Movie of the Week: Glory
This war drama film discovers the history of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. This film is about the first all-African American regiment that fought during the Civil War. It is so important because their determination, courage, and bravery helped the Union gain multiple advantages during the Civil War. Although many white supremacists doubted their abilities and threatened them with death or the return to bondage; They still fought and prevailed.
Watch this short clip from the movie!
Birth Place of Septima Clark a Sorority House?
Septima Clark is a very prominent African American educator and civil rights activist. She lead major initiatives that helped African Americans achieve full citizenship and voting rights. She helped empower African Americans by using education and participation in civil society as forms of resistance from racism and oppression. Her birthplace and home reside in Charleston, SC. Today it is now an active sorority house. Shouldn’t places like these that hold so much historical significance be preserved? Why is the birthplace of a powerful civil rights activist from Charleston now the home of a sorority? Places like these should be preserved and used as space and museums for students to learn about the true history of African Americans that has taken place on the grounds of the College of Charleston. With the College of Charleston being a PWI, and a low Black student population there should be safe and sacred places for students to learn about their ancestors who were the leaders of change before them. In what ways can we as students and educators preserve the history of people like Septima Clark?
History Revealed Through Photography
While it is important to learn and hear the history of African Americans, visually seeing the history brings about an enhanced educational experience. Here below are some photos:
Movie Highlight of the Week: Coach Carter
In the movie Coach Carter, an African American male basketball coach takes on the role of a head basketball coach in an underprivileged and overlooked community. As he takes on this role he realizes that the education system and their surroundings have failed them. people expect them to fail, end up dead, or in jail. Despite this, he makes graduating high school and going to college a top priority for his basketball team.
Watch this short clip from the movie as he explains why education is vital to their lives as African American men living in America.
Critical Race Theory: True History Revealed
Critical Race Theory dates back to 40 years. This theory highlights that race is essentially a social construct. It also states that racism is not the product of the individual’s bias or prejudice; instead racism is embedded in various legal systems and policies within the United States. According to the American Bar Association, the main principles of Critical Race Theory are:
“Recognition that race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant. It recognizes that science (as demonstrated in the Human Genome Project) refutes the idea of biological racial differences. According to scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, race is the product of social thought and is not connected to biological reality. Acknowledgment that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, that replicates racial inequality. This dismisses the idea that racist incidents are aberrations but instead are manifestations of structural and systemic racism.”
Proponents of Critical Race Theory hold the view that the law/legal institutions of the United States are founded and built on racist ideologies. The main goals of institutionalized racism are to create inequalities socially, economically, and politically between whites and minorities. Furthermore, the proponents of Critical Race theory hold the belief that in order to understand racism one must examine it through the lens and experiences of those who are more impacted by it. This will without a doubt include African Americans and other minorities who are non-white in the United States. In order to understand the depths of racism, one must not focus on the racist but on those who are severely affected by it. Proponents challenge the universal white experience as the authoritative standard. Critical Race Theory focuses on the culture of expression. According to an article by The First Amendment Encyclopedia, it states that “Critical race theory (CRT) is a movement that challenges the ability of conventional legal strategies to deliver social and economic justice and specifically calls for legal approaches that take into consideration race as a nexus of American life. The movement champions many of the same concerns as the civil rights movement but places those concerns within a broader economic and historical context. It often elevates the equality principles of the Fourteenth Amendment above the liberty principles of the First Amendment(Demaske).”
African American History Book Recommendation of the Week:
Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the meaning of Liberty Written by Dorothy Roberts
Black women have been the driving force and the center of strength behind abolitionist movements, the Civil Rights Movement, BLM, and the overall Black Freedom Struggle. Despite that, they have been overlooked, belittled, and their body has been brutally dehumanized. It is very important to acknowledge the history of how Black women have historically been viewed by American society for hundreds of years. It is important to recognize black women’s strength and to realize all of the challenges and adversities they had to go through in order to overcome. In Dorothy Roberts’s most eye-opening and educational book, Killing the Black Body: Race Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty; She gives her readers a detailed account of the history of societal, physical, environmental, and mental pressures that have devalued Black women for hundreds of years. In her book, she talks about what race, reproduction, and liberty have meant for Black women in America, and how those three factors have stripped away womanhood and motherhood from Black women. Dorothy Roberts does this by sharing stories from ex-slaves, using research, statistics, and being a black woman in America herself. She also highlights the brutal stories of Black women who were slaves and the horrifying inhumane things that they had to endure while being on the plantations. The three major themes that the author focuses on are the history of the limited reproduction rights that black women have been deprived of and the false stereotypes that have been harshly placed on black women. The other subtopics that she talks about is the high maternal mortality rate with Black women, how most women are dying in hospitals because their complaints and worries are constantly deemed unimportant, the danger that the Norplant birth control has caused on black women’s bodies, policies regulating black women’s fertility, the lasting impression that most Americans have about black mothers being unfit, how the demands of work within white homes undermined their motherhood, the belief that black women damage their families, the stereotypical idea of the “welfare queen”, and bio-determinism. The content of the book is significant because it covers topics and research that highlights the brutal struggles that black women have continued to endure since slavery.
College of Charleston ’22
Political Science/ African American Studies
7 Historic Places in Charleston That Highlight Black History
Here is a list of prominent historical sites in Charleston, SC that highlights African American History. Going to these sites will help students and educators gain insight into the lives, experiences, and history of African Americans beyond the classroom setting.
- The Old Slave Mart Museum
- McLeod Plantation Historic Site
- Avery Research Center
- Gullah Geechee Corridor
- Charleston City Market
- Cabbage Row
- Mt. Zion AME Church
10 Movies You Should Watch in Honor of Black History Month
While there are hundreds of films that one can watch in celebration of Black History Month, here is a list of movies that covers a majority of real-life stories that occurred during the Black Freedom Struggle. While in these movies you may see oppression, racism, and inhumanity; These historical figures also prevailed and thrived despite these horrible conditions. Their limitations did not define them, their resilience and warrior mentality did.
- Just Mercy
- I am Not Your Negro
- Hidden Figures
- Judas and the Black Messiah
- The Hate U Give
- Fruitvale Station