Frederick Douglass, A Life in American History

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2024-07-12 00:50Z by Steven

Frederick Douglass, A Life in American History

320 pages
235 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9798216170464
Ebook (PDF) ISBN: 9798216170471
Ebook (ePub & Mobi) ISBN: 9798216170488

Mark Christian, Professor, Urban Education, Africana Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Meet one of the most influential men in the United States’ history of emancipation and Black rights.

Chronicling Frederick Douglass’s life in an accessible way, this biography engages with history and wrestles with biases, falsehoods, and unknown facts in order to tell Douglass’s story as accurately as possible. Taking a comprehensive look at Douglass’s life from birth to death, the book delves into Douglass’s time as an enslaved African American, his escape, his experiences as a prominent orator and champion of Black rights, his writings and publications, and the influence he had on shaping society of the time. A detailed timeline allows students to quickly reference and recall major points in Douglass’s history, and the book is further augmented by the inclusion of primary documents, which include samples of Douglass’s own copious works, as well as words written about Douglass by his contemporaries. Readers will walk away with not only a better understanding of American history but an appreciation for Frederick Douglass’s impact in his own time and his lasting relevance for all those who continue to fight for a more equal society today.

Table of Contents

  • Series Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Historical Context
  • 2. Born in Bondage with Dreams of Liberty
  • 3. Finding Freedom and the Abolitionist Cause
  • 4. No More Master and Mastering Self-Determination Abroad
  • 5. A Man of Independence in Public and Private Life
  • 6. The Erudite Douglass in Letters, Speech, and Prose
  • 7. Why Frederick Douglass Matters
  • Timeline
  • Primary Documents
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Transatlantic Liverpool: Shades of the Black Atlantic

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2022-11-27 05:15Z by Steven

Transatlantic Liverpool: Shades of the Black Atlantic

Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
October 2022
342 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-7936-5263-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-7936-5264-5

Mark Christian, Professor of Africana Studies
City University of New York, New York, New York

In Transatlantic Liverpool: Shades of the Black Atlantic, Mark Christian presents a Black British study within the context of the transatlantic and Liverpool, England. Taking a semi-autoethnographic approach based on the author’s Black Liverpool heritage, Christian interacts with Paul Gilroy’s notion of the Black Atlantic. Yet, provides a fresh perspective that takes into account a famous British slave port’s history that has been overlooked or under-utilized. The longevity of Black presence in the city involves a history of discrimination, stigma, and a population group known colloquially as Liverpool Born Blacks (LBBs). Crucially, this book provides the reader with a deeper insight of the transatlantic in regard to the movement of Black souls and their struggle for acceptance in a hostile environment. This book is an evocative, passionate, and revealing read.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    1. Theorizing Transatlantic Liverpool and the Black Atlantic Paradigm
    2. Life and Times in a Liverpool Black Family – The Christians
    3. Schooling, L8 Community Football, Grassroots Education, and Mainstream Miseducation
    4. Anti-Black Riots, Resistance & Black Organization Demise: 1919-2000s
    5. A Tale of Two Freedoms: Contemporary Self-Reflexivity and the Memory of Frederick Douglass
  • Appendices
    1. Liverpool City Council Slave Apology Minutes – from December 9, 1999
    2. The Age of Slave Apologies: The Case of Liverpool, England – transcript of public lecture presented by Dr. Mark Christian, November 14, 2007
    3. Front cover: CWCN Reports on Historic Slave Apology (Issue 26: December 1999)
    4. Consortium of Black Organisations – Liverpool- Response to LCC Slave Apology
    5. Front cover: CWCN Celebration of College Status (Issue 12: December 1992)
    6. CWCN Editorial denounces drastic cuts to funding by LCC (Issue 21: June 1997)
    7. Liverpool Echo (August 27, 1997) – Report praised CWC teaching
    8. Front cover: CWCN (Issue 1: June 1987) – Evidence of LCC fight to close CWC in 1987
    9. Front cover: CWCN (Issue 25: June 1999) – Reports on Lawrence Inquiry and Racism
    10. CWCN (Issue 12: December 1992, p.13) – Proof of Jacqueline N. Brown visiting CWC.
    11. Front cover: CWCN (Issue 8: December 1990) – Dr. William E. Nelson Jr at CWC
    12. Dr Mark Christian Community Education Award from The Voice 1999
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Striving to Sing Our Own Songs: Notes on the Left not Right in Africana Studies

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice on 2022-09-16 20:53Z by Steven

Striving to Sing Our Own Songs: Notes on the Left not Right in Africana Studies

The Discipline and African 2022 World Report
National Council for Black Studies
pages 186-192

Mark Christian, Ph.D., Professor of Africana Studies
City University of New York, New York, New York

By way of an introduction, the last year or more has witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in human insecurity across the globe. Perhaps it is the right time to put some historical context into what this means for peoples of African heritage globally—and more specifically, those located within the borders of the United States. This article will briefly consider the continued battle for Africana liberation, employing a Sankofa perspective—to go back and retrieve for present use. Moreover, there will be a critique of the so-called “Black Radical Left,” as it seems that scrutiny of such scholars rarely occurs. Indeed, many appear “untouchable” in terms of criticism from within Africana studies—yet the same cannot be stated in regard to African-centered scholars who, ironically, argue for largely similar forms of Black liberation. Therefore, while taking into account the developments of the last year for this NCBS annual report, it is necessary to consider some of the various schools of thought in the discipline and the imperative to develop a cross-fertilization of ideas in Africana studies.

In the last 18 months, I have traveled back in time to the 19th and 20th centuries in regard to my research output, completing two major studies (Christian, 2021a, 2021b). It has been palpably worthwhile because one finds that there is nothing particularly original in terms of the struggle for social justice. Of course, there have been major structural changes in the U.S. with the collapse of enslavement in 1865, followed by the ephemeral Reconstruction era, then de jure segregation, followed largely by de facto segregation. Women’s rights have also markedly improved since the 19th century, yet here we are, comfortably into the 2020s, in what could be deemed the “George Floyd era,” wherein the need for racialized justice across the spectrum of society remains ubiquitous. The seemingly insuperable reality of racism remains an ever-present social problem. Meanwhile, Africana scholars, in all their various schools of thought, continue to tackle an array of “isms” in their varied capacities throughout higher education…

Read the entire article here.

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Reflections on Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2016-09-21 01:47Z by Steven

Reflections on Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

International Slavery Museum
Dr Martin Luther King Jr building, Albert Dock
Liverpool, United Kingdom
2016-09-21, 13:00-16:00 BST (Local Time)

Dr Mark Christian, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Black Liverpool and grassroots education in L8

There remains a burning need in today’s society for Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s message, and his hope of a Beloved Community to prevail:

  • where all people share equally in the wealth of the earth,
  • where poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it;
  • where racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood;
  • where international disputes are resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of by military power;
  • for love and trust to triumph over fear and hatred,
  • and for peace with justice to prove more powerful than war and military conflict.

The city of Liverpool’s history of fighting racism and discrimination goes back centuries. At this free talk, Dr Mark Christian, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at Lehman College, City University of New York, himself a product of grassroots education in Liverpool (Charles Wootton Centre/College and L8 Access to Higher Education), will reflect on Dr King’s ideas from the perspective of Black Liverpool.

Following Mark’s talk, there will be a panel discussion and the opportunity for the audience to consider the role of education and the empowerment of marginalised groups in Liverpool.

For more information, click here.

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Poitier Revisited: Reconsidering a Black Icon in the Obama Age

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-08-08 05:10Z by Steven

Poitier Revisited: Reconsidering a Black Icon in the Obama Age

Bloomsbury Publishing
288 pages
25 bw illus
229 x 152 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781623564919

Edited by:

Ian Gregory Strachan, Associate Professor of English
College of The Bahamas

Mia Mask, Associate Professor of Film
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

Sidney Poitier remains one of the most recognizable black men in the world. Widely celebrated but at times criticized for the roles he played during a career that spanned 60 years, there can be no comprehensive discussion of black men in American film, and no serious analysis of 20th century American film history that excludes him. Poitier Revisited offers a fresh interrogation of the social, cultural and political significance of the Poitier oeuvre. The contributions explore the broad spectrum of critical issues summoned up by Poitier’s iconic work as actor, director and filmmaker. Despite his stature, Poitier has actually been under-examined in film criticism generally. This work reconsiders his pivotal role in film and American race relations, by arguing persuasively, that even in this supposedly ‘post-racial’ moment of Barack Obama, the struggles, aspirations, anxieties, and tensions Poitier’s films explored are every bit as relevant today as when they were first made.

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Introduction
  • 1. Walking with Kings: Poitier, King, and Obama / Aram Goudsouzian, University of Memphis, USA
  • 2. Historicizing the Shadows and Acts: No Way Out and the Imagining of Black Activist Communities / Ryan De Rosa, Los Angeles Public Schools, USA
  • 3. Caribbean All-Stars: Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and the Rise of the African-American Leading Man / Belinda Edmondson, Professor of English and African-American & African Studies, USA
  • 4. “Draggin’ the Chain”: Linking Civil Rights and African American Representation in The Defiant Ones and In the Heat of the Night / Emma Hamilton and Troy Saxby, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 5. Whisper Campaign on Catfish Row: Sidney Poitier and Porgy and Bess / Jeff Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • 6. To Sir, With Love: A Black British Perspective / Mark Christian, Lehman College, USA
  • 7. Transgression or Legal Union?: The Meaning of Interracial Marriage in 1967 Film and Law / Kim Warren, University of Kansas, USA
  • 8. A Blues the Tom: Sidney Poitier’s Filmic Sexual Identities / Ian Gregory Strachan, College of The Bahamas, Bahamas
  • 9. Black Masculinity on Horseback: From Duel at Diablo to Buck and the Preacher and beyond / Mia Mask, Vassar College, USA
  • 10. Stepping Behind the Camera: Sidney Poitier’s Directorial Career / Keith Corson, Rhodes College and Memphis College of Art, USA
  • 11. No Shafts, Super Flys, or Foxy Browns: Sidney Poitier’s Uptown Saturday Night as Alternative to Blaxploitation Cinema” / Novotny Lawrence, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, USA
  • 12. Transcending Paul Poitier: Six Degrees of Separation and the Construction of Will Smith / Willie Tolliver, Jr., Agnes Scott College, USA
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Professor Mark Christian on Mixed Chicks Chat

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2013-12-19 09:09Z by Steven

Professor Mark Christian on Mixed Chicks Chat

Mixed Chicks Chat (The only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed. Also, founders of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival) Hosted by Fanshen Cox, Heidi W. Durrow and Jennifer Frappier
Episode: #233 – Professor Mark Christian
Wednesday, 2011-11-16, 22:00Z (17:00 EST, 14:00 PST)

Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Note from Steven F. Riley: In my opinion, this was the most engaging episode of Mixed Chicks Chat.

Dr. Christian received his B.A. in Sociology and American Studies from Liverpool Hope University, his M.A. in Black Studies from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Sheffield in 1997. He is the author of Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective (Palgrave, 2000) and two other edited volumes, and has been the guest editor of three special issue journals. Currently, he is the book review editor for the Journal of African American Studies.

Selected Bibliography:

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective

Posted in Africa, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2013-03-28 13:16Z by Steven

Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective

Palgrave Macmillan
September 2000
186 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches
ISBN: 978-0-312-23219-1
ISBN10: 0-312-23219-5

Mark Christian, Professor of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Multiracial Identity provides an accessible account of the social construction of racialized groups. Using both primary (in-depth interviews) and secondary data, four nations are examined: the UK, US, South Africa, and Jamaica. The author discusses how little attention has been traditionally been given to theorizing multiracial identity in the context of white supremacist thought and practice.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword–Diedre L. Badejo
  • Part I: Theorizing Multiracial Identity
    • Toward a Definition of Identity
    • Multiracial Identity as a Term in the 1990s
    • Historical Theories of ‘Mixed Race’ Persons
    • Contemporary US Theories in Multiracial Identity
    • Contemporary UK Theories in Multiracial Identity
  • Part II: Speaking forThemselves (I)
    • How the Liverpool, UK Respondents Define Themselves in a Racial Sense
    • Parental Influence in the Construction of a Racialized Identity
  • Part III: Speaking for Themselves (II) Shades of Blackness
    • Is Wanting to Change One’s Physical Appearance an Issue?
  • Part IV: South Africa and Jamaica: “Other” Multiracial Case Studies
    • South Africa and the Social Construction of “Coloureds”
    • Jamaica in Context
  • Part V: Assessing Multiracial Identity White Supremacy and Multiracial Identity
    • Social Status and Multiracial Identity
    • Nomenclature Default and Multiracial Terminology
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Mixing Up the Game: Social and Historical Contours of Black Mixed Heritage Players in British Football

Posted in Books, Chapter, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-03-25 02:08Z by Steven

Mixing Up the Game: Social and Historical Contours of Black Mixed Heritage Players in British Football

Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

pages 131-144

in the volume Race, Ethnicity and Football: Persisting Debates and Emergent Issues
288 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-88205-7

Edited by:

Daniel Burdsey, Senior Lecturer of Sociology
Chelsea School of Sport
University of Brighton


As the world comes to terms with the reality that the most powerful man on earth, President Barack Obama, is of African-American (mixed heritage) background, it is evident that multiracial heritage has become a popular subject matter. Yet much of this interest stems from the fact that history has been made in terms of a person of colour holding court in the most powerful office in the world. That stated, the social world of mixed heritage persons continues to be one of mixed fortunes. In relation to football, however, there is little doubt that the emergence of players of mixed heritage is palpable in the English Premier League and England team set-up.

This chapter primarily focuses on the socio-historical experiences of black mixed heritage’ footballers within the context of British society. What qualifies me to write on such a subject as black mixed heritage footballers in the UK context? In the world of social science, my social background and academic training would probably be deemed “organically connected” to the phenomena under scrutiny. Indeed having been raised in the city of Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s, I am acutely aware of both British football and institutional racism. Moreover, my black British heritage and intellectual interests have intersected with my love for the beautiful game and the experience of black British players in general.

Additionally, I played for over a decade in the amateur football scene in Liverpool during the 1980s in predominantly black mixed heritage teams based in Toxteth/Liverpool 8, winning league titles and cups on a regular basis. During the 1980s, both of the city’s professional clubs, Everton and Liverpool, had very successful teams, yet it was rare to see a black face on the pitch or on the terraces. Racialised relations were rather poor, and it was difficult for local blacks in the city to go beyond the boundaries of Toxteth/Liverpool 8, where the majority resided, without incurring physical threats to one’s life. Moreover, the city council also had an appalling record of discrimination in employment against its local black population (Gifford et al. 1989).

Most importantly, beyond the structures of institutional racism in Liverpool, I know what it is like to be called a “black bastard” while playing a game of football. Indeed, racism was rife in amateur football on the pitch and in the professional game on the terraces. I recall John Barnes making his England debut in 1983, and later the chants of the England supporters: “there ain’t no black in the Union Jack, Johnnie Barnes, Johnnie Barnes”—a chant that would lead the academic Paul Gilroy (1987) to coin the phrase for his bestseller There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack


Britain has a long history of amnesia in what could be deemed a “racialised mongrelisation” memory loss. After all, it is a state that has historically “mixed” with many cultural groups. To be sure, since the earliest times of British history, peoples with varied ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, languages and cultures have settled in Britain; from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages (5000 BC-100 BC) to the Roman Britain era (55 BC-410 AD). Briefly, the Picts, Celts, Romans, Saxons, Angles, Danes, Jutes, Vikings and Normans are key historical cultural groups that led to the “normative” white ethnic category now described homogenously as “white” and singular in authoritative government census surveys…

Read the entire chapter (by permission of the author) here.

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Upfront (With Guests Mark Christian and Anna Rothery)

Posted in Audio, Live Events, New Media, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2012-06-04 02:34Z by Steven

Upfront (With Guests Mark Christian and Anna Rothery)

BBC Radio: Merseyside

Phina Oruche, Host


Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Anna Rothery, Councillor
Liverpool City Council, Princes Park Ward

Host Phina Oruche discusses the current state of the African diaspora in the United States and Britain with Dr. Mark Christian and Liverpool Councilor Anna Rothery. Dr. Christian is author of the book Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective, the chapter “Mixing Up the Game: Social and Historical Contours of Black Mixed Heritage Players in British Football” in the anthology Race, Ethnicity and Football: Persisting Debates and Emergent Issues, and article “The Fletcher Report 1930: A Historical Case Study of Contested Black Mixed Heritage Britishness.”

Download the interview here (00:18:27/15.0 MB).

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“Race” & Ethnicity in Society in Social-Historical Context (AAS-SOC 338)

Posted in Course Offerings, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-24 01:43Z by Steven

“Race” & Ethnicity in Society in Social-Historical Context (AAS-SOC 338)

Lehman College, City University of New York
Spring 2012

Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies

The idea of “race” since the 18th Century, and up to the present, has brought forth tremendous social inequality and, not to be over-dramatic, “social death” in a global sense. The ironic thing about “race” is that, from a scientific-biological sense, most authoritative commentators note that it is a problematic concept with little validity if one is arguing for “distinct races” among humankind. In other words, there are no distinct racial types of humans that can be separated from one another. Yes, there is some minor genetic difference among humans, such as skin color, hair texture, eye shape, lip-size; but when measured by what it is to be a human being these add up to only minor genetic differences. However there are still those who will try to put difference between humankind via pseudo-scientific racial theories. Some biologists use modern genetic science to distort the truth that we are all basically the same in humanity. A recent book by Dorothy Roberts called Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2011) gives a powerful insight into the abuse of modern genetics.

What is significant about “race” and ethnicity (ethnicity is largely related to shared cultural experiences of a specific racialized social group) is the reality of its social significance over time and place. Indeed, “race” has changed from one place to another. For example, what it is to be Black in South Africa is not the same in a social-historical context to what it is to be Black in the United States over time. We can make this point even more complex by stating what it was to be Black in the United States could once change from one state to another. The point here is to comprehend that “race” has been a socially constructed concept over time that has wielded a great amount of human misery and pain for certain social groups, and a great amount of power and privilege for other social groups. Our task is to come to an understanding of this complex topic and for this to be worthwhile intellectually we shall have to comprehend the idea of “race” from a social-historical context.

Given the social significance of White privilege in terms of “race” grouping and hierarchy, this course will focus on the how “whiteness” creates both a conscious and sub-conscious reality that is born out of the historical exploitation of people of color from the period enslavement and the plantation economy (17th – 19th Centuries) experience right through to the present. Even though we now live in a world whereby racism is largely outcast and a forbidden entity in social discourse and interaction, it still lurks beneath the surface in all things social. The current US statistical data on health, wealth, and other societal disparities between so-called “races” makes the comprehension of “whiteness” an important, indeed essential, part of our studies.

Although the course is taught primarily from a social-historical perspective, it is at bottom an interdisciplinary course involving aspects of knowledge from the humanities and social sciences. Having a positive and open mind that has a willingness to learn and work hard will be the key to your success in this class. We shall combine sociology, history, film & documentary to give a dynamic learning experience. The course will be taught via an interactive perspective whereby students will engage with the material and present in individual and group formats. Moreover, it is essentially a reading and writing class with interactive discussion. RESPECT for all in the classroom environment is imperative; regardless of one’s philosophical views or social background, gender, racialized self, or other human attribute.

Learning outcomes:
By the end of this course students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • “Race” as a social construct and therefore “racialized” issues that produce social inequality in the US.
  • “Race” as a problematic concept if put to biological scientific inquiry.
  • The fallacy of “racial typology” classification.
  • Whiteness in the social imagination.
  • White privilege and white ethnic groups.
  • Sociological theories of “race” & ethnicity.
  • How to think critically about “race” & ethnicity.
  • The “cultural minority” problematic in regard to peoples of color.
  • Multicultural issues in a hierarchical “race” and social-cultural framework.
  • Social inequality in terms of “race,” class and gender.
  • How to talk about “racial issues” effectively, and get beyond racialized stereotyping.

Key Reading:

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