Fall 2012: One Hectic Academic Semester

>> Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A quick note to update family, friends, and folks about life on campus and why you haven't seen me in traffic. It's hard to believe the semester is halfway over. After getting through two weeks of midterms, my feet get weary. But I may wobble,but I don't fall down. So, I have over 20 academic units and I'm still involved in some Berkeley-centered extra-curricular shindigs. I'm enrolled in two political science classes and four African American Studies courses. Yes, very busy. In Political Science, I have Latino Politics and African Politics.
  • For Latino Politics, my research paper for the class will be a comparative analysis of the 2010 Gang Injunctions in Oakland, examining the response of crime prevention measures targeting both the Black and Latino communities. The lectures are cool, but I like the readings.
  • For African Politics, the my research will answer the question: Why hasn't Tanzania had a Civil War? The lecturer is the best in the Department I've had thus far. As for the course, I find it rather forgiving of the international institutions that underdeveloped Africa, but what do you expect from Berkeley? Numerous classmates will go forth to become economic hitmen and hitwomen (pun unintentional). 
My African American Studies courses are most interesting:
  • One course, Introduction to Black Intellectual Thought has us surveying a wide group of people, from Booker T Washington and W.E.B. DuBois to Ida B. Wells and Assata Shakur. Our final assignment requires us to draft a memoir about our own ideology about race or participation in a social movement. 
  • Another course is in the History Department, called "Creating African America focusing on Black History from beginning of Transatlantic Slave Trade to Civil War. 
  • I'm also enrolled in Historian's Eye, a project focused on documenting the present moment in relation to the (most) recent capitalist crisis. My focus will be on the community at Alameda Point, the former Naval Air Station, one of the last residential concentrations of African Americans in Alameda. 
  • A related project (though I'm not getting academic credit) is a research proposal I've been working on with the Veve Clark Scholars Institute for Engaged Scholars. I'm writing a history on the Estuary Projects, a wartime housing projects in Alameda that was destroyed in 1968. My goal is to fit the Alameda Point and Estuary narratives into the larger honor's thesis. 
  •  Finally, I'm doing an Honor's Thesis. This will be my capstone project at Cal. Initially, I planned to complete "A history of African Americans in Alameda." I began working on finding information about early Black Pioneers in Alameda, through the World Wars, and the post-war migration, to the present point. However, the topic–I was told–was too large. Indeed, I've found a wealth of information (surprisingly all these other historians have neglected it). I decided to narrow my topic to Housing, specifically housing discrimination and activism.
  • Oh yeah, I sit in on a Swahili class twice weekly so I don't forget what I learned in Tanzania. 
I won't list my extracurricular, extrajudicial, extraterrestrial activities here, but believed they've been reduced--but I stay ... active.

So it may be a while until we cross paths, but pray for your brother like you had knee pads. Life happens for a reason, we can't be mad. Just know that "everything cool. And yes I will be present on the first day of school, and graduation" (Yes, that's Outkast).



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Insight into my daily regimen. Obviously of a different specimen. Me, myself & I. So fly. Welcome to the Daily Regiment.

This blog is an outlet for me to write about my life experiences. While there will be consistent themes in my writing -- because I am what I project in written form -- the topics will vary from day to day, and post to post.

If you are interested in my formal news reporting, you can visit The Reginald James Report or The Black Hour.

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