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02/09/94

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Conference to explore economic isolation of ethnic groups

STANFORD -- Poor Latino and black neighborhoods of American cities have become "reservations" for the jobless not unlike American Indian reservations, say scholars who are organizing a conference to explore what intellectuals can do about it.

The symposium, titled "The Two Reservations: Western Thought, the Color Line and The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual Revisited" will be held March 3-5 in room 112 of the Center for Educational Research at Stanford. It is sponsored by Stanford University's African and Afro- American Studies Program.

Harold Cruse, professor emeritus and former chair of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, will give the keynote speech at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3. Cruse is the author of the 1967 book The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, in which he predicted that the economic system would lead to a second type of reservation for jobless ethnic "out" groups unless intellectuals from those groups fashioned a new political philosophy to galvanize them into a "countervailing force."

The conference will attempt to link Cruse's prophecy to the Los Angeles violence of 1992 as well as to the anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa, the Palestinian intifada in the Middle East and the uprising of Indian peasant rebels in Chiapas, Mexico, according to Sylvia Wynter, Stanford professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and the symposium organizer.

Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to noon and from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 3 and 4, and from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5.

Scholars scheduled to participate include Robert A. Hill of the Marcus Garvey Papers Project at the University of California-Los Angeles; Paget Henry, director of the Afro-American Studies Department at Brown; Cynthia Hamilton, director of Afro-American Studies at the University of Rhode Island; Clyde Taylor, professor of English at Tufts; Joyce King of the Department of Counseling Psychology and Education at Santa Clara University; Adolph Reed of the Political Science Department at Northwestern University; Sandra Adell of the Department of Afro- American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Carlos Moore, author of Castro, the Blacks and Africa, from Guadeloupe, French West Indies.

For more information, contact the Stanford African and Afro- American Studies Program at (415) 723-3781.

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