The Musings of a Wannabe Intellectual

Month: March, 2012

This site will probably never go live…

I have been attempting to develop a website for some time now – The Waterhole Learning Space. The idea was born some time last semester following a series of conversations with friends in other fields. We began to notice clear overlaps in our respective fields and began to discuss our projects from a multidisciplinary perspective – the result was some really interesting and dynamic assessments.  This success fuelled further discussion about our weaknesses and strengths and we would ultimately walk away feeling like we had both taught something and gained something.

Basically, what the Waterhole aspires to do is provide an informal space where people can be both the student and the teacher. We live in a rapid paced, largely digitalised world and it is almost impossible to stay on top of everything and the Waterhole allows people to post their findings, thought processes and participate in discussions in a flexible, non-judgmental environment.

 

EDIT: As of July 5, 2012 waterholelearning.com is under construction.

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On Manning Marable

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I am attempting my first study of the historiographical study of the works of a historian.The obvious choice for me was Manning Marable. He, undoubtedly, has had the greatest influence on my thought process and writing style over the years. I was mildly aware of his work in the early stages of my history major but it wasn’t until I read Living Black History that he became instrumental to my development as a historian. The multidisciplinary approach of “living history” and the belief that you need to be vigilant against the whitewashing of history is a method I firmly believe in and can see as applicable to the many different oppressed people throughout the world, including my own background, Indigenous Australian.

I plan on looking at four of Marable’s major works (due to word constraints), How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America, Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990, Living Black HIstory, and Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. What has really struck me so far is that Dr Marable truly walked his talk. In his early works he lays out his beliefs as a socialist, as someone seeking to highlight the oppression and injustices of America, and as someone looking to and providing an alternative interpretation. His book, Living Black History, is almost a how-to guide to not only understanding African-American history but the power history has in changing the future. And his final work, Malcolm X is the embodiment of his life work. He writes what is, in his opinion, the truth, regardless of what is popular or set down in history using his own philosophy that we need an accurate picture of the past to work towards a better tomorrow. There is just something about that that I really respect.

Of course, I am young, idealistic and still have a million things to learn. I will probably even look back on this post and cringe in the future. But his assessment of America’s master narrative and the subsequent oppression of the African-American people has stayed with me and, I hope, it will continue to influence my work for years to come.