The Challenge of Blackness examines the history and legacy of the Institute of the Black World (IBW), one of the most important Black Freedom Struggle organizations to emerge in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A think tank based in Atlanta, the IBW sought to answer King's question "Where do we go from here?" Its solution was to organize a broad array of leading Black activists, scholars, and intellectuals to find ways to combine the emerging academic discipline of Black Studies with the Black political agenda.
Throughout the 1970s, debates over race and class in the Unites States grew increasingly hostile, and the IBW's approach was ultimately unable to challenge the growing conservatism. By using the IBW as the lens through which to view these turbulent years, Derrick White provides an exciting new interpretation of the immediate post-civil rights years in America.
About the Author
Derrick E. White is associate professor of history at Florida Atlantic University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Abbreviations xi
Introduction. Where Do We Go from Here?: The Long Seventies 1
1 "The Challenge of Blackness": The IBW and the Black Studies Movement 19
2 "Liberated Grounds": The IBW's Independence and Reorganization 59
3 "Toward a Black Agenda": The IBW and a Black Political Agenda for the Seventies 102
4 "Collective Scholarship": Developing and Promoting Synthetic Analyses 136
5 "The Tapes Were the Heart of the Matter": The IBW's Infiltration and Decline 166
Epilogue: The IBW's Closing and Legacy 192
Appendix: IBW Membership, Conferences, and Symposium Lists 203