Emory University Now Teaching Course on How Black Social Movements Contribute to Empowerment


Colleges and universities across the country have offered an array of thought-provoking courses related to African-American culture. Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia recently added a new course to its curriculum centered on Black self-love.

The class, titled The Power of Black Self-Love, is taught by Dianne Stewart, an associate professor of religion and African-American studies at the institution. It delves into how the concept of self-love amongst African-Americans is perceived in this generation.

During the class, students explore how Black social movements have contributed to empowerment within the African-American community. Topics discussed during the course include the “Black Girl Magic” hashtag, Black Twitter and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The course was conceptualized by Stewart and Donna Troka, an adjunct assistant professor in Emory’s Institute for the Liberal Arts. The two educators wanted to bridge two classes they were teaching together. Prior to the new course, Stewart taught a class titled Black Love, which explored how political, social and cultural events throughout history affected Black marriages and families.

“So many of these issues compel an exploration of black people’s history with love and lovelessness in North America,” Stewart says in the school’s press release. “The challenges racial justice activists confront today mirror the obstacles activists faced during the U.S. civil rights movement and earlier periods. Across such movements, the emphasis on love, or the lack thereof, deserves interrogation and reflection.”

Troka taught a course titled Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter, that explored how Black social activism has changed throughout history. A discussion in Troka’s class inspired her to team up with Stewart to create a new course. “We were talking about the Black Lives Matter movement — what it means to assert your own humanity, to love oneself as a black person in today’s society — when a student began telling me about Dianne’s ‘Black Love’ class,” she said.

Ever since the inception of The Power of Black Self-Love course, there has been a diverse group of enrollees. “These are some amazingly sharp students who have engaged in difficult — and sometimes vulnerable — conversations,” says Troka. “Many have had to learn to negotiate environments that were sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly against them, and are now thinking about it theoretically, culturally and personally.”

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Source: Black America Web | Brandee Sanders