The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 26, Issue 4


"What's Wrong with Baseball": The Pittsburg Courier and the Beginning of its Campaign to Integrate th National Pastime
Chris Lamb

In February, 1933, the Pittsburgh Courier, the nation's largest and most influential Black weekly, introduced its campaign to integrate the national pastime with a series of interviews with baseball executives on why there were no Blacks in major league baseball. Over the next 12 years, the activist newpaper unified its readers and moved baseball toward integration by publishing countless articles and columns, organizing the Negro Leagues' all-star game, and pressuring baseball executives to sign Black players. Working behind the scenes, sports editior Wendell Smith urged Brooklyn's top minor league team, signed Robinson, ending decades of segregated baseball.
pp. 189–192


On the Rhetoric of Afrocentricity
Karen Strother-Jordan

This study critically examines Molefi Asante's development of Afrocentricity through a rhetorical analysis of his philosophy as found in the texts Afrocentircy and the Afrocentric Idea. Using Burke's theory of dramatism by way of Conrad's three phase approach, this study employed statistical analysis, and pentadic analysis. This study identified three key terms based on their frequency in the text: Afrocentricity, Afrology, and Ideology/Reality.

The pentadic analysis found that the ratio of scene/purpose was the most significant of all the ratios in Asante's discourse. The scene (Eurocentricity in scholarship) stands for the situation to which all parts of the pentad respond. The purpose of Afrocentricity is thus to challenge the Eurocentric tradition without replacing it with another tradition; and to develop a perspective that speaks about the multiplicity of culuture and experience that Eurocentrism historically has failed to consider.

This study illuminated Asante's motives in the development of Afrocentricity through the use of identification with his audience. The theme of the narrative that drives Asante's discourse is that the multiplicity of the human condition requires alternative modes of inquiry. The analysis was grounded in the text; therefore, the interpretations were based on the language and vocabulary of Asante's own writings.


Rap Music as an Extension of Black Rhetorical Tradition: "Keepin' It Real" 
Baruti N. Kopano

This study examines the rhetorical legacy of rap music. Beginning with the rhetorical traditions of ancient Africa, a pathway is drawn to show how enslaved Africans instituted these rhetorical traditions in a subversive manner in the New World. The coining of terms, the creation of linguistic combinations, the mastery of double entendre and other coded linguisic forms led to the formation of "guerilla rhetoric," which found expression in Black speech and Black music. Rap music is no exception. Most specifically, rap was created and continues to exist as a rhetoric of resistance. Though rap artists' approaches may differ, as an art form rap music uniformly draws on and expands the Black rhetorical tradition.
pp. 204–214


Frank Marshall Davis: A Forgotten Voice in the Chicago Black Renaissance
Kathryn Waddell Takara

This article examines Davis's aesthetic perceptions and sociopolitcal analysis through a review of his editorials and poetry written during the Chicago Black Renaissance (1930s–1940s), his seminal role in establishing black jazz criticism, and his joining of these activities to political activism. The study of journalism and poetey is especially important to the understanding of black literary history, because it reveals how the black intellectual's voice was forged in response to political and cultural movements. Finally, I will make the case for connective marginalities by showing how the black voice functions both as a tool for unity, linking oppressed communities of the African diaspora, and as a confrontational force, linking the black community with the white, alternately using lyricism and satire to push for social reform (Tidwell, 1996, 74).
pp. 215–227


Martin Luther King, Jr's Doctrine of Human Dignity
Rufus Burrow, Jr.

This article explores the meaning and some implications of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s doctrine of human dignity, with special reference to the socio-ethical behavior of proponents of the Christian faith. The article also grounds King's concept of dignity both theologically and philosophically, and considers its significance in light of black against black violence and murder among young Afrikan American males.
pp. 228–239


The Educational Development of Malcolm X
Najee E. Muhammad

The applicability of Malcolm X's pedagogy to the educational, intellectual, philosophical, and institutional development of African people situated in the United States continues to be silently negated and ignored in spaces of educational discourse. The negation of this society's primary voice of social critique and one of its most significant African advocates for the critical masses of African people in the diaspora continues to affirm the historical negation and miseducation of Africa, Africans, and Africans in the diaspora in particular, African people from the United States. This article examines the critical educational development of Malcolm Little who became Malcolm X and emerged El Hajj Malik El Shabazz.
pp. 240–248


Racial Inequality: Emphasis on Explanations
James E. Conyers

Three broad theoretical varieties of racial inequality are discussed: (1) deficiency theories; (2) bias theories: and (3) structural discrimination theories. Deficiency theories rest on the notion that racial inequality is due to deficiencies within the minority groups and has assumed three varieties: (a) biological, (b) structural and (c) cultural. The second broad category, bias theories, sees racial inequality as rooted in the biases of dominant group members. The third category, structural theories, locates explanations of racial inequality in the structure of society itself and has assumed two basic varieties: (a) class, and (b) colonial. The author reveals a greater ideological kinship with structural theories. The author concludes by suggesting that three basic strategies exist as remedies for racial inequality: (1) the civil rights strategy (prohibiting discrimination and enforcing the laws); (2) the poverty approach (helping the poor out of poverty; and (3) the affirmative action strategy (taking race into account). These and other remedies will be needed; however, prospects for the reduction of racial inequality for the larger majority of African Americans are not promising at the present time.
pp. 249–254


Book Reviews

An Index to African American Spirituals for the Solo Voice
Author: Kathleen Abromeit
Reviewed By: Stan L. Breckenridge
pp. 255–256


Racism: A Short HIstory
Authors: George Frederickson
Reviewed By: Lansana Keita
pp. 257–259







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