A Week Of Speeches, Proposals
Critics of the University's handling of the proposed W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research got organized this week, kicking off a black history week with the presentation of student recommendations for the structure of the institute and a consortium of Afro-American speakers, led by the widow of W.E.B. DuBois.
A student committee, formed in October to encourage student input in deliberations concerning the DuBois Institute, proposed a 10-to-14-member trustee board to oversee long-range planning at the institute, with at least three board members coming from the Afro-American Studies Department.
The proposal also called for a University-wide committee to search for a director for the institute, and stressed the importance of appointing someone with lengthy experience in Afro-American studies to the post, who would also hold a tenured position in the Afro Department.
The committee criticized current plans for the institute for their omission of any direct ties between the Institute and the Afro Department. The 12-member advisory board to the institute appointed by President Bok this fall includes no representatives from the department and no students.
Bok said yesterday that he would have no comment on the student proposals until he had discussed the recommendations with the DuBois advisory board.
Ewart Guinier '33, chairman of the Afro Department, addressed the consortium Monday night, calling Harvard "a pale, bloodless, heartless thing" in an apparent reference to the administration's treatment of the institute.
Shirley Graham DuBois did not mention the DuBois institute or the controversy surrounding it, but told the largely black audience that black students must "keep the record straight," because they are "the scholars who must find and record the truth" about Afro-Americans.
DuBois who returned to the United States this month after four years in Egypt, urged students to study Arabic and warned against a "trend to anti-intellectualism."
She called for a spirit of Pan-Africanism among American black students and said. "The arrogance of the white west that would separate us from our past is only as old as the west is old, and that is a mere moment of time."