The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 29, Issue 3

African Americans in Schools:
Tiptoeing Around Racism
Carol Rozansky-Lloyd—University of Nebraska

This qualitative study describes the perspectives of teachers, administrators, and students as they experienced a project intending to improve the mathematics and science achievement of African American students in an urban school district. Using interview data, I examine and share instances, both explicit and implicit, of educational racism that hindered improved academic achievement of these students. These include a focus on retention, rejection of the project since it only focused on black students, the expectation that previous educators do a better job, a deficit model of students, and systemic educational issues. The current national increased focus on the standardization of curriculum and assessments is described as naïve within this context.
pp. 595-604

African-American Women’s Feelings on Alienation from
Third-Wave Feminism: A Conversation with My Sisters

Aretha Faye Marbley—Texas Tech University

This article utilizes Stone’s (1979) treatise on the absence of female consciousness as a theoretical framework to rekindle the conversation on how the residual effects of racism and sexism and the racial and sexual discrimination existing in the American society and in both the feminist and Black movements render African American females and Black feminism virtually invisible in mainstream politics and economics. It links African American women’s limited participation in first and second wave White feminism and their continued lack of visibility in third wave feminism in therapy and education to their earlier experiences with White feminism and Black Sexism.
pp. 605-614

Black Music and Musicians in the
Nineteenth Century

Fredrick J. Taylor—Georgia State University

During the nineteenth century there existed a variety of musical styles composed and performed in the African American community. These styles included but were not limited to ragtime, dance music, salon pieces, plantation songs, spirituals, minstrel tunes, band music, blues, instrumental, choral arrangements, light classics and other incidental music.

These musical styles were an integral part in introducing to vaudeville and Broadway theatre Black popular music of the nineteenth century. Black composers, musicians, actors and performers laid the musical foundation for American musical comedy, jazz, popular song and Broadway musical theatre. Most if not all of the Black composers wrote, performed and arranged European art music, popular song and black musical styles.
pp. 615-621

Africana Thought-Action: An Authenticating Paradigm for Africana Studies
Clenora Hudson-Weems—University of Nebraska

The article opens with an overview of major Africana paradigms of the late 20th. century—from Black Aestheticism of the seering 60s and 70s, to Afrocentricity of the 80s, to Africana Womanism of the late 80s and into the 21st. century, and more. It begs for a recall of the marriage between thought and action, the ultimate paradigm shift as a means of successfully reuniting these two poles.
pp. 622-628

A Political History and Analysis of Disenfranchisement
and Restoration of the Black Vote in Lousisiana

William Arp III—Southern University and A & M College
Berlisha Morton—Louisiana State University

In this case study of disenfranchisement and restoration of voting rights in Louisiana, it is argued that some states in general, and Louisiana in particular, have used crime policies to exclude Black Americans from the political processes of the state by denying them the right to vote after the commission of specific crimes. Data are collected from the Louisiana Secretary of State Office, Louisiana Department of Corrections, Louisiana Registrar of Voters, Louisiana Clerk of Court, and the United States Department of Justice. Findings indicate that there is a process for restoration of voting rights in Louisiana but it is a well kept secret. Although the state of Louisiana maintain data to prevent felons from voting, data is not maintained or made available from state government to indicate who has been restored. Louisiana’s indifference at its worst suggests a blatant disregard for justice and the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons, but especially for Black felons who represents more than three-fourths of those incarcerated and on parole in the state.
pp. 629-638

The Sociology, Pedagogy, and Theology of Huey P. Newton:
Toward a Radical Democratic Utopia

Matthew W. Hughey—University of Virginia

The island nations of the West Indies quickly come to mind as places with sizeable populations that are of African descent and where African retentions are evident. With the exception of Brazil, less often is this association made with the nations of Central and South America. With rising incomes and greater educational opportunities in the post-World War II era more attention was focused south of the U.S. Mexico border resulting in more opportunities for black tourists, entertainers, businessmen, and researchers. And lingering romantic notions combined with an affinity with Afro-Latinos contributed to a steady increase in popular interest and a considerable amount of scholarly research done mainly by U.S.-born African Americans concerning the peoples and cultures of Central and South America.
pp. 639-655

A Non-Negotiable Blues Catharsis:
Billie and Ursa Lady Sings the Blues and Corregidora

Alfonso Hawkins—Birmingham, Alabama

Jazz and Blues have traditionally been a channel through which the African American could transcend the pathological pressures of racial oppression by articulating a sad event through blues and improvising ˆ making personalˆ a creative statement against a much stronger nemesis through jazz. Using these tools, Gayl Jones‚ novel Corregidora showcases how protagonist Ursa Corregidora overcomes the psychological persecution handed down through generations stemming from the sexual abuse of her forebears on a Brazilian plantation by planter Corregidora. Singer Billie Holiday in her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues though co-writer William Dufty‚s version of the historical Billie Holiday, the persona of Holiday is presented as a blues record.

Like Ursa, Billie has failed romantic relationships and is persecuted because of race, gender, and personal failings. Through the articulation of these events, Billie Holiday sings her blues overcoming their damning consequences. Through the action statement of jazz, Billie Holiday, indeed, like Ursa Corregidora, triumphs as a woman, African American, and singer. Both of their lives become celebrations of personal achievement, non-negotiable, not racially transferred or transferable, through tools that African Americans have throughout their unique history in America a music that metaphorically sustains, renews, and overcomes with a cathartic spiritual essence.
pp. 656-665

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