19 Apr
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

Education was not always assessable, especially in the segregated South. Conscious deliberate barriers translated through Jim Crow laws existed that limited the progress of blacks who desired to further advance their education in the South. Unfortunately, black professionals such as teachers and prospective school administrators were not allowed to attend majority white colleges and universities during the height of racial segregation and “separate, but equal” laws in the South. Although “separate, but equal” mandates theorized that blacks had equal access to education in the South, segregated white institutions made it increasing clear that blacks who sought further education were not welcome and did not deserve equal access to these schools and campus facilities.

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08 Apr
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

This week I had the opportunity to visit with my former professor and mentor, Dr. Cornel West, at his office at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, where he teaches. It was a special day for me and my wife, Rev. Alexis Y. Southerland Anekwe, who came back to her alma mater and joined me in our visit. It had been a year since our annual meeting and our visit was as special as ever before. We discussed my latest research projects, books, articles, and artwork in bioethics, education, and the visual arts. But before our visit, Alexis and I were greeted with our usual hug and jubilant gestures, which re-emphasized to me how precious Professor West’s prolific and prophetic genius is to our nation and the world. We were both especially impressed by the immense amount and diversity of books that surrounded Professor West’s office, which brought a renewed sense of encouragement to the both of us that knowledge is truly power!

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18 Mar
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

Since the enslavement of Africans in America, animalistic qualities have been used as descriptors to visually illustrate the physical image of many black males. In early American medical practice, black females were often first berated, then used as perpetual guinea pigs in unethical human experiments. During the 19th century, many barbaric and inhuman evasive medical procedures were conducted on enslaved black women by Dr. Marion Sims, the father of modern gynecology. He refused to provide any form of anesthesia to enslaved black women during his medical experiments because he believed that black women did not feel pain.

Black enslaved men were also victimized by unjustified rationalizations that they were nonhuman bucks whose sole purpose was to breed more slave children into society in order to increase slave stock and material productivity. Often coined as “buck breaking”, this slave breeding method was very effective in keeping young black slaves from ever being defiant or taking revenge on their white slave owners. Therefore, the conceptualization of a black familial system was physically, psychologically, and spiritually discouraged through divisive means to control black people for global capitalistic gain and white corporate endowment.

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