Baby D's Bagels
$20 Worth of Food and Drink for Only $10
April 16, 2014

Pan-African Studies ends the Saturday Academy

Let me be as direct as possible and not bury the lead. The University of Louisville’s Department of Pan-African Studies (PAS) is not ending Saturday Academy because we don’t value the program. We are doing so because we cannot get along with the late Dr. J. Blaine Hudson’s wife. It’s just that simple. As department chair, I owe a public explanation if my unit chooses to step away from such a long-standing program. So, here goes.

For those unfamiliar, the Academy is a free community history class founded by Blaine along with then-PAS chairman Dr. Robert Douglas. For many years, Blaine taught it most Saturday mornings until his untimely death in 2013. It had a small but loyal following. The dearth of attendance was unfortunate but was not Blaine’s fault. It actually speaks poorly of Louisville — especially black Louisville. If this is the type of city that pays more attention to a former dope-dealer-turned-profiteering-“community advocate” than to one of the finest minds the city has produced, then it deserves what it gets. As DuBois said in 1930, “Remain hogs!”

Let me be candid — Mrs. Hudson and I do not like one another. I’m completely comfortable with that. I’m sure she is as well. Undoubtedly, she regards me as a self-obsessed, arrogant cuss plagued by tyrannical inclinations. Admittedly, I have an ego. Most talented and aspirational people do, though they loathe admitting it. I’m just honest. While I certainly prefer leading to following, I think I fall a bit short of a 21st century “Papa Doc” Duvalier. I could be wrong.

That said, I see Mrs. Hudson as the latest in a long line of spouses of genuinely great women and men filled with misplaced senses of entitlement. As a result, they are given to onerous behavior if not accorded the deference they feel they deserve.

Despite us not appearing on one another’s Christmas lists, moving PAS away from Saturday Academy is not personal. Since Blaine’s death, Mrs. Hudson has expressed understandable concern for his legacy. Unfortunately, she has often done so in ways that are not only off-putting, but also often downright insulting. For more than a year, U of L, Pan-African Studies and select individuals have all dealt with her periodic japes and condemnations. Some have been private and veiled, others public and muscular.

From open and personal commentary to electronic mail (one in which she skewered me to U of L’s president and provost), she has taken various opportunities to articulate her displeasure. Of course, she has every right to her opinions. She must understand, however, that unnecessarily weaponized tongues and acerbic missives have consequences. Out of respect and love for Blaine, many may be willing to continue to suffer this behavior. I am not among that lot. There are too many other concerns to abide this type of periodic drama. It is simply untenable.

It should be noted that PAS had every intention of continuing Saturday Academy after Blaine’s death. We understood that we could not do it in the same way Blaine did, because he was a singular talent. Our plan was to adapt it to fit our skill set and expand its reach by the 2014-15 school year. We brought innovative ideas, socio-political commitment and 13 Ph.D.s — all willing to push the platform forward … gratis. This was not good enough for Mrs. Hudson. Ultimately, what we did not bring (and will not as long as I am chair) was a willingness to swallow unwarranted hostility, criticism and venom when we were doing our level best. No apologies will be made for that refusal.

So, PAS has concluded that we cannot do Saturday Academy to Mrs. Hudson’s satisfaction. Whether we agree or not, we certainly understand that they have a sense of ownership of Saturday Academy. To allay their criticisms and concerns, we are now giving this program to them and their supporters so they’ll have the opportunity to produce a product they see as viable. Henceforth, PAS cedes all ties to Saturday Academy. We will offer no programming on Saturdays to compete with what Mrs. Hudson and her compatriots may offer. We will offer no critique, no commentary and no quarter. All we offer are well wishes.

As always — do not leave the people in the hands of fools! MAINTAIN!

Visit Ricky L. Jones at rickyljones.com.

Pan-Afrikan Studies Ends The Saturday Academy

By Abdullah56
Ma'at Hotep Dr. Jones! You brought the fire with this message Doctor! And, I love your honesty, passion and transparency! I was really looking forward to you taking over the "The Saturday Academy," and I don't really think that you can blame the community for not supporting the academy, the way many people think it should have been supported. A big part of of the problem was advertising and the ability to communicate with members in the community. I will try to keep many of my personal comments to myself but, I attended the academy a couple of times and really didn't get anything out of it, couldn't wait to leave, and I did not, and would not have recommended anyone to go to the class. I was waiting on you and your energy. But, I do understand!

Since we're keeping it real....

By louisvilleblack...
This article made me feel "some type of way" as they say. Years ago when I worked at the Academy, the one major goal Dr. Hudson and Mrs. Hudson had was to make the Academy last without and beyond them. So besides being disgusted with the way it's being publicly addressed (in such a way that is beneath Dr. Hudson who always seemed so dignified), I'm really saddened that their goal seems to have not been achieved. It's just so disappointing. Hudson was also instrumental in the creation of PAS at UofL, and in my eyes, if PAS doesn't have the Academy, PAS is in jeopardy. What is PAS without Saturday Academy? How can you let kids go through Black Studies Theories and Issues course, learn about how Black Studies was always meant to be involved in the community, and then have no outlet for your own students to be involved in the Louisville community (except for through the Anne Braden Institute, which is another one of Hudson's projects)? The Academy never needed PAS. PAS needed the Academy! Without the Academy, PAS is just a bunch of armchair activists and library scholars, no different from any other department at UofL, which is not what it was meant to be. The Academy was the one thing that made my PAS experience truly worthwhile, and it saddens me that future students won't have the opportunity to experience being involved in the community not because of a lack of funding..... not because of THE MAN... but because Mrs. Hudson was getting on you and you didn't like it. That's the pettiest thing I've ever heard in my life. PAS better create some type of community program quick to replace its involvement with the Academy because with the study abroad programs unreliable every year and PGSA not doing any events every year, the PAS department, another one of Hudson's dreams, has nearly nothing to offer students anymore. I hate to see it go down like this. I want PAS to thrive. But as it stands right now, it looks like it will be in students best interest to skip the constant a** kissing and drama in the PAS department and create their own Interdisciplinary degree.

Chris

By thebloom
" If this is the type of city that pays more attention to a former dope-dealer-turned-profiteering-“community advocate” than to one of the finest minds the city has produced, then it deserves what it gets. As DuBois said in 1930, “Remain hogs!”.... That was a nice subliminal thrown at Christopher 2X. But I can't name one "black advocate" in Louisville who does anything for free, including you Dr. Jones. And what does Chris' criminal history have to do with anything? If Malcolm X has died at 21 years old, he would have died a drug dealing, drug addicted, pimp. Instead of fighting and bickering like cry babies maybe you and 2X should come together like Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.-- an odd couple indeed, but extremely effective for their community...unlike the bickering "black" leaders we have around today.

"If this is the type of city

By Annngeee
"If this is the type of city that pays more attention to a former dope-dealer-turned-profiteering-“community advocate” than to one of the finest minds the city has produced, then it deserves what it gets. As DuBois said in 1930, “Remain hogs!”"" I so applaud this comment. I've said for a long time now, the Black Community needs to be careful about who they look to as a "community leader". I take issue with those so called "leaders" who jump in front of a camera when it is convenient. I want to know, what are you doing when the cameras aren't rolling. Because, when there is a real issue at hand and we are sitting at the table trying to come up with solutions; I don't see you there. I don't think the community is fooled by this... it's the media who is fooled.

Chris 2X

By thebloom
Chris does a lot in the community when the cameras aren't rolling...you don't hear about it because, well...the cameras aren't rolling. In fact when my cousin was murdered, Chris 2X helped us find a mortuary that donated a casket and full services free of charge. No one heard about that in the news, and no one seemed to care quite frankly.

Problem Profiteers

By Abdullah56
Problem Profiteers “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” Booker T. Washington

Problem Profitters

By Abdullah56
“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” Booker T. Washington

Chris 2X

By thebloom
So you don't think Chris 2X has done anything good for the black community in Louisville? You do know that a lot of people disagreed with Booker T. Washington, including WEB Dubois who basically thought he was an uncle Tom. I'm pretty sure that paragraph you quoted from Washington was directed at Dubois. So, playing the devils advocate. If 2X is making money from the plight of blacks, how is that any different from professors in the PAS department making way more money from the plight of blacks? Aren't they paid to lecture on "black issues?" Would they have a job if there was no "black struggle" or "issues" to analyze and study in the classroom?