Black Hippy Chick in context

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2006 at 8:20 am

A family friend recently called my mother and called her attention to the fact that my name was in her local newspaper for an incident that happened to me close to fifteen years ago. I honestly thought that I had put my past behind me, but evidently I had not I was listed in the chronology of the article.

The subject of the article was the resignation of a prominent journalist Jack White former editor of the Nation section of Time magazine. White cites an oppressive environment to free speech and free thought at Hampton University as a reason for not returning. As a seventeen year old Freshman suspended from the University for something I said; I have to agree that the university has an almost pathological aversion to freedom of speech and free thought. However my wake up call did not come when I was suspended from the university for talking to a parent about the school, mainly telling her that her child would get a good job if she graduated from this university but her critical thinking skills would not be sharpened; but when I did a paper on Angela Davis and the professor begged me to do it on something else because she was afraid for me to write about such people at the University. For me it was a paper on a black woman – nothing more. Several years ago I developed an interest in the Holocaust and consumed every book I could about it, however that did not make me a Hitler wannabe. My paper on Angela Davis was a research paper on a woman, which did not just cite scholarly periodicals concerning Angela Davis but also cited popular press periodicals and newspapers. I refused to take back the paper. All of this was part of an atmosphere at Hampton University that would eventually lead to my suspension at Hampton University for something that I said for violating the principle of something to the effect of “performing acts incompatible with the interest of the university”, on the Friday before Easter I was sent a letter to attend a hearing on Monday. My parent who had raised me, an alumnus of the university did not receive notice in time to attend the hearing. I was charged with discouraging parents from sending their children to the university at college day and talking to a parent during my work study at the university Museum. While there was a protest of University policies by other students the “now alumni” of the University I did not participate. I was in class. While I did not participate in protesting the university, I did run into the Dean of Education after one particularly nasty class period as I sat and listened to a big fat loud white woman attack Marc a particulars goodlooking black brother that she attacked every period. In my mind, I always thought she attacked him so hard because he reminded her of some black lover she had had in the past. In any event after one particular class I ran into the Dean of Education and took the time to tell him that I and other students were very disappointed with the education or lack of education we were receiving, I believe many students referred to it as a boarding high school. After this conversation everything concerning the university and dissatisfaction was dumped on me. Unfortunately, this was so far from the truth it was laughable. I did attend African Studies groups which was most likely the source of the protest but I was only in the audience, I planned nothing and had no interest in planning anything concerning protest in the University. I believe at that time my issue was South Africa and trying to plan a sister community for South Africa via the University. Over a break I had attended a conference at Spelman college where South Africa and organizing Sister communities was discussed. At the time that I was suspended this is a project that I was working on with a sophomore who was interested in doing the same thing. At the time of the hearing I was “expelled from the university and told to vacate the premises immediately and never come back. This is my side of the incident. After this incident I never thought of African Americans in the same light. I could now relate to Latin American Huntas and African despotic governments.

In order for anyone to understand the climate at Hampton University, and recent and not so recent events of threatening to expel a student for passing out literature in favor of sanctions on the Sudan, against gay bashing, and other issues. In order for one to understand a climate where an administration would get upset because their comments were not placed on the first page of a newspaper one must understand the debate between Dubois and Washington and the significance of two schools of thoughts as it regarded educating post and pre civil war blacks. Hampton University is the model for industrial education of blacks. The model taken further by Booker T. Washington which said that blacks did not need a classical education or develop critical thinking skills but were better of learning how to do practical things to serve white people such as iron, sweep, build, and teach. Booker T. Washington was heavily against the civil and Political movements for blacks to obtain equal rights with whites. As a matter of fact Washington was recruited to build Tuskegee a new school in the South because the Atlanta blacks were too much out of place of where some whites believed they should be and thus Tuskegee (industrial)was born, a place where blacks of the deeper south would know their place. A place where whites were worshiped and pandered to, a place where blacks created their own little mini-worlds where blacks were selectively chosen by other blacks in what became to be known as the Tuskegee machine.

In juxtaposition Dubois sat on a classical model of education for blacks which said that blacks could not live comfortable and well until they had civil rights which meant a classical model of education and the development of critical thinking skills which the blacks of Atlanta who had found their very lives burnt to the ground by jealous whites in the early 1900’s because they were resentful of black success. Atlanta knew that economic and civil rights had to go hand in hand. This model I believe ultimately lead to the civil rights movement which resulted in equal rights for blacks. It is my theory that with the entrenchment of these universities which were not all run by other blacks, such as in the case of Lincoln University(classical) , the alma matters of Thurgood Marshall and Langston Hughes; that created a straight line to Martin Luther King, a Morehouse (classical) graduate who would lead the civil rights movement.

While a classical model of education did result in a civil movement that achieved civil rights for all. The industrial model and its strict attention to the needs of creating a company man are the right ingredients for the success of Hampton University. Hampton Universities president I can only conclude has a strict loyalty to the industrial model of education. Which Dubois on his death bed blamed Washington for creating the Jim Crowe south according to I believe an article that I read long ago in Atlantic magazine as it discussed going to Ghana and visiting Dubois who’s words were “that damned Booker T. He took us back so far” The company man that Hampton aims to create now is an apolitical drone with set characteristics and mannerisms which actually works for some corporate environments. Furthermore admission standards actually have individuals entering who don’t need to be taught much anyway, they already know what they need to know intellectually to be trained for anything. Hampton University makes sure that they are ready to enter the environments they are recruited for in terms of making sure they are apolitical and unoppininated. The even have a ban against braids and dreadlocks for men in their Masters of Business program which some would say is a good thing. However the point that must be made is that society is driven by creativity and companies that view blacks as something other than an affirmative action fulfillment should be concerned.

Finally I would like to say that the Alumni that I knew through my mother long ago were very concerned with the tactics being used by Hampton University. I remember years ago they were upset about a comment by the president of the university who said something to the effect of he did not care about high test scores and smart students but preferred someone who was malleable. I would also like to ad that I loved the students at Hampton University, while there is no intellectual stimulation in the classroom there is plenty on the campus among the students which is why the students continue to protest the lack of something on the campus. The policies of Hampton University should be of concern to everyone because these are the policies that allowed the Tuskegee experiment to happen. Finally I urge anyone who wants to know about the industrial model of blacks and its policies and tactics I urge them to read The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The difference is between A Martin Luther King (classical) and a Mole (industrial) in the King entourage that gives secret information concerning the civil rights movement to the government. These are the differences in the styles of education.

Finally I would like to add that there were senior students I talked to while I was there who I thought were crazy at the time. They would talk about advanced surveillance on campus electronic devices etc. They even said don’t talk on the phones of the University they are bugged. At the time they were telling me this I did not believe it but I truly believe it now. I have experienced some of the craziness first hand and it was not pleasant. Something was done to me and it was really negative, around the time that it happened, Hampton university resumed their oppressive policies. They stopped for close to ten years after the incident with me.

Finally if you would like a PDF copy of this post please email me and I will send you one. Also if you have reason to believe I’ve been hacked please contact me.

###not checked for grammar


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