The outcry for social and racial equality–and the resulting protests across the nation–has forced Dartmouth College and create a new college course.
With the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of officers in Ferguson and New York respectively, social unrest bubble up to the surface of national conversation as people took the streets demanding justice for two men killed by law enforcement. Tempers were only further exacerbated when neither of the officers in their deaths were indicted in their deaths.
People all over the nation took the streets in the continued demand for justice. On social media, the message spread with the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #ICantBreathe. The situations even prompted millions of people to stay home with their post-Thanksgiving dollars for #BlackOutFriday.
Unlike many social movements, this wasn’t just some flash-in-the-pan protest that was over in a matter of days. These problems brought much-needed light to the real issues that the United States still has ensuring basic civil rights for all. It’s become such a prevalent matter that students at one of the top universities in the nation are going to study it.
Dartmouth College’s Art History Department Chair Mary K. Coffey posed a pertinent question when she asked, “If colleges cannot address current events in an intellectually rigorous manner then what are they good for?” The answer has come in the form of a course titled “10 Weeks, 10 Professors: #BlackLivesMatter.”
The idea for the course was spawned from Dartmouth workshop that prompted a discussion about the anatomy of social activism in relation to the situation in Ferguson after officer Darren Wilson gunned Michael down.
“The course has the potential to be revolutionary insofar as the students who take it will come away with a wide-ranging critical framework for thinking through not only what happened in Ferguson (and elsewhere), but also why we continue to see so much violence perpetrated against poor people of color,” Mary told The Huffington Post.
She continued, “Having the ability to address the why question will make these students capable of thinking about change, alternatives, or forms of activism that might have a revolutionary impact.”
The course is set to begin this spring semester. There’s no word on which professors will be leading this course from week-to-week at this time, but it would be good to see a few prominent activists step up to the podium and lead a lesson.