Header Ads

featured image

The decision to dissolve the department was approved last fall by the university’s board of trustees, Dr. Wutoh said. The department’s four tenured faculty members will remain within the College of Arts and Sciences, while the contracts of its four nontenured faculty members, including Dr. Prather, will not be renewed.

Dr. Prather said she hadn’t expected that her time within the classics department would go on forever. But she added that seeing the department dissolved was still disheartening at a university that had been a beacon for the study of antiquity from a Black perspective.

When approaching a course, Dr. Prather focuses on “tearing down the colonization of our minds,” she said. She takes students on a journey, starting with Black people in antiquity all the way up to the present day — a timeline that presents slavery as just a slice of the Black experience, not its dominant narrative.

The work of Frank M. Snowden Jr., who once led Howard’s classics department and produced groundbreaking work shedding light on ancient African civilizations in ancient Greece and Rome, is a staple within Dr. Prather’s classes.

“One of the things I say to my students coming in is, ‘This class is going to show you how worldwide Black people are,’” she said.

At Howard, students are exposed to how themes within classics are interlaced and rooted into the works of political activists like Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis as well as Black literary thinkers such as the author Toni Morrison. The abolitionist Frederick Douglass offers a particularly sharp argument for engaging with the classics, Dr. Prather said.

“He learned as an enslaved child through reading the speakers of Cicero and all the different dialogues and classic texts to practice rhetorical skills,” she said, “so that he could know how to exercise his mind to use logic.”

This is Bongo Exclusive Official Website (Everything Exclusive) you can follow our social network pages or email us:

Become Our VIP Subscriber, Jiunge Sasa!