Revisiting Black History, Examining Future Paradigms

Revisiting Black History, Examining Future Paradigms

Soulstepping: african american
step shows
By Dr. Elizabeth C. Fine
University of Illinois Press, 2003, 208 pp.,
$24.95 cloth, ISBN 0-252-02475-3
Soulstepping documents the history of stepping, which is defined as a complex performance that melds folk traditions with popular culture and involves synchronized percussive movement, singing, chanting and drama. The author traces the roots of stepping in African and African American culture and its transformation by churches, schools and social groups into a tool for instilling group identity and community involvement. The book also discusses the cultural politics surrounding its performance, as well as its spread to new venues and participants, including Latino and Asian American Greek-letter organizations.
Dr. Elizabeth C. Fine is an associate professor in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and director of the Humanities Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
From the Stacks
Retaining African Americans in Higher Education: Challenging Paradigms for Retaining Students, Faculty and Administrators
By Dr. Lee Jones, ed.
Stylus Publishing, 2001, 288 pp.,
$24.95 paper, ISBN 1-57922-042-8
Although published in 2001, this book remains timely as the retention of African Americans at predominantly White institutions continues to be a critical issue, and even more so considering the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on affirmative action. The book, a compilation of essays by 15 scholars is divided into three sections: each focusing on either the retention of students, faculty or administrators.
The student section focuses on higher education’s need to examine and, where appropriate, revise policies, curriculum, support services and campus climate. The section on administrators presents a study of 12 administrators to provide an understanding of pathways and barriers to success. The chapters in the faculty section examine the effects of the dismantling of affirmative action, the consequences of low faculty salaries, the declining enrollment of students of color, the politics of promotion and tenure and issues of identity and culture.
Dr. Lee Jones is associate dean for academic affairs and instruction and associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the College of Education at Florida State University.
Black Power on Campus:
The University of Illinois 1965-75
By Dr. Joy Ann Williamson
University of Illinois Press, 2003, 224 pp.,
$34.95 cloth, ISBN 0-252-02829-5
Dr. Joy Ann Williamson charts the evolution of Black consciousness on predominantly White American campuses from the mid-1960s and mid-1970s, with the Black student movement at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign serving as an illuminating microcosm of similar movements across the country. Drawing on student publications of the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as interviews with former administrators, faculty and student activists, Williamson discusses the emergence of Black Power ideology, what constitutes “Blackness,” and notions of self-advancement versus racial solidarity in order to measure the impact of Black student activism on an American university.
Williamson, an alumna of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Stanford University.
Historically Black Colleges and
Universities: A Reference Handbook
By Dr. Cynthia L. Jackson and
Dr. Eleanor F. Nunn
ABC-CLIO Publishing, 2003, 253 pp.,
$45.00 hardcover, ISBN 1-85109-422-9
This handbook provides an analysis of the past and present role of historically Black colleges and universities in higher education. Particular attention is paid to government relations, leadership and philanthropy in relation to HBCUs, as well as suggestions for a 21st-century research agenda. The volume also includes a directory of national organizations, associations and federal agencies associated with HBCUs, along with a listing of relevant print resources.
Dr. Cynthia L. Jackson is a faculty member at the Union Institute in Cincinnati. Dr. Eleanor F. Nunn is director of the Historically Minority Universities Biotechnology Center at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.



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