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Fighting for Our Place in the Sun

Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement 1960–1973


Richard Benson

In Fighting for Our Place in the Sun, Richard D. Benson II examines the life of Malcolm X as not only a radical political figure, but also as a teacher and mentor. The book illuminates the untold tenets of Malcolm X’s educational philosophy, and also traces a historical trajectory of Black activists that sought to create spaces of liberation and learning that are free from cultural and racial oppression. It explains a side of the Black student movement and shift in black power that develops as a result of the student protests in North Carolina and Duke University. From these acts of radicalism, Malcolm X Liberation University (MXLU), the Student Organization for Black Unity (SOBU/YOBU), and African Liberation Day (ALD) were produced to serve as catalysts to extend the tradition of Black activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Scholars, researchers, community organizers, and students of African-American studies, American studies, history of education, political science, Pan-African studies, and more will benefit from this provocative and enlightening text.
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This book extends from the many individuals who provided their selfless contributions to ensure its success. To the Most High God, Yeshua/Jesus, through whom all things are made possible, thank you for the strength and fortitude that allowed me to endure through the toughest of times. I am forever grateful.

To my series editors Richard Greggory Johnson III and Rochelle Brock, acquisitions editor Chris Myers, production supervisor Jackie Pavlovic, and the entire production staff at Peter Lang, thank you for all of your great work and support throughout this process.

My time spent in the department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as a graduate student was life changing and significant in my quest to become a critical historian. Thank you to James D. Anderson (Doc), Laurence Parker, and Chris Span for challenging me and for providing a space to think and grow. To Yoon Pak, my dissertation chair and good friend, thank you for never discouraging my ideas and for allowing me to test the boundaries of history and research in my work. I am forever grateful to my EPS mentors. To David O. Stovall, Chamara Jewel Kwakye, and Kamau Rashid, thank you for providing inspiration and for always having an ear to lend for the many ideas that have come my way. To Sammie Eames (God bless your life) you are sorely missed. I will forever cherish your words of wisdom and your ← ix | x → tutelage...

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