Introduction to African-American Studies

Feb 2014

There are two sides to every story. Marxism was discussed on numerous occasions as a plausible antithesis to humans paraded as capital in this country (among other New World countries), but it was never touted as the bonafide way in either Fellezs' lectures or Darlene's discussion section, nor was anyone's voice stifled from disagreeing with the benefits of socialism or communism or despotic/darwinian nature of capitalism. This reviewer created a complete mischaracterization and false dichotomy to fit his own aims, whatever they may be. I cannot speak for the TA Yannick's teaching style though it is widely accepted among our classmates who gossip(ed) like pornstars scromp that he educated from a narrow radical bent that many students found restrictive to say the least. Regardless, anyone who gripes about the reading load in a Global Core class at Columbia, a class which they chose on their own accord, having two weeks to review the syllabus before dropping, discredits himself/herself the moment he/she speaks. It's like a smoker complaining about his lung cancer while concurrently smoking a cigarette. WE came here to read. WE came here for a rigorous education. It's literally Columbia's badge of honor, our badge of honor; a badge that signifies that we attend a school that is proud to make us read more about the world than any other undergraduate school in the country; unfortunately, so many of us still like pretending school is just a game, just a name, just a ticket to the big leagues and not a place to learn. Here's a good mean spirited ad hominem attack of the previous reviewer: Mr. Good/Bad/&Ugly is likely a little sissy deep down who chose not to show some courage and speak his mind about capitalism face to face with his instructors and classmates and instead chose Culpa as the perfect domain to complain about his own inferiority complex, while tipping his hand that he honestly does not belong in this institution. No one is perfect, I know I am not, that's clear here in my second rate response, but neither are professors or TA's. Sometimes, one of the great gifts that a student has at his own disposal is to shine his or her own light back at academia until academia cannot help but take note of the student's acumen, regardless if it differs from their own luster. Culpa is no place to quibble about spilt milk you had a chance to mop up from the get go.

Jan 2003

The reading list is really fantastic. However, I recommend just buying the books and reading them over the summer because Professor Winks adds nothing to them! At times I thought the class had very interesting discussions-- no thanks to Winks. He essentially doesn't teach, he relies on his students to teach the class for him through oral presentations.

Jun 2002

First, please note that Rodney is a T.A., not a professor. Nevertheless, he was certainly a pleasure to work with. He's very knowledgeable and he manages to make the somewhat hackneyed lecture topics interesting. He's a patient, fair, and understanding preceptor; he's also very considerate when it comes to student needs. I highly recommend this T.A. The class needs a little work, though. It tries to cover a little too much material. African-American History (when it was offered with Daryl Scott a few semesters ago) was taught in two semesters. This class, which tries to be a historical survey, attempts to cram 400 years of information into less than fifteen weeks. It just doesn't work. And while Manning Marable is one of the most brilliant professors at this university, he only lectures in about a third of the class. Most of the sessions are helmed by boring, boring, boring T.A.'s. I cannot remember when I saw so many people sleeping. The readings are often interesting, though, if you can get beyond the blah lectures.