Once in a Lifetime Class with Robert "Bob" Moses During Spring Semester
The Center for African American Studies at Princeton University is offering a “once in a lifetime course” during the Spring 2012 semester. The course entitled, Liberating Literacy (AAS 349/HIS 465) will be taught by Professor Tera Hunter and distinguished visiting fellow Robert “Bob” Parris Moses.
The course, taking place on Wednesdays from 1:30-4:20 p.m., will feature guest speakers each week as well as a field trip at the end of the semester. It is designed to look at the intersections of labor, economic, and education policies through African-American history, from the era of slavery to the present day. Quality education has been a persistent goal of human and civil rights movements and it is the contemporary frontier for civil rights activism in the United States, but typical national conversations about public education have centered too much on the need to supply trained workers and too little on the need to empower people for robust self-actualization and meaningful democratic participation. The class will explore themes such as education as a struggle for liberation during and after slavery; the establishment of free public schools; training for twentieth century job markets during Jim Crow; sixties and post-sixties civil rights activism; and the historic challenges of mechanization, de-industrialization, and the global economy. The larger goal in the course is to co-create a narrative that can help shift the national discourse and help build a basis for social activism for the expansion of quality education as a constitutional right for all citizens and residents of our nation.
In May during the reading period, the students and faculty will be able to further their knowledge during a trip to Jackson, Mississippi for a two-day seminar with former field secretaries of SNCC; former family members who hosted SNCC volunteers; John Doar (PU ’44) and other civil rights attorneys who worked for the U. S. Department of Justice during the Civil Rights Movement; John Barry, independent author of books on Hurricane Katrina and the Mississippi Flood of 1927; leaders from the labor community; and local students attending a historically African-American university.
Robert “Bob” Parris Moses received his BA from Hamilton College (1956), and his MA in Philosophy from Harvard University (1957). Moses was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement as a field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Moses initiated SNCC’s Mississippi Voter Registration Project that summer, was appointed its director in 1962. He helped to lead the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) into the Mississippi Summer Project (1964 Freedom Summer), which parachuted the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) to the National Democratic Convention in Atlantic City. He received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1982-87), and subsequently started the Algebra Project, and the use of mathematics as an organizing tool for a Quality Public School Education (QECR) for all students. Moses is the author of Radical Equations—Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project (Beacon, 2001) and co-editor of Quality Education as a Constitutional Right-creating a grassroots movement to transform public schools (Beacon Press, 2010). Moses is currently the Distinguished Visitor for the Center for African American Studies.
Tera W. Hunter is a scholar of U. S. history, with specializations in African-Americans, gender, labor, and the South. She is particularly interested in the history of slavery and freedom. She is currently writing a book on African-American marriages in the 19th century. Her first book received several prizes including the H. L. Mitchell Award from the Southern Historical Association, the Letitia Brown Memorial Book Prize from the Association of Black Women’s Historians, and the Book of the Year Award from the International Labor History Association. She was a Mary I. Bunting Institute Fellow, at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, 2005-2006. She received her B. A. from Duke University and Ph.D. from Yale University.
This course is open to Princeton University undergraduate and graduate students as well as graduate students attending reciprocating colleges. Admission to the course is by application only. For more information and the link to the application visit: http://www.princeton.edu/africanamericanstudies/undergraduate/courses/
Confirmed Guest Speakers for the course:
- Prof. Heather Williams, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Prof. Julie Saville, University of Chicago
- Mr. Douglass Blackmon, Wall Street Journal
- Prof. Stephanie Shaw, Ohio State University
- Prof. Robin D. G. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles
- Atty. Lewis M. Steel, Outten & Golden, LLP
- Prof. Deirdre Royster, New York University
- Mr. Thomas Nikundiwe, University Prep Science and Math High School
- Theresa Perry, et. al, eds. Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform Public Education
- Heather Williams, Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom
- Waldo Martin, ed. Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents
- Julie Saville, The Work of Reconstruction: From Slave to Wage Laborer in South Carolina,1860-1870
- James Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935
- Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War I
- Stephanie Shaw, What a Woman Ought to Be and to Do: Black Professional Women Workers during the Jim Crow Era
- Robin D. G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression
- Charles Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle
- Deirdre Royster, Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs
- Robert P. Moses, Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project