Epilogue: Backlash and Forward Lashes of the Black Campus Movement

  • Ibram X. Kendi
Part of the Contemporary Black History book series (CBH)


Malcolm X, the ideological father of the BCM, once reasoned, “You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches and then pull it out six inches and say you’re making progress.” The BCM pulled out the knife several inches. The new ideals, the new racial constitution gave higher education the tools to fully extract the knife and heal the wounds inflicted by one hundred years of the moralized contraption, standardization of exclusion, normalized mask of whiteness, and ladder altruism. Forty years have passed since the demise of the BCM. Has the knife been fully removed? Have the wounds healed? Has higher education racially advanced? Are we making progress?1


Affirmative Action Black Student Reverse Discrimination Black Study White Privilege 
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  1. 1.
    Peter Louis Goldman, The Death and Life of Malcolm X (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1979), p. 16.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Mary Frances Berry, “Atlanta and Affirmative Action, 1973–1980,’” in Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s, Henry Hampton, Steve Fayer, and Sarah Flynn (New York: Bantam Books, 1990), pp. 644–645.Google Scholar
  3. 13.
    Robert Allen, “Politics of the Attack on Black Studies,” Black Scholar 6 (September 1974), pp. 2, 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 16.
    Nathan Hare, “Appendix 4: A Conceptual Proposal for a Department of Black Studies,” in William H. Orrick, Shut It Down! A College in Crisis San Francisco State College October, 1968–April 1969 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1969), pp. 160–161.Google Scholar

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© Ibram H. Rogers 2012

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  • Ibram X. Kendi

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