Workshop Thursday

Jacob Bueter


The following paper gives a description of the Boston Busing crisis an issue that was surrounded by racial tension and legal action. The crisis began when black parents and students became unsatisfied with the quality of education they were receiving at predominately black schools. In response black activists set up busing systems to get black students to areas of Boston where they would receive a quality education. The NAACP sued the Boston public school system for racial segregation and in 1974 Judge Garrity ruled that the segregation of black students from white students was in violation of the Brown V. Board decision. This paper looks at the racial tension in Boston following Judge Garrity’s decision, specifically focusing on how white protestors used the facade of busing to front an anti desegregation platform. This paper also examines how Boston legislators contributed to the political climate at the time of the crisis.


Brian Chen


         This essay examines the effect of the 228 incident and how it was perceived before and after the martial law in Taiwan. The essay shows how the 228 incident contributed to the formation of the Taiwanese identity, the restrictions on the freedom of speech, and then led to the democratization of Taiwan. Throughout the essay, it analyzes the long-term conflict between the local Taiwanese and the Mainland Chinese that has been around since the Nationalist Chinese government ruled Taiwan. The segregation of Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese and oppressions on the Taiwanese has contributed a lot to the lift of martial law in Taiwan when it was finally democratized. Although it can be inferred that the effects of the 228 incident was a direct result of the Nationalist Chinese government’s ruling, it could also be contributed by the complicated history of Taiwan. The cause and effect of the 228 incident has possessed a significant role in shaping the Taiwanese society before and even after the martial law was lifted.


Asha Beasley


Music has always had a noteworthy influence on social movements. It can represent the issues of the movement and the songs can, as a result, become a type of anthem of the movement and the time period. The Civil Rights Movement is no stranger to this phenomenon, as many black artists during the 1960s and 1970s found their audience through the movement and the yearning for black liberation. This essay will therefore analyze the career of singer Nina Simone, who dedicated her talents to singing about black struggles in both the North and South, as well as having an active role in the movement as well. Later in her life, Nina Simone stated that her involvement with the movement and her increasingly radicalized beliefs were the reason that her career ended as quickly as it did. Essentially, she believed that she had been blackballed by the rest of the music industry simply because she had opinions. Through a deep reading of the lyrics to her protest songs “Mississippi Goddam” and “Backlash Blues,” this essay will analyze not only Nina Simone’s influence, but also her analysis and criticisms of racist America throughout the 1960s.

Martin Luther King and Black Lives Matter

Was Martin Luther King more like Black Lives Matter than we think?

A while ago, I watched this video on NBC about Martin Luther King and the Black Lives Matter movement. It starts with a footage of Martin Luther King being arrested with his own voiceover saying: “I would rather die on the highways of Alabama than make a butchery of my conscience”. This scene is followed up with the question: “If you were around during the Civil Rights Movement, would you have supported Martin Luther King, Jr.,  our most celebrated leader of the time?” It then goes on to make the connection between MLK and BLM, arguing that there are more similarities between him and the current movement, in terms of goals and tactics.

Indeed, BLM is trying to address many problems that were once the concern of MLT, including police brutality, inequality in employment, etc. Many critics of BLM cite MLK’s non-violence philosophy to criticize the tactics and goals of BLM. Mike Huckabee is quoted in the video commenting: “All Lives Matter is not that any life matters more than another. That’s the whole message that I think Dr. King tried to present”.

Unsurprisingly, also featured in the video is Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, talking about the romanticized image of Dr. King promoted by many politicians and the media. People make claims about MLK and apply their understanding of him to current affairs without fully grasping the less idealized aspects of him. In this sense, Dr. King had much more in common with BLM than what is often associated with his legacy.

This video was posted a few weeks before April 4, the day of Dr. King’s assassination. I was really impressed, because such conversations are important, especially in the media, which plays a huge role in perpetuating the romanticized image of MLK, and often with an agenda. Such ideals can make people feel good about themselves and the perceived progress of America’s democracy, and avoid the more disturbing questions of segregation and racism today, in the 21st century.

Another example of racial discrimination on job applications.

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about the unfair background checks that target imposed on black and latino applicants and within twenty four hours i see another news report  on racial discrimination on job applications.

Chastity Jones, a black women from Alabama was offered a job as a customer service representative at a call center but the offer was revoked when Jones refused to cut her dreadlocks. The company argued at the time that dreadlocks were messy and thus weren’t company policy and that it wasn’t racial discrimination because her hair was a quality about her she could change instead of something like her skin color. As of now Jones is trying to take her case to the supreme court.

Jones instead argued that the company was “enforcing deeply entrenched work stereotypes that pressure black women to adopt white standards of beauty and professionalism”. Personally I think that it was unfair to revoke the job offer. Since jones was offered the position it means the company thought she was well qualified and suited for that position and to remove that offer just because of a hairstyle seems rude and wrong. I’d like to hear others opinions on this so please comment.


A Womanist Perspective of the Black Power Movement

“A Womanist Perspective of the Black Power Movement” 

by Akinyele Umoja

“Ashley D. Farmer’s Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era represents an essential development in a new generation of Black Power scholarship. Farmer’s contribution is a woman-centered overview of the Black Power movement. Like Peniel Joseph’s workRemaking Black Power will reinforce the significance of recognizing Black Power studies as a sub-field in African American history and Africana studies. Preceded by Rhonda Williams’s Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the Twentieth Century and Robyn Spencer’s The Revolution has Come, Farmer’s Remaking Black Power continues a trend within Black Power scholarship that challenges masculinist narratives of the movement.

Remaking Black Power is cutting edge as it offers a comprehensive-womanist perspective of the Black Power movement. Farmer’s interpretation of various categories of women’s activism is unique and illuminating. From the “Militant Black Domestic” to “Revolutionary Black Woman,” “African/Afrikan Woman,” and “Third World Woman,” Farmer offers frameworks to explore the representation of activist women with a variety of ideological developments within Black Power. The “Militant Black Domestic” parallels the antecedents of the Black Power movement through grassroots civil rights and Old Left intersections with the Black freedom movement. The “Revolutionary Black Woman” highlights women’s engagement with the Black Panther Party (BPP) and self-described revolutionary nationalism. The focus of “African Woman” is in the cultural-nationalist ideological trend, specifically Kawaida, from the Organization Us to the Congress of African People. The “Afrikan Woman” is a variation of cultural nationalism to the development of Pan-Afrikan nationalism, which was a dominant ideological trend of the Black Power movement in the early 1970s.1 Finally, the “Third World Woman” examines the revolutionary intersectional development of the Black Women’s Alliance and the Third World Women’s Alliance.”

Racism On Syracuse Campus

This last week there have been reports of a fraternity on the campus of Syracuse has posted a video that has many racist slurs that are said In this video. This video was uploaded to the fraternity Facebook group message to the rest of the members. In this video they say many racist things like a chant that says “to always have hatred in my heart.” This is meant to be said towards blacks, Mexicans and Jews. This video also shows some members saying that Jews should “get back into the showers” This is referring back to the Nazis treatment to the Jews during world war 2. This video was leaked to the schools newspaper by member of the school.

The school has shut down this fraternity pending investigation that they will be going through. The school said that they do not have any tolerance for this kind of behavior on campus. They will be looking into this matter and get to the bottom of everything. However many people on campus say that it is the same thing every time. They say that the school is sorry for this behavior here is some consolers you can talk to. They say that the school is not trying to stop these instances from happening they only care about that happens afterwards. Now the video has not been released to the public until the investigation is over. Hopeful the school will find these people guilty of racial discrimination against many people and kick them off campus for there actions.‘extremely-racist’-video/ar-AAw2Gby?ocid=spartanntp&ffid=gz


Discrimination in Target

Target has just agreed to pay a 3.7 million dollar settlement after being sued for its discriminatory background checks. Apparently, when reviewing job applications, if the applicant was African American or Latino a more in depth background check would be conducted and if the applicant was found to have any criminal history, even if it was years in the past and irrelevant to the position (ex disturbing the peace), they would be denied while caucasians were not.

To make up for this, Target is planning to prioritize hiring Black and Latinos and raise the minimum wage at Target to 12 dollars an hour. While this settlement will increase the number of minorities working at target and their wage, it does little to prevent discrimination and provide more opportunities to American minorities. Therefore, it is not enough. Target should at the very minimum follow in Starbucks steps and educate their employees and managers on racial bias.


Recently, Starbucks has come under a lot of heat due to an incident that happened in one of their Philadelphia coffee shops. During the incident, two black men were arrested after asking to use the restroom. This incident prompted national outrage, and even a hashtag #BoycottStarbucks to arise.

As a result of the outrage, Starbucks plans to close all of their stores nationwide on May 29 in order for their employees to undergo racial bias training. While this is a step in the right direction for Starbucks, i do not think it solves the entire issue. Racial bias is not just a Starbucks issue, it is a nationwide issue. How might we as a nation become better educated on racial biases that occur in front of us everyday?

Colin Kaepernick and the NFL

I have been a fan of the NFL for a long time and follow it year-round. It amazes me that Colin Kaepernick, who was cut from his former team, the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, still has yet to be signed by another team. Kaepernick created a lot of controversy when he began to kneel during the national anthem in 2016. It is because of this that many believe he still is unsigned. It was reported a couple weeks ago that Kaepernick was contacted by the Seattle Seahawks for a workout but, after Kaepernick refused to promise him that he would stop kneeling for the national anthem, the Seahawks canceled the workout. I find this crazy because there have been many players in the NFL this past year who kneeled during the anthem throughout the season, however, none of those players are out of a job for it.

There has been a lot of controversy in the NFL about the players kneeling and standing up for what they believe in. Many people in and around the NFL claim that professional athletes should not use their platform to talk about their political views or to protest. They claim that if the athletes do this it will hurt the NFL’s ratings.  I find this hard to believe for a couple of reasons. First, the NFL has been struggling with declining ratings for some time now. It has been an issue before players began to kneel. Secondly, according to Darren Rovell who is an ESPN reporter, the NBA’s ratings for the first playoff games this past weekend were up 17% and were the highest in five years. This NBA stat is important because the NBA has become known for allowing their players to stand up and speak for what they believe in. Considering this, it is hard to believe that players who kneel are really affecting the NFL’s ratings.

It will be interesting to see if Kaepernick, who is more than talented enough to be on an NFL roster will find a team this offseason. I hope the owners in the NFL will realize that players kneeling are not whats hurting their ratings and give Kaepernick a chance.


Kathleen Cleaver and Black Power’s Fight for Equality

Since attending Kathleen Cleaver’s talk a couple of weeks ago, one point she made has stuck with me: the adoption of Black Power across the world. She mentioned, multiple times, that she would run into people in other countries wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the Black Power fist and captioned in their own language. In India, the lower castes picked up the tenets of the Black Panther Party for their own fight for liberation. Cleaver seemed to love that the idea of Black Power empowered oppressed people all over the world. Black Power didn’t call for radical changes completely unique to African Americans. It presented a solution to end inequality for anyone who was oppressed.

I think the dissemination of an ideology like this is powerful. People can find a common cause with each other, no matter how many miles or oceans separate them. And I believe that it’s this kind of cause–fighting for equality and justice–that makes the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements stand so strongly in history. They will always be relevant because they fought for something that all societies have experienced and will continue to experience, unfortunately, for many years to come.

After finishing Remaking Black Power and in my own research for the final paper, I have seen other examples of ideologies spreading across borders. From feminism to socialism, ideologies that present a solution to suffering will find support all around the globe, regardless if they were initially created to rally a specific group of people.

Near the end of her talk, someone asked Cleaver what it takes to be a Panther. She said, “You need arms, legs, a brain, and a heart full of anger and hope.” This paired nicely with her discussion on Black Power’s global impact. As long as one is able and ready to change the world, everyone is welcome in the fight for equality and freedom.

Racism and Social Media

Over the past year, I have encountered many different instances of racism, especially in the realm of social media. Social media makes it easier to spread the word, whether that be for good or for bad. However, the instances I have seen have been vulgar and inappropriate.

One example is a student from my hometown near Baltimore, MD. The student, who is now in college, dressed up as Freddie Gray,  who was an unarmed Baltimore man who was slain by policemen. The student was dressed in an orange inmate suit with the name Freddie Gray written on the back. The action drew much backlash on social media, and it helped display the distance and insensitivity that white people experience when confronting these issues.

So, how must we bridge this gap in insensitivity in order to fully understand the injustices that occur on a daily basis? How must we educate youth so that a disgusting act such as the one I mentioned above does not happen again?