Finding Freedom through Communication
Saturday | August 14th | 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.Now Boarding…Flights to Reality and Fantasy:Interpreting Class, Status and Illusion in Black AmericaThe “Black Middle Class” is widely accepted as a symbol of progress and achievement in Black America, while those classified as the “Black Lower Class” are associated with many of the Black community’s social ills (e.g. crime, drugs, poverty, etc). Are these associations merely constructs and propaganda (i.e. fantasy) or are they reality? Classism affects everything from education to neighborhood choices and some may even argue the black mind. Hence, to better understand the conditions of Black Americans, one must thoroughly examine the roles that black class and status structures play in the advancement or destruction of black progress.This month’s reading provides various opinions on and insight into the history and challenges facing the different black socio-economic classes in America. The discussion will primarily focus on:– E. Franklin Frazier’s notions of Black Middle Class delusion, isolation, inferiority and acculturation.– H. Rap Brown’s critique of “institutionalized” Blacks attempting to eradicate Blackness and gain white acceptance.– Differences and similarities between the economic structure of Black suburban communities and Black urban communities.– The effects of class division on Black American culture and institutions (e.g. music, HBCUs, business, etc.).