Interview with Paula Giddings

Did you find that was generally true? What were you missing in terms of what you were looking for at Howard?


Howard had not caught up with the movement. And I'm, talking about even in terms of its curriculum. We were still, a lot of things we weren't able to study. Ah, there were efforts to get, to be able to study jazz for example. It was not considered, ah, ah, a traditional discipline and it wasn't considered a legitimate one at Howard at that time. And we're talking about the mid '60s. I remember very, ah, ah, clearly a course in literary criticism. And this was the period when we were still studying the, sort of the modernist movement and what was happening, Clint Brooks and all those kinds of people. And of course that movement was very, very abstract and very, very intellectual and sophisticated and very, very White. And there was nothing in there that spoke to me. And I remember rebelling against it. Thank goodness, there was a class like Arthur Davis' class who talked about the writers who were dealing with the folk tradition. He talked about Langston Hughes for example, who despite writing during that modernist period, refused to acquiesce to all of that and was still writing for Black people. So there was at least that balance. But for the most part, none of my courses, ex--