It’s No Ordinary Love
Introduction: Not by Default but Foremost Essential for Black Love
I’m a Professor in the department of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. I teach an undergraduate African American Social Thought class, an elective course as part of the general sociology curriculum that concentrates on the way black men and black women have dealt with one another with respect to relationships within the context of a contested race legacy. The course examines the following issues: (1) interpersonal racial appraisals and the impact on relationships; (2) stratification, social mobility, and intra-racial perceptions relative to feeling better than less fortunate blacks; and (3) negotiating black cultural regalia within the context of mainstream America’s collective conscience. The focus on relationships during the course of the semester is not for personal benefit, rather it is an attempt to generate a level of comfort while dealing with a subject that requires critical thought and processing emotions with respect to how prior generations of black people have expressed their love for one another during times when blacks were facing extreme challenges to their survival, and/or contending with racial revolutions over physical and mental invasions. Stated another way, students enrolled in the course are required to ←1 | 2→ critically examine the nature of black love. They may discover that their relatively young attempts at relationships are exercises, in colonialism, integration and assimilation, systemic consciousness of kind, social norming, interpersonal definitions of the situation, and appraisals.
Additionally, the African American Social Thought course examines the degree to which the black body and black sexuality...
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