Dear Toyin: I feel that certain contributors need to be appreciated for recent their contributions that in religious language should be described as edifying and in academic jargon as intriguing! Okello Oculi, Femi Ojo-Ade and Francis Nebsitt Njubi, your brilliant reflections are appreciated. On Njubi's contribution, I was not sure that after analysing the comprador and postcolonial critic, he spelled out clearly the position of the progressives. I felt rather uncomfortable with the characterization of Olaudah, Blyden and Crummell as ancestors of the black scholars who collaborate with international capital for the exploitation of African resources. This does not square with my reading of the carrers of these men. Hollis Lynch's Edward Wilmot Bylden: Pan Negro Patriot (OUP,1967) and Lamin Sanneh's Abolitionists Abroad (Harvard,1999) provide a more accurate image. I have pursued this matter in "Ethiopianism in African Christianity" and "Black Missionaries and White Abolitionists" in Kalu ed., African Christianity: an African Story ( Pretoria: University of Pretoria Perspectives Series, 2005).
Ogbu U. Kalu,PhD,DD
Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity and Mission
McCormick Theological Seminary
5460 S. University Ave.
Mr. Jackson's article is a breath of fresh air to the looming debate over the success, or the lack thereof, of African American male students in American schools. In reality, there is nothing new with respect to this observation. There is abundance of literature to support the failure of African American high school students, most especially the males. Being in Chicago, I am sure Mr. Jackson is well aware of the efforts of Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, a very active African American conspiracy theorist and activist who started African American Male Leadership Institute and is widely published on African American males, the institutional conspiracy to destroy them, the rites of passage to transport them to manhood, and so on. I guess, what is disquieting in this whole matter is that the late John Ogbu provided the most thorough and intellectually tangible study of African American students in an affluent suburb (Shaker Heights) of Ohio. All hell broke loose when Ogbu came to the conclusion that African American parents carry the brunt of the blame in the academic disengagement of their kids. He only confirmed the obvious but unfortunately, the African American community for the most part turned against him for "blaming the victims." It would be only after the death of Ogbu that the African American columnist, Clarence Page, also in Chicago, came to a partial defense of Ogbu. The only voice that held a bit of resemblance to Ogbu's was that of Bill Cosby except that his was a popular opinion while Ogbu's conclusion was backed up by the tangibility of an empirical study. My question to Mr. Jackson is this: What is new about African American students' lack of success? Why should we accept this "Macedonian call" as true while the same has been said by Ogbu and rejected - is this a case of truth coming straight from the horses mouth as opposed to coming from elsewhere? Please, do not get me wrong. I agree completely that the need to come to the rescue of African American students, male or female, is real. However, hasn't the late Ogbu said so?
Michael O. Afoláyan