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White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education

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The history of African American studies is often told as a heroic tale, with compelling images of black power and passionate African American students who refused to take no for an answer. Noliwe M. Rooks argues for the recognition of another story, which proves that many of the programs that survived actually began as a result of white philanthropy. With unflinching hones The history of African American studies is often told as a heroic tale, with compelling images of black power and passionate African American students who refused to take no for an answer. Noliwe M. Rooks argues for the recognition of another story, which proves that many of the programs that survived actually began as a result of white philanthropy. With unflinching honesty, Rooks shows that the only way to create a stable future for African American studies is by confronting its complex past.


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The history of African American studies is often told as a heroic tale, with compelling images of black power and passionate African American students who refused to take no for an answer. Noliwe M. Rooks argues for the recognition of another story, which proves that many of the programs that survived actually began as a result of white philanthropy. With unflinching hones The history of African American studies is often told as a heroic tale, with compelling images of black power and passionate African American students who refused to take no for an answer. Noliwe M. Rooks argues for the recognition of another story, which proves that many of the programs that survived actually began as a result of white philanthropy. With unflinching honesty, Rooks shows that the only way to create a stable future for African American studies is by confronting its complex past.

49 review for White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    A compromised view of the origins of Africana Studies in American academe. Rooks greatly overstates the importance of the Ford Foundation's role in the process of getting Black Studies programs off the ground. It's not coincidental that this book was funded in large part by the Ford Foundation, and that Rooks works at Princeton, the kind of institution that has been resistant to radical change in academic programs since the revolutionary 60s generation sought. While the book does retain some his A compromised view of the origins of Africana Studies in American academe. Rooks greatly overstates the importance of the Ford Foundation's role in the process of getting Black Studies programs off the ground. It's not coincidental that this book was funded in large part by the Ford Foundation, and that Rooks works at Princeton, the kind of institution that has been resistant to radical change in academic programs since the revolutionary 60s generation sought. While the book does retain some historical interest, there are far superior sources for information about this topic, sources that don't have partially hidden connections to think tanks seeking revisionist history.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debra Foster Greene

    Interesting read about the birth, development and evolution of Black Studies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    An exploration of the origins, institutionalization and futures of African American Studies as a university discipline. Rooks' title sets up the book as a polemic against the "social engineering" engendered by white philanthropy and in the opening pages expresses equal concern about the changing demographics of black students in higher education. However, her narrative is far more ambivalent, and her stance far more ambiguous than her declarative statements would have us believe. The book also r An exploration of the origins, institutionalization and futures of African American Studies as a university discipline. Rooks' title sets up the book as a polemic against the "social engineering" engendered by white philanthropy and in the opening pages expresses equal concern about the changing demographics of black students in higher education. However, her narrative is far more ambivalent, and her stance far more ambiguous than her declarative statements would have us believe. The book also relies heavily on secondary sources and foregrounds the role of McGeorge Bundy, president of Ford Foundation in the early years of Black Studies, presenting a provocative but unsatisfying and indeed incomplete picture. This book might have been better served by some oral interviews and a broader global focus (ie situating the first protests within the global student movements of 1968, such a contextualization would have shed some more light on the national/international, African American Studies/Africana Studies, African American students/African & Caribbean student immigrant tensions that Rooks acknowledges but doesn't fully explore). A good undergraduate point of departure, especially when used in conjunction with primary documents.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I was really excited to read this book based on the description on the jacket, but found that it was much more of a slog than I had anticipated. Rooks is primarily concerned with the origins of Black Studies as a discipline and how the Ford Foundation influenced its academic focus in the late 60s and early 70s. I found her historical narrative to be a bit dry and repetitive - I almost put the book down out of a mix of boredom and frustration. I stuck with it, though, and it really picked up for I was really excited to read this book based on the description on the jacket, but found that it was much more of a slog than I had anticipated. Rooks is primarily concerned with the origins of Black Studies as a discipline and how the Ford Foundation influenced its academic focus in the late 60s and early 70s. I found her historical narrative to be a bit dry and repetitive - I almost put the book down out of a mix of boredom and frustration. I stuck with it, though, and it really picked up for me in Chapters 5 and 6 when she moved into the recent past and present to analyze the future of the discipline. Her writing on affirmative action, the current breakdown of "black" students on college campuses and how Hispanic students complicate the conversation on race in America were of particular interest to me - three stars overall.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Francie Cook

    While I think this book definetly had it's moments, overall, it does not give a complete description of Bundy or the Ford Foundation, and does not give an accurate account of the institutionalization of Black Studies. It lacks critical analysis.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Logan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dani

  12. 5 out of 5

    Weckea

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nave

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Ruopp

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renee Leehim

  16. 5 out of 5

    Qasim

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Rhines

  18. 4 out of 5

    christine allen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  20. 5 out of 5

    Juan Maefield

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ferentz

  22. 4 out of 5

    S.byndom

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pamela E. Brooks

  24. 5 out of 5

    anne

  25. 5 out of 5

    Blair William

  26. 5 out of 5

    nick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nkwa Yellow-Duke

  28. 5 out of 5

    Craig Cunningham

  29. 5 out of 5

    Russell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beacon

  31. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil P. Freeman

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kassidi Jones

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kai

  34. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  35. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Danielle Oswald-Sease

  36. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

  37. 4 out of 5

    Terrell McCoy,

  38. 5 out of 5

    PKN

  39. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

  40. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Petronio

  41. 5 out of 5

    Valencia

  42. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

  43. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  44. 4 out of 5

    Resistance

  45. 5 out of 5

    Korri

  46. 5 out of 5

    Wporter

  47. 4 out of 5

    Michael Strode

  48. 5 out of 5

    Sharice

  49. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Williams

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