The "Father Of Black Studies," He Was An Educator For Black Power

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Via Pixabay
L. Graciella Maiolatesi
December 15, 2021

Professor Nathan Hare wasn’t going to let higher education continue to exclude and miseducate Black students. In fact, he was willing to put his own job on the line!

In 1966, Hare publicly criticized Howard University president James Nabrit after Nabrit’s attempt to “whiten” the student body. Hare was fired – but he persevered!

By 1968, Hare was hired by San Francisco State College to design the first ever Black Studies program. This was HUGE – but it put another target on his back.

Hare was fired AGAIN – after refusing to discourage a campus-wide strike, during which thousands of students protested the college’s anti-Blackness. One of their demands was a full-time Black Studies Department led by Hare!

Unfazed, Hare continued addressing issues confronting our community, publishing influential books, and co-founding Black-centered organizations.

Black history is still being erased from curriculums. Even in 2021, there’s a “war on books,” where racist governors and parents are demanding all “inappropriate” books be removed from schools. 

Hundreds of books are banned, like Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” – often used to introduce students to racism's complexities.

Hare, later known as the “Father of Black Studies,” always stood up for Black-centered education, despite the risk to his own job security.

Black-led education is a means to know our TRUE history, culture, and selves – and we must seek out and promote it at all costs!

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