Is Princeton's DuBois Institute's Scholars Summer Program Trying to Create a 21st Century "Talented Tenth"?
Take a look at this short video news report and see whether or not they (The WEB DuBois Institute at Princenton University) are trying to create what DuBois in his later life saw as an elitist error. Please also read their statements below so as to generate your own understanding of what they are trying to do.
WEB DuBois realized that true leaders emerge from sites of struggle-- not manufactured out the of ebony and ivory towers of academe. Yes, many of our 20th Century leaders were Sisters and Brothers who came thru colleges. But their leadership skills and acceptance came via struggles in our communities and places of work.
The Revolutionary Leader commits class suicide and hence, dedicates her/his life to the Liberation of her/his people. This does not have to mean that one gives up their profession. It means that one pushes their profession as far as it can go for the sake of advancing the Black Liberation Struggle. I don't get that sense of development with this Princeton based Institute that is named after a great Black Revolutionary who dedicated almost nine decades of his life to the fundamental social and economic transformation of US Society so as to help make Black Liberation a reality.
Dubois, like Martin Luther King, is being pimped by those very same class enemies of the vast majority of our People. It is great to see the young Sisters and Brothers from different class backgrounds coming together for 5 intellectually intensive weeks. But to have the goal of being elite "leaders" who will legitimate and guide our people further into the HellHole called Capitalism is absolutely wrong!
And we need to challenge that at every opportunity we get!
I also understand that this is about the only thing that could come out of the Princeton of 2010. why? Because we are now in an age when reactionary ideas and policies dominate academia. The liberals and progressives in academia have been kicked to the curb or sequestered in academe's version of "the box" (i.e. intellectual solitary confinement). Class stratification among Black students and faculty is more pronounced now than since the 1940s and 50s when E Franklin Frazier was observing and writing about the budding Black petty bourgeoisie.
I am sure many of you who have not yet given up The Good Fight have ideas on how we can combat this creeping malaise of the "Niggeoisie." Feel free to post your suggestions here!
W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute:
Message From the Executive DirectorGuided by an inspired sense of duty to help our people and make America better, the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute was founded in 1988 with the aim of solving some of society’s intractable problems of poverty, urban decay, and disintegrating families, not by attacking the problems but by strengthening the solution. The solvers of these problems will most likely come from the high-achieving African- American and Latino-American youths that demonstrate an ability to lead and achieve both in and out of the classroom. The Institute provides training to equip them with the skills and confidence to function as effective “change agents” in their schools, their communities, and the community at large. For the duration of its existence; the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute has benefitted from the support of many people, groups, and organizations. Many people have volunteered their service and talents as well as financial support on our behalf.
As we begin the first quarter of the 21st century, hopelessness, despair, and poverty remain problems of epidemic proportions in African-American and Latino-American urban communities. After decades of neglect in a society that is rapidly changing through advancement in technology, science and education, these problems have become increasingly more complex and difficult to understand and solve. They have contributed to a steady increase in the education and economic gaps that exist between impoverished urban and affluent suburban households. As such, the need for cadres of highly trained scholars, leaders, and entrepreneurs who are committed to mobilizing their talents and other resources to improve their comminutes and the nation is greater now than ever before.
Hence, at this phase of the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute’s existence, it is appropriate for us to reflect on its effectiveness. What is its real value? To what extent are former participants engaged in personal growth and community service activities consistent with the aims of the Institute?
Each year from 1988 to the present, we have maintained statistical data in such areas as student participants’ academic-achievement records and leadership activities. It is clear from the data, as well as from reports from students, parents, educators, and community leaders that the Institute is on target in preparing the quality of minds and character that will be needed in the new century. We find that young scholars, after attending the Institute, often move on with higher expectations for themselves; have a more informed world view; and have a commitment to engage their talents in the study of complex problems and in improving the lives of others.
Though in some ways its simplicity flies in the face of wisdom: Our aim is to help solve some of society’s intractable problems of poverty, urban decay and disintegrating families, not just by attacking the problems, but by strengthening the solution. Activist scholars, who possess a commitment to eliminating poverty and racism are an integral part of that solution. As they mature, these potential leaders are expected to work collectively to provide hope, direction and vision for African-Americans and Latino-Americans in the 21st century.
Indeed, that is the essence of the Institute’s philosophy: Giving Back.
Sherle L. Boone
Founder and Executive Director
About The InstituteSince its inception in 1988, a primary aim of the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute has been to develop a cadre of young leaders / scholars with a sense of community purpose, who would be committed to giving back for the betterment of their communities and nation. As they evolve into maturity, these potential leaders are expected to provide hope, direction, and vision for African-Americans and Latino-Americans in the 21st century. The Institute provides training designed to develop such cadres of brilliant minds from these groups who will possess a commitment to eliminating poverty and racism, and will inspire the masses to overcome conditions that impede their prosperity and pursuit of happiness.
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