Before the problems of the black community can be dealt with people must first have an understanding of imperialism, a black professor told a group of students at the Afro-American Cultural Center last night.
In his discussion, Abdul Akalimat, who is currently the chairman of the Black Studies Department at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., attempted to associate the role of blacks in this country, specifically students, with political and economic development in Africa. However, he covered a number of topics as he responded to questions from the group.
"The economy is a war economy, Adalimat said. "The only way the United States can maintain conditions other than those similar to the Great Depression is to have a war." The national strategy is to "use the Keynesian approach" not for constructive domestic programs, but for war, he said.
He cited Africa as the area the United States will probably exploit most, because African countries are still developing. "African has won its political independence but it hasn't seemed to work so far," he said. He pointed to the maintenance of foreign industries within many of the African countries as an indication of their economic dependence on imperialist countries.
"If you are going to understand the role of this country with the rest of the world, you have to understand imperialism," he said. "The U.S. is a member of NATO along with Portugal. Therefore they have a direct military relationship with Portugal as well as strong business ties with South Africa."
Akalimat noted that to understand black people a world view is required rather than a local one. He said he feels that in order to recognize where black people come from and where they are going the scholarship of a Franklin Frazier or a W.E.B. DuBois '88 will be necessary.
Akalimat received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He is visiting black political organizations in the Boston area for a few days.
He was brought to the Harvard student community as part of the Afro-American Cultural Center's program of guest speakers Wednesday nights at the Center.