Many urban classical schools serve a culturally and racially diverse student body. As students study great writing and great ideas, it is important for them to see that people from many different backgrounds have deeply appreciated and carefully studied these writers in ways that have often been transformative. It is especially important for African American students to know that writings from the Western tradition that are often perceived as belonging only or mainly to those of European descent have been embraced by black intellectuals of the past who went on to create their own classic writings. In this workshop we learn more about key writers of the black intellectual tradition and how their writings engage with the great conversation. We conclude with practical suggestions for enriching classical school curricula at both lower and upper school levels with contributions from black writers.
Dr. Angel Adams Parham is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nyansa Classical Community. Nyansa provides after-school programming and curricula designed to connect with and draw students of color into the beauty of classical literature and the great conversation. She is also Associate Professor of Sociology at Loyola University-New Orleans. Dr. Parham’s sociological training provides an in-depth understanding of the social and economic challenges facing many low-income communities of color, while her Christian faith emphasizes the importance of combining this sociological knowledge with a commitment to students’ spiritual formation and the cultivation of their moral imagination. She is also a wife and mother of two beautiful girls who are homeschooled according to classical Christian principles and pedagogies.