Friday, October 28, 2011
Memorable moments in my education
As a junior in college, Dr. Carol Boyce Davies showed us a documentary that traced images of Black people in American history through entertainment, books, and (at the time) sitcoms. I remember the documentary had a huge impact on my thinking and, twenty years later, I think the academic research of this scholarship is still important. Historically, constructions of Blackness arrived in its relation to how White society viewed people of African descent. An awareness of school books used for children, portrayals of Black individuals in film, and how history was portrayed in textbooks is relevant to everything 2011.
Yesterday's constructions make today's reality.
I revisited the clips with a student in my office yesterday who was asking questions about being a smart Black male at a primarily White institution. I was helping him shape his thinking by offering him resources to help him think through his ideas, including the online version of this film, and many books from my shelves. I've kept up with books...not so much in film.
I'm glad my resources were allowed to come to life once again. And I'm inspired to keep building on them (after all, twenty years after Ethnic Notions, much more has been contributed)