Cecil Freedom School Syllabus (Rough/Unfinished)

Cecil Freedom School is an idea for the future of a virtual school for Black people in poor rural communities like where I grew up. It is also for the white folks in these areas too. In hopes that they may learn and unlearn, see and unsee. When I was young I used to dream of such an event. But dreams are exactly that… dreams. Cecil Freedom School is a virtual reality, in a virtual future, towards a virtual world. I start with myself not for self-righteous reasons, but to be upfront with everyone about where I stand, where I stood, and what I am after in creating this virtual architecture. 

This is unfinished and undone and very open to suggestions and remarks. 

Week 1: introduction

  • John Gillespie, Rural Niggers
  • Cedric Robinson, An Anthropology of Marxism
    • Chapter 1, Coming to Terms with Marxian Taxonomy

Week 2: beyond marxism, 1

  • Cedric Robinson, An Anthropology of Marxism
    • Chapter 2, The Social Origins of Materialism and Socialism
    • Chapter 3, German Critical Philosophy and Marx

Week 3: beyond marxism, 2

  • Cedric Robinson, An Anthropology of Marxism
    • Chapter 4, The Discourse of Economics
    • Chapter 5, Reality and its Representation

Week 4: making the united states of america 

  • Cedric Robinson, Black Movements in America
    • Chapter 2, Slavery and the Constitutions
  • The Constitution of the United States of America

Week 5: making the world 

  • Frank Wilderson, Gramsci’s Black Marx
  • Cedric Robinson, Black Marxism
    • Chapter 2, The English Working Class as the Mirror of Production

Week 6: whiteness and poverty, 1

  • Tiffany Willoughby-Herald, Waste of White Skin
    • Chapter 1, Forgeries of History: The Poor White Study
    • Chapter 2, The Visual Culture of White Poverty as the History of South Africa and the United States

Week 7: whiteness and poverty, 2

  • Tiffany Willoughby-Herald, Waste of White Skin
    • Chapter 3, The White Primitive: Whiteness Studies, Embodiment, Invisibility, Property
    • Chapter 4, The Roots of White Poverty

Week 8: the panthers, the patriots, the pessimist

  • Michael Mccanne, The Panther and the Patriots
  • Stanley Nelson, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Documentary)
  • Frank Wilderson, Red, White and Black: Cinema and the Structure of US Antagonism
    • Introduction, Unspeakable Ethics
    • Chapter 1, Section 1, The Ruse of Analogy

Week 9: gender, sexuality and abolition 

  • Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider
    • The Master’s Tool Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House
    • Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference
    • The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism
  • Janaya Khan, Abolition Culture: Moving Beyond Disposability in the Movement

Week 10: theory from below 

  • Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
    • Chapter 1, The Wake
    • Chapter 4, The Weather
  • Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Mask
    • Introduction
    • Chapter 5, The Lived Experience of the Black Man

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