Cover image for Dispatches from the ebony tower : intellectuals confront the African American experience
Dispatches from the ebony tower : intellectuals confront the African American experience
Marable, Manning, 1950-2011.
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 333 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction: black studies and the racial mountain / Manning Marable -- Toward an effective antiracism / Nikhil Pal Singh -- Political moment in Jamaica: the dimensions of hegemonic dissolution / Brian Meeks -- Sandoms and other exotic women: prostitution and race in the Caribbean / Kamala Kempadoo -- Race and revolution in Cuba: African American perspectives / Manning Marable -- Fire this time: Harlem and its discontents at the turn of the century / Johanna Fernandez -- Crack cocaine and Harlem's health / Beverly Xaviera Watkins and Mindy Thompson Fullilove.

African American studies and the "warring ideals": the color line meets the borderlands / Johnnella E. Butler -- Future of black studies: political communities and the "talented tenth" / Joy James -- Black studies and the question of class / Bill Fletcher -- Black studies: a critical reassessment / Maulana Karenga -- Black studies revisited / Martin Kilson -- Theorizing black studies: the continuing role of community service in the study of race and class / James Jennings -- Debate on activism in black studies / Henry Louis Gates and Manning Marable.

Afrocentricity, race, and reason / Molefi Kete Asante -- Afrocentrics, afro-elitists, and afro-eccentrics: the polarization of black studies since the student struggles of the sixties / Melba Joyce Boyd -- Reclaiming culture: the dialectics of identity / Leith Mullings -- Afrocentrism, cultural nationalism, and the problem with essentialist definitions of race, gender, and sexuality / Barbara Ransby -- Afrocentricity and the American dream / Lee D. Baker -- Multinational, multicultural America versus white supremacy / Amiri Baraka.

Problematics of ethnic studies / Manning Marable -- Prophetic alternatives: a conversation with Cornel West -- Race in American life: a conversation with John Hope Franklin.

Format :


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E184.7 .D57 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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What constitutes black studies and where does this discipline stand at the end of the twentieth century? In this wide-ranging and original volume, Manning Marable--one of the leading scholars of African American history--gathers key materials from contemporary thinkers who interrogate the richly diverse content and multiple meanings of the collective experiences of black folk.

Here are numerous voices expressing very different political, cultural, and historical views, from black conservatives, to black separatists, to blacks who advocate radical democratic transformation. Here are topics ranging from race and revolution in Cuba, to the crack epidemic in Harlem, to Afrocentrism and its critics. All of these voices, however, are engaged in some aspect of what Marable sees as the essential triad of the black intellectual tradition: describing the reality of black life and experiences, critiquing racism and stereotypes, or proposing positive steps for the empowerment of black people.

Highlights from Dispatches from the Ebony Tower :

* Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Manning Marable debate the role of activism in black studies.

* John Hope Franklin reflects on his role as chair of the President's race initiative.

* Cornel West discusses topics that range from the future of the NAACP through the controversies surrounding Louis Farrakhan and black nationalism to the very question of what "race" means.

* Amiri Baraka lays out strategies for a radical new curriculum in our schools and universities.

* Marable's introduction provides a thorough overview of the history and current state of black studies in America.

Author Notes

Manning Marable is professor of history and political science and director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In a society struggling with the relationships between many ethnic and cultural "minorities," the experiences of the black studies field have much to offer all people who think of themselves as minorities. The intellectuals who confront the African American experience would like to have rational and cogent constructs by which to explain the relationships of blacks to the rest of society. Can a scholar be partisan and objective? Marable (director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia Univ.) has compiled a sophisticated collection that outlines the issues, organizes the history, and identifies the intellectual leaders who have guided black studies programs and the African American movement. A scholarly successor to Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (1967), this collection synthesizes the complex thinking since the 1960s. Marable divides the essays into four sections: "Theorizing the Black World in the Postcolonial, Post-Civil Rights Era," "Mapping African American Studies," "Afrocentricity and Its Critics," and "Race and Ethnicity in American Life." The book concludes with a conversation with John Hope Franklin. Readers can approach Marable's collection as a whole or in parts. Highly recommended for students and scholars of US history, upper-division undergraduates through professionals. ; Wake Forest University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Black Studies and the Black Intellectual TraditionManning Marable
1 Theorizing the Black World: Race in the Postcolonial, Post-Civil Rights Era
1 Toward an Effective AntiracismNikhil Pal Singh
2 The Political Moment in Jamaica: The Dimensions of the Hegemonic DissolutionBrian Meeks
3 Sandoms and Other Exotic Women: Prostitution and Race in the CaribbeanKamala Kempadoo
4 Race and Revolution in Cuba: African-American PerspectivesManning Marable
5 The Fire This Time: Harlem and Its Discontents at the Turn of the CenturyJohanna Fernandez
6 Crack Cocaine and Harlem's Health.Beverly Xaviera Watkins and Mindy Thompson Fullilove
2 Mapping African-American Studies
7 African-American Studies and the "Warring Ideals": The Color Line Meets the BorderlandsJohnnella E. Butler
8 The Future of Black Studies: Political Communities and the "Talented Tenth"Joy James
9 Black Studies and the Question of ClassBill Fletcher Jr.
10 Black Studies: A Critical ReassessmentMaulana Karenga
11 Black Studies RevisitedMartin Kilson
12 Theorizing Black Studies: The Continuing Role of Community Service in the Study of Race and ClassJames Jennings
13 A Debate on Activism in Black StudiesHenry Louis Gates Jr. and Manning Marable
3 Afrocentrism and Its Critics
14 Afrocentrism, Race, and ReasonMolefi Kete Asante
15 Afrocentrics, Afro-elitists, and Afro-eccentrics: The Polarization of Black Studies Since the Students Struggles of the SixtiesMelba Joyce Boyd
16 Reclaiming Culture: The Dialectics of IdentityLeith Mullings
17 Afrocentrism, Culture Nationalism, and the Problem with Essentialist Definitions of Race, Gender, and SexualityBarbara Ransby
18 Afrocentricity and the American DreamLee D. Baker
19 Multinational, Multicultural America Versus White SupremacyAmiri Baraka
4 Race And Ethnicity in American Life
20 The Problematic of Ethnic StudiesManning Marable
21 Prophetic Alternatives: A ConversationCornel West
22 Race in American Life: A ConversationJohn Hope Franklin