Entries by W. Gabriel Selassie I, Ph.D.

Freedom Day Celebrations in Black California before Juneteenth

Ever wonder what Black Americans celebrated before Juneteenth? Our quasi-national holiday was “Emancipation Day,” celebrated on January 1, the anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. My recent article on Emancipation Day celebrations in Black California. @ucpress Journal of Calif History. The Walls Have Fallen: Emancipation Day Celebrations in Black California

@womensmarch and #progressivepopulism: A New “Way” Forward

I have been writing about from where would come the New Way of American progressivism.  Well, I think to everyone’s surprise she’s here and awakened.  She landed on Plymouth Rock with a pair of Big Girl sized stiletto heels or what more precisely was on the White House lawn and in cities and capitals world-wide.  Never […]

The Black Fives Basketball and the YMCA

The Young Men’s Christian Association (commonly known as YMCA or simply the Y) is a worldwide organization with more than 58 million beneficiaries from 125 national associations. It was founded on 6 June 1844 in London and aims to put Christian principles into practice by developing a healthy “body, mind and spirit.” These three “angles” […]

Rastafari and Ritual Criticism

Professor Ronald Grimes offered an assessment of the present state of rituals in Ritual Criticism: Case Studies in Its Practice, Essays on Its Theory, (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1990). Grimes asserts, But ritual in a postmodern culture cannot be a replica of ritual in a premodern or ancient one. A number of theologians, […]

A Reflection on Up From Slavery: Cultural Criticism

 Up From Slavery (1900) is one of the most important if not compelling autobiographical narratives in the American literary cannon.   Written by another author, at a different time period this narrative might appear, on its surface, more fiction than fact and more “Tom” foolery than the story of the ascendancy of a Negro leader.      […]

Cuban Rapprochement or American Deception?

President Obama’s move to normalize relations with Cuba and to end the 54 year embargo mark a serious turning point in relations with the Communist government. While many revel in what is seemingly Obama’s move to solidify his foreign policy legacy I believe there are unforeseen issues that threaten to do harm to African Americans […]

Nollywood Review: Half of a Yellow Sun

As an avid movie fan I am nearly a complete devote to foreign films, in large part because there are more films being produced outside of Hollywood than within. Computer editing software, digital cameras and the growing skill at story telling and film production have made the last 10 years an exciting display of film […]