may very well occur. We may therefore base our further considerations on the theory of the similarity of mental functions in all races.

Source: The Mind of Primitive Man (NY: Macmillan, 1911)

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Anatole Broyard, “A Portrait of the Hipster”

Category : Race, Students, Writing

As he was the illegitimate son of the Lost Generation, the hipster was really nowhere. And, just as amputees often seem to localize their strongest sensations in the missing limb, so the hipster longed, from the very beginning, to be somewhere. He was like a beetle on its back; his life was a struggle to get straight. But the law of human gravity kept him overthrown, because he was always of the minority—opposed in race or feeling to those who owned the machinery of recognition.

The hipster began his inevitable quest for self-definition by sulking in a kind of inchoate delinquency. But this delinquency was merely a negative expression of his needs, and, since it led only into the waiting arms of the ubiquitous law, he was finally forced to formalize his resentment and express it symbolically. This was the birth of a philosophy—a philosophy of somewhereness called jive, from jibe: to agree or harmonize. By discharging his would-be aggressions symbolically, the hipster harmonized or reconciled himself with society.

Source: Partisan Review (June 1948).

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Paulo Friere, Pedagogy for the Oppressed

Category : Education, Race

A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any level, inside or outside the school, reveals its fundamentally narrative character. This relationship involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient, listening objects (the students). The contents, whether values or empirical dimensions of reality, tend in the process of being narrated to become lifeless and petrified. Education is suffering from narration sickness.

Source: (NY: Continuum, 2003, trans. Myra Bergamn Ramos): ch. 2

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Ashley Montagu, Chapter 9 from The Nature of Human Aggression

Category : Race, Sociology

At least as old as the alleged “ʺinstinct of aggression,”ʺ according to Robert Ardrey, is the “instinct of territory.” The “instinct of territory”ʺ is defined by Ardrey as “an inherent drive to gain and defend an exclusive territory.” And, according to him, in defense of territory ʺthe instinct of aggressionʺ plays a major role. It is this viewpoint that Mr. Ardrey develops in his book  The
Territorial Imperative, published in 1966, and significantly subtitled A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations. Man, Ardrey argues, has an innate compulsion to gain and defend territory, preserve, or property. And since the ʺsense of trespassʺ is so evident in the intruder, he wonders whether ʺthere does not exist, more profound than simple learning, some universal recognition of territorial rights.ʺ  His personal inquiry leads him to the conclusion that such a profound recognition does exist, and that the territorial nature of man is genetic and ineradicable. It is Ardrey’ʹs thesis that man is as much a territorial animal as is a mockingbird. We defend the title to our land, the sovereignty of our country, in response to drives no different, no less ineradicable, than those that motivate other animals. The innumerable territorial expressions of man are simply human responses to an imperative lying with equal force on mockingbirds and men. And if this is so, says Ardrey, we must begin to think of a radical revision of our human nature. In fact, says he, so almighty a force is this territorial drive that in power it exceeds even the sexual drive. ʺHow many men have you known in your lifetime,ʺ asks Ardrey, ʺwho died for their country? And how many for a
woman?ʺ It is a rough test, he admits, but it is clearly to him one that clinches the argument. It is the kind of logic that characterizes most of Ardrey’ʹs arguments. A part of our evolutionary nature, and fixed in our genetic endowment because of its survival value, Ardrey tells us, the territorial imperative is no less essential to the continuing existence of contemporary humans than it was to our early protohuman ancestors millions of years ago.

Source: The Nature of Human Agression, NY: Oxford University Press, 1976): ch. 9 

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