NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2015 Volume 15.2 - Page 114

112 In addition to new art, literature and music, they founded new theatre companies, art houses, publishing companies and countless community centers and other spaces — not only in New York but in major cities north, south and coast to coast — where they could meet, talk, create, collaborate, organize, hash out ideas and new artistic and activist strategies. Dis- satisfied with what mainstream schools had taught or failed to teach them of Black history, they established and put into practice new concepts and conceptions, especially of education. These took the form of family-run and community-based “liberation schools,” intended to instill in children and youth pride in Black identity, based in accurate, factual, useful and heretofore less than readily available information about African American and African political and cultural history. The Black Arts Movement generation conceptualized, agitated for, founded, studied and taught in the first Black Studies programs in the nation’s previously predominantly white universities. In doing so, they effected major changes in how education is conceived and practiced in the United States. Theirs is the generation that labored to theorize and to realize the now standard and perdurable concept of an African Diaspora unified across history, geography, language and political difference. Anti-colonial activism, philosophy and theory had already begun to lay bare the chinks in the armor of Western civilization. And B