Q1. Briefly define the concept of Black Nationalism. What are some of the critical factors according to Allen that helped shaped the movements for Black Nationalism List and explain at-least three? (20 points)

At its essence, according to Allan’s essay on “Black Nationalism,” Black Nationalism is a response to the exclusion of Black Americans from the opportunities offered to white Americans. It draws connections between the colonization of nonwhite people abroad with the oppression of Black people within the United States, despite the ostensible claim that America is a society based upon freedom. First was the Dred Scott decision, a U.S. Supreme Court decision which effectively disenfranchised all Black Americans, regardless of what state of the union in which they dwelt (slave or free). Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, after African-Americans had gained some brief political parity in state legislatures, this was destroyed with the rise of the white terrorist group the Klu Klux Klan. Promises of African-American equality were likewise dashed after African-Americans served in World War I yet were not supported in their quest for equality by the White House.

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The Depression of the 1930s further hurt black-owned businesses who had gained some fragile traction in the postwar boom years. Even after executive orders banning discrimination in munitions plants and the integration of the armed forces at the end of World War II, racial oppression and violence against African-Americans occurred, overtly in the South, and through more subtle forms of discrimination in the North. Finally, the struggles of the Civil Rights movement solidified in the mind of some activists that the goal assimilation could never feasibly assure African-Americans full equality, given the environment of hatred that existed in the United States at the time

Q2. Trace the evolution and development of Black Nationalism. Please provide illustrations using Booker T. Washington; Marcus Garvey – the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, Paul Cuffee and the 1815-1816 movements. Please provide clarity and scope of coverage. (20points).

According to the essay “Black Nationalism,” Black Nationalism has an old history in the United States, stretching back to 1815 and the efforts of Paul Cuffee to encourage repatriation. The challenge with this approach, however, was that even many Africans were resistant, given that the concept of Back to Africa was tainted by racists who supported repatriation of free Blacks alone, arguing that an integrated society of all races was impossible. Booker T. Washington did not advocate a return to Africa, but instead emphasized the need of economic self-sufficiency of the Black community, with an emphasis on working at trades and technically skilled professions that would result in economic enfranchisement. Washington was certainly no nationalist, and has been frequently criticized for being overly placating to whites, but did stress the need for community improvement, by institutions supported by the community.

Increasingly, however, especially after World War I and the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan in the South, African-Americans such as Marcus Garvey advocated a Back to Africa solution. Garvey is often said to have taken Washington’s rhetoric about economic growth (he was a strong supporter of black-owned businesses) and infused it with nationalist zeal. The founder of Liberia and a charismatic figure, even though Garvey did not persuade most African-Americans to leave the United States, his achievements in founding an African nation are still impressive, although his actual management of such efforts proved to be less successful. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam similarly rose to power in the wake of concerns that the integration advocated by Martin Luther King, Jr. was not truly enough to address the needs, injustices, and above all the craving for pride of the Black community. Malcolm X demanded that America be judged by the same standards of other nations criticized for their colonialism, and judged harshly. Although he later broke from the Nation of Islam’s demands of complete isolation from white society as the only solution to racial discrimination, Malcolm X remained a powerful voice against the idea that middle-class success and joining white American communities should be the primary aim of African-American organizations committed to social justice.

Q3. Briefly define the idea and concept of slave reparation for African Americans. Compare this to reparation for Jews during the WWII Holocaust and Reparations for Japanese for internment during WWII. (20 points)

The notion of reparations is to provide some sort of recompense for the atrocities committed upon the victims of slavery. This is a slightly different notion, at least as it is conceptualized today, than directly offering restitutions to the living victims who suffered due to a historical atrocity such as the Holocaust or Japanese internment, particularly given the difficulty of measuring the economic losses slavery is causing current African-Americans today (although the effects are still measurable). The emotional and psychological costs of racism, of course, are unquantifiable, but are therefore even more difficult to measure.

Q4. From the Ogletree article or reparation, describe the four period of Advocacy for slave reparation as defined by Vincent Verdun: (15pts).

The first period was that of direct reparations in the form of forty acres and a mule, or some form of land and means of economic empowerment paid directly to slaves. The second attempt occurred in the wake of Reconstruction and efforts to secure parity for African-Americans in the form of representation in the state legislature. The third occurred in the wake of World War II and the so-called back to Africa movement of Marcus Garvey, which promised African-Americans a claim on formerly colonized territories. The four was the affirmative action advocated by President Johnson, to enable African-Americans to better secure a foothold in the American middle class through higher education and jobs.

Q4a. Briefly describe how you would design the distribution of reparation dollars (400 billion) for enslaved African Americans. What problems would you attack? Please provide at least ten examples or illustrations (15 points)

Inequities in access to preschool education, inequities in access to quality public education for school age children, financial support for college, would all level some of the inequities created by lack of access to education due to poverty and racial segregation in housing. Larger mortgage tax credits in the form of housing benefits for could also be bestowed. Similarly, to address inequities in health insurance and treatment, African-Americans could be granted additional tax credits or direct payments to address longstanding health concerns. As well as payments to individuals, largely African-American communities could be prioritized for federal funds to improve the health of so-called sick buildings with lead or allergens. The funds could support the creation of parks and safe places to play in largely African-American low-income communities. Support for African-American studies programs, museums, and monuments would likewise foster a sense of pride, history, and remembrance for the victims of slavery and better enable the current generation to comprehend its legacy.

Q4b. List and explain at-least two court cases filed by African Americans to gain reparation for suffering during the period of enslavement. Please provide details of the cases and indicate what decisions were reached by the court on these cases (10pts).

Johnson vs. McAdoo (1914) contested the taxation of raw cotton produced by slaves, arguing that it was unjust enrichment from slave labor, but the case was struck down based upon the idea that the government was immune from prosecution on sovereign immunity grounds (effectively deciding the case on a technicality, versus a matter of justice). Much later, in the 1990s, Cato vs. United States, filed on behalf of an African-American woman’s ancestors was similarly dismissed on the ground that she could not bring forth such a suit on behalf of the dead, despite the fact that African-Americans today are still affected by the legacy of slavery.

Works Cited

Allan, “Black Nationalism,” 89-121.

Ogletree, “Addressing the Racial Divide,” 274-293.