I attended my first Black History class in 1968 at the University of Maryland (UM). The class came about because black students demanded it in that tumultuous year. They were supported by a small but significant number of white students.On the first day of class it was a shock to all of us to find out that a southern white professor was the teacher. Because of UM’s Jim Crow history, it has almost no black faculty at the time. But Professor Dan Carter turned out to be very knowledgeable and an relentless foe of Dixie apartheid. All of us learned a lot from that man.But even though UM’s first Black Studies class was taught by a white man, the racists on campus still howled in protest. They argued loud and long that if “the blacks” (and they used another term that I won’t repeat here) had Black Studies, why not have White Studies? Of course, much of the class was taken up with the history of whiteness in America. Black people sure didn’t invent The Strange Career of Jim Crow described by historian C. Vann Woodward (one of the texts that Dr. Carter assigned to us).Some of the black students… Read full this story
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